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The Baptists were again without a denominational organ and they had to depend upon the Welsh newspapers for reports of their church meetings. This continued until April 1876, when appeared the first number of Y Wawr (The Dawn) under the editorship of Rev. Owen Griffiths (Giraldus) of Utica, printed by T. J. Griffiths. Griffiths was a well known literary man and his magazine was of high quality. He was Republican in politics and Y Wawr expressed his sentiments strongly. Its publication was suspended about 1885. (32)
In order to carry through the account of the denominational papers, I have passed over others which, if given in chronological order, would have been mentioned first. In another place has been mentioned the Whig newspaper, Seren Oneida, published by R. W. Roberts, Utica, and edited for the most part by Lewis Jones, a china merchant of that city. (33) The first number came out the 22nd of October 1844, before the election, supporting the Whigs and attacking Birney, the abolitionists, and those Welsh abolitionists in particular who were gathered around Everett of Y Cenhadwr as a leader. No further issue of the Seren Oneida was made until that abortive paper, Haul Oneida, which had its beginning and end in the same number, stung the Seren to a reply. The second issue, on slightly larger paper than the first, appeared on May 20th , 1845. The excitement of the campaign was over, but the publisher now had hopes of making his paper permanent and announced in the second number that he proposed to make the Seren Oneida a monthly newspaper containing essays and general news. His purpose was put into execution and the third number came out in August 1845 a Vol. I, Number 1, a monthly Welsh newspaper of four five-columned pages. To the editor of the Seren Orllewinol the chances of this new paper for success seemed good. (34) There were no Welsh newspapers at the time, only three denominational magazines, and a strictly Welsh newspaper should have found a ready place for itself, especially as it advocated the political principles held by a large proportion of the Welsh. The Seren was, however, fundamentally in error. A newspaper which comes out but once a month can hardly be satisfactory. The Seren did not meet the success it needed and with the issue of July 1846, it died.
Shortly after this an attempt was made in Utica to build up a Welsh literary newspaper. This was the Haul Gomer, or the Gomerian Sun, published semi-monthly by Evan E. Roberts, a successful Utica printer. The terms were one dollar a year. Roberts himself was editor and the poetry was placed under the editorship of John Edwards (Eos Glan Twrch), the most famous among his people of all the Welsh American bards. It was a small paper but a good one. Still it did not succeed. Eighteen numbers came out beginning December 25th , 1847, the last one appearing September 10th , 1848. (35) Its failure was due probably to lack of support from the Welsh. (36)
We have seen the failure of all the newspaper attempts of the Welsh, first the Cymro America, then the Seren Oneida and finally the Haul Gomer, which was as much a newspaper as a magazine. It is pleasant to pass on to the establishment of one which not only survived but has continued to the present day, becoming stronger each year. This is Y Drych (The Mirror), the first Welsh weekly newspaper in this country. The first number of this paper was published in New York City, January 2nd, 1851, by John M. Jones, its owner and editor. Edward O. Jenkins was the printer. The paper contained eight three-columned pages and was to be sent for one dollar a year. John M. Jones continued the publication of Y Drych over three years. In the spring of 1854, he sold the paper to a company of publishers. Though he was to receive the receipts from it until the end of that year, it is doubtful whether he continued as its editor until that time. (37) During the four years since its establishment, Y Drych had steadily grown, until at the time of this transference its subscribers numbered 2750. (38) In two years it passed into the hands of J. W. Jones, having already absorbed Y Gwyliedydd (The Watchman), a newspaper published in Utica, of which more hereafter, and having then taken the title of Y Drych a'r Gwyliedydd.
J. William Jones continued the publication in New York until about 1860 when he removed it to Utica. Soon after its removal, Jones sold Y Drych to J. Mather Jones, though he remained as its editor, T. B. Morris, who for two or three years had been an associate editor, being also retained. When J. Mather Jones and J. W. Jones went in 1869 to Arvonia, Kansas, to establish a Welsh settlement there, J. C. Roberts was called to Utica from New York to be the manager of the paper. At about the same time, Joseph William Nichols (Neifim) was made editor, Morris having gone to Scranton to be the chief editor of Baner America, another Welsh newspaper recently established. John W. Jones, the old and famous editor, after his return from Kansas, again took up his editorial work. He later traveled a great deal, but always remained until his death a contributing editor. J. Mather Jones continued to own the paper until his death in 1874, when it was purchased by its printer, J. J. Griffiths. (39) Griffiths has remained proprietor to the present time. When he purchased Y Drych there was a subscription list of over five thousand, (40) and it has grown steadily ever since. He has purchased and combined with Y Drych the other two Welsh newspapers established in recent times, Baner America in Pennsylvania and The Columbia in Kansas. It is now the only Welsh newspaper in the country and is larger and better than ever.
When John M. Jones, the publisher of Y Drych, sold it in 1854, he already had in mind another Welsh newspaper. This was Y Cymro Americaidd. It made its first appearance in New York City in May 1855, (41) a four page weekly at fifty cents a year. Like the old Cymro America, it was designed to serve the second generation as well as the other Welsh, and for this purpose it had one of its four pages in English. Jones had decided while editing Y Drych that there was room for some kind of paper to serve the young people among the Welsh who read only English and he hoped to make the same paper do for both classes. The English section was not a reprint of the Welsh which preceded it in each number, but contained entirely different matter, extracts from English papers in Welsh settlements and in Wales, news of Welsh doings and often literary sketches. The English section was not, however, a fixed part of the paper. During the campaign of 1855 when Y Cymro was overflowing with Republican campaign arguments and when the mass of the Welsh had become members of that party, Y Drych a'r Gwyliedydd had not come out unequivocally for Fremont and had even allowed a Welsh Democratic newspaper to be issued from its office. Its dissatisfied subscribers looked to the rival Y Cymro as a substitute. In the issue for November 1st, 1856, that paper announced to its readers that with the next number the English department would be abandoned, "for a while at least. Our fellow countrymen have been so disgusted with the double-dealing course pursued by our contemporary in the present campaign that several hundreds of them have determined to withdraw their support from it and on account of their unfamiliarity with the English language desire to have the Cambro all in Welsh." Accordingly the next number appeared without an English section and it remained so until October, 1857, when new series was begun. The paper was then changed from four to eight pages and again a page was printed in English. (42) This continued until February or March 1859, when the paper again became all Welsh. It continued to be published until the outbreak of the Civil War, when it was suspended. (43) Jones' plan to renew the publication and bring Y Cymro out again in May 1856 (44) does not appear to have been effected.
Jones was at first both publisher and editor. By August 1856 (45) Thomas Gwallter Pryse or Price (Cuhelyn) was fellow editor with Jones of the Welsh section and J. Henry Puleston, M. D., a recent arrival from Wales, had charge of the English section. Both Puleston and Price appear to have been part owners of the paper, for in the issue of August 23rd, under the heading "Proprietors and Editors", appear their names in the order: Puleston, Jones and Price. Beginning with the issue of November 8th, Price's name no longer appeared with the others, and with the issue of December 13th, Jones appeared as sole proprietor and editor. Some time during 1858 or the first of 1859, Benjamin F. Lewis, later editor of Y Drych, became editor and continued until the English department was again given up. Jones then took up the editorial work for a third time. So far as can be learned, it appears that he continued this the paper was suspended. Y Cymro gave much attention to the news from the various Welsh settlements and particularly to that from Pennsylvania. Letters from a correspondent in Wales appeared regularly, as well as extracts from the Welsh periodicals. Each number contained two or three short essays on various subjects, some of good quality, sent in by readers, many of whom contributed regularly. In the last volumes, much attention was devoted to temperance. Hughes says that is at one time had a circulation of 5,500. (46)
Mention has been made of Y Gwyliedydd Americanaidd which was united with Y Drych. The first number came out in the beginning of the year 1854 under the editorship of Rev. Robert Littler, of South Trenton, New York. The paper was published by an association of Welshmen, several members of which lived in Utica. It was printed by Ellis M. Roberts at the office of his paper, the Utica Morning Herald. Littler remained as editor for but a short time. He was succeeded by Rev. M. A. Ellis. The paper, when it was purchased by Y Drych in 1855, had a circulation of 1800 copies. (47)
The decade following 1850 was a flourishing one for Welsh periodicals. The great influx of new Welsh blood from across the sea seemed to rouse the enthusiasm of the Welsh spirit and to waken the business instincts of the thrifty Welshman. Y Cenhadwr, Y Cyfaill, Y Seren Orllewinol were at their best; there were three Welsh newspapers being published in 1855 and in 1850 to 1852 Everett's literary monthly, Y Detholydd, was coming out. This paper had not been dead long before its place was more adequately taken by Y Cylchgrawn Cenedlaethol (The National Magazine). The first number of this monthly appeared in New York City in July 1853, edited and published by J. M. Jones, the publisher of Y Drych. Competent men were chosen to edit the different departments. Poetry was under the editorship of Mr. William J. Williams (Gwilym ab Ioan); literature under the editorship of Thomas Ingraham Jones and music, what there was of it, was edited by Rev. John M. Thomas of Tamaqua, Pa. A large part of the paper was given up to selections from other Welsh periodicals. Each issue contained as its first article as selection from Y Traethodydd (The Essayist), the leading Welsh literary magazine, and this fact was used in advertising the magazine. Essays on literary subjects, on philosophy, science and travel, all appeared, sometimes copies from publications in Wales, more often original. At just what date this paper suspended publication, I have been unable to learn. It was still being issued in August 1857. (48)
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