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Intrepid Americans: Bold Koreans--Early Korean Trade, Concessions, And Entrepreneurship Paperback – October 21, 2005
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At only 169 pages in length, Intrepid Americans, Bold Koreans essentially revolves around the professional career of one such American businessman, Henry Collbran, as well as the ill-fated tale of American "pirate" ship, the General Sherman. Both are covered in moderate detail but venture little outside of their immediate impact on history.
Hollbran's story is fascinating and fortuitous. The road to the lucrative goldmining concessions that he obtained with his partner, Harry Bostwick, through the influence of diplomat Dr. Horace Allen were certainly worthy of note. His good fortune is carefully mapped out and delightful to follow. However, the narrative is short and doesn't delve into other businessmen of the time who certainly had remarkable stories to tell.
The infamous General Sherman narrative, while entertaining and well-constructed, includes debatable historical inaccuracies. Southerton claims that after the crew was killed in 1866, the ship was returned to America and eventually sunk outside Wilmington, North Carolina in 1874; unfortunately, this is not a widely accepted fate. The story of the ship's involvement in Korea is fascinating but its history is frustratingly convoluted. For one, the Sherman was once known as the USS Princess Royal. Another problem is that there were numerous ships with the same name built around the same time. For example, one was a mammoth 774 ton screw steamboat while the another was a 187 ton tinclad river gunboat.Read more ›