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Horace Grant Underwood
Hangul 호레스 그랜트 언더우드
Won Du-u
Hangul 원두우
Hanja 元杜尤
Revised Romanization Won Du-u
McCune–Reischauer Won Tu-u

Horace Grant Underwood (July 19, 1859 ~ October 12, 1916) was a Presbyterian missionary, educator, and translator who dedicated his life to developing the Korean society and Christianity.[1]


Early life

Underwood was born in London and migrateed to United States at his age of 13. He graduated from New York University in 1881 and the New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, New Jersey the United States in 1884.

Work in Korea

He arrived in Korea as missionary, and taught physics and chemistry at Gwanghyewon (광혜원) in Seoul, the first modern hospital of Korea.[2] Underwood worked with Henry G. Appenzeller, William B Scranton, James Scarth Gale, and William D. Reynolds on the Korean Bible; New Testament 1900, Old Testament 1910. In 1900, Underwood and James Scarth Gale established the Seoul YMCA and Underwood became the president of the Joseon Christian College (경신학교 儆新學校) in 1915, the predecessor of Yonsei University. He wrote several books on Korea, including The Call of Korea.[3]

Personal life

Underwood's older brother, John T. Underwood, was a typewriter entrepreneur based in New York who helped finance Horace Grant's missionary endeavors. Underwood arrived in Korea on the same boat as Henry G. Appenzeller on Easter Sunday (April 5) 1885. In 1889, Underwood married Lillias Horton (1851–1921), an American missionary doctor attached to the royal court. In 1916, Underwood went back to the U.S due to his health but soon died in Atlantic City. In 1999, his body was later transferred from New Jersey to Yanghwajin Foreigners' Cemetery.

Underwood Family Legacy

His descendants have served to develop Korean society, religion, politics and education for over one hundred years.[1] His son Horace Horton Underwood (1890–1951) continued the tradition of education and worked at Yonhi University (another predecessor of Yonsei University. Horace Horton and his wife Ethel named their son Horace Grant Underwood III (1942–2004) who, among other notable achievements[4], served as an interpretor in the Korean War armistice talks.[5] After over a century of service, the family left Korea in 2004.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b "언더우드 Horace Grant Underwood". Dusan Encyclopedia. Doosan Corporation. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  2. ^ Kim, Young-sik (August 5, 2003). "Americans in Korea in the late 1800's". Association for Asia Research. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  3. ^ Editorial staff (October 17, 2007). "10 Most Remembered". Korea Times. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  4. ^ The Korea Society 2002 VAN FLEET AWARD
  6. ^ Korea Times Underwood Family Bids Farewell to Korea after 119 Years of Service

External links - The New Brunswick Theological Seminary



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