VALLEY TO TEXAS, 1879 – 1880

Many people from the Amman Valley will have an ancestor or two who emigrated in search of work in the nineteenth or early twentieth century. A grandparent or great-grandparent is usually the one, and they went from our little valley to the four corners of the earth. The people who left usually did so from pressing economic reasons, though there were occasionally religious beliefs involved, and sometimes the need to escape retribution from the law provided the motive. When they emigrated they usually went to areas where such skills as they had could be readily used. Thus Scottish crofters (small farmers), fishermen and the like went to similar farming and coastal parts of Canada, the eastern USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other places where these skills could quickly be put to use. The years of the potato famine between 1845 and 1852 sent the Irish in vast numbers to all parts of the world to escape what became known as the Great Hunger.

The world is familiar enough with the Irish and Scottish diasporas, and God only knows enough books have been written and Hollywood films and TV documentaries have been made on the subject. The skills of people from South Wales were different from those of our Celtic cousins, with coal mining and other heavy industries being the dominant ones (though there's never been a shortage of farmers in Wales, and Patagonia in Argentina was just one destination settled by Welsh farmers.)

America very quickly became a favoured destination for the Welsh and the 2000 USA census reported 1.8 million people claiming Welsh descent, which compares with a population of 2.9 million in Wales today. Emigration from Wales started very early: for example, by 1700 the Welsh accounted for one-third of the Pennyslvania's 20,000 population. With industrialisation the Welsh normally went to places where mining and steel opportunities were available. Pennsylvania was experiencing a rapidly expanding growth in mining and associated industries in the nineteenth century and as a result huge numbers of Welsh moved there in a second wave of emigration. The place names of parts of Pennsylvania still remain to tell the story clearly enough — Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Narberth, Bala-Cynwyd, Radnor, St Davids, Cambria County, Nanty Glo and even Cardiff are just a few. (The website of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has a brief history on the Welsh in Pennsylvania)

The following article, however, tells an unusual tale of an Amman valley family who went, not to hew coal in the north eastern USA, but much further south, to Texas. We reproduce the article below in full, originally published in 2001 in the Carmarthenshire Antiquary, with the kind permission of the authors.

By Bill Jones and Huw Walters.
The Carmarthenshire Antiquary Vol xxxvii 2001

Most parts of Wales have some form of an overseas dimension to their history and the Amman Valley is certainly no exception. For centuries people have left the area of their birth in search of a better life elsewhere, and they became more numerous during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Not much research has been done on emigration from the Amman Valley and little is known about changing patterns of out-migration and settlement abroad, and how the emigrants fared in their adopted countries. It is even impossible to say exactly how many did leave over the years because statistical records at this level are either unreliable or have never been kept in the first place. Many of the emigrants, probably the majority, made their homes in the United States; others travelled to Canada, and further afield to South Africa, Australia and Patagonia. Far from settling permanently at the point of arrival, some were very mobile as they moved from place to place in search of work and more favourable conditions. Most probably went overseas on their own resources and those of family and friends, though some, however, took advantage of government assisted passages to the Dominions and Commonwealth countries or planned emigration schemes to the United States.

Generally, comparatively little is known also about the ordinary individuals and families who took part in this exodus, and their actual experiences. Sometimes they surface for a period in the columns of the newspapers of the time, only to then disappear completely from the surviving record. Such is the fate of some of the Amman Valley emigrants in Texas and other parts of southern United States of America in 1879-1880 who are glimpsed in this article. But, more unusually, there is a fuller picture of one family from the same valley who also found themselves in Texas due to some exceptional circumstances. It is on the story of this family, that of Hopkin Hopkin, a Gwauncaegurwen miner, his wife Margaret, and their nine children, that most of the following concentrates. Unusually again for an ordinary emigrant, something is known about Hopkin Hopkin before he emigrated, as he was a very well-known and much respected local figure. During 1879-1880 he and his family were involved in a very ambitious plan to move Welsh industrial workers and their families to a new agricultural settlement in Texas. Yet our knowledge of the Hopkin saga is due less to their participation in that scheme and more to three lengthy Welsh-language letters that were printed in the Aberdare-published Tarian y Gweithiwr newspaper during late 1879 and early 1880 (see note 1 below).

Before he left for Texas, Hopkin William Sion Hopkin of Waun Leision, Gwauncaegurwen, had played a very prominent part in the temperance movement in the Amman Valley. (2) A strongly religious man, he was a faithful and active deacon of Carmel Independent chapel, Gwauncaegurwen, where he served as precentor. Surviving testimony is unanimous in declaring that he possessed a rare talent as a musician and singer, and won many prizes in eisteddfodau and other competitive meetings in the area. In 1860, a poetic tribute to Hopkin's efforts as a music teacher and on behalf of the Band of Hope, written by Evan Gethin of Gwauncaegurwen, was published in Y Diwygiwr. (3) Hopkin gave music lessons in Bethesda chapel, Cwmaman, for a time, and also at his parents' house on Waun Leision. The parental home was apparently a major meeting place for the poets and musicians of the area. Hopkin was also a member of the renowned 'Cymdeithas Gorawl Dyffryn Tawe', led by the influential W. Ivander Griffiths. (4) In 1916 D. W Lewis wrote that of all the musicians in the locality: `Fe ddichon mai efe (Hopkin) oedd yr arweinydd a ddangosodd fwyaf o allu i osod cor wrth ei gilydd ryw 40 neu 50 mlynedd yn ol.' [Possibly Hopkin was the conductor who showed the most ability to put a choir together forty or fifty years ago]. (5) Eleven years earlier, Jonah Evans had been even more emphatic, maintaining that had Hopkin been a young man in 1907, he would almost certainly have become one of Wales's premier musicians. (6)

Some measure of Hopkin's local standing can be gained from the fact that his chapel, Carmel, and the locality in general, collected the sizeable sum of £12 8s towards his emigration. As a Gwladgarwr reporter commented, this was pretty good considering times were so hard. Garnant Colliery workmen (suggesting Hopkin worked at that colliery) collected £1 12s and the Gwauncaegurwen fife band, £1 5s. The money was presented at a farewell meeting in Gwauncaegurwen on the evening of 14 October 1879, during which several speeches were interspersed with items by the local glee party. As is unfortunately true of most press reports of farewell meetings for departing emigrants during the nineteenth century, the content of the speeches at this one was not recorded. (7) Clearly the departure of Hopkin was a blow to the musical and religious life of the Amman Valley, as contemporaries recognised. Indeed, the loss reminds us of the amount of cultural talent, as well as industrial expertise, that emigration removed from districts all over Wales. (8)

Even though we are blessed with some biographical information on Hopkin, we can only surmise as to why he and his family decided to go Texas at the very time when, as D. W Lewis declared, he was breaking new ground and gaining wider attention. (9) The merest glance at both Welsh and English-language newspapers in Wales during 1879 will reveal that there was much discussion about emigration whilst their pages were heavy with reports of industrial slump, wage reductions, distress and people leaving south Wales for America. (10).No small amount of column space was being devoted to the virtues of Texas as a field of emigration, including the New Cambria settlement near Jacksboro, some sixty miles north-west of Fort Worth, which had been established the previous year. (11) As will be seen later, some from the Amman Valley had already been attracted there. Determining authoritatively why a particular individual or group of people emigrated in the past is a difficult task for the historian because of the lack of surviving evidence. It is possible that the Hopkin family moved for reasons other than the purely economic, and they may well have gone anyway had they not been helped (unfortunately for them, perhaps, as things turned out) by the emigration scheme that became the talk of south Wales – and not always in favourable terms – during 1879. Alternatively, it might be expected that due to the economic circumstances prevailing at the time, they were among a possibly large group of people who wished to emigrate but did not have the means to do so. However, the cost of joining the scheme was quite high. Ultimately, their decision to emigrate must remain an enigma, though it is likely that a desire to return to farming and the prospect of acquiring free and relatively extensive land in what was reputed to be a very rich and fertile agricultural area played no small part in their deliberations.

The scheme in question, officially known as the Texas Freehold Farm and Emigration Company Ltd., was an attempt to alleviate the depressed conditions of the 1870s. (12) One of its key promoters was the renowned Welsh miners' leader, William Abraham, Mabon (1842-1922), then leader of the Rhondda miners, but who later became a Rhondda MP and President of the South Wales Miners' Federation. Like many others at the time, he was convinced of the efficacy of what appears to us to be the rather shaky and ineffective 'safety-valve' theory of emigration, and believed that out-migration was a means of preventing wage reductions. He wanted to develop an efficient mechanism whereby unwanted workers could be moved from areas where they created a glut, thus creating unemployment and driving down wages, to areas where they were badly needed and where wages were high. Wages in the places they left would rise, too, because of the labour shortage caused by their departure. (13) Subscriptions to the scheme were to pay for the nucleus of a Welsh agricultural settlement to be established at New Philadelphia, around sixty miles south-west of Houston, Texas, to be followed within five years by a large-scale migration of over a thousand workers a month. The society's entrance fee was 1s and any member was entitled to take part in a prize drawing on making a contribution of £5. Those selected were sent to America with £150, which was to be repaid in ten years with interest. (14)

The plan attracted frenzied interest all over the industrial valleys of south Wales during 1879. Indeed it is no exaggeration to say that nearly every issue of Tarian y Gweithiwr during 1879 contains at least one item of commentary or report on the scheme's conditions and progress. (15) As early as the middle of February, such was the number of requests for information that Mabon was receiving personally that he curtly reminded Tarian y Gweithiwr readers he could not 'codi stamps fel y codir ceryg o'r heol' [get stamps like you can lift stones from the road], and refused to answer any more queries unless they were accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope. (16) Numerous lectures were delivered on the subject and a number of local branches of the Texas Emigration Society or Workmen's Emigration Society (as the enterprise was popularly known), were formed, especially in the Rhondda Valleys where there were six branches. At the end of April, Mabon came to lecture on the scheme and Texas generally at a well-attended meeting in Gwauncaegurwen and a branch of the society was established here also. (17) Was Hopkin Hopkin there at the meeting, one wonders, or did he hear about it afterwards? But he clearly enrolled as a member and paid his dues for in August 1879 it was announced that his family was one of the two from south Wales who had been selected to be part of the first group to go to Texas. The other was that of George and Catherine Davies of Ton Pentre, Rhondda. (18) These two families did indeed reach Texas under the auspices of the society, but either because of organisational failure, incompetence or malpractice, or a combination of all three, the whole scheme turned into an utter fiasco. This promptly killed the emigration society and with it Mabon's advocacy of emigration as a solution to industrial problems. As Alan Conway has emphasised, this was in fact the last serious attempt to promote large-scale emigration by organised societies in Wales. (19)

The Hopkin letters back to Wales trace in rich detail the changing nature of the family's fortunes between October 1879 and April 1880. The letters were addressed to relatives and friends in Wales, who probably sent them on to Tarian y Gweithiwr, it being common practice at the time for such letters to be sent to newspapers. Even so, there is something of a mystery here, as according to the Gwladgarwr report of the farewell meeting, Hopkin Hopkin intended to send that paper an account of his journey, together with information on Texas. In a statement which fully reveals both the extent of contemporary interest in that state, and concern about the misinformation about it that was in circulation, the Gwladgarwr was keen to have Hopkin's reports because 'as he is a religious and truthful man, we can expect to have accurate information on the state which has been so much written about and argued over lately'. (20) But on this occasion, at least, it would appear that Hopkin did not keep his word – or maybe his friends in the Amman Valley decided to send his bulletins to the rival Tarian y Gweithiwr.

The first letter was dated 21 November and published on 19 December 1879. It records how the family left Brynaman railway station on 16 October 1879 (including expressing thanks to Mr Price the station master for his help with their travel arrangements) and travelled to London, then Southampton, from where the steamer sailed the following evening. They finally arrived in New Philadelphia on 10 November 1879, after further rail, river- and steamboat journeys via New Orleans and Galveston. As soon as they reached their destination they found problems.

The emigrant society's local agents were not expecting the newcomers and the houses which had been built for them were not yet equipped. Nor was there for them the free food they believed they were entitled to under the emigration scheme's terms. Some of the emigrants, the Hopkin family among them, were forced to use most of the money they had left to buy provisions. All this did not augur well for the future, as the emigrants would not be able to support themselves until they had grown crops for the first time. Nevertheless, when lots were draw, the Hopkin family secured one of the better plots of land, and then began the long, arduous work of preparing it. (21)

The Hopkins's second letter, written at the end of December 1879, was more optimistic than the first. (22) 'Wele ni yn fyw, it begins brightly, `ac yn rhagorol mewn iechyd. Yr ydym ni a'r plant yn bwyta cymaint arall yn agos o fwyd ag oeddem yn arferol o wneud gartref yng Nghymru, ac hefyd yn teimlo fod ein nerth yn cynyddu bob dydd.' [We are alive and in excellent health. We and the children are eating almost twice as much as we usually did in Wales, and we also feel that our strength is growing every day.] At the time of writing they had left the work of rolling the land and were in the process of erecting sheds for the animals. There was also nothing but praise for the agents, who appeared to be fulfilling all their promises. There was plenty of food – flour, potatoes, a side of bacon, peas, corn, and fresh meat three times a week – as well as tea, coffee, sugar and lard. The emigrants were also being provided with whatever they needed for farming in terms of materials, wagons and livestock. Little wonder the letter ended with a reassurance that `ein bod yn gysurus iawn o ran ein hamgylchiadau ar hyn o bryd'. (23) [our circumstances are very comfortable at the moment]. A letter written by the other Welsh family sponsored by the emigration scheme, George and Catherine Davies, confirms the air of satisfaction and optimism that appears to have prevailed among members of the New Philadelphia community at that time.(24)

After the end of December, however, things deteriorated. In stark contrast to the upbeat tone of the second letter, the final one, dated 14 April 1880 (25), described how the Hopkin family had been forced to move away from New Philadelphia. In mid January the pioneers' food allowances were stopped because the local agents insisted that they had not received enough money from the emigrant society's backers in London, and were not prepared to subsidize the pioneers any further. It was difficult for the emigrants to know exactly what was going on and who was to blame, but the fears of running out of what little money they had left and starving were real enough.

For a fortnight the Hopkin family wondered what they should do, hoping every day that they would receive some good news which would enable them to stay on the farm in which they had invested so much hope and effort. Then came what Hopkin Hopkin described as `un o'r pethau mwyaf anhawdd a wnaethum erioed, sef troi fy nghefn ar y lle; ond felly bu rhaid gwneud ' [one of the hardest things I have ever done, to turn my back on the place; but that's what had to be done]. The realization finally came that if they were to obtain work, then they had to go `on the tramp' in search of it. Consequently on 27 January 1880 Hopkin and one of his sons, Ioan, went to North Texas to sell the two horses the agents had given them; they kept the money as a small recompense for the swindle they believed they had suffered. They then proceeded to Dallas where they met a Welshman from Neath, Elias Thomas, who after giving them shelter for the evening, advised them to go to a coal mine which was being opened up some two hundred miles away in McAlester in what was then Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma). Apparently it had good prospects and the owners were having difficulty in recruiting workers. Hopkin and his son finally reached there on 7 February, after riding on luggage trains without paying in order to save money. They found work straight away. At the time, McAlester was a settlement of Welsh and English immigrants. Later that month Hopkin and his son also discovered that the Amman Valley was not all that far away:

". . . yr oeddem yn eistedd i lawr yn nhy Mr. Morris, y drws nesaf i'm llety. Daeth dyn tal, lysti i'r ty, a dywedodd Mr. Morris wrtho, dyma Gymro eto, bachgen or Hen Wlad. Gofynodd yntau i mi o ba le yr oeddem yn dyfod, ac atebais mai nid pell o Lanelli, sir Caerfyrddin. Beth yw enw y lle? Dywedais mai Gwauncaegurwen ydoedd. Hopkin, rho dy law. Sut yr wyt er ys Ilawer dydd? Yna dywedais fy mod yn credu fy mod yn adnabod ei lais, ond nas gallaswn ddweyd pwy oedd. Dywedodd John Williams, Glynbeudy, Brynaman, a mawr mor falch oeddem i weled ein gilydd. Y mae John yn gweithio engine Slope No 5 yn y lle hwn, ac yn ddyn parchus gan y cwmni a'r gweithwyr, a chanddo ddigon o arian." (26)

[We were sitting in Mr Morris's house, next door to our lodgings. A tall, lusty man came to the house, and Mr Morris said to him, here's another Welshman, a boy from the old country. He [i.e. the newcomer] asked me where I came from, and I said not far from Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. What's the name of the place? I said it was Gwauncaegurwen. Hopkin, give me your hand. How are you this long time? Then I said that I thought I recognised his voice, but couldn't say who he was. He said John Williams, Glynbeudy, Brynaman, and how very pleased we were to see each other. John works in engine Slope No. 5 here, and he is a man respected by the company and the workmen and has plenty of money.]

The meeting with John Williams, and probably the Amman Valley connection, proved to be a very profitable one for the Hopkin family. Williams paid for Margaret Hopkin and the remaining eight children to travel from New Philadelphia to Houston whilst the coal company paid for the journey from there to their new home in McAlester, five hundred miles away from the scene of their earlier disappointments. Williams also loaned them, free of interest, enough money to enable them to establish themselves. And it is at this point, it seems, that Hopkin Hopkin and his family disappear from the written record. Despite numerous efforts, we, the authors, have not been able to discover any references – in either American or Welsh sources – which might give clues as to their subsequent fate.

There is, however, one more Amman Valley link in this remarkable story. Originally Hopkin and his son had planned to go on from Dallas to New Cambria, near Jacksboro, Texas, where other acquaintances of theirs, Morgan and Mary Hughes, had a farm. (27) However, heavy snow near Fort Worth prevented them going any further. The Hughes story, as described by Morgan in a letter dated 30 December 1879, is a startling example of the incredible mobility of some Welsh migrants in nineteenth century America. The letter was originally sent to an old neighbour and friend of theirs, Job Phillips of Cwmaman (d.1922), a shop-keeper and postmaster who was also a bosom friend of Mabon's. Phillips in turn sent Morgan Hughes's letter to Tarian y Gweithiwr (28), partly to warn intending emigrants that prospects on the other side of the Atlantic were not so rosy after all.

Morgan Hughes was the son of Thomas and Ann Hughes, formerly of Ty'nywern Farm, Glanaman. He appears to have worked in coal mines all over south Wales before he and his wife emigrated to Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the early 1870s. There, Hughes continued his calling for seven years and in 1878, having accumulated enough money, they purchased a farm near Jacksboro, Texas, where the small Welsh settlement of New Cambria was beginning to be established. By 1880, however, although one Welsh resident there believed the place was 'a paradise of a country' (29), for Hughes the venture had not worked out and he was in a desperate position:

"Yr wyf mewn tipyn o helbul yn awr beth i wneud; nid oes genyf ddigon o arian i brynu stock, a byddaf yn hir cyn y gallaf werthu dim oddiwrth y rhai sydd genyf yn bresenol, ac hefyd yr wyf wedi colli un or ceffylau, y mae hyny wedi beri gofid mawr i mi . . . Y mae chwant arnaf i renti y lle am tua dwy flynedd, a myned yn ol i'r gwaith glo, ond nid wyf wedi penderfynu beth i wneud; eto nid oes dim lle i enill arian ond wrth ffarmo yma, ond enillaf fwy o lawer yn y gwaith glo." (30 )

[I am now greatly troubled by what to do; I do not have enough money to buy stock, and it will be a long time before I can sell any of the ones I have at present, and I have lost one of the horses, which has caused me much worry ... I am tempted to rent out the land for two years and go back to the coal mines, but I have not yet decided what to do; again there is no way of earning money here except by farming, but I will earn far more in the coal mines.]

How exactly Hughes resolved his dilemma will probably remain a mystery. No further letters from him appear to have been published in Tarian y Gweithiwr (or elsewhere) so he and his wife's later years are as lost to written history as are those of their friends, Hopkin and Margaret Hopkin. For both these Amman Valley families the reality of agricultural life on the American frontier turned out to be far removed from the idyllic existence many at the time believed it to be. There is no way of knowing to what extent these emigrants' experiences, with their hardships and triumphs, were typical or exceptional; most probably they were a little of both. Nevertheless, the glimpses into emigrant lives which these letters present are significant in their own right. They also stand as a vivid reminder of the extraordinary circumstances which ordinary people could find themselves in as they strove to come to terms with the new worlds they had entered.


1. Tarian y Gweithiwr, 19 December, 1879, 9 January, 7 May, 1880. English-language translations of edited extracts from these letters can be found in Alan Conway, ed., The Welsh in America: Letters from the Immigrants (Cardiff, 1961), 151-156. See also Huw Walters, 'Gair Am Y Dyddiau Gynt: Y Dyffryn ac America', South Wales Guardian, 16 September 1976. The translations used in this article are those of the authors.
2. For some biographical detail, on which most of the following paragraph is based, see Jonah Evans, Hen Gymeriadau Cwmgors ar Waun, or Flwyddyn 1840 (Brynaman, 1907?), 80; D. W. Lewis, 'Hen Gerddorion Dyffryn Aman', Amman Valley Chronicle, 28 December, 1916.
3. Evan Gethin, 'Penillion o Glod i Hopkin Hopkin am ei ymdrechion gyda'r Ysgol Gan ar Band of Hope. Buddugol yng Nghyfarfod Llenyddol Carmel [Gwauncaegurwen] Mawrth 31 ain 1860', Y Diwygiwr, August 1860, 250.
4. Huw Walters, 'Chwifio Baner Dirwest: Cenhadaeth Dafydd Daniel Amos' in Geraint H. Jenkins, gol., Cof Cenedl, V (Llandysul, 1990), 85-115, 108-113. See also Rhidian Griffiths, 'Dau Gor' in Hywel Teifi Edwards, gol., Cwm Tawe (Llandysul, 1993), 188-210; Selwyn Jones, 'Ivander Griffiths and the Eisteddfod Abroad', Planet 2 (1970), 60-64; T. J. Morgan, 'Cymdeithas Gorawl Dyffryn Tawe', Y Traethodydd 127 (1972), 223-29.
5. D. W. Lewis, loc. cit..
6. Jonah Evans, loc. cit., 80.
7. Y Gwladgarwr, 24 October, 1879.
8. For a discussion of poets who left the Amman Valley and Wales and settled in England and overseas see Huw Walters, Canu'r Pwll ar Pwlpud: Portread o'r Diwylliant Barddol Cymraeg yn Nyffryn Aman (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas, 1987), 110-111, 214-216. See also, for a discussion of the same phenomenon in Monmouthshire, Sian Rhiannon Williams, Oes y Byd i'r Iaith Gymraeg: y Gymraeg yn ardal ddiwydiannol Sir Fynwy yn y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg (Cardiff, 1991), 23-27.
9. D. W Lewis, loc. cit..
10. See, for example, Aberdare Times, 27 September, 1879; Baner ac Amserau Cymru, 12 July, 23 August, 1 October, 1879, and the very numerous reports in Y Gwladgarwr and Tarian y Gweithiwr, April -September, 1879.
11. See, for example, Baner ac Amserau Cymru, 3 September, 1879; Y Gwladgarwr, 19, 26 September, 3, 17, 10, 24 October, 1879; Merthyr Telegraph, 22 August, 1879. For New Cambria and Jacksboro, see Y Drych, 4 July, 3 October, 26 December, 1878, 6 February, 1879; Tarian y Gweithiwr, 5 September, 1879.
12. For details of the scbeme see Tarian y Gweithiwr, 17, 24, 31 January, 9, 23, 30 May, 6 June, 1879. It is discussed in Alan Conway, 'Welsh Emigration to tbe United States' in B. Bailyn & D. Fleming, eds., Dislocation and Emigration: the Social Background of American Immigration (Cambridge, Mass., 1974), 257-259, and E. W Evans, Mabon: A Study in Trade Union Leadership (Cardiff, 1959) 25-26.
See Conway also for a general discussion of emigration schemes in Wales, and for a particular case study see Bill Jones, `We Will Give You Wings to Fly': Emigration Societies in Merthyr Tydfil in 1868, Merthyr Historian 13 (2001), forthcoming.
13. Mabon's justification for the scheme and expositions of his belief in the `safety valve' theory of emigration as a means of preventing wages falling can be found in numerous issues of Tarian Y Gweithiwr during 1879. See, especially, 17, 24, 31 January, 1879.
14. Tarian y Gweithiwr, 24 January, 9 May 1879.
15. See, for example, ibid., 23 May 1879.
16. Ibid., 21 February, 1879.
17. Ibid., 2 May, 1879.
18. Ibid., 22 August, 1879. See also 31 October, 1879.
19. Conway, `Welsh Emigration', 259.
20. Y Gwladgarwr, 24 October, 1879.
21. Tarian y Gweithiwr, 19 December, 1879.
22. Ibid., 9 January, 1880.
23. Ibid.
24. Ibid., 16 January, 1880.
25. Ibid., 7 May, 1880.
26. Ibid.
27. Ibid.
28. Ibid., 13 February, 1880.
29. Y Drych, 6 February, 1879.
30. Tarian y Gweithiwr, 13 February, 1880.

About the authors

Huw Walters
Dr Huw Walters is a native of Glanamman and was educated at Amman Valley Grammar School and University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. He was appointed to the staff of the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1981. He has published several bibliographies and various articles on the nineteenth century Welsh press, but his main interest is in literature as it relates to society. He was awarded his doctorate in 1985 for his study of poetic culture in the Amman Valley. Elected F.S.A. [Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London] in 2001, an honour rarely bestowed on Welshmen. Fellows of the FSA are limited to 2000. He lives in Aberystwyth.

Publications include:
"Erwau'r Glo", [ie "Coal Acres"] (Swansea: Gwasg Christopher Davies, 1976). An anthology of prose and verse depicting life in the anthracite coalfield.
."Canu'r Pwll a'r Pulpud: Portread o'r Diwylliant Barddol Cymraeg yn Nyffryn Aman", (Swansea, 1987), [ie "Songs of Pit and Pulpit: A Portrait of the Poetic Culture of the Amman Valley"], which won the Welsh Arts Council Prize and the Sir Ellis Jones Ellis-Griffith, University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies Prize for the best work of literary criticism published in Welsh in 1987.
"Dyffryn Aman 'Slawer Dydd", [ie "The Amman Valley Long Ago"], edited (with D. A. Evans), Gwasg Gomer, 1987. Photographs of old Ammanford and the Amman Valley.

Bill Jones
Dr Bill Jones is Senior Lecturer in History, School of History and Archaeology (HISAR), University College of Wales, Cardiff.

Research interests:
Bill Jones a specialist on nineteenth and early twentieth century Welsh emigration and Welsh communities outside Wales. Publications in this area include:
— Wales in America: Scranton and the Welsh 1860-1920 (Cardiff and Scranton: University of Wales Press and University of Scranton Press, 1993)
— 'The Welsh Language and Welsh Identity in a Pennsylvanian Community' in G. H. Jenkins ed., Language and Community in the Nineteenth Century (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1998)
— [with Aled Jones] 'Y Drych and American Welsh Identites', The North American Journal of Welsh Studies, Vol.1 No.1 (Winter, 2001).
— [with Aled Jones] Welsh Reflections: Y Drych and America, 1851-2001 (Llandysul: Gomer, 2001).
Current publication projects include
— 'Emigration and Ethnicity: The Welsh Overseas 1790-1939', The Past in Perspective Series, University of Wales Press, probably to be published 2003.
— He also writes an occasional column, 'Glimpses in the Mirror', for Y Drych (The Mirror).

Other research specialism is the industrial, social and cultural history of modern Wales, especially the South Wales Coalfield. Recent works include:
— 'Banqueting at a Moveable Feast: Wales 1870-1914' in Gareth Elwyn Jones and Dai Smith, eds., The People of Wales (Llandysul: Gomer Press, 1999)
— [with Chris Williams] B. L. Coombes (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1999)
— [with Chris Williams] With Dust Still in His Throat: A B. L. Coombes Anthology (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1999)

Professional bodies:
— Association of History Teachers in Wales: member.
— British American Nineteenth Century Historians: member.
— British Association of American Studies: member.
— British Australian Studies Association: President 2002-2004.
— Cardiff Centre for Welsh American Studies (Cardiff University): Management Board member.
— Centre for Australian Studies in Wales, University of Wales, Lampeter: member.
— Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion: member.
— Llafur: The Welsh Labour History Society: committee member, 1985-1996; Treasurer, 1989-1996.
— North American Association for the Study of Welsh Culture and History: member.
— University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies, History and Law Committee: Secretary and Cardiff University representative.

Date this page last updated: August 23, 2010