Letters from David Richards in Patagonia to his wife at Harlech, 1891-1894

Reference: NLW MS 21199D

Letters from David Richards in Patagonia to his wife at Harlech, 1891-1894, describing his voyage and stay in the settlement.

 

During the early 1890s Edwin C. Roberts led a journey from the Welsh settlement towards the Andes to search for gold and after five months they returned from the Chubut Valley to share the exciting news of the discovery of gold. David Richards (b. 1860) was a mining agent from Harlech, Merionethshire, who played a prominent part in the search for gold. He claimed to have obtained a mining concession in the goldfields and needed capital to mine the gold. He proposed the creation of a syndicate, with an initial capital of £10,000. The Welsh Patagonian Gold Fields Syndicate Ltd was registered on 11 November 1892, with David Lloyd George as one of the four directors, and many prominent Welshmen were shareholders in the company.

David Richards transferred his Patagonian rights to the Syndicate, and provided certificates from the Argentine Government as evidence of those rights. He was to supervise the work of mining the gold, and to serve the company for 18 months. He sailed for Patagonia in May 1891, returned to Britain in August 1892, and set out for Patagonia again in January 1893. This manuscript contains a collection of his letters home to his wife at Harlech, describing his voyage and stay in the settlement.

The venture was a highly speculative one and, according to some, too much trust was placed in David Richards and that he failed to organise the mining enterprise successfully.

 

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