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Title: America Discovered by the Welsh in 1170 A.D.
Author: Bowen, Benjamin Franklin
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "America Discovered by the Welsh in 1170 A.D." ***

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     Y Gwir yn erbyn y Byd.

     "The Truth against the World."


J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO. 1876.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1876, by


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.


Some time since, J. Sabin, the well-known book antiquarian of New York,
related a very amusing story to me of a clergyman from Rhode Island
coming into his store and inquiring whether he wished to purchase an
Indian Bible. At once Mr. Sabin replied that he did, and that he would
pay him five hundred dollars for it. The clergyman was delighted,
returned to his home in Rhode Island, and, fearing to intrust so costly
a relic to the express, determined to carry it himself to the city. With
great eagerness he opened the book in Mr. Sabin's presence, when the
latter, equally surprised and amused, exclaimed,--

"Why, sir, that's not an Indian Bible!"

"Not an Indian Bible!"

"Why, no, sir!"

The clergyman at first thought the antiquarian was quizzing him, but,
seeing him so serious, asked,--

"Well, Mr. Sabin, what makes you think so?"

"Because it is a _Welsh_ Bible."

The clergyman hastily picked up the volume and disappeared.

The two languages bear a marked resemblance to each other. In the
classification of the letters, the consonants in particular, including
the gutturals, palatals, dentals, and labials, with their forms and
mutations, hold such an identity in sound that any person not familiar
with either language might take them to be the same, while he who
understood both would as readily allow that in many respects they were

The following pages are the result of an earnest desire to settle the
question of, and, if possible, to fix the belief in, the voyages of
Prince Madoc and his followers in 1170 A.D., and to assign them their
rightful place in American history. Although this recognition has been
very tardily given, by the almost utter silence of our historians, and
the apparent unconcern of those linked with the Prince by blood,
language, and country, the honor will be none the less real if bestowed
now. Indeed, in this age of claims, and when every scrap of our general
and local history is eagerly sought and read, it cannot be otherwise
than that what is set forth in his favor will receive some share of
attention from an intelligent public. Besides, so much earnest study has
been given by those in other countries to the subject of the early
discoveries on the American Continent, that it is hoped this
contribution to its literature will serve to foster still further the
spirit of inquiry, and be at the same time an acknowledgment of our debt
to those countries for what they have furnished us in brain, heart,
muscle, and life.

At intervals extending through several years, when released from the
pressure of my public work, I have been engaged in the collection of the
materials, both at home and abroad, from old manuscripts, books,
pamphlets, magazines, and papers. The subject was not common, neither
were the materials. What are the facts? That is the question. Facts of
history, experience, observation. Speculative verbiage is avoided, for
want of time and space. Others are made to take my place, for the sake
of presenting what _they knew_. Such a method is more convincing than
the expression of empty opinions.

B. F. B.


THE MIGRATIONS OF THE WELSH                             9


BY WHOM WAS AMERICA FIRST PEOPLED?                     17


THE VOYAGES OF PRINCE MADOC                            25




THE NARRATIVE OF REV. MORGAN JONES                     47




THE WELSH INDIANS MOVING WEST                          71






OF THE WELSH INDIANS                                  109


THE MANDAN INDIANS: WHO ARE THEY?                     120


WELSH BLOOD IN THE AZTECS                             130


THE MOQUIS, MOHAVES, AND MODOCS                       145












The etymology of the names of persons, places, and things is a curious
subject of inquiry. It is one of the safest guides in an attempt to
distinguish the race-differences of a people whose history reaches back
to an immemorial era.

The names of _Wales_ and the _Welsh_ are comparatively of recent origin.
The Welsh have always called themselves Cymru or Cymry,--Romanized into
Cambria or Cambrians. This has been the generic name of the race as far
back as any trace can be found of their existence. The Romans changed
Gal into Gaul; the Welsh sound _u_ as _e_: hence they pronounced the
Romanized word Gaul as Gael. The Saxons, as was their wont, substituted
_w_ for _g_: hence, as the people of Cambria were esteemed to be
analogous to the Gauls, they called their country Waels or Wales, and
its people Waelsh or Welsh; and these names have continued to the
present time. But this people always have called themselves "Y Cymry,"
of which the strictly literal meaning is _aborigines_. They call their
language "Y Cymraeg,"--the primitive tongue. Celt, meaning a covert or
shelter, and Gaul, meaning an open plain or country, are terms applied
to various subdivisions by which the Cymric race have been known. In
this connection it may be appropriate to say that the word "Indian" is
one that does not apply or belong to the red race of the American
Continent, but was used by Columbus, who, anxious to discover the East
Indies by a northwest route, imagined that he had reached that country,
and called the inhabitants Indians. Subsequent events have proved his
mistake. The primitive races of this continent are more properly
designated by the word aborigines, as in the case of the Cymry.

Through the rich and copious language and literature of Wales, the
student of history is able to gather a vast store of knowledge
respecting its inhabitants and their early ancestors. The substantial
result arrived at as to their origin and migrations may be briefly
stated as follows:

First. That the inhabitants of Wales, known to Homer as the Cimmerii,
migrated thither from the great fountain-head of nations,--the land of
the Euphrates and Tigris.

Second. That they went in successive bands, each in a more advanced
state of civilization than the former.

Third. That they carried with them a peculiar language, peculiar arts
and superstitions, marking their settlement on the Island of Britain at
a very early period.

Fourth. That their journey through Europe is marked with the vestiges of
tumuli, mounds, skulls, rude utensils, ornaments, and geographical names
in their language.

The Welsh language is of a pure radical construction, and remarkably
free from admixture with other tongues. It is as copious, flexible, and
refined as it was two thousand years ago, when it existed alongside the
Greek and Latin, both of which it antedates and survives, for it is not,
like them, a dead language, but is in living use at the present day in
literature, commerce, home, and worship.

"'Dim Saesenaig! Dim Saesenaig!'" exclaimed the astonished Thomas
Carlyle, when visiting the vale of Glamorgan, "'Dim Saesenaig!' (No
English! No English!) from every dyke-side and house comes. The first
thing these poor bodies have to do is to learn English."

Thomas Carlyle was greatly mistaken, if he ever believed that the Welsh
would tamely surrender their Cymraeg. It has been the symbol of their
unconquerable hope, and they watch with jealous care any inroads made
upon it. Upon the principle that might is right, nations have been
forced from their own soil, but with a most passionate tenacity they
have still clung to their native tongue. True, there have been languages
which have become extinct, like the nations which have spoken them, by
conquest; but the Welsh continues to exist, because either the people
who speak it have never been conquered, or it has proved itself superior
to conquest.

Edward the First is supposed to have directed the final blow towards
crushing Welsh independence; and yet there is at present preserved in
the cathedral of St. Asaph, North Wales, the celebrated Rhuddlan
Parliament Stone, on which is written this inscription:

          This Fragment is the Remains
        Where Edward the First held his
       Parliament A.D. 1283; in which the
         Statute of Rhuddlan was enacted
      Securing to the Principality of Wales
     _Its Judicial Rights and Independence_.

The Welsh have a property in the British Isle which no earthly power can
wrest from them. Henry the Second once asked a Welsh chieftain, "Think
you the rebels can withstand my army?" He replied, "King, your power may
to a certain extent harm and enfeeble this nation, but the anger of God
alone can destroy it. Nor do I think in the day of doom any other race
than the Cymry will answer for this corner of the earth to the Sovereign

Many centuries have elapsed since these brave and hopeful words were
uttered, and the destiny of Wales is more manifest,--that her
nationality will be swallowed up or merged with English laws, customs,
and habits: still her language and literature will survive, and the
names will continue fixed to assert the antiquity and greatness of her
people. More than half the names borne by the population of England are
of Cymric origin or derivation. More than three-fourths of the names in
Scotland, and about one-half of those of France, are from the same
source. Cambrian names are found all through Europe,--in Italy,
Switzerland, Holland, Germany, and about the Pyrenees.

The Welsh name for London is _Llundain_. It was Latinized into
_Lundinum_, and Anglicized into Lundon or London. Its etymology is from
_llyn_, a pool or lake, and _Dain_ or _Tain_ for _Thames_ (the sound of
_d_ being like that of _t_): hence, a pool or lake on the Thames. The
low flat on the east side of London, known as "The Isle of Dogs," now a
part of the mainland, was at one time flooded by the Thames; and hence
the name of _Llundain_, or _Thames Lake_. Liverpool came from _Flowing
Pool_; that is, the tide flowed in and out.

_Avon_ is the generic Welsh name for river: hence Avon-Clyde,
Avon-Conwy, Avon-Stratford. Cumberland stands for Cymbri-land;
Northumberland for North Cymbri-land. _Aber_ is the mouth of a river,
Anglicized into _harbor_: hence there is Aber-Conway, Aberdeen. There is
scarcely a river, mountain, or lake in England or in Scotland the
etymology of which is not found in the Welsh language at the present

The ancient British language, physique, skull, hair, eyes, and flexure
of pronunciation still preponderate in England, notwithstanding the
incessant boasts of the Saxon, who was a barbarous savage when he
arrived, and who did not exhibit a single instance of knowledge and
learning until after he had come in contact with the Cymric race.

With a view to tracing the migrations of this race throughout Europe,
observe the ancient geographical terms, with their strong physical

Caucasus is derived from the two Welsh words _cau_, to shut up, to fence
in, and _cas_, separated, insulated. This mountain-chain has borne this
name from the earliest human records; and how expressive of their
position and character, to inclose Europe from Asia!

The Caspian Sea means, when derived, _cas_, separated, and _pen_, head;
literally, a sea with a head or source, but insulated and without an
outlet. Any one familiar with this body of water can understand the
force of the words.

Crimea comes from the Welsh word _crymu_ (pronounced kri´me, the _c_
being sounded as _k_, and the _u_ as _e_), which means to bend or
curve; literally, a circular peninsula. The Crimea was the Gwlad yr Haf
(summer land) of the Cymry.

Alps is derived from _al_, grand, sublime, and _pen_, head,--a sublime

Armorica comes from _ar-y-môr_, upon the sea.

Danube finds its derivation from _dan_, under, below, and _uf_
(pronounced _uv_ or _ub_), spreading or diffused. Some of the Cymric
bands or colonies, in their migrations westward, halted along the banks
of the Danube; others settled on the Elbe, and were called the Wendi,
and their descendants speak at the present time a slightly-corrupted
Welsh language. Bautzen, in Bavaria, and Glogau, in Prussia, are old
Cymric towns; and an eminent German scholar has shown what ancient
Cymric relics are to be found in the museums of Dresden and Berlin.
Recently many learned philologists were excited into a sharp discussion
to account for the name of the German capital, Berlin. Its origin is
plainly Cymric, and is derived from _ber_, a curve, and _lin_, a river.

There is such a striking resemblance between the ancient Cymric laws, as
compiled by Dyfnval Moelmud, and the Institutes of Menu, that many of
the most able Oriental and Welsh scholars have concluded that another
branch of the Cymric race must have gone eastward from the Caucasus and
penetrated into India. Sir William Jones, a son of a Welshman,
translated these Institutes of Menu, or Brahminic Laws, and says, "The
name '_Menu_' is clearly derived from _menses_, _mens_, or mind, as all
the Pandits agree that it means intelligent." _Menw_ in Welsh means the
seat of intelligence.

Moreover, it is generally admitted that the Welsh contains a sufficient
number of root-words by which the original connection of the Semitic
(Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, Egyptian, etc.) and the Indo-European
languages is distinctly shown. And, as will be subsequently proved, a
large number of words have been found in use by the aborigines of the
American Continent, whose roots or simplest forms were related to roots
of words in the old languages, many of which were directly connected
with the Cymric tongue.

The object of this cursory sketch has been to show that, from the very
earliest period, the branches of the Cymric race have been extensively
spread over the earth, as indicated by the sure testimony of their
language; that they moved from east to west, preceding all other
races--the Teutonic, Sarmatian, etc.--by long intervals of time. From
the certain data of history these things are placed beyond doubt,--by
Herodotus, Cæsar, and others. Would it be surprising, then, if, in
accordance with the same nomadic principle and these westward
migrations, together with the fierce persecutions of the northern
hordes, some portions of the Cymry were driven still farther westward
and were wafted to the American Continent?



By whom and by what means the American Continent was originally peopled
has been, in the main, an unsolved problem. That it will always remain
so does not appear from new proofs which are being adduced to support
favorite theories. Four of these theories have, at different times, and
with much intelligent zeal, been maintained.

(1.) That the ancestors of the American aborigines came from
Europe,--that they were Caucasians, but became changed in color by the
use of red roots and the bleachings of the sun; and of these were
represented the Romans, Grecians, Spaniards, Irish, Norsemen,
Courlanders, Russians, and Welsh.

(2.) That they came from Asia, and comprised Israelites, Canaanites,
Assyrians, Phoenicians, Persians, Tartars, East Indians, Chinese, and

(3.) That they came from Africa, the original cradle, it is maintained,
of the American aborigines, who are made the descendants of the
Egyptians, Carthaginians, or Numidians.

(4.) That the American aborigines are the descendants of all the nations
in the world.

The last is certainly the most accommodative, and can be made to bend
to suit the shifting exigencies of an imperfect state of knowledge. The
skeptical view would not be accepted, inasmuch as it broke the unity of
the race,--namely, that all the original people and animals of America
were distinct creations.

Beginning with Peleg, whose name signifies division, when Noah divided
the earth between his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, there is found a
basis for the repeopling of the earth. Africa was assigned to Ham, the
temperate zones to Shem, and the frigid zones to Japheth. Heathen altars
and the mounds of early Scripture are taken as the original types of the
earthen monumental remains of America. At the dispersion on the plains
of Shinar, and after the confusion of tongues, "the Lord scattered them
abroad from thence upon the face of _all_ the earth." It was the opinion
of Ogilby, cosmographer to the English king in 1671, that men and
animals came soon after the flood from Armenia to Tartary, and thence,
by continuous land-route by way of the present Behring Straits, to

The Atlantis of Homer, Solon, Plato, and Hesiod, which was supposed to
unite the continents of Africa and America, or which was a great island
situated between them, seems to lose, by time, more of its mythical
character, and to be brought to the plane of a historic fact. It
certainly cannot be treated as a pure fiction. The story that Solon
brought from Egypt to Greece of the Atlantic island was not new there;
for a great festival was held in Greece, accompanied with symbols, to
show what advantage the Athenians had in their wars with the Atlantes.

Diodorus Siculus (book v. chap. ii.) seems to refer to America in the
following: "Over-against Africa lies a very great island in the vast
ocean, many days' sail from Libya westward. The soil is very fruitful.
It is diversified with mountains and pleasant vales, and the towns are
adorned with stately buildings." He then alludes to the Phoenicians
sailing along the Atlantic coast of Africa. The theory that the land
forming the bed of the Atlantic Ocean between Brazil and Africa is a
vast sunken tract is hardly defensible. The remnants of Cape Verd and
Ascension Islands, and the numerous rock-formations and sand-banks
surveyed with great accuracy by Bauche, have been submitted in its
favor. Traditions exist that a people on the Mediterranean, sailing
through the Straits of Gibraltar, the ancient Calpe, were driven
westward by a storm, and were heard of no more. It is thought they
reached the American coast. Some time since, at a meeting of the Mexican
Geographical Society, it was stated that some _brass tablets_ had been
discovered in the northern part of Brazil, covered with Phoenician
inscriptions, which tell of the discovery of America five centuries
B.C. They are now in the museum of Rio Janeiro. They state that a
Sidonian fleet left a port of the Red Sea, rounding the Cape of Good
Hope, and following the southeast trade-winds until the northeast
trade-winds prevented farther progress north, and they were driven
across the Atlantic. The number of the vessels, the number of the crews,
the name of Sidon as their home, and many other particulars, are given.

It is given as veritable history that a farmer near Montevideo, South
America, discovered in one of his fields, in 1827, a flat stone which
bore strange and unknown characters; and beneath this stone was a vault
made of masonry, in which were deposited two ancient swords, a helmet,
and a shield. The stone and the deposits were brought to Montevideo, and
most of the inscriptions of the former were sufficiently legible to be
deciphered. They ran as follows:

     "_During the dominion of Alexander, the son of
       Philip, King of Macedon, in the sixty-third
                 Olympiad, Ptolemais._"

On the handle of one of the swords was a man's portrait, supposed to
represent Alexander. The helmet had on it fine sculptured work,
representing Achilles dragging the corpse of Hector around the walls of
Troy. This would seem to point to an early Grecian discovery of America.

Humboldt cites a passage of Plutarch, in which he thinks that both the
Antilles and the great continent itself are described.

In "Varia Historia," book iii. chap, xviii., Ælian tells how one
Theopompus relates the particulars of an interview between Midas, King
of Phrygia, and Silenus, in which the latter reported the existence of a
great continent beyond the Atlantic, "larger than Asia, Europe, and
Libya together."

In 1761, Deguignes, a French scholar, made known to the world that the
Chinese discovered America in the fifth century. He derived his
knowledge from Chinese official annals. He affirmed that in the year 499
A.D., Hoei Shin (Universal Compassion), a Chinese Buddhist priest,
returned to Singan, the capital of China, and declared that he had been
to Tahan (Kamtschatka), and from thence on to a country about twenty
thousand _li_ (short Chinese miles), or about seven thousand English
miles. The measurements are taken to be about the distance between China
and California, or Mexico. He called the country Fusang, from the name
of an abundant plant,--the Mexican "maguey," or American aloe.

He described the gold, silver, copper, and other ores which abounded;
also the customs, rites, and cycles of time; and these are made to agree
with what has been known of the American aborigines. Oriental scholars,
like Klaproth and Bretschneider, have handled these pretensions with
keen severity; while there have not been wanting others who allege that
the Japanese and Chinese do not record myths. There is a description of
Fusang in the Japanese Encyclopædia,--Wa-kan-san-taï-dzon-yé.

Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg says, in his "Popol Vuh," a book on the
ancient people of Mexico and Central America, "There is an abundance of
legends and traditions concerning the passage of the Irish into America,
and their habitual communication with that continent, many centuries
before the time of Columbus. We should bear in mind that Ireland was
colonized by the Phoenicians. An Irish saint, named Vigile, who lived
in the eighth century, was accused to Pope Zachary of having taught
heresies on the subject of the antipodes. At first he wrote to the Pope
in reply to the charge, but afterwards went to Rome in person to justify
himself, and there proved to the Pope that the Irish had been accustomed
to communicate with a transatlantic world."

Brereton's account of Gosnold's voyage to the New England coast in 1602
mentions an occurrence off the coast of Maine, of his having met "eight
Indians, in a Basque shallop, with mast and sail, an iron grapple, and a
kettle; that they came aboard boldly, one of them being appareled with a
waistcoat and breeches of black serge, made after our sea-fashion, hose
and shoes on his feet: all the rest (saving one that had a pair of
breeches of blue cloth) were naked."

Michel, in his "Les Pays Basques," thinks that the Basques, being
adventurous fishermen, were accustomed to visit the American coast from
time immemorial. They were engaged in the whale and other fisheries.

The voyages of the Norsemen, and their temporary settlements on the
American Continent, are now too well authenticated to admit of any

In the preceding chapter it was shown that the Welsh were a migratory
race, and had moved from the lands of the Euphrates and Tigris in an
eastward direction, and also westwardly, till, in the time of Homer,
they occupied the British Island. They were surrounded by water. Their
very necessities made them navigators. They conducted large fisheries.
The Phoenicians and Greeks traded with them in tin and lead, and in the
Baltic for amber. Their commercial relations were extensive before
Julius Cæsar reached the island. He came to attack and subdue them,
because their naval power, as he himself says, assisted the Gauls. Their
ships were made of oak, and were so strong as to be impenetrable to the
beaks of the Roman ships, and so high that they could not be annoyed by
the darts of the Roman soldiers.

King Canute, in the eleventh century, had vessels with sixty
rowing-benches. Early voyagers traversed seas and oceans with
comparative safety. Though they had not the compass (which, by the way,
is uncertain), they studied the elements of nature,--the winds,
currents, sun, and stars. Modern sailors have the advantage of accurate
instruments to reduce their observations. The ascensions and descensions
of the sun by day, and the polar star by night, are sufficient guides to
prevent sailing wide of points.

Between America and Europe are two great currents,--the southwesterly
bearing towards the former continent, and the northeasterly towards the
latter. The majestic Gulf Stream sweeps around from Newfoundland till it
almost crosses the Atlantic near the British Island. That is why the
steamship-lines adopt the course of sailing-vessels. By the aid of the
simple forces of nature, early voyagers reached the American Continent.



Owain Gwynedd was esteemed one of the greatest princes Wales ever

Upon the death of his father, which occurred in 1137 A.D., he took his
share of the possessions, which were divided, according to the custom of
the nation, among the sons, and he ruled North Wales, his seat of
government being at Aberfraw, till 1169 A.D., when he died.

Gwalchmai, a Bard of his times, addressed to him the following spirited
ode in celebration of an important victory he achieved over the English
at the battle of Tal y Moelvre:

     "The generous chief I sing of Rhodri's line,
     With princely gifts endow'd, whose hand
     Hath often curb'd the border land,
     Owain, great heir of Britain's throne,--
     Whom fair Ambition marks her own,
     Who ne'er to yield to man was known,
     Nor heaps he stores at Avarice's shrine.

     "Three mighty legions o'er the sea-flood came,
     Three fleets intent on sudden fray;
     One from Erin's verdant coast,
     One with Lochlin's arméd host,
     Long burdens of the billowy way;
     The third, from far, bore them of Norman's name,
     To fruitless labor doom'd, and barren fame.

     "'Gainst Mona's gallant lord, where, lo! he stands,
     His warlike sons ranged at his side,
     Rushes the dark tumultuous tide,
     Th' insulting tempest of the hostile bands:
     Boldly he turns the furious storm,
     Before him wild Confusion flies,
     While Havoc rears her hideous form,
     And prostrate Rank expiring lies;
     Conflict upon conflict growing,
     Gore on gore in torrents flowing,
     Shrieks answering shrieks, and slaughter raving,
     And high o'er Modore's front a thousand banners waving.

     "Now thickens still the frantic war;
     The flashing death-strokes gleam afar,
     Spear rings on spear, flight urges flight,
     And drowning victims plunge to night;
     Check'd by the torrent-tide of blood,
     Backward Menai rolls his flood;
     The mailéd warriors on the shore,
     With carnage strew'd, and dyed with gore,
     In awful anguish drag their mangled forms along,
     And high the slaughter'd throng
     Is heap'd, the King's red chiefs before.

     "Lloegria's onset thus, Lloegria's flight,
     The struggle doom'd her power to tame,
     Shall, with her routed sons, unite
     To raise great Owain's sword to fame;
     Whilst sevenscore tongues of his exploits shall tell,
     And all their high renown through future ages swell."

Many other odes are extant in the Welsh language, written in honor of
this great prince, which have never been surpassed in true poetic
spirit, elegance of diction, and metrical ease, by the productions of
any other country.

Owain Gwynedd had nineteen children. The names of the sons were Rhodri,
Cynoric, Riryd, Meredydd, Edwal, Cynan, Rien, Maelgon, Llewelyn,
Iorweth, Davydd, Cadwallon, Hywell, Cadell, Madoc, Einon, and Phylip;
and of this number Rhodri, Hywell, Davydd, and Madoc were the most

Iorweth, being the eldest son, was entitled to succeed his father, but
was declared unfit to occupy such a position, on account of an injury
done to his nose, which gained for him the not very euphonious name of
Drwyndwn (Swarthy-nose).

Hywell was a brilliant soldier and poet, and many of his best
productions are still preserved. His mother was a native of Ireland, and
although not born in wedlock, thus being regarded as an illegitimate
son, he aspired to the crown after the death of his father, and
succeeded in obtaining it, at the same time granting to Iorweth the
cantrevs of Nanconwy and Ardudwy.

Soon after, he went to Ireland to receive possession of his mother's
property, but upon his return he found Davydd, the legitimate son of
Owain by another wife, asserting in arms his right to the throne under
the sanction of a legitimate birth. The consequence was that the entire
country became embroiled in a bitter civil war, Hywell was slain in
battle, and Davydd ab Owain occupied his father's throne. As a stroke
of perfidy, or policy, he married the sister of King Henry the Second,
whereby he succeeded in breaking for a time the independent spirit of
the Welsh. He gave aid to his brother-in-law in money and men, and
attended the Parliament at Oxford. Such a treacherous course excited the
disgust and hatred of his brothers, as well as of his subjects
generally, so that his realm continued in a state of wild revolt and
dissension. Davydd, suspicious and alarmed lest he might lose his throne
through some unforeseen intrigues, seized and imprisoned Rhodri, slew
Iorweth, and drove his other brethren into exile.

He was so intractable in spirit, and so cruel, that he put out the eyes
of large numbers who were not subservient to his will.

From all the concurrent evidences which can be gleaned, it appears that
Madoc was the commander of his father's fleet, which at that time was so
considerable as successfully to oppose that of England at the mouth of
the Menai in the year 1142. The poem in which Gwalchmai has celebrated
this victory has already been given in this chapter. There is also an
allusion to it in Caradoc's History, p. 163, 4th ed., 1607.

Madoc was of a mild, gentle temperament, and must have felt deeply
grieved at the unnatural dissensions existing between his own brothers.
Moreover, he was an object of suspicion himself, exposed to his brother
Davydd's ferocity, who imagined that he might also dispute the question
of succession to the throne. Doubtless it was this that led Madoc to
resolve that he would leave those scenes of contention, and seek, in
exile from his native country, some other land in the west, if such
could be found. Being commander-in-chief of the fleet, he was able to
take a speedy departure.

This emigration of Prince Madoc seems to have been commemorated by Bards
who lived very near the time in which it took place. According to
various old documents, his enterprise of exploring the ocean westward
resulted in the discovery of a new world, from which he returned to make
known his good fortune and to gather other emigrants to accompany him
thither. He accordingly fitted out a second expedition, and, taking his
brother Riryd, Lord of Clocran in Ireland, with him, they prevailed upon
a number to accompany them, sufficient to fill ten ships. They set sail
from a small port, five miles from Holyhead, in the island of Anglesea.

There is a large book of pedigrees still extant, written by Jeuan
Brecva, who flourished in the age preceding the time of Columbus, where
the above event is thus noticed in treating of the genealogy of Owain
Gwynedd: "Madoc and Riryd found land far in the sea of the west, and
there they settled."

The Bards were the historians of those times. By a perusal of the
compositions of those who were contemporary with Madoc, it is found
that his name is mentioned three or four times by Cynddelw, Llywarch,
and Gwalchmai. These are held to be among the most celebrated of the
Welsh Bards. Their works, which are mostly extant in manuscript, would
each of them make a respectable volume.

Llywarch, who was the son of Llewelyn, wrote a poem while undergoing the
ordeal of the hot iron to prove his innocence respecting Madoc's death.
He invoked the aid of the Saviour "lest he should injure his hand with
the shining sword and his kinsmen should have to pay the _galanas_." It
is addressed


     "Good Iron! free me from the charge
     Of slaying. Show that he
     Who smote the prince with murderous hand
     Heaven's kingdoms nine shall never see,
     Whilst I the dwelling-place of God
     Shall share, safe from all enmity."

The same poet, in a panegyric, addressed to Rhodri ab Owain Gwynedd, of
Hywell and Madoc, his brothers, says,--

     "Two princes were there, who in wrath dealt woe,
     Yet by the people of the earth were loved:
     One who in Arvon quench'd ambition's flame,
     Leading on land his bravely toiling men;
     And one of temper mild, in trouble great,
     Far o'er the bosom of the mighty sea
     Sought a possession he could safely keep,
     From all estrangéd for a country's sake."

In a poem addressed to Prince Llywelyn ab Iorweth by the same bard,
there appear the following lines:

     "Needless it is to ask all anxiously,
     Who from invaders will our waters guard?
     Llywelyn, he will guard the boundary wave;
     The lion i' the breach, ruler of Gwynedd.
     The land is his to Powys' distant bounds,
     He met the Saxons by Llanwynwy lake,
     Across the wave is he victorious,
     Nephew of Madoc, whom we more and more
     Lament that he is gone."

Gwalchmai addressed an ode to Davydd ab Owain Gwynedd, lamenting his
being deprived of that prince's brothers:

     "Silent I cannot be without mentioning who they were,
     Who so well of me merited praise:
     Owain the fierce, above the muse's song,
     The manly hero of the conflict;
     Cadwallon, ere he was lost,
     It was not with smooth words he praised me;
     Cadwaladyr, lover of the harmony of exhilarating songs,
     He was wont to honor me;
     Madoc, distributing his goods,
     More he did to please than displease me."

In an elegy on the family of Owain Gwynedd, by Cynddelw, Madoc is twice
mentioned, one passage particularly seeming worthy of attention:

     "And is not Madoc by the whelming wave
     Slain? How I sorrow for the helpful friend!
     Even in battle was he free from hate,
     Yet not in vain grasp'd he the warrior's spear."

There is a Welsh triad entitled "The Three Losses by Disappearance."
The first loss was that of Gavran, the son of Aeddan Vradog, a chieftain
of distinguished celebrity of the latter part of the fifth century. He
went on an expedition to discover some islands which are known by the
name of Gwerddonan Llion, or the Green Islands of the Ocean. He was
never heard of afterwards, and the situation of these islands became
lost to the Welsh.

The second loss was that of Merddin, who was the Bard of Emrys Wledig,
or the Ambrosius of Saxon history, by whose command Stonehenge was

Merddin is held as one of the three Christian Bards of Wales,--Merddin
Wyllt and Taliesin being the other two.

This Merddin, with twelve Bards, went to sea, and they were heard of no

The third loss of this remarkable triad was Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd, who,
with three hundred men, went to sea in ten ships, and it is not known
whither they went.

About 1440 A.D., Meredydd ab Rhys, having obtained the loan of a
fishing-net by a poem, sent a second poem with it when he returned it,
and wrote thus:

     "Let Ivan, of a generous stock,
     Hunt, like his father, on the land;
     In good time, on the waters, I,
     By liberal aid, will hunter be.
     Madoc the brave, of aspect fair,
     Owain of Gwynedd's offspring true,
     Would have no land,--man of my soul!--
     Nor any wealth, except the seas.
     Madoc am I, who, through my life,
     By sea will seek my wonted prey."

Madoc was a navigator, and made the sea his home. No doubt can be
entertained on that point. In the above quotation the poet likens
himself to Madoc as the true type of a sailor.

It has been said that the Welsh Bards were historians. They were
retained in families of importance to record the actions of their
ancestors and those of the Bards themselves in odes and songs. While
they may have employed a poetic license in their construction, the facts
themselves were not lost out of sight. So far as can be known, it
appears that these odes were written prior to any definite notion of a
Western world, known subsequently as the American Continent. Madoc's
voyages might not have been very familiar to many except the Welsh, and
they were ignorant whither he went. One thing, however, is absolutely
certain, that this tradition having existed for centuries could not have
been invented, as some have suspected, to support the English against
the Spanish claims of prior discovery. A period of three hundred and
twenty-two years intervened between that of Madoc and that of Columbus.



Many valuable historical documents in prose and in poetry relating to
the Welsh nation were destroyed by the order of Edward the First of
England about the time that he so inhumanly massacred the Welsh Bards.
He feared that their recitations of patriotic poetry among the people
might serve to awaken and preserve the spirit of liberty and
independence among them, and lead eventually to their casting off the
yoke he was so cruelly imposing upon them.

Sir John Wynne, who was born in 1553 and died in 1626, wrote the history
of the Gwedir family, which remained in manuscript until published by
Hon. Daines Barrington in 1773. It contains an enumeration of the
various branches of the descendants of Owen Gwynedd, especially those
who were claimed to be the more immediate ancestors of Sir John's
family. He mentions Madoc as the son of Owen Gwynedd, but makes no
reference to his voyages. He touches upon the subject of the massacre of
the Bards by Edward the First, "who," he says, "caused them all to be
hanged by martial law as stirrers-up of the people to sedition." Some of
the records of Welsh history were removed from their usually secure
retreats in abbeys to London, as testified to by Sir John and others,
particularly William Salesbury, who declared that they were burned, "and
that there escaped not one that was not incurably maimed, and
irrecuperably torn and mangled."

This happened in the Tower, where, previous to their destruction, many
of the political prisoners from Wales obtained leave to read "such books
of their tongue as they most delighted in."

In view of these facts, and considering that the history of the events
contemporaneous with the period at which Madoc is alleged to have left
his native land is unusually scanty on this subject, it is more than
probable that some of these lost manuscripts contained particular
accounts of Madoc's departure. Fortunately, however, enough has escaped
the spoiler's hand to furnish such proof to every rational mind that the
question must be regarded as settled.

Caradoc, of Llancarvan, Glamorganshire, wrote, in his native language, a
history of Wales. He lived at the time Owen Gwynedd was in the height of
his power and fame, and was familiar with all the more important events
in connection with his country. His history was translated into English
by Humphrey Lloyd, and published by Dr. David Powel in the year 1584,
and has been reprinted several times since. In it is contained the
following narrative, which bears all the semblance of historical truth
that any narration of facts can. Its plainness, naturalness, and
simplicity are at once evident:

"On the death of Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, about the year
1169, several of his children contended for his dominions; and Madoc,
one of his sons, perceiving his native land engaged, or on the eve of
being engaged, in a civil war, thought it best to try his fortune in
some foreign clime. Leaving North Wales in a very unsettled state, he
sailed, with a few ships which he had fitted up and manned for that
purpose, to the westward, leaving Ireland to the north. He came at
length to an unknown country, where most things appeared to him new and
uncustomary, and the manners of the natives far different from what he
had seen in Europe. Madoc, having viewed the fertility and pleasantness
of the country, left the most part of those he had taken with him behind
(Sir Thomas Herbert says that the number he left behind was one hundred
and twenty), and returned to North Wales. Upon his arrival he described
to his friends what a fair and extensive land he had met with, void of
any inhabitants, whilst they employed themselves and all their skill to
supplant one another for only a ragged portion of rocks and mountains.
Accordingly, having prevailed with considerable numbers to accompany
him to that country, he sailed back with ten ships, and bid adieu to his
native land." There is an apparent contradiction between "the manners of
the natives" and "void of inhabitants." The historian meant to convey
the idea by the latter phrase that the portion Madoc discovered was
thinly peopled, and might be occupied without much difficulty.

But it is conjectured that Caradoc's writings do not reach any lower
than the year 1157,--which would be thirteen years earlier than the time
of Madoc's departure, or 1170. Some suppose that Caradoc must have died
in 1157, because the _Brut_ or Annales from which Humphrey Lloyd chiefly
compiled his history of Cambria, and which bore Caradoc's name, did not
extend beyond that year. There is no sound reason for this belief: many
of the various _Bruts_ bore his name, and it is altogether likely that
he was living when Madoc set sail and returned, prior to his final
leave. It would not be wise, however, to dispute Humphrey Lloyd,
Caradoc's translator into English, who says that that part of the
history beyond 1157, and, of course, that including Madoc's voyages, was
compiled from collections made from time to time, and kept in the abbeys
of Conway in Carnarvonshire, North Wales, and Strata Florida,
Cardiganshire, South Wales. These and other abbeys were the repositories
of literature and history for many centuries, whose registers were
carefully compared together every third year, when the Beirdd or Bards
belonging to these houses went on their customary visitations, which
were called _clera_. This practice continued until the death of Prince
Llewelyn, or a little prior, about the year 1270. If Caradoc did not
continue his history beyond 1157, and that because of his death in that
year, even then there is no reason to question the veracity of those
monks of Conway and Strata Florida who continued the same history in
their registers. Guttun Owen, a Bard in the reign of Edward the Fourth
of England, about the year 1480 obtained one of the most perfect copies
of these registers. He doubtless had special facilities, since he was
personally commissioned by Henry the Seventh to search the pedigree of
Owen Tudor, that king's grandfather, among the Welsh annals. Another
Bard about the same time with Guttun Owen mentioned this event. His name
was Cynfrig ab Gronow. Thus, step by step, for the space of three
hundred years, can be traced through Bards and historians this recital
respecting Madoc, and all prior to the discovery of America by Columbus;
so that it cannot possibly be said that the claims afterwards advanced
in favor of Madoc were an after-thought.

Rev. Josiah Rees, the editor of a Welsh magazine published in Wales in
1770, told the Welsh scholar Edward Williams that he had in his
possession at that time two or three fair manuscripts of Caradoc of
Llancarvan, with the continuation by the monks of Strata Florida,
Guttun Owen, and others. He furthermore said that he had compared these
originals with Dr. Powel's translation, or, more strictly speaking, with
Humphrey Lloyd's translation, which Dr. Powel published in 1584. Mr.
Rees said that it was the most faithful he ever met with in any
language. Lord Lyttleton, in the last century, then, was very much
mistaken, and withal quite ignorant, when he said that Dr. Powel
"dressed up some tradition concerning Madoc in order to convey an idea
that his countrymen had the honor of first discovering America." Dr.
Powel himself did not entirely depend on Lloyd's translation in the
preparation of the work for the press, for he says that he compared that
translation with the original records, and therefore was able to correct
his copy. All this proves that Caradoc's history, with the continuation
from the registers of Conway and Strata Florida, the writings of Guttun
Owen, Cynfrig ab Gronow, Sir Meredyth ab Rhys, and others, were extant
in the days of Lloyd and Powel, and consequently these two latter
historians would have been detected if they had been in any degree
guilty of misrepresentation or forgery.

In Hakluyt's "Collection of Voyages," a large and costly edition
published in 1589, there is found, in connection with other important
statements, the following:

"After the death of Owen Gwynedd, his sons fell at debate who should
inherit after him; for the eldest son born in matrimony, Iorweth, or
Edward (Drwyndwn), was counted unmeet to govern, because of the maim
upon his face, and Howel, that took upon him the rule, was a base son,
begotten upon an Irishwoman. Therefore David, another son, gathered all
the power he could, and came against Howel, and, fighting with him, slew
him, and afterwards enjoyed quietly the whole land of North Wales until
his brother Edward's son [Llewelyn] came to age.

"Madoc, another of Owen Gwynedd's sons, left the land in contentions
betwixt his brethren, and prepared certain ships with men and munition,
and sought adventures by seas, sailing west, and leaving the coast of
Ireland so far north that he came to a land unknown, where he saw many
strange things. This land must needs be some part of the country of
which the Spaniards affirm themselves to be the first finders since
Hanno's time (the Carthaginian admiral, supposed to have flourished
about four hundred and fifty years before Christ); whereupon it is
manifest that that country was by Britons discovered long before
Columbus led any Spaniards thither.

"Of the voyage and return of this Madoc there be many fables framed, as
the common people do use, in distance of place and length of time,
rather to augment than to diminish; _but sure it is, there he was_. And
after he had returned home and declared the pleasant and fruitful
countries that he had seen, and, upon the contrary, for what barren and
wild ground his brethren and nephews did murder one another, he prepared
a number of ships, and got with him such men and women as were desirous
to live in quietness, and, taking leave of his friends, took his journey
thitherwards again.

"Therefore it is supposed that he and his people inhabited part of those
countries; for it appears by Francis Lopez de Gomara that in Acuzamil,
and other places, the people honored the cross. Whereby it may be
gathered that Christians had been there before the coming of the
Spaniards; but, because this people were not many, they followed the
manner of the land which they came to, and the language they found
there. This Madoc, arriving in that western country, unto the which he
came in the year 1170, left the most of his people there, and, returning
back for more of his own nation, acquaintance, and friends to inhabit
that fair and large country, went thither again with ten sails, _as I
find noted by Guttun Owen_. I am of opinion that the land whereunto he
came was some part of the West Indies."

It is worthy of observation that Hakluyt distinctly says that he derived
his account from Guttun Owen, and, therefore, from the original sources
themselves, as it has been shown that Owen secured perfect copies from
the abbeys. Hakluyt does not refer to Lloyd and Powel as his
authorities, because he was fortunate in gaining access to the writings
from which they too had compiled their histories. Thus the historical
veracity of Lloyd and Powel is, without design, sustained by the learned

Another point that should not be passed is in relation to the last
sentence of the extract just given, wherein Hakluyt expresses his
opinion that Madoc touched the West Indies. It will be understood that
during the earlier discoveries that name--West Indies--embraced not only
those islands which are now known by it, but also so much of the
continent or mainland as had been occupied.

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who ascended the throne in 1558,
the belief seems to have been universal that Madoc did sail and discover
America; and most historical writers of the time have introduced the
subject into their writings with the same credence that any other
well-ascertained fact deserves.

Hornius, in his "De Originibus Americanis," gives an account of the same
event. The following is an extract translated from the Latin:

"From hence he [Hakluyt] concludes that Madoc, with his Cambrians,
discovered a part of North America. A cursory attention to the figure of
the earth must convince every one that on this direction he must have
landed on that continent; for beyond Ireland no land can be found except
Bermuda to this day [1650] uncultivated but the extensive continent of
America. As Madoc directed his course westward, it cannot be doubted but
that he fell in with Virginia or New England, and there settled.

"Nor is this contradicted by its being said that the country was
uninhabited and uncultivated; for that country is very extensive, and in
our times, after six centuries, is but thinly peopled. Besides, that
tract on which Madoc landed might be desert, and yet other places in the
interior parts, possessed by the barbarous Chichimecas, might be
populous, with whom the Cambrians mingled, and, the communication being
dropped between them and their mother-country, they adopted the language
and manners of the country. The traditions prevailing among the natives
strongly confirm me in this opinion; for the Virginians and
Guahutemallians, from ancient times, worshipped one Madoc as a hero.
Concerning the Virginians, see Martyr, decade vii. chap. 3; concerning
the Guahutemallians, decade viii. chap. 5. Among them we have Matec
Zungam and Mat Ingam; and why this should not be Madoc the Cambrian,
whom the monuments in the country prove to have been in those parts, no
reason can be given. As to antiquity, five centuries are sufficient,
beyond which American traditions do not ascend."

In another part he says, "For when it is demonstrated that Madoc, a
prince of Cambria, with some of his nation, discovered and inhabited
some lands in the West, and that his name and memory are still retained
among them, scarcely any doubt remains."

Peter Martyr, alluded to in the above extract, lived in the court of
Ferdinand, King of Spain. He was the author of several works, among them
the "Decades," which contain the references to Matec Zungam, or Madoc
the Cambrian. He was at court when Columbus returned from his first
voyage, and is considered good authority with respect to what he wrote
about in those times. He distinctly affirms that some nations in America
honored the memory of one Madoc when Columbus landed on that coast.

Our next quotation will be from "Letters writ by a Turkish Spy," who
lived forty-five years undiscovered in Paris, giving an impartial
account to the Divan at Constantinople of the most remarkable
transactions of Europe from the year 1673 to 1682. They were originally
written in Arabic. The author of this work, which caused a great
sensation at the time, as well from the highly-interesting character of
its contents as from the profound secrecy in which the name of the
writer was long involved, was John Paul Marana, a native of Italy. He
says, "This prince [Charles II.] has several nations under his
dominions, and it is thought he scarce knows the just extent of his
territories in America. There is a region on that continent inhabited by
a people whom they call Tuscorards and Doegs. Their language is the
same as is spoken by the Welsh. They are thought to descend from them.
It is certain that when the Spaniards first conquered Mexico they were
surprised to hear the inhabitants discourse of a strange people that
formerly came thither in corraughs, who taught them the knowledge of God
and immortality, instructed them also in virtue and morality, and
prescribed holy rites and ceremonies of religion. 'Tis remarkable, also,
what an Indian king said to a Spaniard, viz., that in foregoing ages a
strange people arrived there by sea, to whom his ancestry gave
hospitable entertainment, in regard they found them men of wit and
courage, endued also with many other excellencies, but he could give no
account of their original or name. The Welsh language is so prevalent in
that country that the very towns, bridges, beasts, birds, rivers, hills,
etc., are called by Welsh names. Who can tell the various
transmigrations of mortals on earth, or trace out the true originals of
any people?"

Sir Thomas Herbert visited Persia and many other countries about 1626,
and in connection with his travels mentioned Madoc's emigration to the
West. He states that Madoc embarked at Abergwilly, and first reached
Newfoundland, whence, coasting along, he in time came to a convenient
place for settlement; that, after recruiting the health of his men, and
fortifying the spot he had pitched upon, leaving a hundred and twenty of
his crew, he returned to Wales, and conducted back to his new home a
fleet of ten barks, and found but few of those he left remaining. With
the aid of Einon and Idwal, he soon put things in order again, and
waited vainly for the arrival of other emigrants from Wales, of those
who were to have followed him; but none came, owing to the wars with
England. Sir Thomas concludes by saying that "had this voyage of the
Prince of Gwynedd been known and inherited, _then had not Columbus,
Americus Vespucius, Magellan, nor others, carried away the honor of so
great a discovery, nor had Madoc been defrauded of his memory, nor our
kings of their just title to a portion of the West Indies_."



In the year 1740 there appeared in the "Gentleman's Magazine," London,
England, a very remarkable narration, written by Rev. Morgan Jones. It
is as follows:

"These presents may certify all persons whatever, that in the year 1660,
being an inhabitant of Virginia, and chaplain to Major-General Bennet,
of Mansoman County, the said Major Bennet and Sir William Berkeley sent
two ships to Port Royal, now called South Carolina, which is sixty
leagues to the southward of Cape Fair, and I was sent therewith to be
their minister. Upon the 8th of April we set out from Virginia, and
arrived at the harbor's mouth of Port Royal the 19th of the same month,
where we waited for the rest of the fleet, that was to sail from
Barbadoes and Bermuda, with one Mr. West, who was to be Deputy Governor
of said place. As soon as the fleet came in, the smallest vessels that
were with us sailed up the river to a place called the Oyster Point.
Here I continued about eight months, all which time being almost starved
for want of provisions, five others, with myself, travelled through the
wilderness till we came to the Tuscarora Country. Here the Tuscarora
Indians took us prisoners, because we told them that we were bound to
Roanoke. That night they carried us to their town, and shut us up close,
to our no small dread. The next day they entered into a consultation
about us, which after it was over, their interpreter told us that we
must prepare ourselves to die next morning. Whereupon, being very much
dejected, and speaking to this effect in the British tongue: Have I
escaped so many dangers, and must I now be knocked on the head like a
dog? then presently an Indian came to me, which afterwards appeared to
be a war-captain belonging to the sachem of the Doegs (whose original I
find must needs be from the old Britons), and took me up by the middle,
and told me in the British tongue I should not die, and thereupon went
to the Emperor of the Tuscaroras, and agreed for my ransom and the men
who were with me. They then welcomed us to their town, and entertained
us very civilly and cordially four months, during which time I had the
opportunity of conversing with them familiarly in the British language,
_and did preach to them three times a week in the same language_, and
they would confer with me about anything that was difficult therein. At
our departure they abundantly supplied us with whatever was necessary to
our support and well-doing. They are settled upon Pontigo River, not
far from Cape Atros [Hatteras]. This is a brief recital of my travels
among the Doeg Indians.

"Son of John Jones, Basaleg,
near Newport, County of Monmouth.

"I am ready to conduct any Welshmen or others to the country.

"NEW YORK, March 10, 1685-6."

It appears that the origin of this narration came about in the following
way, as described by Charles Lloyd, Esq., of Dôl y Frân,
Montgomeryshire, in a letter which he has written. He says, "My brother,
Dr. Thomas Lloyd, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, having heard of Rev.
Morgan Jones's adventures, and meeting him in New York, desired him to
write them out with his own hand in his house; and to please me and my
cousin, Thomas Price, of Llanvyllin, he sent me the original. Mr. Jones
was living then within twelve miles of New York, and was contemporary
with me and my brother at Oxford. He was of Jesus College, and called
there 'Senior Jones,' by way of distinction."

The original was given to Dr. Thomas Lloyd, and transmitted to his
brother, as mentioned above; subsequently it came into the possession of
Dr. Robert Plott, through Edward Lloyd, A.M., keeper of the Ashmolean
Museum at Oxford, the former having maintained in his writings his
implicit belief in Madoc's emigration and Mr. Jones's narrative. Rev.
Theophilus Evans afterwards communicated the narration to the
"Gentleman's Magazine." He was a Welsh clergyman, vicar of St. David's
in Brecon, and well versed in the history of his nation. It is to be
regretted that other accounts of the travels of Mr. Jones among the
Doegs of the Tuscaroras, which were published at an earlier period, have
not been preserved, inasmuch as they would materially assist in more
fully establishing the veracity of the writer. As it is, however, it
does not appear that his truthfulness has ever been questioned. He was
an educated man, a graduate of Oxford, and not likely to be mistaken or
led into an easy credulity. He is explicit as to the mode of his rescue,
while engaged in prayer and deploring his wretched fate, the time he
remained among them, his conversing with them and explaining anything
difficult between them,--nothing unreasonable to expect, after the lapse
of so many centuries,--his preaching to them three times a week. All
these things, taken in connection with his accurate description of the
location of this tribe, must impress the candid reader that this
clergyman gave a recital of unvarnished facts.

At the time Mr. Jones was captured, the Tuscaroras inhabited a range of
country that extended from Virginia down into the Carolinas. They
comprised several branches, known as Doegs, Chowans, Meherrins, and
Nottoways, who dwelt along the rivers bearing some of their names. They
were often called the Southern Iroquois, because they were chiefly
kindred in dialect with the main body of that mighty confederacy, the
Five Nations, or Iroquois proper. They made frequent incursions into the
territory of the Carolinians, by whom they were severely defeated in
1712: large numbers were taken prisoners, while the remainder fled
northward and formed the sixth nation of the celebrated Iroquois
Confederacy. Iroquois was a term applied to this confederacy by the
French; Mingoes was the name given to those composing it by the great
Algonquin race of red men, by whom they were largely surrounded, and
with whom they were almost incessantly engaged in bloody and decimating

The Five Nations called themselves Konoskioni, or "Cabin-Builders." The
territory they occupied when Europeans obtained a more general
acquaintance with them, which embraced New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Virginia, and portions of the Carolinas, evidently had not been in their
possession a very great length of time. From all that can be
ascertained, they came from the west, in an easterly direction, crossing
the Nauraesi Sipu (Mississippi), and made war upon another nation,
called the Alligewi or Alleghanians, destroyed their works, and drove
them into the interior, the conquerors taking possession of the eastern
country. Now, who were these Alligewi? That they were expelled from the
lands held by the Five Nations there can be no doubt; that they moved
westward is equally certain. But who were they? They were supposed to be
whites. McCulloh, in his "Researches on America," says that an
exterminating war appears to have taken place between the barbarous
natives (Iroquois) and their more refined and civilized neighbors,
ending in the nearly total destruction of the latter, the few survivors
of whom fled to happier climes; and to these aboriginal whites, perhaps,
the Mexicans were indebted for their refinement and knowledge. Traces of
these Alligewi are found throughout those portions of the country of the
Eastern States once held by them, afterwards by Iroquois. Their line of
march westward may be clearly traced by the earthen fortifications they
threw up for purposes of defence against their savage and wily enemies.
Almost without exception the traditions of the red men ascribe the
construction of these works to white men. Some of them belonging to
different tribes at the present say that they had understood from their
prophets and old men that it had been a tradition among their several
nations that the eastern country and Ohio and Kentucky had once been
inhabited by white people, but that they were mostly exterminated at the
Falls of Ohio. The red men drove the whites to a small island (Sandy
Island) below the rapids, where they were cut to pieces. _Kentuckee_, in
Indian, signifies _river of blood_. Some of the fragments of the
ancient tribe of the Sacs expressed astonishment to a gentleman at St.
Louis that any person should live in Kentucky. The country, they said,
had been the scene of much blood, and was filled with the _manes_ of the
butchered inhabitants, who were white people.

The westward movements of the tribes which were overpowered and
displaced by the Iroquois are distinctly marked, and show that a
European civilization had some influence in directing the construction
of those lines of defences along the largest valleys and streams of the
countries through which they passed, until, arriving at the Ohio, they
made a vigorous stand, with the resolution not to be driven any farther
into the interior. This will account for the much greater number of
earthen defences found along the Ohio, and, besides, agrees with the
traditions of the red men. When, however, defeated here, after a
residence extending over many years, the remnants of those tribes which
survived the bloody battles fled up the Missouri.

But who were these Alligewi, or Alligenians? The word is strikingly
familiar to the Welsh ear, with its double _l_, and corresponds with the
Welsh words _alii_, mighty, and _geni_, born, or "mighty born."

Although the Tuscaroras, among whom Mr. Jones lived and preached, were
supposed to be akin to the Iroquois in language and finally
confederated with them, it is altogether probable that they were more
anciently a branch of the Alligewi, who could not be driven from their
soil. These Tuscaroras were lighter in color than the other tribes, and
so noticeable was this peculiarity that they were generally mentioned as
_White Indians_. Emanating from this source, many travellers
subsequently applied the title to tribes through whose boundaries they
passed in the West and South. Doubtless they had a common origin.

They stated that their ancestors were Welsh. If the objection is made,
how they could have lost traces of European civilization so soon, it may
be recollected that the buccaneers of St. Domingo had in thirty years
forgotten all knowledge of Christianity. Such radical differences as
exist between the white and red races could not have been lost without
the lapse of centuries; while their languages would undergo, more or
less, some marked modifications. Dr. Williams, writing upon this subject
in his "Enquiry," published in 1791, says, "When it is considered that
Mr. Jones's visit to these nations was nearly five hundred years after
the emigration of Prince Madoc, it can be no wonder that the language of
both Mr. Jones and the Indians was very much altered. After so long a
period, Mr. Jones must have been obliged to make use of words and
phrases in preaching Christianity with which they must have been
altogether unacquainted. Besides, all living languages are continually
changing: therefore, during so many centuries, the original tongue must
have been very much altered, by the introduction of new words borrowed
from the inhabitants of the country. Though the language was _radically_
the same, yet Mr. Jones, especially when treating of abstract subjects,
was hardly intelligible to them without some explanations. We are told
that the religious worship of the Mexicans, with all its absurdities,
was less superstitious than that of the ancient and learned Greeks and
Romans. May we not conclude that the Mexicans derived some part of their
religious knowledge from a people enlightened by a Divine revelation,
which, though very much corrupted in the days of Madoc, yet was superior
to heathen darkness?"

Many of the names mentioned by Mr. Jones in his narrative seem to have a
Welsh origin, and bear a precisely similar sound to words in that

_Pontigo_--a name applied to a river in that country where he found
them--seems derived from Pont y Go, "The Smith's Bridge," or Pant y Go,
"The Smith's Valley;" a smith dwelling beside a river or bridge being
sufficient to originate such a name. Dr. Robertson says, in his "History
of America," vol. ii. p. 126, that "the Indians were very ignorant of
the use of metals; artificers in metals were scarce, and on that account
a name might be given to a bridge or valley where one dwelt." Doeg
Indians might be a corruption of Madog's Indians. The majority of those
who have had any convictions on this subject have believed that Madoc
first landed with his colony somewhere in New England, and that they
then moved down the coast and inhabited portions of the country between
Virginia and Florida. New England has some vestiges of European
civilization which were there before the Pilgrim Fathers landed. The
celebrated round tower at Newport, Rhode Island, about the origin of
which tradition and history are silent, is certainly constructed on the
same principle as Stonehenge, England, and many other Cambrian
memorials. It conforms exactly to the Druidic circle. Its materials are
unhewn stone. It rests upon eight round columns, twenty-three feet in
diameter, and twenty-four feet in height. Any person familiar with
Cambrian and Scandinavian archæology will not hesitate to attribute the
construction of this tower rather to the Cambrian than to the
Scandinavian navigators.

A letter written by Charles Lloyd, Esq., of Dôl y Frân, in
Montgomeryshire, already mentioned, published in 1777 by Rev. N. Owen,
jun., A.M., in a pamphlet entitled "British Remains," strongly confirms
Mr. Jones's narrative, and the truth of Madoc's voyages.

Mr. Lloyd says that he had been informed by a friend that a Mr. Stedman,
of Breconshire, about thirty years before the date of his letter, was
on the coast of America in a Dutch bottom, and being about to land for
refreshment the natives kept them off by force, till at last this
Stedman told his fellow Dutch seamen that he understood what the natives
spoke. The Dutch bade him speak to them, and they were thereupon very
courteous; they supplied them with the best things they had, and told
Stedman that they came from a country called Gwynedd (North Wales), in
Prydain Fawr (Great Britain). Prydain was the son of Hugh the Mighty,
and supposed to have been the first to establish government and set up
royalty in the isle of Britain, and the island was called by his name.
Mr. Lloyd said that Mr. Stedman found these Welsh Indians along the
coast between Virginia and Florida. Furthermore, this gentleman said
that a Mr. Oliver Humphreys, a merchant, who died not long before the
date of Mr. Lloyd's letter, told him that when he lived at Surinam he
spoke with an English privateer, or pirate, who, being near Florida,
careening his vessel, had learned, as he thought, the Indian language,
which his friend said was perfect Welsh.

It is to be regretted that Rev. Morgan Jones and these others could not
have given more of the traditional history of these Indians; but what
they have recited is explicit. Here is no collusion, no attempt to meet
the tradition concerning Madoc, for they, in all probability, knew
nothing about it.

If the Welsh Indians could be identified as descendants of Madoc's
colony, or if the Alligewi could be ascertained to have been the Welsh,
the discovered traces of civilization, Christianity, and the arts might
partly be referred to their instrumentality. They may have contributed
to swell the tide of population, and aided in constructing those forts
and works which so much resemble those of their own country. Our
American mounds agree in the minutest particulars with those described
by Pennant as found during his "Tour in Wales."

This is the opinion of De Laet, Hornius, Mitchel, and others.



In a "Journal of a Two Months' Tour," written by Rev. Charles Beatty,
A.M., and dedicated to the Earl of Dartmouth, London, 1768, the author
presents a sketch of a visit to some of the inland parts of North
America during the year 1766. He was accompanied by a Mr. Duffield. Mr.
Beatty was a missionary from New York, and travelled several hundred
miles in a southwest direction from that city. During his tour he met
several persons who had been among the Indians from their youth, or who
had been taken captives by them and lived with them several years.

When at the foot of the Alleghany Mountains, Pennsylvania, he stopped at
the house of Mr. John Miller, where he met with one Benjamin Sutton, who
had been taken captive by the Indians, had been in different nations,
and had lived many years among them. He informed Mr. Beatty and his
companion that "when he was with the Choctaw nation or tribe of Indians,
at the Mississippi, he went to an Indian town a very considerable
distance from New Orleans, whose inhabitants were of different
complexions,--not so tawny as those of the other Indians,--and who spoke
Welsh. He said that he saw a book among them, which he supposed was a
Bible, which they kept carefully wrapped up in a skin, but they could
not read it; and that he heard some of these Indians afterwards in the
lower Shawanese town speak Welsh with one Lewis, a Welshman, who was a
captive there. This Welsh tribe now live on the west side of the
Mississippi, a great way above New Orleans."

At Tuscarora Valley--a name, be it remembered, the same as that of the
tribe among which Rev. Morgan Jones found those speaking Welsh--Mr.
Beatty met with another man, named Levi Hicks, who had been a captive
from his youth. He said that he "was once attending an embassy at an
Indian town on the west side of the Mississippi, where the inhabitants
spoke Welsh (as he was told, for he did not understand them); and our
Indian interpreter, Joseph Peepy, said he once saw some Indians, whom he
supposed to be of the same tribe, who talked Welsh. He was sure that it
was Welsh, for he had been acquainted with Welsh people and understood
some words.

"Mr. Sutton farther told us that he had often heard the following
traditions among them; that of old time their people were divided by a
river, and one part tarrying behind; that they knew not for certainty
how they first came to this continent, but account for their coming into
these parts near where they are now settled; that a king of their
nation left his kingdom to his two sons; that the one son making war
upon the other the latter thereupon determined to depart and seek some
new habitation; that accordingly he set out accompanied by a number of
his people, and that after wandering to and fro for the space of forty
years they at length came to the Delaware River, where they settled,
three hundred and seventy years ago. The way, he says, they keep an
account of this is by putting a black bead of wampum every year since on
a belt they had for that purpose. He farther added that the king of that
country from whence they came, some years ago, when the French were in
possession of Fort Duquesne (Pittsburg), sent out some of his people in
order, if possible, to find out that part of their nation that departed
to seek a new country, and that these men, after seeking six years, came
at length to the Pickt Town, on the Ouabache River, and there happened
to meet with a Delaware Indian named Jack, after the English, whose
language they could understand; and that by him they were conducted to
the Delaware towns, where they tarried one year, and returned; that the
French sent a white man with them, properly furnished, to bring back an
account of their country, who, the Indians said, could not return in
less than fourteen years, for they lived a great way toward the setting
sun. It is now, Sutton says, about ten or twelve years since they went

Dr. Williams, who wrote upon this subject, thought that these traditions
referred to the unsettled state of North Wales, the departure of Madoc,
and his travels before he finally settled.

It would not be surprising if Mr. Beatty's Indian interpreter, Joseph
Peepy, had been among Welsh people in Pennsylvania, for large colonies
of Welsh settled, in early colonial days, in and around Philadelphia.
"The Welsh Tract" is still well known. William Penn and his family were
of Welsh extraction. A large number of his followers were Welshmen.
Philadelphia contains a larger proportion of Welsh descendants than any
other city in the United States. The first mayor of the city, Anthony
Morris, and the first Governor of the colony of Pennsylvania, Thomas
Lloyd, were both Welshmen.

These colonies extended more and more into the interior, and came in
contact with the nearest tribes. Traffic was carried on between them,
and in this way Mr. Beatty's interpreter became somewhat acquainted with
the Welsh tongue. Afterwards, penetrating far into the interior, where
he spent many years, he found, as he informed Mr. Beatty, Indians
speaking the same language he had heard among the Welsh people of
Pennsylvania. To his testimony is added that of Benjamin Sutton and Levi
Hicks, each independent of and consistent with the other. By means of
these, and others, the residents of Pennsylvania were made acquainted
with the existence of Welsh Indians. It is not at all likely that all,
if indeed any, of them then knew of the historical records in Wales
relating to Madoc; it was afterwards that they found out there were

The Rev. Thomas Jones, of Nottage, in the county of Glamorgan, came to
America in 1737. His son, Samuel, was then about three years of age. He
gave him a liberal education in Philadelphia, where he took the degree
of Doctor of Divinity. He, (Dr.) Samuel Jones, wrote a letter to Rev.
William Richards, of Lynn, in Norfolk. In that letter, speaking of the
Madocian Indians, he says, "The finding of them would be one of the most
pleasing things to me that could happen. I think I should go immediately
amongst them, though I am now turned fifty-five; and there are in
America Welsh preachers ready to set out to visit them as soon as the
way to their country is discovered. I know now several in Pennsylvania
who have been amongst those Indians."

The following words are in a letter from Mr. Reynold Howells to a Mr.
Mills, dated Philadelphia, 1752: "The Welsh Indians are found out: they
are situated on the west side of the great river Mississippi."

William Pritchard, a bookseller and printer of Philadelphia, when in
London, in 1791, told some Welsh scholars, among them Mr. Owen and Dr.
Williams, that he had often heard of the Welsh Indians, that in
Pennsylvania they were universally believed to be very far westward of
the Mississippi, that he had often heard of people who had been among
them, and that if he should be but very little assisted he should
immediately visit them.

A writer in the "Mount Joy Herald," after alluding to Powel's "History"
upon this subject, which has been quoted already, gives this additional
extract from the same:--"Three hundred and twenty-two years after this
date,--Madoc's departure,--when Columbus discovered this continent a
second time and returned to Europe to make his report, it caused great
excitement, and he was justly applauded. But his enemies, and those who
envied his fame, boldly charged him with acquiring his knowledge from
the charts and manuscripts of Madoc. In the year 1854 I had a
conversation with an old Indian prophet, who styled himself the
fifteenth in the line of succession. He told me, in broken English, that
long ago a race of white people had lived at the mouth of Conestoga
Creek, who had red hair and blue eyes, who cleared the land, fenced,
plowed, raised grain, etc., that they introduced the honey-bee, unknown
to them. He said the Indians called them the Welegcens, and that in the
time of the fifth prophet the Conestoga Indians made war with them,
and, after great slaughter on both sides, the white settlers were
driven away. Our fathers and grandfathers used to tell us what a hatred
and prejudice the Conestoga Indians had against red-haired and blue-eyed
people in all their wars in Eastern Pennsylvania. When taking white
prisoners, they would discriminate between the black-haired and the red,
showing mercy to the former, and reserving the latter for torture and
death. This would seem to indicate that they knew from tradition of
Prince Madoc and his followers, and of the fearful fight they had made.

"About the year 1800 (for I must quote from memory), a man digging a
cellar in the vicinity of the Indian Steppes came upon a lot of small
iron axes, thirty-six in number. My father, who resided in Manor
township and followed blacksmithing, was presented with one of these
relics; and I recollect seeing it in his shop twenty-five years after
that date. It was curiously constructed; the eye was joined after the
fashion of the old garden hoe; it had no pole end, and had never been
ground to an edge, nor had the others ever been. It had lain so long in
the ground that the eye was almost eaten through with rust; and its
construction was so ancient that I looked upon it as the first exodus
from the stone to the iron axe."

Rev. Morgan Jones, of Hammersmith, England, wrote a letter to Dr. John
Williams, in which he says that his father and his family went to
Pennsylvania about the year 1750, where he met with several persons whom
he knew in Wales,--one in particular with whom he had been intimate.
This person had formerly lived in Pennsylvania, but then lived in North
Carolina. Upon his return to Pennsylvania, the following year, to settle
his affairs, they met a second time. Mr. Jones's friend told him that he
then was very sure there were Welsh Indians, and gave as a reason, that
his house in North Carolina was situated on the great Indian road to
Charlestown, where he often lodged parties of them. In one of these
parties, an Indian, hearing the family speak Welsh, began to jump and
caper as if he had been out of his senses. Being asked what was the
matter with him, he replied, "I know an Indian nation who speak that
language, and have learnt a little of it myself by living among them;"
and when examined, he was found to have some knowledge of it. When asked
where they lived, he said, "A great way beyond the Mississippi." Being
promised a handsome reward, he said that he would endeavor to bring some
of them to that part of the country; but Mr. Jones, soon after returning
to England, never heard any more of the Indian.

In the "Gentleman's Magazine" for July, 1791, page 612, Mr. Edward
Williams says that about twenty years prior he became acquainted with a
Mr. Binon, of Coyty, in the county of Glamorgan, who had been absent
from his native country over thirty years. Mr. Binon said he had been
an Indian trader from Philadelphia for several years; that about the
year 1750 he and five or six others penetrated much farther than usual
to the westward of the Mississippi, and found a nation of Indians who
spoke the Welsh tongue. They had iron among them, lived in stone built
villages, and were better clothed than the other tribes. They gave Mr.
Binon a kind reception, but were suspicious of his companions, taking
them for Spaniards or Frenchmen, with whom they seemed to be at war.
They showed him a manuscript book, which they carefully kept, believing
that it contained the mysteries of religion, and said _that it was not
long since a man had been among them who understood it_. This man, whom
they esteemed a prophet (could it have been the Rev. Morgan Jones?),
told them, they said, that a people would some time visit them and
explain to them the mysteries contained in their book, which would make
them completely happy. They very anxiously asked Mr. Binon if he
understood it, and, being answered in the negative, they appeared very
sad, and earnestly desired him to send some one to them who could
explain it. After he and his fellow-travellers had been for some time
among them, they departed, and were conducted by those friendly Indians
through vast deserts, and were supplied by them with plenty of
provisions, which the woods afforded; and after they had been brought
to a place they well knew, they parted with their numerous Indian
guides, who wept bitterly on their taking leave, and very urgently
entreated them to send a person to them who could interpret their book.
On Mr. Binon's arrival in Philadelphia, and relating the story, he found
that the inhabitants of the Welsh Tract had some knowledge of these
Indians, and that some Welshmen had been among them. He also learned
then that on several occasions parties of thirty and forty of these
Welsh Indians had visited the Welsh settled on the Tract near
Philadelphia. Mr. Binon furthermore said that when he told those
Indians, whom he had visited, that he came from Wales, they replied, "It
was from thence our ancestors came, but we do not now know in what part
of the world Wales is."

Mr. Edward Williams, who gave to the world the above account from Mr.
Binon, also had an interview with a Mr. Richard Burnell, a gentleman who
went to America about the year 1763, and who returned to England when
the American war broke out.

During Mr. Burnell's residence in and near Philadelphia, he became well
acquainted with the Welsh people, who informed him that the Welsh
Indians were well known to many in Pennsylvania. He personally knew Mr.
Beatty, whose narrative opens this chapter, and a Mr. Lewis, who saw
some of these Welsh Indians in a congress among the Chickasaws, with
whom and the Natchez Mr. Burnell says they are in alliance. He also said
that there was in Philadelphia a Mr. Willin, a very rich Quaker, who had
obtained a grant of a large extent of country on the Mississippi, in the
district of the Natchez; and, having taken with him a great number of
settlers, he had among them Welshmen who understood the Indians. Mr.
Burnell, anxious to be informed, waited upon Mr. Willin, who assured him
that among his colony there were two Welshmen who perfectly understood
the Indians and would converse with them for hours together, and that
these Welshmen had often assured him the Indians spoke the Welsh
language; that some of them were settled in those parts, some on the
west side of the Mississippi, and others in remote parts. At this time
Mr. Burnell had a son, Cradog Burnell, settled at Buck's Island, near
Augusta, Georgia. He was a capital trader in the back settlements. A
company of about a hundred persons had purchased forty millions of acres
from the Natchez and Yazoos along the Mississippi and the rivers Yazoo
and Tombecbe, which fall into it. Mr. Burnell's son was connected with
this large colony; and he said that probably his son knew more about
these Welsh Indians "than any man living. He had the best opportunities,
for he reads and writes the Welsh language extremely well."

If it be granted that Mr. Binon saw a manuscript book among those whom
he visited, and that neither they nor he could read it, that would not
be surprising; for many persons of greater intelligence in these times
cannot read old books in the manuscript or old-style print of centuries
ago. Most of them were written in the Roman character; but there are
some in the Greek character, which, transferred to the Welsh or old
English, would demand scholarship to interpret.

Let it be borne in mind, too, that the time is not very far back when it
was considered quite an accomplishment for kings and queens to be able
simply to read. There are books in manuscript and print in the public
libraries of the world, dating back many centuries, which cannot be read
and understood by those in whose vernacular they were written or

Enough recitals have been added to the narrative of Rev. Charles Beatty
to render it absolutely certain that in his time and during his tour
through Pennsylvania there existed a firm conviction, based on personal
knowledge and experience, that there was a tribe of Indians who spoke
the Welsh language; that they formerly had occupied the eastern portions
of the country, but, pressed by their enemies, red and white, they had
retreated farther and farther into the interior, and had become broken
into scattering fragments, incorporating themselves in some cases with
other tribes. Can they be pursued by the antiquary or the historian? Let
the succeeding pages answer.



Modern investigations and discoveries show that there once existed an
almost unbroken system of defences, extending from New York,
Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas, in a diagonal direction, to
the valley of the Ohio, and thence into the great basin of the
Mississippi. These works increase in size and number as they advance
towards the centre, and may properly be classified into forts for
defence and tumuli or mounds for sepulture. They are chiefly found along
the fertile valleys through which run large rivers, and at their
junctions with one another. It is quite usual with writers on these
remarkable works to assign to them so great an antiquity that the
employment of figures is almost useless if they tell the truth. But
there are substantial reasons for the belief that they were erected by
the Welsh, aided by those Indians with whom they became incorporated and
whom they directed in their labor. The route they took, either by choice
or necessity, and the exact correspondence of these earthen monuments
with those found in England and Europe known to be of Cambrian origin,
go very far to support this belief.

In Onondaga, New York, there are vestiges of ancient settlements dating
back beyond the time when the council-fires of the Six Nations burned
there. These are protected by three circular forts.

Isaac Chapman, Esq., says, in his "History of Wyoming," Pennsylvania,
"In the valley of Wyoming there exist some remains of ancient
fortifications, which appear to have been constructed by a race of
people very different in their habits from those who occupied the place
when first discovered by the whites. Most of these ruins have been so
obliterated by the operations of agriculture that their forms cannot now
be distinctly ascertained. That which remains the most entire was
examined by the writer during the summer of 1817, and its dimensions
carefully ascertained, although from frequent plowing its form had
become almost destroyed. It is situated in the township of Kingston,
upon a level plain, on the north side of Toby's Creek, about one hundred
and fifty feet from its bank, and about half a mile from its confluence
with the Susquehanna. From present appearances, it consisted probably of
only one mound, which in height and thickness appears to have been the
same on all sides, and was constructed of earth, the plain on which it
stands not abounding in stone. On the outside of the rampart is an
intrenchment, or ditch. When the first settlers came to Wyoming, this
plain was covered with its native forest, consisting principally of oak
and yellow pine, and the trees which grew in the rampart and the
intrenchment are said to have been as large as those in any other part
of the valley; one large oak particularly, upon being cut down, was
ascertained to be _seven hundred years old_. The Indians had no
tradition concerning these fortifications; neither did they appear to
have any knowledge of the purposes for which they were constructed. They
were, perhaps, erected about the same time with those upon the waters of
the Ohio, and probably by a similar people and for similar purposes."

Directly opposite, on the eastern bank of the Susquehanna, a little
above the city of Wilkesbarre, another fortification has been discovered
and measured, and found to have been of precisely the same size and
dimensions as that described by Mr. Chapman.

In these earthen works, and along the banks of the river up as far as
Towanda, have been found human skeletons,--as many as six at one time
having been washed out from old fire-places by the freshets,--large
earthen vessels, and relics of various kinds. One of these earthen
vessels was twelve feet in diameter, thirty-six feet in circumference,
and three inches thick. It was found on the farm of a Mr. Kinney. Relics
of iron instruments have also been found--which agrees with a
remarkable tradition of the Shawanese Indians who emigrated from
Pennsylvania to Ohio, "that the coasts were inhabited by white men who
used iron instruments."

Six buttons were also discovered bearing on their faces the _mermaid_,
the coat of arms of the Principality of Wales.

Passing thence westward to the streams which empty into the Ohio,--the
Alleghany, Monongahela, Muskingum,--and down the Ohio itself on both
sides, many wonderful earthen remains have been brought to view, those
circular in form being the most frequent. They show, too, that they were
constructed by a people who were migrating from one part of the country
to another through the pressure of enemies or the inducement of more
fertile lands.

In the year 1784, Mr. John Filson published a pamphlet entitled "The
Discovery, Settlement, and Present State of Kentucky," wherein, after
mentioning the story of Madoc, he has these words: "This account has at
different times drawn the attention of the world; but, as no vestiges of
them [the Welsh] had then been found, it was concluded, perhaps too
rashly, to be a fable,--at least, that no remains of the colony existed.
But of late years the Western settlers have received frequent accounts
of a nation at a great distance up the Missouri (a branch of the
Mississippi) in manners and appearance resembling other Indians, but
speaking Welsh and retaining some ceremonies of the Christian worship;
and at length this is universally believed to be fact. Captain Abraham
Chaplain, a gentleman whose veracity may be entirely depended upon,
assured me that in the late war, being with his company in garrison at
Kaskaskia, some Indians came there, and, speaking the Welsh language,
were perfectly understood, and conversed with two Welshmen in his
company, and that they informed them of their situation as mentioned
above." Mr. Filson then continues: "That there are remains in Kentucky
which prove that the country was formerly inhabited by a nation farther
advanced in the arts of life than the Indians, and that these are
usually attributed to the Welsh, who are supposed formerly to have
inhabited these parts; that a great number of regular intrenchments are
found there, and ancient fortifications with ditches and bastions,--one
in particular containing about six acres of land, and others three
acres; that pieces of earthenware were plowed up, a manufacture the
Indians were never acquainted with."

About the time Mr. Filson's pamphlet appeared, Rev. Mr. Rankin, a
resident of Kentucky, told William Owen, of London, that it was certain
that a tribe or tribes of Welsh Indians then existed far westward, and
that a vast uncultivated hunting-ground intervened, through which it was
dangerous to pass, because of the depredations of the wild Indians, who
destroyed everything that came in their way. He declared that there were
unmistakable evidences of their formerly having occupied the country
about Kentucky, such as _wells dug_ which remained unfilled, _the ruins
of buildings_, _mill-stones_, _implements of iron_, _ornaments_, etc.

The statements of these early writers have been abundantly confirmed,
respecting the existence of monumental remains and traces of civilized
life, by the patient explorations of such workers as Schoolcraft,
Squier, Davis, Pidgeon, and others, who have opened up many of these
half-concealed monuments and disclosed their contents. Squier, in
speaking of those found along the Ohio Valley, says, "The British
Islands only afford works with which any comparison can safely be
instituted. The 'ring-forts' of the ancient Celts are nearly identical
in form and structure with a large class of remains in our own country."
The same author has given some deeply interesting accounts in his
"Aboriginal Monuments" of his explorations of mounds, his finding human
skeletons in rude frame-works of timber, instruments and ornaments of
silver, copper, stone, and bone, sculptures of the human head, pottery
of various kinds, and a large number of articles, some of which evince
great skill in art. He says, "In every instance falling within our
observation, the skeleton has been so much decayed that any attempt to
restore the skull, or indeed any portion of it, was hopeless.
Considering that the earth around these skeletons is wonderfully compact
and dry, and that the conditions for their preservation were exceedingly
favorable, while in fact they are so much decayed, we may form some
estimate of their remote antiquity. In the barrows and cromlechs of the
ancient Britons, entire and well-preserved skeletons are found, although
having an undoubted antiquity of eighteen hundred years." There is,
however, no safe rule by which to judge the antiquity of human skeletons
by the surroundings. Some have been kept in a wonderful state of
preservation under apparently the least favorable conditions, while
others have crumbled to dust when it was thought they ought to have been

It must be borne in mind that these mounds bear no resemblance to Indian
burying-grounds. They are the sepulchres of a superior people.

In 1844 a gentleman in Ohio sent to the librarian of the American
Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts, a cross, the emblem of
the Christian faith. It was made of silver, and was about two and a half
inches long. It was found on the breast of a female skeleton which was
dug from a mound at Columbus, over which a forest of trees had grown. On
this cross the capital letters I. S. are perfectly visible. These
initials are interpreted to mean the sacred name, Iesus Salvator.

A relic which obtained great celebrity some years ago, and which is now
in the possession of some person in Richmond, Virginia, was found at
Grave Creek, Virginia, near the Ohio, in the upper vault of the
celebrated mound there. The attention of the learned world was brought
to it by Mr. Schoolcraft, who made a correct drawing and published it.
The mound went by the suggestive name of "_The Grave_." It was pointed
out to travellers on the Ohio, and was frequently visited. Dates were
cut upon the trees surmounting it as early as 1734. The relic was found,
with other things, by the side of some skeletons. It is nearly circular
in form, and composed of a compact sandstone of a light color. The
inscription upon it runs in three parallel lines, and comprises
twenty-four distinct characters, having at the bottom a hieroglyphic or
ideographic sign. It has been subjected to the studious scrutiny of many
learned men, with various results. The most of the characters have been
decided to be Celtic or old British; and therefore they afford some clue
as to the origin of the relic itself. The very fact of these characters
being alphabetical indicates that the inscription was made by those of
European origin.

What, then, is the conclusion? That it was inscribed by those who
understood the old British or Welsh language, who occupied the valley of
the Ohio centuries ago, and who were the followers or descendants of

Some years ago, a circular plate, made of copper and overlaid with a
thick plate of silver on one side, was found near the city of Marietta,
Ohio. The copper was nearly reduced to an oxide, or rust. The silver was
black, but could be brightened by being rubbed. A small piece of leather
was inserted between the two plates of silver and copper, and both held
together with a central rivet. This relic exactly resembled the bosses
or ornaments appended to the belt of the broadsword of the ancient
Briton or Welshman. It lay on the face of the skeleton, preserving the
bone, as it did the leather and the lint or flax around the rivet. Near
the body was found a plate of silver, six inches long and two in
breadth, and weighing one ounce. There were also several pieces of a
copper tube, filled with rust.

These are supposed to have belonged to the equipage of a sword; though
nothing but iron rust could be found to answer for such a weapon. Near
the feet of the skeleton was a copper plumb, of about three ounces'
weight, and resembling an ordinary clock-weight.

The construction of the earthen defences found in the valley of the Ohio
and along the Mississippi evinces that those who erected them had great
proficiency in engineering and military skill. They comprised all the
parts of a systematic defence,--walls, ramparts, fosses, intrenchments,
and even the lookout, corresponding to the _barbican_ in the British
system of the Middle Ages. So that it may be asked, in the language of
Dr. S. P. Hildreth, a zealous antiquarian of Marietta, Ohio, "Of what
age, or of what nation, was this race that once inhabited the territory
drained by the Ohio? From what we see of their works, they must have
been acquainted with some of the fine arts and sciences. They have left
us perfect specimens of circles, squares, octagons, parallel lines, on a
grand and noble scale; and, unless it can be proved that they had
intercourse with Asia or Europe, we must attribute to them the art of
working metals."

But the red race knew nothing of the art or science of smelting raw
ores. Their copper instruments were beaten into shape from the native
metal, and these at best were very rare and rude. The hundreds and
thousands of relics in the various metals, many curiously finished,
found in the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi, in mounds and caves,
must, therefore, be the product of another people. Nor is it necessary
to go back to dim or immemorial ages to account for their origin.

The Welsh are the best miners and workers in metals in the world. The
Phoenicians carried on a large trade in the metals with the inhabitants
of the British Isles centuries before the Christian era, and their mines
of iron, copper, tin, etc., have since enriched the British Empire.

The mines of the Upper Lake regions were doubtless worked by the Welsh
in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, all the
evidences seeming to allow four or five hundred years since their
opening. Old trees showing three hundred and ninety-five rings of annual
growth have been found standing among the débris at the surface of some
of these mines. Huge chunks of copper, in some cases weighing six tons,
have been lifted out of their beds by finished tools and mining

Wooden frame-works and skids have been found, which were made with
sharp-edged instruments, but upon being exposed to the air have turned
to dust. It is thought that the area covered by the ancient works in the
Lake Superior region is more extensive than that which includes the
modern mines, but that the forests have overgrown and conceal from view
the excavations. Of course a considerable period elapsed after the Welsh
occupied the Ohio valley before they and those with whom they became
incorporated penetrated so far northward to work these mines. Most of
the relics which have been discovered in the mounds were, in all
probability, made from the metals of that region. Colonel Whittlesey,
who is an authority on this subject, thinks that the miners "went up
from the settlements farther south in the summers, remained in the
copper regions through the season, and worked the mines in organized
companies until the advance of winter terminated their operations. As
they were more advanced in civilization than the aborigines, they
probably had better means of transportation than bark canoes."

In the enthusiasm of antiquarian research, many have been led to assign
too great an age to the earthen defences and mounds of our country. The
Cardiff Giant was pronounced, with scholarly awe, to be a fine specimen
of an extinct race which trod this earth thousands of years before Adam
drew breath, but was subsequently discovered to have been made from a
chunk of gypsum taken from a quarry in Iowa. The remains of Fort
Necessity, erected to cover the retreat of Braddock's defeated army, now
wear such an antiquarian aspect that if there were no historical data
respecting them they would be classed with the mounds. So with Forts
Hamilton and Meigs, on the Miami and Maumee Rivers, and others,
constructed only about one hundred years ago. When native forest trees
are cleared away and the soil is turned over for the purpose of
embankments, a new growth of vegetation is quickly started.

Some years ago, a large oak was cut down in Lyons, New York, and on its
being sawed there were found near the centre the marks of an axe. On
counting the concentric circles, it was discovered that four hundred and
sixty had been formed since the cutting was made. The block was brought
to Newark and exhibited in a hotel there. All who saw it declared that
the work had been done with an _edged_ tool.

The trees covering the mounds in Wyoming, as described by Chapman, had
annular rings numbering from six to seven hundred. President Harrison
observed that it would take the trees, growing where a forest was cut
down fifty years since, five hundred years to equal in height the
surrounding woods; and that a forest of the largest trees at the mouth
of the Great Miami, consisting of fifteen acres, covers the ruins left
by former races.

It is worthy of notice, too, that the age of the trees found standing on
these ancient fortifications and mounds, and the number of their annular
circles, diminish with striking regularity in the ratio of their
distance from the eastern coast. The first found reach as high a number
as seven hundred; then, decreasing, they are found in Ohio with from
four hundred to five hundred; and then in the copper regions of Lake
Superior with from three hundred and fifty to four hundred annular
rings. Comparing these figures with the time (1170) when Madoc and his
followers landed on this continent, and allowing for their progress into
the interior such reasonable periods as their peculiar circumstances
demanded, adding also whatever other proofs have been adduced, scarcely
a single doubt can linger in the mind of the candid inquirer as to the
origin of these earthen defences and mounds, the removal of the native
forests, the working of the mines, and the many relics unearthed.

If it be objected that a small band of a few hundreds could not cover
so much territory or accomplish so much work, it may be said, in reply,
that one century alone offers sufficient time for the achievement of
wonders. Under favorable conditions peoples multiply rapidly. Surrounded
as the Welsh were with populous tribes of red men, they affiliated with
some of them for self-protection and aid, and degraded remnants of them
are found at the present time in different parts of the far West.



It was only after the most stubborn and sanguinary resistance that the
Welsh Indians yielded the fertile plains of the Ohio valley to their
enemies. They moved down the Ohio River to its confluence with the
Mississippi, and here for a period took another stand, as is evinced by
the many remarkable remains and relics which have been brought to light
by accident and the diligent researches of antiquarians and

At this point there began a series of dispersions, south, west, and
north, by which they became spread over a vast area of the Western
country. The Lower and Upper Mississippi, the Missouri, and many of the
smaller rivers abound with remains which exhibit the same knowledge and
skill with those along the Ohio. Such a dispersion offers the best
solution for the construction of the numerous accounts given of them
into an intelligible and consistent whole. These accounts coming from so
many different parties, separated from one another in time and distance,
and independent of one another, excluding the possibility of preconcert
or collusion, it would not be wonderful if they appeared to vary in the
minor details. Their differences are a proof of the absence of falsehood
or trickery. That the Welsh did not lose all the radical characteristics
of their race can be made evident: still, when it is considered how
numerous the peoples were with whom they amalgamated, it will be seen
that it did not require a great length of time for them to exhibit also
traits of savage life. Such a result would follow from physical laws and
the conditions of their wild state.

This dispersion, and their being discovered in various sections of the
country along and west of the Mississippi, will account for the
different names by which they were called by intelligent travellers and
captured whites, who had either heard of them or had been in their
country and conversed with them.

In 1792 a gentleman who had resided more than twenty years in New
Orleans and on the banks of the Mississippi wrote a letter to Griffith
Williams, London, being on a visit to the latter city himself at the
time, from which the following extract is given: "That the natives of
America have, for many years past, emigrated from the east to the west
is a known fact. That the tribes mentioned by Mr. Jones, who spoke the
Welsh tongue, may have done so is much within the order of probability;
and that a people called the Welsh or White Indians now reside at or
near the banks of the Missouri, I have not the least doubt of, having
been so often assured of it by people who have traded in that river, and
who could have no possible inducement to relate such a story unless it
had been founded in fact.

"Since writing the above, a merchant from the Illinois country, and a
person of reputation, is arrived in London. He assures me there is not
the smallest doubt of a people existing on the west side of the
Mississippi, called by the French the White Bearded Indians, none of the
natives of America wearing beards; that these people are really white;
that they are said to consist of thirty-two villages or towns, are
exceeding civilized, and vastly attached to certain religious
ceremonies; that a Mr. Ch., a merchant of reputation at the Illinois,
has been to their country, which is, as he supposes, upwards of a
thousand miles from the Illinois.

"Yours, etc.,
"J. J."

Mr. Williams, to whom the above was written, adds, "I have met the above
gentleman several times, and he confirms the latter part of this
narrative; that Mr. Ch. is a near relation of his; that Mr. Ch. was
introduced to the chief of the Padoucas, by whom he was received with
much solemnity, owing to his being of white complexion, from which
circumstance, as far as Mr. Ch. could understand by being amongst them,
he was deemed an angel of God, his hands and his feet being washed by
order of the chief, who appeared much advanced in years, his hair being
long and perfectly white; that the people chiefly subsist by the produce
of the chase; that the instruments they use on the occasion are
generally bows and arrows; that the farther he advanced from the
frontiers, the different tribes he passed through were the more

Upon the occasion of the visit of General Bowles, a chief of the
Cherokees, to London, on official business, in 1792, he was waited on by
several eminent Welsh gentlemen to inquire if he knew anything of the
Welsh Indians. He replied, "Yes, I know them, and they are called the
Padoucas, or White Indians. This title is given them because of their
complexions." When a map was laid before him on which that name was
inscribed, he said that these were the people, and showed the limits of
their country. He said that "generally they were called the White
Padoucas, but those who live in the northern parts are called Black
Padoucas, because they are a mixture of the White Padoucas and other
Indians. The White Padoucas are as you are, having some of them sandy,
some red, and some black hair. They are very numerous, and one of the
most warlike people on the continent."

The gentlemen present then informed General Bowles of the times and
circumstances of Madoc's voyages, when he replied, "They must have been
as early as that period, otherwise they could not have increased to be
so numerous a people. I have travelled their southern boundaries from
one side to the other, but have never entered their country. Another
reason I have for thinking them to be Welsh is, that a Welshman was with
me at home for some time, who had been a prisoner among the Spaniards
and had worked in the mines of Mexico, and by some means he contrived to
escape, got into the wilds, and made his way across the continent, and
eventually passed through the midst of the Padoucas, and at once found
himself with a people with whom he could converse, and he stayed for
some time. He told me that they had several books, which were most
religiously preserved in skins and were considered by them as mysteries.
These they believed gave an account from whence they came. They said
they had not seen a white man like themselves, who was a stranger, for a
long time."

General Bowles was of Irish descent, and had many respectable relatives
residing in London, whither he had come on a public mission in behalf of
the Cherokees.

Mr. Price, another chief, who was born among the Creeks, said that he
understood not the Welsh tongue, but that his father, who was a
Welshman, had frequent interviews and conversed with the Padoucas in his
native language. He lived the greatest part of his life in the Creek
country, and died there.

In Cox's description of Louisiana, 1782, p. 63, it is said "that Baron
La Hontan, having traced the Missouri for eight hundred miles due west,
found an east lake, along which resided two or three great nations, much
more civilized than other Indians; and that out of this lake a great
river disembogues itself into the South Sea."

The name by which he designates these people is Metocantes.

Charlevoix, vol. ii. p. 225 of the English translation, mentions "a
great lake very far to the west of the Mississippi, on the banks of
which are a people resembling the French, with buttons on their clothes,
living in cities, and using horses in hunting buffaloes; that they are
clothed with the skins of that animal, but without any arms but the bow
and arrow." He calls them the Mactotatas.

Bossu, in his account of Louisiana, vol. i. p. 182, says that he had
been informed by the Indians of a nation of clothed people, far to the
westward of the Mississippi, who inhabited great villages built with
white stone, navigated in great piraguas on the great salt-water lakes,
and were governed by one despotic chief, who sent great armies into the

On page 393 he gives a particular account of Madoc's alleged voyages,
and observes, "The English believe that this prince discovered
Virginia. Peter Martyr seems to give a proof of it when he says that
the nations of Virginia and Guatemala celebrate the memory of one of
their ancient heroes, whom they call Madoc. Several modern travellers
have found ancient British words used by the North American nations. The
celebrated Bishop Nicholson believes that the Welsh language has formed
a considerable part of the languages of the American nations. There are
antiquarians who pretend that the Spaniards got their double or guttural
_l_ (_ll_) from the Americans, who, according to the English, must have
got it from the Welsh."

Bossu adds that these Welsh Indians seem to go by various names, such as
Panes, Panis (Pawnees).

During the war of the Revolution, Sir John Caldwell, Bart., was
stationed on the east side of the Mississippi. He lived in the country a
long time, acquired a perfect knowledge of the language of the
inhabitants, was adopted by them, and married a daughter of one of their
chiefs. He was informed by them that the Panis (Pawnees) were a people
considerably civilized, that they cultivated the ground, and built
houses. Some Welshmen in his company understood their language, which
they said was Welsh. Sir John said that he became acquainted with a Mr.
Pond, a very sensible and intelligent Indian trader, who frequented the
country of the Panis, which lies about the head of the river Osages. He
said that they were whiter and more civilized than any other Indian

Mr. Rimington said that he had known for a long time that there were
civilized Indians west of the Mississippi, who were called by those on
the eastern side (the Chickasaws, etc.) Ka Anzou or Ka Anjou (Kansas),
which in their language signifies _first of men_, or _first men_, and he
was very strongly inclined to think that they were the Welsh Indians.

Mr. Rimington, who was a native of England, had been a long time among
the Indians. He said that being once with several Englishmen and one
Jack Hughes, a Welshman, at the Forks of the Ohio, where was an Indian
mart, some strange Indians came there from the west of the Mississippi.
A Shawanese Indian, who understood English, came to Mr. Rimington and
desired him to be his interpreter. He went, but found that the language
of these strangers was not intelligible to him. When he returned, and
told his companions that he knew not their language, one of them
exclaimed, "Oh, they are the Welsh Indians!" Jack Hughes was sent, who
understood them well; and he was their interpreter while they continued
there. He said that these Indians are tolerably white in complexion, and
their dress like that of the Europeans,--a kind of trousers, coats with
sleeves, and hats or caps made of small and very beautiful feathers
curiously wrought. Furthermore he said that these white Indians are to
be met with at the Indian marts on the Mississippi, at the Natches,
Forks of the Ohio, Kaskaskies, etc., for all the Indian tribes on this
continent, even from the shores of the South Sea, resort thither.

Thus it may be seen that the Welsh Indians went by different names, the
most of them bearing a similitude to what they called themselves, and by
which they were known to the Indians and the whites: as Padoucas by Mr.
Binon, General Bowles, Mr. Ch., Mr. Price and his father; Panis
(Pawnees) by Sir John Caldwell, Mr. Pond, and others; Ka Anzou (Kansas)
by the Chickasaws, and Mr. Rimington; Matocantes by Coxe; Mactotatas by
Charlevoix; and Madawgwys, Madogian or Madogiaint by many others.

Padoucas would more nearly approach the general name in sound if the
letter _m_ were substituted for _p_, thus changing the word into
Madoucas, the former being regarded as a corruption which might arise
from the difficulty some tribes have experienced in pronouncing certain

In the common maps of the country a century ago, an extensive nation
called the White Padoucas were placed about eighty-eight degrees north
latitude, and one hundred and two degrees west longitude of London; but
they extended in detached communities from about thirty-seven degrees
north latitude and ninety-seven degrees west longitude to forty-three
degrees north latitude and one hundred and ten degrees west longitude.
The city of Paducah, Kentucky, doubtless derived its name from this
nation, which once occupied the region in which it is situated. The
Padoucas, Pawnees, and Kansas were intermixed with one another, and
suffered a fearful decimation by wars and diseases, so that the tribal
name of the first is now extinct; but a few straggling bands still
survive under the second and third names. In 1874 the Pawnees numbered
about two thousand eight hundred and thirty-one, and the Kansas or Kaws
less than that number. From the document accompanying President
Jefferson's message to Congress in 1806, it may be discovered that the
Pania Pique in Arkansas were formerly known by the name of the White
Panias, and are of the same family as the Panias of the river Platte.
According to that communication, the Padoucas, a once powerful nation,
had apparently disappeared. In 1724 they resided in villages at the head
of the Kansas River. Oppressed by the Missourians, they removed to the
upper part of the river Platte, where they had but little intercourse
with the whites. The northern branch of that river is still called the
Padoucas Fork. It is conjectured that, being still more oppressed, they
divided into small wandering bands, which assumed the names of the
subdivisions of the Padoucas nation which have since been known under
the appellation of Wetepahatoes, Kiawas, Kanenavish, Katteka, and
Dotamie, who still inhabit the country to which the Padoucas are said
to have removed.

In the map attached to Du Pratz's Louisiana the "White Panis" are placed
at the head of the Arkansas; Panis Mahas, or White Panis, at the head of
the south branch of the Missouri; and between those rivers is marked the
country of the Padoucas.

During the last two centuries the Indian races have waned so rapidly,
their places of habitation have been so often changed, and so many of
the tribes have become amalgamated, that names are not an unerring guide
by which to determine their early history, or to what stock many of the
remnants still surviving belong.

As to the names given by the French travellers cited
elsewhere,--Matocantes, etc.,--there is some resemblance to the name of
Madoc. A Welshwoman in South Wales calling her son by that name would
say Matoc, which is pure Silurian Welsh, the _d_ being changed into _t_:
hence there might follow such names as Matociait, Matociaint,
Matocantes, as applied to the followers of Madoc. These changes are not
arbitrary, but inhere in the laws and euphony of human language.



The following letter, published in the "Kentucky Palladium" in 1804, by
Judge Toulmin, of Mississippi, will be read with keen interest by those
who have any desire to study everything relating to this subject:

"SIR,--No circumstance relating to the history of the Western country
probably has excited, at different times, more general attention and
anxious curiosity than the opinion that a nation of white men speaking
the Welsh language reside high up the Missouri. By some the idea is
treated as nothing but the suggestion of bold imposture and easy
credulity; whilst others regard it as a fact fully authenticated by
Indian testimony, and the report of various travellers worthy of credit.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Could the fact be well established, it would afford perhaps the most
satisfactory solution of the difficulty occasioned by a view of the
various ancient fortifications with which the Ohio country abounds, of
any that has been offered. Those fortifications were evidently never
made by the Indians. The Indian art of war presents nothing of the kind.
The probability, too, is that the persons who constructed them were, _at
that time_, acquainted with the use of iron. The situation of these
fortifications, which are uniformly in the most fertile land of the
country, indicates that those who made them were an agricultural people;
and the remarkable care and skill with which they were executed afford
traits of the genius of a people who relied more on their military skill
than on their numbers. The growth of the trees upon them is very
compatible with the idea that it is not more than three hundred years
ago that they were abandoned.

"These hints, however, are thrown out rather to excite inquiry than by
way of advancing any decided opinion on the subject. Having never met
with any of the persons who had seen these white Americans, nor even
received their testimony near the source, I have always entertained
considerable doubts about the fact.

"Last evening, however, Mr. John Childs, of Jessamine County, a
gentleman with whom I have been long acquainted, and who is well known
to be a man of veracity, communicated a relation to me which at all
events appears to merit serious attention. After he had related it in
conversation, I requested him to repeat it, and committed it to
writing. It has certainly some internal marks of authenticity. The
country described was altogether unknown in Virginia when the relation
was given, and probably very little known to the Shawanese Indians. Yet
the account of it agrees very remarkably with later discoveries. On the
other hand, the story of the large animal, though by no means
incredible, has something of the air of fable, and it does not
satisfactorily appear how the long period which the party were absent
was spent,--though the Indians are, however, so much accustomed to
loiter away their time that many weeks, and even months, may probably
have been spent in indolent repose. Without detaining you any more with
preliminary remarks, I will proceed to the narration as I received it
from Mr. Childs.

"Maurice Griffiths, a native of Wales, which country he left when he was
about sixteen years of age, was taken prisoner by a party of Shawanese
Indians, about forty years ago, near Vosses Fort, on the head of the
Roanoke River, in Virginia, and carried to the Shawanese Nation. Having
stayed there about two years and a half, he found that five young men of
the tribe had a desire of attempting to explore the sources of the
Missouri. He prevailed upon them to admit him as one of their party.
They set out with six good rifles and with six pounds of powder apiece,
of which they were, of course, very careful.

"On reaching the mouth of the Missouri, they were struck with the
extraordinary appearance occasioned by the intermixture of the muddy
waters of the Missouri and the clear, transparent element of the
Mississippi. They stayed there two or three days, amusing themselves
with the view of this novel sight; they then determined on the course
which they should pursue, which happened to be so nearly in the course
of the river that they frequently came within sight of it as they
proceeded on their journey. After travelling about thirty days through
pretty farming woodland, they came into fine open prairies, on which
nothing grew but long luxuriant grass. Here was a succession of these,
varying in size, some being eight or ten miles across, but one of them
was so long that it occupied three days to travel through it. In passing
through this large prairie, they were much distressed for water and
provisions, for they saw neither beast nor bird; and, though there was
an abundance of salt springs, fresh water was very scarce. In one of
these prairies the salt springs ran into small ponds, in which, as the
weather was hot, the water had sunk and left the edges of the pond so
covered with salt that they fully supplied themselves with that article,
and might easily have collected bushels of it.

"As they were travelling through the prairies, they had likewise the
good fortune to kill an animal which was nine or ten feet high and a
bulk proportioned to its height. They had seen two of the same species
before, and they saw four of them afterwards. They were swift-footed,
and had neither tusks nor horns. After passing through the long prairie,
they made it a rule never to enter on one which they could not see
across, till they had supplied themselves with a sufficiency of jerked
venison to last several days. After having travelled a considerable time
through the prairies, they came to very extensive lead-mines, where they
melted the ore and furnished themselves with what lead they wanted. They
afterwards came to two copper-mines, one of which was three miles
through, and in several places they met with rocks of copper ore as
large as houses.

"When about fifteen days' journey from the second copper-mine, they came
in sight of white mountains, which, though it was in the heat of summer,
appeared to them to be covered with snow. The sight naturally excited
considerable astonishment; but, on their approaching the mountains, they
discovered that, instead of snow, they were covered with immense bodies
of white sand.

"They had in the mean time passed through about ten nations of Indians,
from whom they received very friendly treatment. It was the practice of
the party to exercise the office of spokesman in rotation; and when the
language of any nation through which they passed was unknown to them,
it was the duty of the spokesman, a duty in which the others never
interfered, to convey their meaning by appropriate signs.

"The labor of travelling through the deep sands was excessive; but at
length they relieved themselves of this difficulty by following the
course of a shallow river, the bottom of which being level, they made
their way to the top of the mountains with tolerable convenience. After
passing the mountains they entered a fine fertile tract of land, which
having travelled through for several days, they accidentally _met with
three white men in the Indian dress_. Griffith immediately understood
their language, as it was pure Welsh, though they occasionally made use
of a few words with which he was not acquainted. However, as it happened
to be the turn of one of his Shawanese companions to act as spokesman or
interpreter, he preserved a profound silence, and never gave them any
intimation that he understood the language of their new companions.

"After proceeding with them four or five days' journey, they came to the
village of these white men, where they found that the _whole nation was
of the same color_, having all the European complexion. The three men
took them through their villages for about the space of fifteen miles,
when they came to the council-house, at which an assembly of the king
and chief men of the nation was immediately held. The council lasted
three days, and, as the strangers were not supposed to be acquainted
with their language, they were suffered to be present at their

"The great question before the council was, what conduct should be
observed towards the strangers. From their fire-arms, their knives, and
their tomahawks, it was concluded that they were a warlike people. It
was conceived that they were sent to look out for a country for their
nation; that if they were suffered to return, they might expect a body
of powerful invaders; but that if these six men were put to death,
nothing would be known of their country, and they would still enjoy
their possessions in security. It was finally determined that they
should be put to death.

"Griffith then thought it was time for him to speak. _He addressed the
council in the Welsh language._ He informed them that they had not been
sent by any nation; that they were actuated merely by private curiosity,
and had no hostile intentions; that it was their wish to trace the
Missouri to its source; and that they should return to their country
satisfied with the discoveries they had made, without any wish to
disturb the repose of their new acquaintances.

"An instant astonishment glowed in the countenances, not only of the
council, but of his Shawanese companions, who clearly saw that he was
understood by the people of the country. Full confidence was at once
given to his declarations. The king advanced and gave him his hand.
They abandoned the design of putting him and his companions to death,
and from that moment treated him with the utmost friendship. Griffith
and the Shawanese continued eight months in the nation, but were
deterred from prosecuting their researches up the Missouri by the advice
of the people of the country, who informed them that they had gone a
twelvemonth's journey up the river, but found it as large there as it
was in their own country.

"As to the history of this people he could learn nothing satisfactory.
The only account they could give was, that their forefathers had come up
the river from a very distant country. They had no books, no records, no
writings. They intermixed with no other people by marriage: there was
not a dark-skinned man in the nation. Their numbers were very
considerable. There was a continued range of settlements on the river
for fifty miles, and there were within this space three large
watercourses which fell into the Missouri, on the banks of each of which
they were likewise settled. He supposed that there must be fifty
thousand men in the nation capable of bearing arms. Their clothing was
skins well dressed. Their houses were made of upright posts and barks of
trees. The only implements they had to cut them with were stone
tomahawks; they had no iron. Their arms were bows and arrows. They had
some silver which had been hammered with stones into coarse ornaments,
but it did not appear to be pure. They had neither horses, cattle,
sheep, hogs, nor any domestic or tame animals. They lived by hunting. He
said nothing about their religion.

"Griffith and his companions had some large iron tomahawks with them.
With these they cut down a tree and prepared a canoe to return home in;
but their tomahawks were so great a curiosity, and the people of the
country were so eager to handle them, that their canoe was completed
with very little labor to them. When this work was accomplished, they
proposed to leave their new friends, Griffith, however, having promised
to visit them again.

"They descended the river with considerable speed, but amidst frequent
dangers from the rapidity of the current, particularly when passing
through the white mountains. When they reached the Shawanese Nation,
they had been absent about two years and a half. Griffith supposed that
when they travelled they went at the rate of about fifteen miles per
day. He stayed but a few months with the Indians after his return, as a
favorable opportunity offered itself to him to reach his friends in
Virginia. He came with a hunting-party of Indians to the head-waters of
Coal River, which runs into New River not far above the falls. Here he
left the Shawanese, and easily reached the settlements on the Roanoke.

"Mr. Childs knew him before he was taken prisoner, and saw him a few
days after his return, when he narrated to him the preceding
circumstances. Griffith was universally regarded as a steady, honest
man, and a man of strict veracity. Mr. Childs has always placed the
utmost confidence in his account of himself and his travels, and has no
more doubt of the truth of his relations than if he had seen the whole
himself. Whether Griffith be still alive or not he does not know.
Whether his ideas be correct or not, we shall probably have a better
opportunity of judging on the return of Captains Lewis and Clarke, who,
though they may not penetrate as far as Griffith alleged he had done,
will probably learn enough of the country to enable us to determine
whether the account given by Griffith be fiction or truth.

"I am, sir,
"Your humble servant,

"FRANKFORT, December 12, 1804."

With regard to the exploring expeditions of Lewis and Clarke, to which
Judge Toulmin refers, it was found in their published records that
although they pursued a different branch of the Missouri from the one
which was supposed to lead to the Welsh Indians, they discovered
straggling Indians similar to those mentioned by Griffith, Vancouver,
and many others. They belonged to those who had a tribal existence in
other localities.

However, they describe long lines of embankments which they saw before
leaving the main channel of the Missouri, some of them enclosing an area
of six hundred acres. They found them as high up as one thousand miles
from the junction with the Mississippi. Captain Lewis was a Welshman. In
their long and perilous journey, extending to the Columbia River, they
lost but one man, William Floyd, also a Welshman, and who was buried on
top of one of these mounds west of the Missouri,--called to this day
"_Floyd's Mound_."

The Missouri, taken in connection with the Mississippi, is the longest
river in the world, its length from the highest navigable stream to the
Gulf of Mexico being four thousand four hundred and ninety-one miles,
and its length to its junction with the Mississippi, three thousand and
ninety-six miles. Add to this the immense distance not navigable because
of the cataracts and falls, next to Niagara the grandest on this globe,
and reaching to the Rocky Mountains, and some idea may be formed of the
great extent of this river. The entrance of the Yellow-Stone is nearly
two thousand miles above its mouth. A journey of one thousand miles up
the Missouri a century or more since, while it was an undertaking of no
slight magnitude and attended with many hardships and dangers, did not
bring the traveller over more than one-fourth of its length. The course
pursued by Griffith and his companions can be marked out with singular
accuracy by the use of subsequent knowledge, obtained during the last
one hundred years, respecting the country that river traverses.

He speaks of finding lead-mines. The lead-mines of Missouri are
extremely valuable, and yield millions of pounds annually.

He speaks of salt springs. The line of his journey conducted him by the
salt licks of Nebraska, which, when the springs are low and evaporation
is rapid, have the appearance of layers of snow.

He speaks of white mountains. Passing from the broad open prairies to
the uplands and mountains, the soil is sandy and in many places
remarkably white. The writer himself has often seen on the Missouri bold
projections of limestone which in the distance appeared like banks of

He speaks of the Indians being all white. This presents a difficulty not
easily reconcilable with the intermixture theory. The predominating
color, it would be supposed, was that of the red race. But he partially
explains this by saying that "they intermixed with no other people by
marriage: there was not a dark-skinned man in the nation." Could they
without intermixture have increased to such considerable numbers as to
be able, as he supposes, to put into the field "fifty thousand men
capable of bearing arms"? It need not be thought impossible, but it
certainly is improbable. At any rate, this people were sufficiently
white to be called, by Griffith and by a large number of reliable
witnesses, "White Padoucas," "White Panis," "White Indians."

He speaks of their having no records and no horses. In this respect his
recital differs somewhat from those given by others, some of whom assert
that they saw some old manuscript books, and that they had horses for
the chase. His statement, however, offers no contradiction to that made
by others, because it is pretty certain that many of them came upon
different branches of the same extensive nation.

He speaks of their speaking "pure Welsh," but qualifies it by saying
that they occasionally made use of a few words with which he was not
acquainted. He meant no more than that the radical structure of the
language was still preserved and could be readily distinguished, though
some of the words had undergone modification. This is the case with all
languages, not even excepting the Welsh in Wales, which has shown itself
superior to all others to resist any great change.

It is somewhat surprising that Griffith did not give some account of the
religious institutions of this people; for if they were the descendants
of Madoc some traces of the Christian religion might have been
discovered. Or had they been all effaced in six hundred years?

It must be admitted that what he does relate bears every internal mark
of simple, honest truth.



Captain Stuart was an officer in the Provincial Cavalry of South
Carolina, and the following sketch was taken from his own lips by I. C.,
Esq., an intelligent gentleman, in March, 1782. Lieutenant-Colonel
Conger, of South Carolina, regarded Captain Stuart as a man who could be
implicitly trusted in what he said.

"I was taken prisoner about fifty miles to the westward of Fort Pitt,
about eighteen years ago, by the Indians, and was carried by them to the
Wabash, with many more white men, who were executed with circumstances
of horrid barbarity. It was my good fortune to call forth the sympathy
of what is called the good woman of the town, who was permitted to
redeem me from the flames by giving as my ransom a horse.

"After remaining two years in bondage among the Indians, a Spaniard came
to the nation, having been sent from Mexico on discoveries. He made
application to the chief for redeeming me and another white man, who
was in like situation, named John Davey (David), which they complied

"And we took our departure, in company with the Spaniard, to the
westward, crossing the Mississippi near Rouge, or Red, River, up which
we travelled seven hundred miles, when we came to a nation remarkably
white, and whose hair was of a reddish color, or mostly so. They lived
on the banks of a small river which is called the river Post. In the
morning of the day after our arrival, the Welshman informed me that he
was determined to remain with them, giving as a reason that he
understood their language, it being very little different from the
Welsh. My curiosity was excited very much by this information, and I
went with my companion to the chief men of the town, who informed him,
in a language I had no knowledge of, and which had no affinity to that
of other Indian tongues that I ever heard, that their forefathers of
this nation came from a foreign country and landed on the east side of
the Mississippi, describing the country particularly now called Florida,
and that on the Spaniards taking possession of Mexico they fled to their
then abode.

"And, as a proof of the truth of what he advanced, he brought forth _a
roll of parchment_, which was carefully tied up in otters' skins, on
which were large characters written with blue ink. The characters I did
not understand; and, the Welshman being unacquainted with letters, even
of his own language, I was not able to know the meaning of the writing.
They are a bold, hardy, and intrepid people, very warlike, and the women
beautiful when compared with other Indians."

John Sevier, at one time Governor of Tennessee, in a letter dated
October 9, 1810, and published by Major Stoddard in his "Sketches,
Historical and Descriptive, of Louisiana," Philadelphia, 1812, p. 483,
says that in 1782 he was on a campaign against the Cherokees. Observing
on his route traces of very ancient fortifications, he afterwards took
occasion, on exchange of prisoners, to inquire into their origin, of
Oconostoto, who for sixty years had been a ruling chief of the Cherokee
Nation, and particularly as to the origin of the remarkable
fortifications on the branch of the Highwasse River. The venerable chief
replied, that it was handed down by their forefathers that those works
were made by _white people_ who had formerly inhabited the country. When
the Cherokees lived in the country now South Carolina, wars existed
between them, and were only ended when the whites consented to abandon
the country. Accordingly, they ascended the Tennessee to the Ohio, then
to the big river Mississippi, then up the muddy Missouri to a very great
distance. They are now on some of its branches, but are no longer white
people; they have become Indians, and look somewhat like the other red
people of the country. "I then asked him," continues Governor Sevier,
"if he had ever heard any of his ancestors say to what nation of people
the whites belonged. He answered, 'I heard my grandfather and other old
people say that they were a people called Welsh; that they had crossed
the great waters and landed near the mouth of the Alabama River, and
were finally driven to the heads of its waters, and even to the
Highwasse River, by the Mexican Spaniards.'

"Oconostoto also said that an old woman in his nation had some parts of
an old book given her by an Indian living high up the Missouri, and
thought he was one of the Welsh tribe. Unfortunately," observes Governor
Sevier, "before I had an opportunity of seeing the book, her house and
all its contents were destroyed by fire. I have conversed with several
persons who saw and examined it; but it was so worn and disfigured that
nothing intelligible remained."

Governor Sevier was informed by a Frenchman, a great explorer of the
country west of the Mississippi, that he had been high up the Missouri,
and traded several months with the Welsh tribes, who spoke much of the
Welsh dialect. Although their customs were savage and wild, yet many of
them, particularly the females, were fair and white. They often told him
that they had sprung from a white people; and that they had yet some
small scraps of books remaining, but in such a tattered and mutilated
order that they were unintelligible.

The very year that Robert Dinwiddie, Governor of Virginia, sent a
letter of remonstrance to M. de St. Pierre, the French commander,
complaining of the hostile movements of The Ohio Company, George
Washington, then a young man of twenty-two, being chosen bearer of the
dispatches, the Governor received a letter from a gentleman named George
Chrochan, showing that the French knew of the Welsh Indians. This was in
1753. The original letter was deposited in the Foreign Office in London,
and several gentlemen were enabled to obtain copies of it through
Maurice Morgan, Esq., secretary to Sir Guy Carleton. It is as follows:

"Last year I understood, by Colonel Lomax, that your Honor would be glad
to have some information of a nation of people settled to the west, on a
large river that runs to the Pacific Ocean, _commonly called the Welsh

"As I had an opportunity of gathering some accounts of those people, I
make bold, at the instance of Colonel Cressup, to send you the following
accounts. As I formerly had an opportunity of being acquainted with
several French traders, and particularly with one who was bred up from
his infancy amongst the Western Indians on the west side of Lake Erie,
he informed me that the first intelligence the French had of them was by
some Indians settled at the back of New Spain, who, in their way home,
happened to lose themselves, and fell down on this settlement of
people, which they took to be French by their talking very quick; so,
on their return to Canada, they informed the Governor that there was a
large settlement of French on a river that ran to the sun's setting;
that they were not Indians, although they lived within themselves as
Indians; for they could not perceive that they traded with any people,
or had any trade to sea, for they had no boats or ships as they could
see; and, though they had guns amongst them, yet they were so old and so
much out of order that they made no use of them, but hunted with their
bows and arrows for the support of their families.

"On this account the Governor of Canada determined to send a party to
discover whether they were French or not, and had three hundred men
raised for that purpose.

"But, when they were ready to go, the Indians would not go with them,
but told the Governor if he sent but a few men they would go and show
them the country; on which the Governor sent three young priests, who
dressed themselves in Indian dresses and went with those Indians to the
place where these people were settled, and found them to be Welsh.

"They brought some old Welsh Bibles, to satisfy the Governor that they
were there; and they told him that these people had a great aversion to
the French; for they found by them that they had been at first settled
at the mouth of the Mississippi, but had been almost cut off by the
French there: so that a small remnant of them escaped back to where they
were then settled, but had since become a numerous people. The Governor
of Canada, on this account, determined to raise an army of French
Indians to go and cut them off; but, as the French have been embarrassed
in war with several other nations nearer home, I believe they have laid
that project aside. The man who furnished me with this account told me
that the messengers who went to make this discovery were gone sixteen
months before they returned to Canada: so that these people must live at
a great distance from thence due west. This is the most particular
account I ever could get from those people as yet.

"I am yours, etc.,

"WINCHESTER, August 24, 1753."

Governor Dinwiddie became so positively assured of their existence that
he agreed with a party of black traders to go in quest of the Welsh
Indians, and promised to give them for that purpose the sum of five
hundred pounds; but he was recalled before they could set out on the

General Morgan Lewis was an officer in the American Revolutionary army.
He was the son of Francis Lewis, one of the signers of the Declaration
of Independence. The general was a well-known citizen of New York. He
was aide-de-camp to General Gates at the battle of Saratoga, and, on the
surrender of the English army at that place, was requested by him to
receive the sword of General Burgoyne. In Turnbull's picture,
commemorative of the event, found in the rotunda of the Capitol at
Washington, the figure of General Lewis occupies a prominent position.
He was distinguished for many honorable military and civil services. He
was the successor of George Clinton as Governor of the State. In 1838 he
became president of the Society of Cincinnati, an institution founded by
Washington, who was its first president. His portrait hangs in the
Governor's room of the New York City Hall. He died on the 7th of May,
1844, in his ninetieth year, beloved and respected by all. He used
frequently to relate many stirring incidents which occurred during the
life of his father. The latter, while on a military expedition in the
French War, was captured at Oswego, and was assigned over, with thirty
others, by Montcalm, the acting French commander, to certain Indians, as
their share of prisoners. Among the Indians was a chief whose language
resembled the Gaelic (a dialect of the Celtic with which Mr. Lewis, who
was a native of Wales, was thoroughly acquainted). On hearing him
converse, Mr. Lewis understood him sufficiently to discover that his
language was of that ancient dialect, although modified by usage and
lapse of time. He then addressed the chief in Welsh, and was understood.
The chief selected Mr. Lewis from the rest of the prisoners, and
accompanied and guarded him personally. Subsequently Mr. Lewis was sent
to England in a cartel for exchange of prisoners, and after his return
frequently mentioned to his family and others the circumstances. His
name and memory are linked with the immortal band of signers. He was a
merchant of New York city, owned property on Long Island which was
destroyed by the English, and died in 1803, aged ninety years, the
father and the son having attained the same age.

Here are several strong testimonies from four entirely independent
sources, each separate from the others, with no motives of prejudice or
self-interest to mislead wilfully, and the parties too intelligent to be
betrayed into a blind credulity. The disclosures of this chapter, if
they stood alone, would be sufficient to carry conviction to every
candid inquirer, that there was a remarkable people, different from the
common red races of this continent, inhabiting a portion of the Western
country during the last century. And to such an extent did this
conviction prevail that it was made the basis of official action by
Governor Dinwiddie, whose plans were frustrated by his recall, and the
Governor of Canada, who sent out an expedition, which returned in
safety and reported the existence of Welsh Indians.

Mr. Binon, Captain Stuart, Governor Sevier, the members of the Canadian
expedition, and others, state that these people had manuscript books in
parchment, but that they could not be read or understood even by those
Welshmen who were with some of these parties. Some of these manuscripts
contained the mysteries of religion, and were carefully preserved.

Even to this day there are classes of the population of Wales who cannot
read and write; a century ago their condition was far worse, before the
establishment of parish schools; but, granting that all were learned in
the rudiments of education, there is not probably one in a thousand who
could read a manuscript of the twelfth century. Most of them stagger
those who claim to have scholarly attainments. If they were in the Greek
instead of the Roman character, as some of them have been discovered to
be, the mystery would be still greater. The Greek alphabetical character
was used in the British Island prior to the invasion by Julius Cæsar,
after which the Roman character was adopted and became generally used in
common life and writing.

Yet so sacred was the Greek character held by monastic schools, because
the gospel was written in it, that many transcribers--and they were the
book-makers--clung with a religious enthusiasm to it. Christianity was
certainly introduced into the Island in the second century, the Greek
forms in the Welsh language had not become lost, and it is likely that
many parchment manuscripts were extant. Madoc's position as a member of
the royal house of Wales, notwithstanding the scarcity and great cost of
books in those times, would enable him to possess some of the most
valuable, even those illuminated in rich, fixed colors, and which
required many years of patient toil to manufacture. It is far more
within the order of reason to believe that Madoc and his emigrants, upon
leaving their own native shores, would take with them copies of the
great book of books,--the king of books on the throne of letters,--than
that they would leave them behind. Some of his followers, perhaps the
most of them, were not able to read them then, but knew somewhat their
contents. Under their new conditions of life, relapsing gradually from a
civilized state, these manuscripts came at length to be invested with a
certain sacred mystery, as the depository of their ancestors' religious
faith. No wonder that they should be so carefully preserved.



During the present century various travellers have called the attention
of the civilized world to a small body of Indians inhabiting the banks
of the Upper Missouri, called Mandans. They, with the Minatarees and
Crows, are classed with the Dacotahs or Sioux, although it is known that
their language bears no affinity whatever with the latter people. The
Mandans are very light-colored.

George Catlin, the well-known student of Indian life, character,
language, and manners, was, without any doubt, more intimately
acquainted with this people than any others who preceded him or have
followed him.

Mr. Catlin was born in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and was for some years a
practising lawyer. He removed to Philadelphia, and, upon meeting with a
delegation of Indians, resolved to employ his talents as a painter in
the best school, by painting man in the simplicity of his nature.
Accordingly, he made arrangements to spend the most of his time among
the Indian tribes of the Western country. His enthusiasm in his work
arose to the height of an intense passion. He studied every phase of
Indian life, nothing seeming to have escaped his attention. Withal, he
was an ardent admirer of the Indian character; and he says, "No Indian
ever struck me, betrayed me, or stole from me a shilling's worth of my
property, that I am aware of." In another place he says, with a touching
pathos, "They are fast travelling to the shades of their fathers,
towards the setting sun." In his "Notes on the American Indians" he has
portrayed a complete picture of the Mandans, giving the minutest
details, so that the reader can study them as well from his two volumes
as if he were daily living among them,--indeed, better than if he wished
to visit them at present, they have been of late years so much reduced
by the ravages of that fearful scourge, smallpox. After Mr. Catlin
visited them, this disease was introduced by one of the steamers of the
Fur Company, which had two cases aboard.

One reason assigned why so many perished was, that the Mandan villages
were surrounded by the hostile Sioux. Many destroyed themselves with
knives and guns, while others dashed their brains out against rocks, by
leaping from the ledges. When the disease was at its greatest height,
there was one incessant crying to the Great Spirit. The bodies lay in
loathsome piles in their wigwams, and there remained to decay or be
devoured by dogs. Some became crazed, and plunged into the coldest
water when the fever was raging, and died before they could get out.

Mat-to-toh-pa, "Four Bears," great chief of the Mandans, watched his
tribe, wives, and children die about him, then starved himself, dying on
the ninth day, his body prostrate over the remains of his kinsmen. Their
numbers are now so reduced that the last statistics give them four
hundred only.

When Mr. Catlin made his first entrance into this nation, numbering
several thousands, he was struck with their appearance, and at once
concluded that they belonged to an amalgam of native and white. He was
at a loss for some time how to account for this; and it was only after
the most careful study that he reached the conviction that the Mandans
were a branch of the descendants of Madoc's colony. He believed that the
ten ships of Madoc, or at least a part of them, either entered the
Balize at the mouth of the Mississippi, or the colonists landed on the
Florida coast and made their way inward. They began agriculture, but
were attacked and driven to erect those immense earthen fortifications,
and subsequently were driven still farther and farther inward. Mandans
was a corruption of Madawgwys, a name applied by Cambrians to the
followers of Madoc.

The following brief summary, arranged by the writer of these pages, may
be taken as Mr. Catlin's principal reasons why he thought the Mandans
were Welsh:

(1.) Their physical appearance.

They were of medium height, and stout. They did not share that high,
stalwart physical frame which is so usual with Indians of the forest
before they have become degraded by the vices of civilization.

Their complexions were very light-colored, but not uniform in shade.

Their hair was of all colors found in civilized societies. The hair of
the unmixed Indian is a straight black. They wore beards,--which Indians
do not have. They must have been the people who were called the Bearded
Indians. They had different-colored eyes,--hazel, gray, and blue.

(2.) Form of Mandan villages. Here it may be remarked that the
Minatarees construct their villages upon the same plan. They sink holes
in the ground to the depth of two feet and having a diameter of forty
feet, of a circular form, for the foundation of their wigwams, which are
built of substantial materials and display more skill than is found
among the other Indians.

(3.) Mandan remains. The method of sinking down into the earth for the
purpose of obtaining a foundation has, singularly enough, offered a clue
as to the authors of all those remains along the Ohio, at the confluence
of the Mississippi and Ohio, and along up the Missouri to the present
abode of the Mandans. Their earthen works and huts, built in Druidic
circles, are exact counterparts of those along the paths of their
migrations. Of course the larger works have no modern counterparts, for
those were erected when they were more numerous and able to cope with
their foes.

The villages of the dead are uniformly built in circles.

(4.) Their social and domestic customs.

They exhibit great skill in the manufacture of pottery, and the
specimens found in the earthen remains of the Ohio Valley, many of them
at present in the museum at Cincinnati, correspond with many of the
products of the Mandans. The Mandan women mould vases, cups, pitchers,
and pots out of the black clay, and bake them in little kilns in the
sides of the hill, or under the bank of the river. They possess secrets
of manufacturing known only to themselves. They have the extraordinary
art of making a very beautiful and lasting kind of blue glass beads,
which they wear on their necks in great abundance. This must be the
nation, or at least a portion of it, which Captains Lewis and Clarke
saw, and whom they declared to be light-colored, and whose manufacture
of beads and glass articles they described thirty years before Mr.

Their canoes are the exact shape of the Welsh coracle, made of raw
hides,--skins of buffaloes,--stretched underneath a frame made of
willows or other boughs, and shaped nearly round like a tub, which the
women carry on their heads. The Welsh coracle, a boat which has been
used by fishermen from time immemorial, is made in the same way by
covering a wicker frame with leather or oil-cloth, and is carried on the
head or with straps from the shoulders.

In their social and domestic habits generally they are different from
other Indians.

(5.) Their religious belief and ceremonies.

There is something reaching the marvellous connected with their
religion. Their traditional belief one would imagine was nothing less
than a corrupted epitome of the Christian belief.

(_a._) The account of the transgression of mother Eve, involving the
doctrine of the temptation, is quite explicit. The Evil Spirit, who was
a black fellow, came and sat down by a woman and told her to take a
piece out of his side, which she did, and ate it, which proving to be
buffalo fat, she became _enceinte_.

(_b._) The traditions of the Deluge are far more rational, and could
more easily be believed, than many which have been entertained by other

(_c._) The most important religious ceremony among the Mandans is a
representation of the death and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It takes
place annually, as soon as the willow is in full leaf; for, they say,
"the twig which the bird brought in was a willow bough, and had
full-grown leaves upon it." The spectacle presented in the crucifixion
of the Saviour by the young men of the Mandan nation might not accord
with our civilized tastes and notions of propriety, yet it is
wonderfully impressive, and calculated to turn the spectator's thoughts
to the tragedy of Calvary. The finest-looking young man is selected as
the central figure, and others surround him, when they are stuck full of
skewers, and suspended on beams around their rude temple where they

(6.) The Mandan language.

In their own language they call themselves See-pohs-ka-mi-mah-ka-kee
(the people of the pheasants), which Mr. Catlin thinks they would not do
if they had not lived where pheasants abounded, as in Pennsylvania,
Ohio, and Indiana, for there are none on the prairies until within six
or seven hundred miles of the Rocky Mountains.

The most convincing proof, probably, to the mind of Mr. Catlin, and to
all others who have studied the possible identification of the Mandans
with Madoc's colony, is found in their language. The resemblance in form
and sound is so very marked that it cannot escape the eye and ear of any
individual, much less those of a Welshman. It is expected that he would
catch the soonest any similarity in the two languages,--the Mandan and
the Welsh. And fortunately there are too many instances of this
similarity to admit for a moment the idea of chance or coincidence.

That the reader may see that this is the case, his attention is called
to the subjoined table of words selected from the English, Mandan, and
Welsh, and their pronunciations:

     ENGLISH.      MANDAN.      WELSH.          PRONOUNCED.

     I             Me           Mi              Me.
     You           Ne           Chwi            Chwe.
     He            E            A               A.
     She           Ea           E               A.
     It            Ount         Hwynt           Hooynt.
     We            Eonah        Huna, _masc._   Hoona.
                                Hona, _fem._    Hona.

     Those ones     ...          ...            Yrhai Hyna.
     No, or there  Megosh       Nagoes          Nagosh.
     is not                    {Nage
     No            Meg         {Nag
     Head          Pan          Pen             Pen.
     The Great     Maho peneta  Mawr penaethir  Maoor penaethir
     Spirit                     Ysprid mawr     Usprid maoor.

     Father        Tautah       Tadwys          Tadoos.
     Foh! Ugh!     Paeechah     Pah             Pah.
     Hammock       Caupan       Gaban           Gaban.
     To call       Eenah        Enwi            Enwah.

Many other words might be given, but the above is sufficient to show the
remarkable similarity of form, and that where they do not agree as to
certain letters the resemblance is preserved in the pronunciation. Every
language has its own individuality in respect to that. The Welsh is
noted for its deep gutturals, and, to the ear unaccustomed to hear it,
it seems very harsh. Travellers have observed this guttural
pronunciation very extensively among the American Indians. Lossing says
that the language of the Uchees, the remnant of a once powerful nation
who were seated in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and farther west, was
exceedingly harsh, and unlike that of any other nation. Mr. Baldwin, in
his recent work on "Ancient America," in his endeavors to determine the
origin of the Natches Indians, says, "they differed in language,
customs, and condition from all other Indians in the country." He then
attempts to affix their traditions with the people of Mexico. It may be
remembered that elsewhere it is stated that it was right in the midst of
the territory occupied by the Natches that Mr. Willin, a rich Quaker,
had among his settlers a number of Welshmen, who conversed in their
native tongue with the Indians. Also, that Mr. Burnell and his son,
Cradog, were part of a company who purchased forty millions of acres
from the Natches and Yazous, and that both father and son, particularly
the latter, understanding the Welsh language, could converse with the
Indians. Is it not altogether likely, then, that the Uchees and Natches,
being known to be so very different from the surrounding nations in
language, spoke the same as the Mandans, and that the language of the
three did not differ much from the Welsh?

Dr. Morse, in the report of his tour (printed in New Haven in 1822)
among the Western Indians, performed in the behalf of the Government,
in 1820, mentions, upon the information furnished by Father Reichard, of
Detroit, a report that prevailed at Fort Chartres, among the old people,
in 1781, that Mandan Indians had visited that post and could converse
intelligibly with some Welsh soldiers then in the British army. Dr.
Morse suggested the information as a hint to any person who might have
an opportunity of ascertaining whether there was any affinity between
the two languages. By a guidance more than human, Mr. Catlin was led
into the midst of that people, and he has shown that such an affinity
does exist, and has performed a service of permanent value by his
contributions to the literature of a question which was thought to be a
bold imposture foisted upon a credulous age by an equally credulous but
more ignorant rabble. But time is making things more equal, and the
sturdy defenders of Madoc's voyages and American colony are having his
claims ratified in a most astonishing manner. It is very fortunate that
more recent researches have brought to light the language of a people so
rapidly melting away, and thus supplied an answer to the question as to
how the many Welshmen who came in contact with them could understand and
converse with these Welsh Bearded Indians.



Mexico and Peru were the most civilized parts of the continent when the
Spaniards arrived. If it had not been for the bigoted zeal of the
Spanish priests, and most signally that of Zumarraga, the abundant and
astonishing national picture-writings which were the historical records
of the Aztecs might still be in existence, and serve to reveal the
successive links in the mighty chain of migrations of the early peoples,
so that much of the mystery that still lingers in regard to their
settlement and civilization could be removed. But these priests looked
upon those writings as the memorials of pagan idolatry, and, having
collected them together, committed them to the flames, thus
extinguishing in a day, as it were, the history of a once powerful
empire. The historian is consequently forced to rely upon whatever
fugitive pieces escaped the hands of those infamous ravagers, the study
of the monumental remains, and the broken and scattered remnants of this
people, scarcely recognizable, found on the Mexican plateau and in the
various parts of the American territories.

According to the most authentic records which remain, the Aztecs came
from the regions of the North, "the populous hive of nations in the New
World, as it has been in the Old."

Clavigero, the patient and voluminous historian of New Spain, assigns
the following dates to some of the most important events in the early
history of Mexico:

     The Toltecs arrived in Anahuac          648
     They abandoned their country           1051
     The Chichemecs arrived                 1170
     The Acolhuans arrived about            1200

     The Aztecs or Mexicans reached Tula    1196
     They founded the Mexican Empire        1325

     Conquest by Cortez                     1521

Zurita, a celebrated jurist, whose personal experience and observation
among the Aztecs extended over a period of nineteen years, and who
returned to Spain in 1560, was indignant at the epithet _barbarian_ as
applied to the Aztecs,--an epithet, he says, "which could come from no
one who had personal knowledge of the capacity of the people or their
institutions, and which in some respects is quite as well merited by the
European nations."

Their high degree of civilization, their remarkable advance in the
knowledge and practice of the arts and sciences, so wondrously displayed
in their architecture, their causeways, their temples, their homes and
their adornments, their agriculture and systems of irrigation, their
floating gardens and beautiful feather-work, their strange religion and
military displays, must have produced an impression upon the Spaniards
which they never forgot. The vast wealth of the Aztecs so excited the
spirit of avarice in them, however, that, for a time, each one planned
how best to enrich himself.

In complexion they were much lighter than the common American Indians.
Their style of dress, which was often the most elaborate, and made from
the finest materials of their own weaving, more nearly approached that
of Europeans,--trousers, jacket, surtout, cloak, and cap or hat
ornamented with fine feather-work. The same dress is worn by their
descendants in Mexico at the present time. Their treatment of their
women was not Asiatic, but resembled more that which is accorded to them
by the civilized nations of the world. Their duties were domestic, and
they were not degraded by servile bondage. Throughout the different
cities were barber-shops, where the men assembled to have their beards
shaved. No such thing was known among the American Indians.

"Quetzalcoatl, god of the air," says Prescott, "instructed them in the
use of the metals, in agriculture, and the arts of government. It was
the golden age. For some cause he was compelled to abandon the country.
On his way he stopped at the city of Cholula, where a temple was
dedicated to his worship, the massy ruins of which still form one of the
most interesting relics of antiquity in Mexico. When he reached the
shores of the Mexican Gulf, _he took leave of his followers, promising
that he and his descendants would revisit them hereafter_, and then,
entering his wizard skiff made of serpents' skins, embarked on the great
ocean for the fabled land of Tlapallan [are there not here the Welsh
words _lla_, place, softened into _tla_, and _pell_, distant, meaning
"distant place"?] He was said to have been tall in stature, _with a
white skin, long dark hair, and a flowing beard_. The Mexicans looked
confidently to the return of this benevolent deity; and this remarkable
tradition, deeply cherished in their hearts, prepared the way for the
success of the Spaniards."

Their religion was a compound of Christianity and mythology, of
spiritual refinement and ferocity. Indeed, so much was this the case
that the most intelligent and judicious historians of the Aztecs could
not resist the conviction that one part of their religion emanated from
a comparatively refined people, while the other sprang from barbarians.
Everything pointed to the doctrine that their religion had _two distinct

Some historians have erred in supposing that they indiscriminately
sacrificed human beings. Their sacrifices were criminals collected from
all parts of the country, kept in cages, and slain upon the same day to
make a religious exhibition. This ought to be stated, so that, if
possible, there might be some mitigation of their dark and bloody

They recognized the existence of one God, Supreme Creator and Lord of
the Universe. In their prayers they addressed Him as their God, "by whom
they lived, omnipresent, who knoweth all thoughts and giveth all gifts,
without whom man is as nothing, the incorporeal, invisible, one God, of
perfect perfection and purity, under whose wings we find repose and a
sure defence."

They made confession but once, and that usually was deferred to a late
period of life. The following was the language of the confessor for the
penitent: "O merciful Lord, thou knowest the secrets of all hearts, let
thy forgiveness and favor descend like the pure waters of heaven, to
wash away the stains from the soul. Thou knowest that this poor man has
sinned, not from his own free will, but from the influence of the sign
under which he was born." He then teaches charity: "Clothe the naked and
feed the hungry, whatever privations it may cost thee; for, remember,
their flesh is like thine, and they are men like thee."

The ceremony of naming children shows a wonderful coincidence with what
are called Christian rites. The lips and bosom of the infant were
sprinkled with water, and "the Lord was implored to permit the holy
drops to wash away the sin that was given to it before the foundation
of the world, so that the child might be born anew."

Their prayers, too, inculcated Christian morality: "Wilt thou blot us
out, O Lord, forever? Is this punishment intended not for our
reformation, but for our destruction? Impart to us out of thy great
mercy thy gifts, which we are not worthy to receive through our own

"Keep peace with all." "Bear injuries with humility. God who sees will
avenge you." "He who looks curiously on a woman commits adultery with
his eyes." What parallels with Scripture teachings!

The Aztec nobles had bards in their houses, who composed ballads suited
to the times, and sang and played on instruments in honor of the
achievements of their lord. In this is discovered a resemblance to the
customs of Welsh minstrelsy.

They had also musical councils, held on special days in the presence of
large public assemblies, for the trials of historians, poets, and
musicians, in their respective compositions, before the monarchs of
Mexico, Tezcuco, and Tlacopan. These were exactly identical with the
Welsh Eisteddfods,--bardic and musical contests, which have long been
and are still held in Wales, and in other countries where the
descendants of the people of that country reside. They had also a
complete system of orders and badges resembling those in Europe. By a
study of their stone calendars, they are known to have had regular
divisions of time; and their years consisted of three hundred and
sixty-five days. Historians relate that in the first interview of Cortez
with Montezuma in his palace, the latter said that his ancestors were
not the original proprietors of the land. They had occupied it but a few
ages, and had been led there by a great Being, _who, after giving them
laws and ruling over the nation for a time, had withdrawn to the region
where the sun rises_. He had declared upon his departure that he or his
descendants would again visit them and resume his empire. The wonderful
deeds of the Spaniards, their fair complexion, and the quarter whence
they came, led him to believe that they were his descendants.

It was this tradition, inflexibly maintained by all the natives, which
enabled Cortez and his followers to secure such a complete conquest
throughout the Aztec empire; and yet so cruel a monster was he that he
put to death the two emperors, Montezuma and Guatemozin, and nearly four
millions of their subjects, in the most cruel manner. At least, this is
stated by historians; possibly the number is exaggerated. At any rate,
he slew an immense number.

A gentleman who was in Mexico saw in 1748, in a Spanish manuscript
there, the speech which Montezuma delivered to his subjects just prior
to his death, and which is probably still in existence:

"Kinsmen, Friends, Countrymen, and Subjects: You know I have been
eighteen years your sovereign and your natural king, as my illustrious
predecessors and fathers were before me, and all the descendants of my
race since we came from _a far distant northern nation, whose tongue and
manners we yet have partly preserved_. I have been to you a father, a
guardian, and a loving prince, while you have been to me faithful
subjects and obedient servants.

"Let it be held in your remembrance that you have a claim to a noble
descent, because you are sprung from a race of freemen and heroes, who
scorned to deprive the native Mexicans of their ancient liberties, but
added to their national freedom principles which do honor to human
nature. Our divines have instructed you of our natural descent from a
people the most renowned upon earth for liberty and valor; because of
all nations they were, as our first parents told us, the only unsubdued
people upon the earth by that warlike nation [Romans] whose tyranny and
ambition assumed the conquest of the world; but nevertheless our great
forefathers checked their ambition, and fixed limits to their conquests,
although but the inhabitants of a _small island_, and but few in number,
compared to the ravagers of the earth, who attempted in vain to conquer
our great, glorious, and free forefathers," etc.

In the above, Montezuma and his people looked upon themselves as the
descendants of freemen and heroes who had not been subdued, who were
the inhabitants of a small island in the north. The description very
strikingly answers to the character, manners, and principles of the
Welsh, and the place as the British Island. When Cortez came to their
country, Montezuma was the eleventh emperor of Mexico in the Aztec line.
Now, allowing an average reign to each emperor of twenty years, it will
be found that Prince Madoc's arrival in this country will about coincide
with the time of the establishment of this empire. This is also true
with regard to the Peruvian empire. Atahualpa, who was treacherously and
inhumanly put to death by the cruel and avaricious Pizarro, was the
twelfth emperor of Peru in succession from Manco Capac. By the same
method of calculation it will be seen that the dynasty of the Incas was
established about the time of Madoc's arrival. In consequence of this,
with many other proofs which cannot be introduced here, it has been
maintained that he also was the founder of the Peruvian empire and
civilization. John Williams, an author of no small repute, in his
"Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom," vol. ii. p. 410, maintains
that not only Mexico but Peru also was discovered by Madoc; that the few
fair and white persons found there by the Spaniards were the descendants
of Madoc's colony; and that Manco Capac and Mamma Ocello were Madoc and
his wife. They are supposed to be the progenitors of the Peruvian
Incas. As they were so different from the original natives in their
complexions, they were thought to be the children of the sun; a
sentiment which Manco might encourage for his own preservation. Mamma
Ocello he thinks a corruption of Mamma Ichel, or Uchel, the Welsh for
"high or stately mother." He gives it as his opinion that Madoc in his
first voyage landed in the Gulf of Mexico, and that when he went back to
his native country he promised those whom he left behind to return to
them; but that in his second voyage he was driven by a storm from the
north down as low as Brazil, and was shipwrecked near the mouth of the
Amazon River; that he and his wife and the survivors sailed up that
river; that after some time he arrived at Cuzco, the capital of the
Peruvian empire; and that he never came to his first colony. He then
assigns many reasons for his belief. It cannot be denied that some of
those reasons are ingenious. The fact of Madoc or some of his followers
having reached Peru is not denied; but they reached that country from
the _western_, not the _eastern_, side of the continent. They went down
the sea-coast west of Mexico to make explorations, or were carried
against their choice by a storm to Peru, where they settled. Such a
theory is in harmony with the foregoing pages, while it does not in any
way conflict with the founding of that empire by Madoc.

Three South American nations ascribe their civilization and religion to
three white men who appeared among them.

Abbé Molina, in his "History of Chili," vol. ii. book i. chap. i., says
that "there is a tribe of Indians in Baroa, Chili, whose complexions are
a clear white and red."

Baron Humboldt, in his "Political Essays," remarks that "in the forests
of Guiana, especially near the sources of the river Oronoco, are several
tribes of a whitish complexion."

Captain John Drummond, who resided in Mexico for many years in a
military capacity, as an engineer, geographer, and naturalist, favored
Dr. Williams, the author of the "Enquiry," with his opinion on the
subject. He said that he "was fully persuaded and convinced that Madoc
was one of the confederate chiefs who went upon an expedition westward
from Britain about the year 1170; and that he has heard of colonies of
Welsh people now existing, who, he thinks, are descendants of Madoc's
people; that the emigrants were a mixture of Welsh, North Britons, and
Irish, and that Madoc was naval commander."

This was not at all unlikely, since upon Madoc's return from his first
voyage he made his discoveries as public as possible. The North Britons
and Irish were on friendly terms with the Welsh, and all were hostile to
the English. Jeuan Brecva, a Bard who flourished about the year 1480,
says that Rhiryd, an illegitimate son of Owen Gwynedd, and who,
according to Powell, was Lord of Clochran, in Ireland, "accompanied
Madoc across the Atlantic (Morwerydd) to some lands they had found
there, and there dwelt." There can be no doubt, therefore, that some
Irish went with Madoc to America.

It is probable, too, that some Scots were in the expedition; for Captain
Drummond said that at one time he was accompanied by his servant, who
was a Highlander, on a journey through the country, when they came to a
Mexican hut where they heard a woman singing to her child. His servant
began to show signs of astonishment, and turned to the captain and told
him that the woman was using words from the Erse,--the language of the
Highlands in Scotland.

The captain further observed, that Don Juan de Grijalva, a Spaniard,
said that "he found the Celts of Mexico, some having little or no arms,
but clothed in hides; and that the fierceness of their manners and their
undaunted courage resembled the old Britons, as described by Henry II.
to the Emperor Emmanuel Commenes. He also found others with
short-skirted vests of different colors, with targets and short black
spears, and that these new men in Mexico were adored by the natives for
their courage and dexterity, for that they never had seen ships till
they came among them from afar."

Antonio Goluasco, a Portuguese author of great celebrity, mentions the
expedition of a Captain Machan, a British adventurer, in 1344, who had
been in Mexico, and had got store of wealth and silver from the native
sovereign of that day, but who was cast away on his return to Europe,
with all his treasure, near Madeira.

Also, from the negotiations of Sir John Hawkins, an English admiral, in
the latter part of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and from the speeches of
various Mexican chiefs to Sir John's officers who were sent from Vera
Cruz to Mexico to negotiate with the Spanish Viceroy, is deduced strong
proof that these chiefs looked upon themselves as descended from the

The Tlascalans belonged to the same great family with the Aztecs. They
came on the grand Mexican plateau about the same time with the kindred
races, at the close of the _twelfth_ century. Their immense
fortifications and walls, which extended for many miles, show the same
methods of construction, in semicircular lines and overlapping one
another, as those in the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi.

Most of the historians say that the two great pyramids--teocalli--just
northeast of the city of Mexico were constructed by an ancient people
that came to Mexico from some country east situated on the Atlantic

What, then, is the conclusion? That the Aztecs were the Alligewi, who
were found in Virginia and the Carolinas by Madoc's colony, and with
whom the latter became amalgamated and moved westward. Being more and
more pressed by the powerful Indian nations which subsequently gained
control of the middle and eastern countries, they were at length obliged
to abandon the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. Some portions of these
people had reached, as a sort of advance-guard, the Mexican plateau
before those who were left behind entirely surrendered the country. The
date of founding the Aztec empire--1325--necessitates this view, and
Clavigero, whose table of dates has been given in another part of this
chapter, places the first arrival of the Aztecs in Tula as early as
1196,--twenty-six years after the arrival of Madoc.

When this mighty migration took place, a portion, from necessity,
convenience, or inclination, ascended the Missouri; and of these the
Mandans are the descendants; while the main body moved in a southwest
direction, leaving unmistakable traces of their progress from the
Mississippi to Mexico. Some of these will be noticed in a subsequent

The Aztec empire became a controlling power on this continent, and
exacted tribute for the Mexican kings from all the Indian tribes. But
the Welsh element was no more in point of numbers, though they were in
power, to the Aztecs than the Tartars were to the Chinese. The ships
which are represented on Mexican monuments as crossing an ocean are
Madoc's vessels, floating on the Atlantic from Wales to America.

Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg, the most profound investigator in Mexican
and Peruvian antiquities, says, "The native traditions generally
attribute their civilization to bearded white men, who came across the
ocean from the east."



Sebastian Cabot, in 1495, some two or three years after the first voyage
of Columbus, discovered Florida and Mexico, and found along the coast
the descendants of the Welsh discoverers who eventually settled in

Sir George Mackenzie, in a letter to his grandfather, the fourth Earl of
Perth, writing on the subject of Celtic discoveries in Europe and
America, cites Baronius, Scaliger, Salmasius, Lipsius, and others as
authorities for believing in these early emigrations. As early as the
sixteenth century are found explicit accounts of strange peoples
inhabiting certain portions of America and possessing different
characteristics from the aborigines. Hakluyt, in his third volume, has
an extract from Antonio de Epejo, written in 1583: "The Spaniards along
the Rio del Norte, latitude 37° upwards, found the Indians far more
civilized, and having a better form of government, than any others in
Mexico. They had a great number of large and very populous towns, well
built of stone and lime, three or four stories high; their country is
very large and extensive. The chief town, called Cia, has not less than
eight markets. The inhabitants are very warlike, have great plenty of
cows and sheep, dress neat's leather very fine, and make of it shoes and
boots, which no other Americans do. They have also deer-skins and
chamois equal to those of Flanders (probably brought to Flanders from
Switzerland), and abound with excellent provision in the greatest
profusion. They have large fields of corn, and make curious things of
feathers of various colors. They manufacture cotton, of which they make
fine mantles, striped with blue and white. They have many salt lakes in
their country, that abound with excellent fish, and from the waters of
which they make excellent white salt. The country abounds with wild
beasts, wild fowl, and all sorts of game. They breed great numbers of
hens. The climate is very fine, the soil rich, producing great
quantities of delicious fruits. They have amongst them grapes the same
as those of Castile, and fine roses like those of Europe. They have also
abundance of excellent metals, gold and silver. The people are very
industrious and laborious, and the cultivation of the ground occupies
all their time. Their houses are flat-roofed. The country is very
mountainous, and has excellent timber; and the inhabitants seem to have
some knowledge of the Christian faith. They have many chapels, and erect
crosses, and they live in general in great security and peace. The
largest lake is in the western part of the country, and around it is a
great number of large, well-built, and populous towns. The people are
neatly dressed, in clothes made of exceeding well-dressed skins and
cotton cloth."

Captain Carver, in his "Travels in North America," says that "northwest
of the Missouri and St. Pierre, the Indians farther told me that there
was a nation rather smaller and whiter than the neighboring tribes, who
cultivate the ground, and (as far as I could gather from their
expressions) in some measure the arts. They are supposed to be some of
the different tribes that were tributary to the Mexican kings, and who
fled from their native country to seek an asylum in these parts about
the time of the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, about two centuries

Farther on (page 386), he says, "The Jesuits and French missionaries
also pretended that the Indians had, when they first travelled into
America, some notions--though these were dark and confused--of the
Christian institutions, for they were greatly agitated at the sight of
the cross, which made such impressions on them that showed that they
were not unacquainted with the sacred mysteries of Christianity."

Very little has been known until late years of the Rio del Norte and its
source or sources, which flows in a southerly direction through New
Mexico and empties into the Gulf. But as the population has increased in
this country with astonishing rapidity, and settlements have been opened
in the Territories, and there was a necessity for a well-organized
Indian Bureau to provide for the scattered tribes living in the
Southwest, the condition and character of the country and of the people
in New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona are being brought to light.
Military and scientific expeditions have been sent into those countries,
which have returned with reports of having discovered new nations about
whom nothing has been hitherto known.

In the campaign of General Crook against the Apaches, a large tract of
country, rich with the relics of the past, was opened. It contains a
chain of cities in ruins and ancient towns still inhabited by a race
which holds itself aloof from Mexicans, Indians, and Americans, and
prides itself on its descent from the ancient inhabitants of the
country, and maintains a religion and government peculiar to itself. The
largest settlement was found in Mexico, about thirty miles south of the
border line. A strong wall surrounds it. Within are houses for about
four thousand people. The population had dwindled at the time they were
discovered to about eighteen hundred. Montezuma is their deity, and his
coming is looked for at sunrise each day. Their priests wear
heavily-embroidered robes, while their religious ceremonies are very
formal and pompous. They have a high order of morality. The chief powers
of government are vested in thirteen caciques, six of whom are elected
for life. They are quite advanced in civilization. Their women are not
treated as beasts of burden, but are respected, and permitted to confine
themselves to housekeeping. From all that can be gleaned, it appears
that these people have maintained their traditions unbroken for at least
three centuries and a half.

Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Baca published, in 1529, a description of his
wanderings in America. He was in New Mexico, and, in writing of the
Indian villages, said, "The New Mexico pueblos--villages--are generally
two stories high, with doors on the roof and the staircase ladders on
the outside." Within a circle of sixty miles from Santa Fé there are to
be found the ruins of over forty deserted towns; and in various other
portions of New Mexico and Arizona similar ruins are in existence, all
showing that there once resided here a powerful people essentially
differing from the common American Indians. They were not placed here by
the Spaniards, but had occupied these towns and cities long before their
coming. By some it is believed that Montezuma originated in New Mexico;
and some even designate his birthplace. Some locate it at the old pueblo
of Pecos; while others maintain that it was near Ojo Caliente, the ruins
of which are still to be seen. A document is now extant purporting to
be copied from one of the legends at the capital in Mexico, in which it
is stated that Montezuma was born in Teguayo, one of the ancient pueblos
of New Mexico. This was not his original name, but was applied to him
upon his elevation to the Aztec throne, as it was to his predecessors.
It is supposed by some that in this region was situated the Aztlan,
whence came the Aztecs to Mexico; by others that it was along the Gila
River, in Arizona. But throughout that entire country the ancient towns
which are now inhabited and the deserted ruins show a common origin.

The view has been entertained by some who have given this subject
attention that it was at this point in the progress of the migrations
that Madoc and his followers finally became amalgamated with the Aztecs.

Within the past few years, several visits have been made by the members
of Wheeler's Surveying Expedition--Samuel Woodworth Cozzens and a few
others--to the seven wonderful cities of the Moquis, situated near the
Colorado Chiquito, in Arizona.

Dr. Oscar Leow, chemist to Wheeler's Surveying Expedition, has
contributed a brief but intensely interesting article to the "Popular
Science Monthly" for July, 1874, on "The Moquis Indians of Arizona." By
reference to the Indian reports, it appears that this nation has never
been brought in contact with the Indian Bureau, nor with the Arizona
agency, although within its jurisdiction. Small appropriations have
recently been made for them; and it is likely that much more will soon
be learned about them,--their habits, industries, language, and strange

Their seven cities stand upon very high, precipitous cliffs of
sandstone, which, when seen in the distance, present such bold fronts
that it appears out of the question for any one to think of climbing
them. As the traveller approaches, however, he discovers narrow and
circuitous paths, which must be passed over single file, up and up, till
the summit is reached. On this giddy height is the home of the Moquis.
Dr. Leow terms it the "Gibraltar of the West," which the Navajos and
Apaches have never been able to conquer. The Moquis number about two
thousand five hundred. The cities rest on four sandstone
_mesas_,--tables,--which are about eight miles apart. On the first table
are three of the cities, named Tehua, Tsitsumo-vi, and Obiki; on the
second are Mushangene-vi and Shebaula-vi; the third is Shongoba-vi; and
on the fourth is Orai-vi.

The houses are built in rows of two, three, and four stories in height,
and constructed in terrace style, with the upper stories removed a few
feet back from the lower ones. The sides fronting the bluffs are quite
near, with only a narrow ledge along which to walk, and where the
children were seen by the doctor, playing, unconscious of danger, while
the mothers were within the houses performing their duties, though an
awful gulf hundreds of feet in depth yawned beneath. Here the
habitations are not built of adobe, like Indian and Mexican huts, but of
stones firmly held in place by a cement of clay and sand. The stories
are about seven feet high, divided into rooms, and each provided with a
fire-place. Windows are cut into the walls about a foot square.

The architecture of these stone houses bears a marked conformity with
that of the ruder ages among the Welsh.

The physical appearance of the Moquis is a nearer approach to that of
the Caucasian than to that of the Mongolian race. The complexion is a
light red-brown, and the countenance unusually intelligent.

Mr. Cozzens says that "their faces were so bright and intelligent that I
fancied they only required to be clothed in American dress, and shorn of
their long locks of coarse black hair, to enable them to easily pass for
people of our own race who had become brown from exposure to the sun.

"Their clothing is neat, and they have an abundance of it. They knit,
spin, and weave blankets, cloaks, etc. They also manufacture certain
kinds of pottery. They have a system of reservoirs or stone tanks, built
of masonry in a substantial manner, and which hold millions of gallons
of water. These are connected with smaller ones below by pipes, and
thus utilized for their stock, which comprise dogs, donkeys, sheep,
goats, and chickens. The sheep and goats are driven some eight or ten
miles from the mesas to some pasture-lands. The principal crop is corn,
which is planted deep in the ground to obtain a greater degree of
moisture. The corn is ground, and then mixed with water, so as to form a
paste. The woman who makes it dips her hand in the paste and rapidly
passes some of it over hot stones, where it is soon baked. The cakes
resemble the Welsh _bara llechan_, noted in their cookery. They have a
kind of food called _panoche_, and still another called _tomales_,--by
mixing flour and meat in a powdered state. They also raise beans,
cotton, and tobacco.

"The women appear more intelligent than the men, and dress with far more
taste. The daughters of the chief are said to be exceedingly interesting
ladies. The hair is worn à la Pompadour, with two inverse rolls on the
side of the head, by the unmarried. When married, the rolls give place
to broad braids. The Moquis girls have one privilege which ladies do not
generally enjoy: they have the right to propose for their own husbands.
When they have made their proposals, the fathers make the arrangements.
The bride then prepares with her own hands the wedding-dinner.

"Females are not permitted to dance; their places are taken by young men
who dress in imitation of the women. All the dancers wear masks made of
peeled willow twigs nicely woven together; males have theirs dyed brown,
and supposed females bright yellow.

"The vice of drunkenness and crime of murder are not known among this

"They are kind, warm-hearted, and hospitable. They believe that their
great father, Montezuma, lives where the sun rises."

Mr. Cozzens studied their manners and customs, and endeavored to learn
something of the history of this singular race. He says that it is
asserted by the people of the other pueblos "that they are descendants
of the Aztecs, though with Welsh blood in their veins."

That they have occupied their present location for a long time may be
inferred from the fact that their feet have worn down the path in the
rock between the several villages to the depth of some inches.

The Mohaves, who are on the Colorado River Reservation, Arizona, are a
small, isolated tribe, not more than perhaps a thousand all told. They
are different from all other Indians. The women are tall, cleanly, and
less servile than most Indian women. Their language is peculiar, and has
Welsh words in it. The more recent reports of the United States
Government agents contain complaints against the vile traders who are
leading this once sober and respectable tribe into all sorts of vice,
drunkenness, immorality, loathsome diseases, and crimes. White men, with
their boasted civilization and virtues, drag the Indians to the brink of
ruin, and then crowd them over as vile and disgusting creatures.

The perfidious and barbarous massacre of General Canby, Rev. Eleazer
Thomas, and others, by that savage band called the Modocs, brought them
into an unenviable notoriety; but, while passing, it is worthy of query
how they came by a name so much like that of Madoc.



The first printed evidence of the introduction of Freemasonry in America
is found in the "Pennsylvania Gazette" of December 8th, 1730, published
by Benjamin Franklin. It is as follows: "As there are several lodges of
Freemasons erected in this province, and people have been lately much
amused with conjectures concerning them, we think the following account
of Freemasonry from London will not be unacceptable to our readers."
This is followed by a letter on the mystery. But, if the testimony of
intelligent travellers can be accepted, it seems quite evident that
lodges of Freemasons were in existence among the American Indians
centuries prior to this time, all of which point to a Welsh origin. They
certainly had private societies, which met at certain times, and the
proceedings of which were kept inviolably secret under an oath.

Governor De Witt Clinton believed that the signs of Freemasonry were
found among the Indians. He was an eminent member of the craft himself,
and was as familiar with its history, government, rules, and signs as
any person of his time. In an interview that he had with an Indian
preacher, the latter unmistakably made revelations which convinced the
former that he was familiar with the order. This Indian said that he had
obtained this knowledge from a Menomonie chief.

There was one order among the Iroquois consisting of five Oneidas, two
Cayugas, two St. Regis, and six Senecas. The period of their meeting
could never be ascertained. These private societies were not confined to
the Iroquois, but seem to have extended among all the tribes. Their
rules of government and the admission of members were the same as among
the whites. No one could be received as a member of the fraternity
except by ballot, and the concurrence of the whole body was necessary to
a choice. They had different degrees in the order. Their ceremonies of
initiation were remarkable, and the mode of passing from one degree to
another would awaken astonishment among civilized Masons.

Whence did they originate? There was a long period in Europe when the
knowledge of Freemasonry was mostly confined to the Druids, and in Wales
this order was the most generally found. It was their home. There they
had their colleges and schools of learning. They were, indeed, priests,
legislators, and historians. Through their order the principles of the
mystic craft were preserved throughout Europe. It was associated with
the later system of Bardism; and when under James the First there was
such a revival of the order, and it began to spread with such rapidity,
embracing all classes, from the king on his throne down to his humblest
subject, it was known that its deepest roots were struck in the soil of
Wales. Madoc, the son of a king, and surrounded by a heroic band of
eminent men, could not be ignorant of the principles of Freemasonry, and
when they landed in America they brought those principles with them, to
be afterwards imparted to such of those with whom they mingled as to
offer material means of safety. There are not wanting instances where
the lives of many whites have been spared by the Indians because they
understood certain secret signs communicated to them.



An eminent modern linguist has said "that the genealogy and antiquities
of nations can be learned only from the sure testimony of their
languages." Admitting the correctness of such a statement, though it
does not possess axiomatic accuracy, it may furthermore be added, that
the discovery of portions of a language among other distant nations,
separated by a vast ocean, and differing in race, language, habits, and
conditions of life, surely indicates that some who spoke that language
must have brought it there. It may be urged that distant resemblances
have led enthusiastic philologists in support of their cause to imagine
a similarity in the form and sound of certain words, when, in fact,
those words are entirely different in meaning. Instances of this kind
have occurred in the study of the European languages. But when it is
found that an identity exists in (1) the form, (2) the sound, and (3)
the signification, and that, too, in multiplied instances, there is
reason to believe that this identity does not rest on accident or
coincidence. The student of language searches for some more
satisfactory solution of the question, by ascertaining, if possible, how
those portions were introduced.

Now, this is just the case with the Celtic language found among the
Indian dialects. From New England to South America, Celtic words have
been found whose structure, pronunciation, and signification were the
same as those in use by the Gaels, Erse or Irish, and Welsh. Names of
tribes, persons, places, rivers, and of many living and inanimate
objects on the American continent, have been applied, and are now used,
which can find their right place only by assigning to them a Celtic
origin. This very soon came to be observed by all Europeans who arrived
in the country, and some set themselves diligently to work to find out
the cause. Some said that was not to be wondered at,--the finding of
Celtic words among Americans,--for undoubtedly the Celts have been very
widely spread over the globe. This, however, was too general an
affirmation to satisfy others. The celebrated Bishop Nicholson believed
that the Welsh language formed a considerable part of the languages of
the American nations. Sir Thomas Herbert, who published his travels in
London in 1683, has given a list of words taken from the Indian
dialects, which have an undoubted Welsh origin: _groeso_, "welcome,"
_gwenddwr_, "white or limpid water," _bara_, "bread," _tad_, "father,"
_mam_, "mother," _buch_ or _buwch_, "cow," _llwnog_, "fox," _coch y
dwr_, "a red water-bird," _clugjar_ (American, _clugar_), "partridge."
Some doubt the derivation of "penguin" from _pengwyn_, because it is
thought that "white head"--its literal meaning--would be a misnomer when
applied to the American penguin. By no means. As it stands on its short
legs it presents a white front from its head and exposed breast, and
might very well have received this appellation. There is some similarity
in the name of a once powerful chief who lived in New England to that of
Madoc, viz., Madokawando,--Madoc and _gwrando_, "to listen" or "to be
obedient to," "to submit to or follow." The guttural g in the Welsh
language is often dropped, especially before a vowel. Take the Welsh
verb _gallu_, "to be able," or the noun _gall_, "energy, might," and by
the omission of the letter _g_ the words will stand _allu_, _all_. _U_
is sounded like _e_ in English, hence allu would be pronounced alle.
Alligeni (Alleghany) is a compound word, composed of _allu_, "mighty,"
and _geni_, "born," or "mighty born." This is the name of the people who
once dwelt along the immense range called by that name, and were
displaced by the powerful nations, particularly the Iroquois, who came
from the northwest. Potomac has a more evident Greek origin, for its
word for "river" is _potamos_. Pontigo seems to come from _pont_, "a
bridge," and _go_, "a smith,"--"a smith's bridge." Nanticoke is found in
_nant-y-cwch_, "a curved brook or river,"--a very appropriate
designation for that tribe, whether applied prior to their leaving the
river in Maryland or after ascending the Susquehanna.

Appomattox--now well known to the world--signifies _appwy_, "appoint" or
"name," and _Mattox_, "Madoc" or "Mattoc," the latter having the soft
Silurian sound; hence, "Madoc's name."

Madoc's Creek is known by most Virginians, and by others.

It is well known that in the origin of Indian names it was customary for
the tribes to assume those of the country they inhabited which had some
distinct peculiarities. By this means, as they removed from one place to
another, these names became multiplied. For example, the U-in-tats,
known as a branch of the Utes, belonged to the Uintah Valley. U-imp is
the name for pine; U-imtoo-meap, pine-land, which, contracted, means
U-intahs. The origin of Ute is as follows: U is a term signifying arrow;
U-too-meap, arrow-land, because the country bordering Utah Lake
furnished the reeds for arrow-shafts.

Aztlan seems clearly to have been derived from Welsh words having become
mingled with Indian dialects, as _as_, "plane surface" or "area," and
_lan_, "up," an elevated area or table-land. What better definition
could be found to describe the Aztec plateau, beginning in Aztlan proper
and continuing to widen into the Mexican plateau? The termination _lan_
is very common in the Aztec language. It is found in the names of
tribes, their cities, and a multitude of other objects,--Tlascalans,
Cholulans, and other peoples who dwelt in and around the upper countries
of the Aztec empire. The terminations _an_ and _pan_, the latter
indicating locality, as prefix or suffix, are very noticeable. So
frequent also is the use of _ch_, _th_, and _ll_, that the Welsh student
who speaks or reads aloud Aztec words is simply astounded by their
perfect consonance with those of his native tongue.

Rev. Morgan Jones affirms that in 1660 he conversed with Indians who
spoke and understood the Welsh language, that he remained among them and
preached in that language four months, and that it was his intention
when he left to return and visit them. Rev. Charles Beatty, General
Bowles, Messrs. Price, Binon, Willin, Burnell, Griffith, Stuart, Sevier,
Lewis, and many others unhesitatingly relate that they personally, or
those whom they knew to be veracious, intelligent witnesses, had visited
Indians who spoke the Welsh language sufficiently to be understood by
them, without taking into account their other peculiarities of color,
beard, customs, traditions, arts, etc.

George Catlin, who spent years of patient investigation into the
language of the Mandans and of other Indians, has given a table of
Mandan and Welsh words, with their pronunciations. Those who have any
acquaintance with the Moquis and Mohave tongues declare that they
contain Welsh words. Relics with Celtic inscriptions have been
unearthed. Aztec and Spanish chroniclers confirm more recent researches
respecting the presence of Celtic words in the old Aztec language. The
speech of Montezuma discloses their eastern origin, and that their
astounding civilization was due to white men.

What then?

Why, that such a mass of testimony under such a variety of
circumstances, precluding the idea of preconcert, interest, prejudice,
or downright ignorance, establishes the fact that the Welsh were on this
continent prior to its discovery by Columbus, and that those Welsh were
led thither by Prince Madoc in 1170 A.D. Many historical facts to which
the world has given implicit credence are far less supported than the
above. Hereafter let not American historians pass over these facts in
contemptuous silence.



The Welsh have claims for recognition and patriotic gratitude by the
American people, because of the prominent part taken by some of their
descendants in founding the American Republic. The Welsh mind and heart
have contributed no small share, in common with the good, the noble, and
the enlightened of other lands, to mould its institutions and to make
possible a country where the highest conditions of a Christian
civilization may be enjoyed.

That little vessel of one hundred and eighty tons' burden, the
Mayflower, embryo of a free republic, was commanded by a Welshman,
Captain Jones. Among those who came as passengers were several of Welsh
origin,--Thomas Rogers, Stephen Hopkins, John Alden, and John Howland.
The last one named was attached to Governor Carver's household. So the
Welsh have a share in the celebration of the landing of the Pilgrim
Fathers. What must have been the thoughts of that band of forty-one men
(one hundred and one souls in all) as they stood on Plymouth Rock and
looked into the vast forests before them, so soon by their sturdy energy
and that of their descendants to be transformed into fruitful farms and
splendid cities and towns!

Roger Williams was born in Wales in 1599. He was a relative of the
Protector, Oliver Cromwell. Banished from Massachusetts in 1635, he
penetrated the forests in mid-winter till he came to the country of the
Narragansets,--where the chief sachem, Canonicus, gave him a grant of
land, which, in token of "God's merciful providence to him in his
distress," he called Providence. Here he established a pure democracy,
all equally sharing the dignity and privileges of the government. He was
so kind in his treatment of the surrounding Indians that he was much
beloved by them, and it was by his great power over them that he saved
his white persecutors from destruction. Yet his enemies did not revoke
his sentence of banishment. The city government of Providence is
honoring his memory by the erection of a bronze statue.

Of that immortal band of men who composed the Continental Congress, and
were signers of the Declaration of Independence, eighteen were Welshmen:

     John Adams                       Massachusetts.
     Samuel Adams                           "
     Stephen Hopkins                  Rhode Island.
     William Williams                 Connecticut.
     William Floyd                    New York.
     Francis Lewis                     "    "
     Lewis Morris                      "    "
     Francis Hopkinson                New Jersey.
     Robert Morris                    Pennsylvania.
     George Clymer                         "
     John Morton                           "
     John Penn                        North Carolina.
     Arthur Middleton                 South Carolina.
     Button Gwinnett                  Georgia.
     Thomas Jefferson                 Virginia.
     Benjamin Harrison                    "
     Richard Henry Lee                    "
     Francis Henry Lightfoot Lee          "

Notwithstanding abler pens have sketched them all, it may not be
uninteresting to touch upon a few facts in the biography of the above
list. Commencing with New England, where so many of Welsh blood came
after the Restoration, having been the followers of Cromwell, it will be
in order to notice John and Samuel Adams.

John Adams was born at Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1735. His services were
distinguished in the American Revolution; he was a member of the
committee which made the draft of the Declaration, and a signer of the
document. He was President and Vice-President of the United States. He
died at the age of ninety-one, in 1826, just half a century after the

Samuel Adams was born in Boston, in 1722. He was a fearless patriot and
a stirring orator. He was educated for the ministry at Harvard College,
but became so engrossed in politics that he relinquished that
profession. He was in the Continental Congress, was Governor of
Massachusetts, and left the impress of his power on the Constitution of
his State, which he helped to frame. He died at the age of eighty-one,
in 1803.

Stephen Hopkins was born in Providence, and was a self-taught man. He
wrote and acted against the oppression of the colonies by the
home-government long prior to the Revolution. He filled important
offices in his State, became a member of the Continental Congress, and
signed the Declaration. He died in July, 1785.

From Connecticut came William Williams. He graduated at Harvard College,
at the age of twenty, in 1751. He became a lawyer, but afterwards chose
the profession of arms, and was aide to his brother who fell at Fort
George in 1755. He died at the age of eighty-one, in 1811.

New York furnished three Welshmen out of her four delegates,--the
fourth, Mr. Livingston, being of Scotch origin, though the family came
from Holland. William Floyd was born in the year 1734, on Long Island.
He was possessed of large means. He was in the first Continental
Congress in 1774, and signed the Declaration in 1776. His losses of
property by the English were large. He died at the age of eighty-seven,
in 1821.

Francis Lewis was born in South Wales, in 1713. His education was partly
acquired in Scotland and in Westminster, London. He was in business in
that city, came to New York, and conducted business for English
merchants. He was taken prisoner in the French War and carried to
France; after his return to New York he was sent to Congress, and signed
the Declaration in 1776. His property on Long Island was destroyed by
the English. He died at the age of ninety, in 1803.

Lewis Morris, the fourth and last from New York, was born of a Welsh
family, in 1726. He was a graduate of Yale, and afterwards settled on
his father's farm, now known as Morrisania, Westchester County. Lewis's
father was the son of an officer in Cromwell's army, and first royal
governor of New Jersey, in 1738. Lewis was sent to the Continental
Congress in 1775, and served till 1777. His losses by the Revolution
were immense. He died at the age of seventy-two, in 1798.

Francis Hopkinson, a delegate from New Jersey, was from a Welsh family.
He was born in Philadelphia, in 1737. He was noted as a lawyer, wit, and
poet. He wrote several political pamphlets, and was the author of many
poetical _jeux-d'esprit_, one of the best-known of which is "The Battle
of the Kegs," which begins,--

     "Gallants, attend, and hear a friend
       Trill forth harmonious ditty;
     Strange things I'll tell, which late befell
       In Philadelphia City."

Mr. Hopkinson signed the Declaration, afterwards was eminent as a judge,
and died at the age of fifty-three, in 1791. His son, Joseph Hopkinson,
was the author of the national song "Hail Columbia," the origin of which
was as follows. It was in 1798. The country was excited in anticipation
of war with France. Mr. Fox, a theatrical singer and actor, called upon
Mr. Hopkinson and remarked, "To-morrow evening is appointed for my
benefit at the theatre. Not a single box has been taken, and I fear
there will be a thin house. If you will write some patriotic verse to
the tune of the 'President's March,' I feel sure of a full house." Mr.
Hopkinson went to his study, wrote the first verse and chorus, then
submitted them to Mr. Fox, who sang them to a harpsichord accompaniment.
The song was completed, the next morning the placards announcing that
Mr. Fox would sing a new patriotic song. The theatre was crowded, the
song was sung, and the audience thrilled with patriotic delight.

The name of George Clymer indicates his Welsh origin. Thomas Jefferson
boarded in the house of Mrs. Clymer, on the southwest corner of Seventh
and High Streets, Philadelphia, where he drew the original draft of the

John Morton, although a resident of Pennsylvania, was born in Delaware,
and was descended from a Welsh family on his mother's side. His father
was of Swedish descent. He was on the committee which reported the
Articles of Confederation.

John Penn, of a Welsh family, was born in Virginia. He studied law with
Mr. Pendleton, and subsequently settled in North Carolina. From there he
was sent as delegate, and signed the Declaration.

Arthur Middleton, from South Carolina, was a Welshman. He was a graduate
of Cambridge University, England, and arrived in America in 1773. He was
taken prisoner when Charleston surrendered to the British. He lost most
of his fortune by the Revolution. He died in January, 1789, aged

Button Gwinnett was a native of Wales. He was born in 1732, was well
educated, entered mercantile life, went to Georgia and purchased a large
tract of land. He signed the Declaration, aided in framing the State
Constitution, was Governor, and fell in a duel which he fought with
General McIntosh, aged forty-six.

Thomas Jefferson's ancestors came from the foot of Mount Snowdon, Wales,
to the colony of Virginia. He boasted of his Welsh blood. He stands in
the front as a defender of civil and religious liberty, and had engraved
upon his seal, "_Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God_."

As the author of the Declaration, of the abolition of the connection
between Church and State, the laws of primogeniture, the restrictions
upon the Federal Constitution respecting the States, so as forever to
prevent a centralized and an aristocratic government, he must be
recognized as one of the most valuable men this country has ever had. By
a strange coincidence--shall it be called that?--at the age of
eighty-four, he breathed his last on the same day that John Adams did,
July 4, 1826. They were life-long personal friends, with a brief
interruption, but political opponents. On a plain marble slab at
Monticello is the following inscription:

        _Author of the Declaration of Independence;
     of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom;
         and Father of the University of Virginia._

Benjamin Harrison, chairman of the Committee that reported the
Declaration, was descended from the Welsh. He was related to General
Thomas Harrison, one of the regicides, the Commonwealth men of Cromwell,
and who was executed at Newgate. When he was approaching the scaffold,
one of the king's scoffers stood by and tauntingly asked, "Where is your
good old cause now?" The brave Harrison, with a cheerful smile, replied,
clapping his hand on his breast, "_Here it is, and I am going to seal
it with my blood_." Some of that grand stuff was afterwards found in his
descendants. Benjamin Harrison filled various positions, and was
Governor of the State from 1782 to 1784. He died on his farm in 1790.
His son, William Henry Harrison, served in the War of 1812, and was
elected President of the United States in 1840, but died on the 4th of
April, 1841, precisely one month after his inauguration.

Richard Henry Lee was from a Welsh family, as, in fact, were all the
Lees of that period. He was born in 1732, educated in England, and after
his return to America in 1757 was elected a member of the House of

He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1774, and in July, 1776,
he had the honor to offer the resolution declaring the colonies free and
independent. The day before the appointment of the committee to draft
the Declaration, Mr. Lee was called away to the bedside of a sick wife,
or he would doubtless have been appointed chairman. In 1773 he, Thomas
Jefferson, and Patrick Henry had a serious consultation in the old
Raleigh Tavern, at Williamsburg, Virginia, in respect to submitting a
resolution to the Virginia House, recommending the appointment of a
Committee of Vigilance and Correspondence, and expressing the hope that
the other colonies would do the same. It was passed; and from that time
the Revolution began to assume organic form, and prepared the way for
1776. Mr. Lee was United States Senator under the Constitution, which
office he held with signal ability. He died June 14, 1794, in his
sixty-second year.

Francis Henry Lightfoot Lee was of Welsh origin, and a signer. He was
born in Virginia on the 10th of September, 1734. He was educated at
home, and from 1765 to 1775 served his State as a member of the House of
Burgesses. He died in April, 1797, in his sixty-third year.

Many of the facts given above concerning these signers are not found in
their usual biographies, and therefore they are inserted here.

Robert Morris, who came to this country when a child, served an
apprenticeship with a merchant, became a successful business man by his
energy and integrity, and during the Revolution his fortune and
unlimited commercial credit were superior to Congress itself. In the
darkest days, when the army was unfed and unclothed, Washington could
turn to his dear friend Robert Morris for help. He gave his immense
means to his country, and died, in comparative poverty, in 1806, aged
seventy-three years.

Gouverneur Morris, who wrote the first connected draft of the American
Constitution, was a Welshman.

Among those who fought in the Revolution may be found a long list of
Welsh by nativity or descent:


     Charles Lee,
     Isaac Shelby,
     Anthony Wayne,
     Morgan Lewis,
     William R. Davie,
     Edward Stevens,
     Richard Winn,
     Daniel Morgan,
     John Cadwallader,
     Andrew Lewis,
     Otho H. Williams,
     John Thomas,
     Joseph Williams,
     James Reese.


     David Humphreys,
     Lambert Cadwallader,
     Richard Howell,
     Ethan Allen,
     Henry Lee,
     Thomas Marshall,
     James Williams (_killed at Bennington_).


     John Marshall (_afterwards Chief Justice_),
     Isaac Davis,
     Anthony Morris,
     Captain Rogers.

Besides these, there was a host of subordinate officers who could claim
descent from the Welsh.

In the navy were Commodore Hopkins and others; and at a later period
Commodores Rogers, Perry, Jacob Jones, and Ap Catesby Jones.

Dr. John Morgan was Surgeon-in-Chief of the American army, and one of
the founders of the Philadelphia Medical School, the first of the kind
established in America, and the beginning of the great University. He
came from a Welsh family.

Among the divines were Revs. David Jones, Samuel Davie, David Williams,
Morgan Edwards, and others. Perhaps the most distinguished of these was
Mr. Jones. His ancestors came from Wales, and settled on the "Welsh
Tract" in Delaware county, Pa. He was on a mission among the Shawanese
and Delaware Indians in 1772-73. In 1776 he was appointed chaplain to
Colonel St. Clair's regiment, and was on duty at Ticonderoga when the
enemy was momentarily expected from Crown Point. He delivered a
characteristic discourse, which produced a powerful impression upon the
troops. When with General Wayne, he saw an English dragoon alight and
enter a house for refreshments. The chaplain went to the dragoon's
horse, took the pistols from the holsters, went into the house, made him
a prisoner, and marched him into camp: Wayne complimented him for his
bravery. He was also with General Gates; also at the battles of
Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth; with the army at Valley Forge, and
in all subsequent campaigns to the surrender of Yorktown by Cornwallis.
At the age of seventy-six he served as chaplain in the War of 1812. He
died in February, 1820, aged eighty-four.

Rev. Samuel Davies became President of Princeton College. When
Washington was colonel, and after Braddock's defeat, Mr. Davies, who was
addressing the volunteer company, used this language in allusion to
Washington: "I cannot but hope that Providence has hitherto preserved
him in so signal a manner for some important service to his country."

General Washington's family associations were with the descendants of
the Welsh. His wife, Martha, whom he called, familiarly "Patsy," was the
grand-daughter of Rev. Orlando Jones, who came to Virginia from Wales.
Colonel Fielding Lewis, of Welsh descent, married Washington's sister;
and his son, George Washington Lewis, was commander of the general's

Elihu Yale, the founder of Yale College, Jonathan Edwards, Daniel
Webster, Charles Davies the mathematician, and a long array of brilliant
men and women who have adorned every station in American society, were
of Welsh origin or descent. Mr. Webster, however, was descended only
from his mother's side.

Seven Presidents of the United States have descended from the Welsh
race,--John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John
Quincy Adams, and William Henry Harrison.

Chief-Justice John Marshall, the first to expound the Constitution, was
the grandson of a native of Wales; and, as if the office should continue
in such a lineage, Chief-Justice Roger B. Taney was sprung from a family
descended from the northern part of Wales.

William Penn, founder of the great State of Pennsylvania, Thomas Floyd,
the first Governor of the colony, and Anthony Morris, the first mayor of
the refined city of Philadelphia, were Welsh.

Oliver Evans, so famous for his inventions in high-pressure engines, by
means of which all turbid streams could be successfully navigated, was
born of a Welsh family near that city. It was found that the sediment of
the water choked up or wore off the sliding-valves of the low-pressure
engines. He was the third person who received a patent from the United
States--Samuel Hopkins being the first--for his inventions, and
concerning which President Jefferson remarked that they were "too
valuable to be covered by a patent, for they were such things that the
people could not do without, once they were known."

Mrs. De Witt Clinton was the daughter of Dr. Thomas Jones, the son of a
Welsh physician whose father settled at Jamaica, Long Island, and who
was widely known as Dr. John Jones. He was attached to the Revolutionary
army as a surgeon, and a personal friend of Washington and Franklin. He
was one of the founders of the New York Hospital, and a professor in the
medical faculty in Columbia College at its institution. He was the first
successful lithotomist in the country. Mrs. Clinton was his
grand-daughter, having Dr. Thomas Jones for her father, and a daughter
of Philip Livingston, signer of the Declaration, for her mother. Maturin
Livingston, a son of Philip, married a daughter of General Morgan
Lewis. Of Mrs. Clinton it has been said that "she was in every sense a
remarkable woman,--not less for her strength of mind than for her noble
good breeding, purity, and polish of manners. She was liberal and frank,
and fully appreciated the great mind of her noble husband; and the
harder the storms of personal and political strife blew upon him, the
closer her affections twined around him, while she nobly and devoutly
cherished his memory to the last."

Their services, in connection with those of almost every other land,
have helped to lay the foundations, deep and broad, of the great
American republic, whose majestic proportions are rising higher and
still higher, commanding the wonder and admiration of all; but, while
the later builders are at work, they will not forget to offer some
souvenir in behalf of those who worked so wisely and so well.

The memory of ALL "smells sweet, and blossoms in the dust."



"My countrymen, fellow-soldiers, and friends:

"I am sorry that during this campaign I have been favored with so few
opportunities of addressing you on subjects of the greatest importance,
both with respect to this life and that which is to come; but what is
past cannot be recalled, and NOW time will not admit an enlargement, as
we have the greatest reason to expect the advancement of our enemies as
speedily as Heaven will permit. [The wind blew strongly to the north.]
Therefore, at present let it suffice to bring to your remembrance some
necessary truths.

"It is our common faith, and a very just one too, that all events on
earth are under the notice of that God in whom we live, move, and have
our being: therefore we must believe that in this important struggle
with the worst of enemies he has assigned us our post here at
Ticonderoga. Our situation is such that, if properly defended, we shall
give our enemies a fatal blow, and in a great measure prove the means of
the salvation of North America. Such is our present case, that we are
fighting for all that is near and dear to us, while our enemies are
engaged in the worst of causes, their design being to subjugate,
plunder, and enslave a free people that have done them no harm. Their
tyrannical views are so glaring, their cause so horribly bad, that there
still remains too much goodness and humanity in Great Britain to engage
unanimously against us: therefore they have been obliged--and at a most
amazing expense, too--to hire the assistance of a barbarous, mercenary
people, that would cut your throat for the small reward of a sixpence.
No doubt these have hopes of being our task-masters, and would rejoice
at our calamities.

"Look, oh, look, therefore, at your respective States, and anticipate
the consequences if these vassals are suffered to enter! It would fail
the most fruitful imagination to represent in a proper light what
anguish, what horror, what distress, would spread over the whole! See,
oh, see the dear wives of your bosoms forced from their peaceful
habitations, and perhaps used with such indecency that modesty would
forbid the description! Behold, the fair virgins of your land, whose
benevolent souls are now filled with a thousand good wishes and hopes of
seeing their admirers return home crowned with victory, would not only
meet with a doleful disappointment, but also with such insults and
abuses that would induce their tender hearts to pray for the shades of
death! See your children exposed as vagabonds to all the calamities of
this life! Then, oh, then adieu to all felicity this side of the grave!
Now, all these calamities must be prevented if our God be for us,--and
who can doubt of this who observes the point in which the wind now
blows?--if you will only acquit yourselves like men, and with firmness
of mind go forth against your enemies, _resolving either to return with
victory or to die gloriously_.

"Every one who may fall in this dispute will be justly esteemed a martyr
to liberty, and his name will be had in precious memory while the love
of freedom remains in the breasts of men. All whom God will favor to see
a glorious victory will return to their respective States with every
mark of honor, and be received with joy and gladness of heart by all
friends to liberty and lovers of mankind. As our present case is
singular, I hope, therefore, that the candid will excuse me if I
conclude with an uncommon address, in substance principally extracted
from the writings of the Bible, though at the same time it is freely
acknowledged that I am not possessed of any similar power either of
blessing or cursing.

"1. Blessed be that man who is possessed of a true love of liberty; and
let all the people say, _Amen_.

"2. Blessed be that man who is a friend to the United States of
America; and let all the people say, _Amen_.

"3. Blessed be that man who will use his utmost endeavors to oppose the
tyranny of Great Britain, and to vanquish all her forces invading North
America; and let all the people say, _Amen_.

"4. Blessed be that man who is resolved never to submit to Great
Britain; and let all the people say, _Amen_.

"5. Blessed be that man who in the present dispute esteems not his life
too good to fall a sacrifice in defence of his country: let his
posterity, if any he has, be blessed with riches, honor, virtue, and
true religion; and let all the people say, _Amen_.

"Now, on the other hand, as far as is consistent with the Holy
Scriptures, let all these blessings be turned into curses to him who
deserts the noble cause in which we are engaged, and turns his back to
the enemy before he receives proper orders to retreat; and let all the
people say, _Amen_.

"Let him be abhorred by all the United States of America.

"Let faintness of heart and fear never forsake him on earth.

"Let him be a _major miserabile_, a terror to himself and all around

"Let him be accursed in his outgoings, and cursed in his incomings;
cursed in his lying down, and cursed in his uprising; cursed in basket,
and cursed in store.

"Let him be cursed in all his connections, till his wretched head, with
dishonor, is laid low in the dust; and let all the soldiers say, _Amen_.

"And may the God of all grace, in whom we live, enable us, in defence of
our country, to acquit ourselves like men, to his honor and praise.
_Amen_ and _Amen_."

There were no traitors or cowards _that_ day; and the deeds of the
patriots have been emblazoned in prose and song, in monuments of brass
and stone, in a great and glorious government, and in the praise and
gratitude of a free people who meet to do them honor.


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "America Discovered by the Welsh in 1170 A.D." ***

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