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Jeon, Myeong-woon

Jeon, Myeong-woon: He was the leading patriot in the heroic conatus to punish the pro-Japanese diplomat.

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He was the leading part in the death of the lackey for Japan Durham White Stevens on March 23, It was the first instance in the struggle of regaining Korean sovereignty. Even though his initial shot misfired, he fast approached to struggle with Stevens with a handgun in his hand, and the subsequent three shots by Jang, In- hwan finally executed the American traitor: two shots to Stevens’s chest and leg and the other shot to Jeon, Myeong-woon. During questioning, this is Jeon, Myeong- woon’s   statement   to the police: “When Ja- pan  and  Russia  were in the fight, Japan declared that Korean independence is assured. However, Japan usurped Korean sovereignty, took away Korea’s economy, took over governmental control, and the entire country is filled with the police. Now, this lackey Stevens declared the Koreans welcome the Japanese rule. That is why I wanted to take care of this sinister thief.” His declaration was reported in the American newspapers. Even the Americans were deeply impressed by his patriotism. Later, he was released on bailbond. Previously, he arrived in San Francisco from Hawaii in 1905. He worked his way through school and joined Gong Lip Hyup Hoe. He was ardent for patriotism of Korea and always bold and courageous in his nature. He came to America to learn new knowledge and enlight- en himself. He became the first Korean val- iant patriot who uplifted the flame of Korean independence. When he was paroled in 1908, he adopted an English name of Mack Fields to evade Japanese surveillance and their attempt to kill him. He later traveled to Vladivostok where he joined Dong Ji Hoe there and stayed with Ahn, Joong-geun. It is believed that two patriots may have talked about the elimination of Ito Hirobumi of Japan. He was a full-fledged member of Korean National Association in Los Angeles. He voluntarily enlisted in the Korean Defense Units (tiger). He fought for forty years for Korean independence. He was still active in collecting independence funds and sending them to the Provisional Government in Shanghai. He lived to see  Korean liberation day on Au- gust 15, 1945. He passed away on November 18, 1947, He was sixty three years old. He was buried at Catholic Church Cemetery. In April of 1994, the South Korean government repatriated his remains to Dong Jak Dong National Cemetery in Seoul, Korea. He left two daughters Rosemary (Kyung-sook) and Margaret (Kyung-yong). Rosemary married Lee, Tae-mo who joined and participated in OSS for the United States government to become an additional Korean patriot in the same family. In 1962, the South Korean government posthumously recognized him with the Order of Merit of National Foundation / Patriotism Award for his unconditional sacrifice and contribution for Korean independence movement.

 

◀ Patriot Jeon, Myeong-woon and his two daughters: Second daughter Margaret (left) and first daughter Rosemary (right). He came to a restaurant in Chinatown in Los Angeles.

▲ Patriot Jeon, Myeong-woon and his three children: From left second daughter Margaret, son Alfred and first daughter Rosemary.

▲ Memorial service for repatriation at Korean United Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles. (April 2, 1994)

▲ Tombstone for patriot Jeon, Myeong-woon at Dong Jak Dong National Cemetery in Seoul, Korea.




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