Reference: NLW 12204E
A collection of letters to and from Lewis Jones, 1862-92, discussing the emigration scheme, and various other related subjects. These letters supplement Lewis Jones’ diaries from the period 1862-1863 (NLW MS 12198-9A)
Lewis Jones (1836-1904) was born in Caernarfon on 30 January 1836. He co-edited Pwnsh Cymraeg in Holyhead for a period before moving to Liverpool, where he became one of the leaders of the Emigration Movement. He was sent with Captain Love Jones-Parry to explore Patagonia in 1862 to see if the area is suitable for Welsh settlers. They managed to sign an agreement with Dr Rawson, the Buenos Aires government’s representative, ensuring 25 cuadra (about 100 acres) of land to each family. He returned with a favourable and exaggerated report to try to persuade the Welsh people to venture there. Their flowery descriptions of the inhospitable desert of parched ground was so encouraging that they succeeded to persuade 153 Welsh people to turn their backs on the hardship and oppression and to migrate on the Mimosa.
Lewis Jones went out with Edwin Cynrig Roberts to prepare the place for the first group, but he quarreled with the migrants who were complaining that the country was unsuitable and left for Buenos Aires where he worked as a printer for eighteen months. He returned to Patagonia in 1867 to persuade the settlers to stay. He started two newspapers, Ein Breiniad in 1878 and Dravod in 1891, and published a book, Y Wladfa Gymreig in 1898. He was a governor for the Argentine government for a time, arguing with the government in the interests of Welsh, but he was also imprisoned for defending the rights of the Welsh. He died in November 1904.
These seven holograph letters include:
- A letter from John Duguid, Rosario, to Lewis Jones, 1862, supporting his emigration scheme;
- Carbon copies of correspondence from Lewis Jones, Chubut Colony’s letters to the Minister of the Interior of the Argentine Government, 1871-1872 discussing the loss of the brig Monteallegro, land titles and the expected arrival of immigrants, 1887;
- A letter from Samuel R. Phibbs, Argentine Consulate, Liverpool, to Lewis Jones, Chairman of the Liverpool Welsh Patagonian Emigration Committee, at Buenos Aires and Liverpool, 1862-1863, supporting the proposed emigration, and the rejection of the treaty by the Argentine Congress;
- A letter from W. Cadwaladr Davies, University College of North Wales, Bangor, to Lewis Jones, 1892, discussing the writer's health and donations to the College from the Welsh Colony.
- Article on Lewis Jones in The Dictionary of Welsh Biography, viewed 16 December 2016;
- Article on Lewis Jones in Wikipedia, viewed 16 December 2016;
- Jean Lindsay, "‘Not Eldorado' : W. J. Parry and the Welsh Patagonian gold fields syndicate", Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (Vol.3, 1996).