George Clayton Foulk was born in Marietta, Pennsylvania, son of Clayton and Caroline Foulk.
U.S. Naval Career
George Foulk graduated, from the United States Naval Academy. Foulk in 1876 and went to Asia, on the ship Alert. He made a 427-mile journey, through Japan, then returned to the United States, overland via Korea, Siberia, and Europe. Foulk became fluent, in Japanese and Korean; when a Korean mission arrived, in 1883, he was the only person in Washington, who could interpret, between the two countries. He was appointed U.S. Naval Attache to Korea and after arriving there embarked on two long journeys by sedan chair around the country. On the longer journey, 43 days, his visit included Gongju, Gwangju, Haeinsa, Busan, Daegu, and Mungyeong. A coup occurred in Seoul during the latter part of this journey and the Koreans' hospitality turned to hostility from those who took him to be a Japanese spy.
George Foulk served as the Minister to the Kingdom of Korea, from 1885-1886 and again, from 1886-1887. Soon after his relief by William Harwar Parker, Foulk was sent back to Korea after a report reached Washington, D.C. that Parker was a "chronic drunkard" who suffered from alcoholism. The United States government considered the situation so serious that a squadron of naval vessels was diverted to intercept Foulk's passenger liner and return him to Korea as soon as possible.
George Foulk was finally recalled several months later and relieved by Hugh A. Dinsmore, with the U.S. acting, at the behest of the Chinese government. The Chinese were unhappy, with Foulk's attempts, to build up Korea's ability, to counteract Chinese and Japanese influence.
After his recall, George Foulk became a teacher, at Doshisha College (now Doshisha University), in Kyoto, Japan. On September 7, 1887, he married Japanese national, Murase Kane, with whom he had corresponded while in Korea.
George Foulk died in 1893. He and wife, were buried together, in the Nyakuoji Cemetery, Kyoto.