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Lincoln and the Welsh of New York State, 1860-1861


"The Welsh as a people must understand the issues of the Campaign before they can freely and conscientiously vote." --David C. Davies, Utica, N.Y., 1860.

A Welshman's Service to the Good Cause

Welsh voters for the most part went over to the new Republican Party and voted overwhelmingly for its 1860 presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln. Several items in the Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress illustrate the very personal way the Welsh of New York State supported Lincoln, before and after his election.

In 1860 David C. Davies, a book and job printer at 131 Genesee Street, Utica, N.Y., sent the letter below to then Republican presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln. That year Davies had published 50,000 copies of a Welsh-language biography and speech of Lincoln for distribution among Welsh-Americans.

Utica, Aug. 14/60

Hon. Abraham Lincoln--
Dear Sir,--
I hope you will please to pardon me for intruding on your patience thus knowing well that I am one among thousands, nay, millions that pays homage to our next President. Enclosed you will find a copy of his Life and Speach (the one delivered at N.Y.)--in the Welsh Language. My motive in writing to you is to trouble you for the name of the Chairman of the State Rep. Com. I understand there are many Welsh people in the State of Illinois. The Welsh as a people must understand the issues of the Campaign before they can freely and conscientiously vote. I have issued 50,000 copies, and hope they will be of great service to the good cause. Hoping you will excuse my boldness,

I ___,
Yours obediently,
D. C. Davies




Title Page from Davies' Welsh-language biography of Lincoln published in Utica, N.Y. in 1860.

David C. Davis [sic] to Abraham Lincoln, August 14, 1860 (Sends campaign biography in Welsh) The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.

The original letter and complete biography may be viewed online at Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.

Important: The Library of Congress has mistakenly entered "Davis" for "Davies" so key word search: "David C. Davis" to locate items.




Welsh Church to Lincoln: "Sympathy and Prayer"

As we know, Abraham Lincoln was elected President. When Civil War broke out in April 1861, the New York City Welsh Congregational Church immediately wrote a letter of "sympathy and prayer" to their new President and his cabinet. This is a digital copy of that letter, now part of the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.

Letter from New York City Welsh Congregational Church to Abraham Lincoln, April 16, 1861 The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916. New York City Welsh Congregational Church to Abraham Lincoln, April 16, 1861.



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© Barbara R. Henry