In Kenting, Pingtung, there is a temple devoted to a Western woman called “Princess Pat-pó Temple” (the Temple of the Princess of Eight Treasures). According to the research of local culture and history group Hengchun Tazhen Xuehui (Hengchun True Development Association), during the Rover Incident in 1867, an American merchant ship encountered a hurricane in route from Guangdong to Liaoning, and drifted to the southern coast of Taiwan, with the ship sinking near Lanyu. The captain and surviving crew disembarked in Lông-kiau (Hengchun) but were killed by the Payuan , one of the indigenous peoples of Taiwanese, including the captain’s wife, Mercy Hunt.
Charles W. Le Gendre, the American diplomat based in Xiamen, China who was sent to intercede following the Rover Incident, established connections with the indigenous people in Pingtung and an in-depth understanding of the political circumstance of the Qing Dynasty’s rule over Taiwan. He would later become the advisor that assisted the Japanese invasion of Taiwan during the Mudan Incident of 1871, and an indirect cause of the Japanese colonization of Taiwan.
In March of 1890, Le Gendre left Japan and became a diplomatic advisor to Emperor Gojong of Korea. Emperor Gojong was caught between the political feud of his father Heungseon Daewongun and his wife Empress Myeongseong. The empress was later assassinated by Japanese agents in Gyeongbokgung Palace. This is one of the famous court tragedies in Korean history, and also the largest political event after Le Gendre’s arrival. However, his time in Korea was short-lived, as Le Gendre died of a stroke in 1899 and was buried in the Yanhwajin Foreigners’ Cemetery in Seoul. Korea would still succumb to the fate of Japanese colonial rule.