The Welsh In Oneida County, New York  |  Evans  |  The Welsh Press |  20

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Contents
About
Introduction
Article
Emigration
To Oneida
Churches
Press
Politics
Appendix
Sources
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The Welsh were not to remain, however, without a purely literary magazine.  In 1857 Rev. William Roberts of New York started to publish
Y Tracthodydd yn America.  This was a reprint of the famous Welsh quarterly with copious American additions.  These were made by the most able of the Welsh Americans who for the most part were clergymen, as were the authors in the British section. Discussions of religious and philosophical subjects predominated. Considering the character of the magazine, its circulation of 750 in 1860 was large. (49) Soon after that date the editor was forced to give up its publication because the receipts were insufficient to sustain it.

There had in the meanwhile been started in Oneida County another fortnightly paper,
Yr Arweinydd (The Leader) published by R. R. Meredith, the printer at Rome. Rev. Thomas T. Evans of Floyd was the editor and John Edwards (Eos Glan Twrch) had charge of the poetry. The first number appeared January 10, 1858. At the end of two years, the Editor, Mr. Evans, was succeeded by Rev. William Hughes, a Calvinistic Methodist preacher of Utica. Under his guidance the paper was enlarged (50) and improved. Most of the articles were religious, either furnished by clergymen or taken from their works. Beside news from America and Wales, there was a large quantity of miscellany, short sketches on various topics. It is credited with 1000 subscribers. (51)  Some time after, October 1861, it suspended publication when the editor moved to Racine, Wisconsin.

In 1870 there was established a Welsh paper of a different type than any before mentioned. This was
Yr Ysgol (The School), published by Hugh J. Hughes in New York City. This was a little magazine for the young people. At Hughes' death in 1872, Mr. T. Solomon Griffiths of Utica purchased the paper and renamed it Blodau yr Oes a'r Ysgol (Flowers of the Age and the School). This was a monthly publication, the first number being issued April 1872 from the press of T. J. Griffiths of Utica. W. Ap Madoc, a man renowned in music among the Welsh, and T. S. Griffiths were the publishers. The little magazine was popular and was a profitable enterprise. After three or four years, the publishers sold it to Rev. Morgan A. Ellis, who published it for a time and then suspended it.

There remains to be mentioned one other magazine which does not belong exactly in the category of the Welsh American press. This is
The Cambrian. It is an English magazine devoted to the interests of the Welsh in America. Founded in 1880 in Cincinnati by P. T. Schultz and D. I. Jones, the latter editing it, it was purchased by Rev. E. C. Evans of Remsen in 1886 and moved to the office of Y Drych in Utica. From there issued the first number under the new management. Dr. Evans continued to edit it until about 1900, when it was purchased by T. J. Griffiths, its printer and publisher of Y Drych. He continues to publish it.

The Cambrian has been a magazine interesting to the Welshman from the first. It has had sketches of Welsh history and of the local history of Welsh American communities.  Biographies of Welshmen here and abroad have been included.  Descriptions of travel in Wales and short extracts translated from the Welsh periodicals, giving the new from Wales, have been common. There are many in America who can speak Welsh without being able to read it, who are thoroughly interested in things Welsh but cannot use the Welsh periodicals. With them The Cambrian has proved very popular, and for the publishers it has been a source of profit.

In Pittsburgh at present there is published a magazine similar to
The Cambrian, known as The Druid.  It does not circulate to any extent among the Oneida County Welsh and so does not need further attention.

To complete the list of Welsh papers which have circulated in Oneida, there yet remain to be mentioned three political papers:
Cyfaill yr Undeb, Yr Amserau and Y Gwron Americaidd.  Little is known about any of them.  All were probably very short lived. The first two were issued in Utica. For the Cyfaill yr Undeb (The Friend of the Union) I have been unable to find either the time of its publication, the principles that it advocated or the names of the publishers. Yn Amserau (The Times) was published by Evan E. Roberts during the administration of Governor Morgan. It supported Governor Seymour, a Democrat. (52) This is reason enough for its failure among the Welsh.  Y Gwron Americaidd (The American Hero) was another Democratic paper. It was edited by Rev.  W. C. Edwards and issued from the office of Y Drych a'r Gwyliedydd in New York City.  The first copy came out October 4, 1856 and, containing violent attacks on Fremont and campaign arguments for Buchanan, it received little encouragement from the Welsh. (53) It is not known whether more than the single issue was published.  I think not.

One of the striking peculiarities of the Welsh publications, books as well as periodical, is the total absence of any light literature. There are no stories or novels.  This is as true of the papers, such as
Haul Gomer and Y Cylchgrawn Cenedlaethol, as of the religious magazines Y Cyfaill and Y Cenhadwr. The publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin in the former as a serial in 1853-4 and in book form in 1854 by the editor of the latter was for the purpose of stirring up anti-slavery sentiment rather than to amuse the readers. The only book approaching the character of a novel published in Welsh in America was written by Rev. W. R. Williams.  Its title is sufficient indication of its character, David Morgan, or the Influence of Fireside Instruction. This lack of light literature has been due to the character of the Welsh people. Religious things have occupied their attention; they have considered time spent on stories as wasted or worse. The editors and readers alike have had no desire for romances and none have been written.

Most of these Welsh papers have long since suspended publication as have the few minor papers published outside of this state and not mentioned. There exist at present in New York state but one Welsh weekly and one monthly,
Y Drych and Y Cyfaill, and one monthly in English devoted to Welsh interests, The Cambrian. And these, save for an English monthly in Pennsylvania, The Druid, which is devoted to things Welsh, constitute the whole of the periodical issue for the Welsh in this country. The reason for the death of these Welsh papers which were once flourishing, particularly Y Cenhadwr and Y Wawr, is obvious. It has not been that the numbers of incoming Welsh have fallen off to any great degree but during the last half-century the people of Wales have become better and better acquainted with the English language. Fewer and fewer are ignorant of it and the knowledge among those emigrating to America combined with the ignorance of Welsh among the members of the younger generation in this country has taken away the need for the many Welsh papers. These people can read the larger and better American papers and prefer them to the Welsh. If Y Drych is larger and better than ever, it is because it has a clear field. Y Cyfaill is finding difficulty in keeping its subscription list up to normal. It is unlikely that either this or Y Drych will be able to continue their Welsh publication many years longer.


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