Records of Korean Independence Leaders Found at Ellis Island

      October 23, 2009 09:54

      Records of Korean independence leaders landing in the United States a century ago have been uncovered in the files of the immigration office on Ellis Island.

      The Korean Consulate General in New York on Wednesday received the entry record of key independence leaders Ahn Chang-ho, Yi Sang-seol and Yi Wi-jong in the Port of New York from the Ellis Island Foundation.

      The record contains detailed personal information such as nationality, age, carrier number, occupation and height.

      Deputy Consul General Ju Nak-young (second from right) of the Korean Consulate General in New York and Stephen Briganti, the president of the Ellis Island Foundation, hold entry records of the arrival of Korean independence fighters in the Port of New York, at the Foundation in New York on Wednesday. Also pictured are Consul Choe Byung-sun and Geum Gyo-hyeok, who discovered the records. /Newsis

      After the annexation of Korea by Japan in 1910, Ahn found temporary refuge in China, and after going through Yanbian, Siberia, Moscow and London, he finally landed in the New York on Sept. 3, 1911.

      Four years before Ahn, Yi Sang-seol and Yi Wi-jong -- two of the three secret emissaries sent by Korean Emperor Gojong to the Second Peace Conference at The Hague in 1907 -- arrived in New York on Aug. 1, 1907.

      The records were discovered by a 26-year-old Korean intern at the Ellis Island Foundation, Keum Kyo-hyuk, who landed the internship through the Work English Study & Travel (WEST) program.

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