Tag Archives: Radicals

Lewis Evan Jones Jr (1825 – 1910) — Story of the Sea

The following document is a faithful transcription from a photocopy of a letterpress set pamphlet style publication with light-colored paper wraps, measuring approximately 8 1/8” x 4 3/8”. Text pages number 31 pages. There is no date of publication, but the text is dated Dec. 20, 1899 at the end of the story. The cover bears the following information; handwritten at the top of the wrap in ink (“No. 3.)”, title is indicated as “STORY OF THE SEA”, author is listed as “By LEWIS E. JONES, SR.”*, and imprint is “Herald Printing House, Hartington”. The original appeared in the 1899 Christmas edition of the Cedar County News.

* Note that Lewis E. Jones Sr. is actually indicated as Lewis Evan Jones Jr. for the sake of this archive, as his father’s name was also Lewis Evan Jones. Once in America, this author had a son, also named Lewis Evan Jones, who for the sake of this archive is denominated as Lewis Evan Jones III.


Story of the Sea
By L.E. Jones, Sr.

Full-rigged ship before a gentle gale,
Sight for the gods to see:
Her sails well filled with nature’s breath,
Proud monarch of the sea.

Your last Christmas edition contained a story, not of fiction, but of facts, written by me, with the promise of continuation at some future time. With your permission, I continue that story.

I left your readers then at Charleston, South Carolina, but did not tell them what business brought me there. You will recollect I left there on the English brig Alpha, of London; that after reaching Liverpool I went with the same vessel to the gulf of Finland, that on our passage from there to Limerick, Ireland, we were ship-wrecked on the north coast of Scotland. After that catastrophe I worked my way to Liverpool and then home to Wales. From there I drifted over to France. There’s where my last story ends and this commences.

In the spring of 1845, as I was strolling leisurely along the docks at Havre-de-Grace, in France, looking at sail and steamships, going out and coming in the harbor, I spied one steamer I had seen before coming in. She had a large number of passengers on deck, all dressed in tight moleskin clothes. I could not imagine what they were. I soon learned they were English railroad builders, coming over to work on French railroads. After they had all landed I went on board and saw Capt. Geo. Evans, an old friend of my father, who owned and commanded this steamer, called the St. David. She made regular semi-monthly trips between Liverpool and Havre. I found that all the crew also hailed from my native town. I had never sailed with any of my acquaintances before, but Capt. Evans being short of a full compliment of hands, that the English board of Admiralty require, prevailed on me to make a trip or two with him for a change. I must acknowledge that I was very sorry I consented, for after unloading the vessel, her advertised to leave Havre for Liverpool had arrived, steam up and the wind blowing a gale, with tremendous waves against the piers in the harbor. No other steamer, not even first-class mail boats had made any preparations for leaving in the face of such storm. But Capt. Geo. Evans, owner of the vessel, was no seaman, and would take no advice from captains who had vessels far superior to ours.

Dare-devil fashion we steamed out of the harbor, in presence of several thousand Frenchmen. We had been taking in freight, until the last moment, which consisted mostly of French brandy in barrels. These barrels were hurriedly rolled on board by landsmen, so hurriedly that we had no time to properly fasten them. They were intended for deck load; the hold being full of finer goods. As soon as we cleared the harbor these barrels commenced dancing around the most fantastically, as the vessel plunged and rolled, as great waves dashed over us. Some of the barrels floated about, and we, poor devils, capturing one after the other, like police charging a mob, and secure them fast with ropes, for we had no calaboose like police. The wind, blowing from the north, square in our teeth, seemed to increase rather than diminish. We steamed with all the power of the engines. When dark came on, we had not made more than ten miles from the mouth of the harbor. About the middle of this dark and dismal night, I went to the cabin to see the captain, for he was a kind and considerate man, lacking only in seamanship. He was certain the old St. David would survive the storm, and, took me by the hand, saying as he did so, “There is a decanter of the best French brandy on the side-board, and should you become numb and cold, come down and help yourself.” I thanked him and asked if it would not be better to send it up to the men on deck, who suffered more than myself. He said “no.” Pointing to an ax that was close by, said “Take that ax and the tin can on the table and tell them to knock the head in of one of those barrels on deck, for I am not sure but Davy Jones will claim them before morning.” This name, Davy Jones, is what sailors give to the sea. Taking him at his word, I crawled over the brandy barrels to where the men were, and shouted at the top of my voice: “Here comes Samaritan.” Picking out a barrel in the dryest spot I could, gave Jack Thomas the ax and told him at the very same time, for he was a trust-worthy man, to give each one double allowance of this “Balm of Gilead,” and to be careful that none got too much, for we had hard work before us, when day appeared. To their credit, no one was the worst in the morning, after imbibing three or four times. When daylight made its appearance, we had made not more than about twenty miles from the French coast, the storm exhausting itself, when we could see the mail packets, having waited the storm to pass, steaming lively across the channel. We made as straight a course as we could for Falmouth, England, where we always replenished our coal bunkers. But lo! And behold, our coal was giving out rapidly, and we were about twenty or thirty miles from the English coast. The flood tide was coming in and we could hardly make headway against it with-out more steam. The only thing we could do was send a boat to Falmouth, where we could find a lighter that would bring us enough coal to bring us there. I was one of those who went in the boat, and finding a steam launch, hired her to take sufficient coal to St. David, lying off about fifteen miles, to enable her to steam in, having burned everything that would make steam, including most of the cabin furniture. With this coal we got to Falmouth. After coaling there, we went on to Liverpool, rejoicing.

After reaching there, two custom house officers came aboard and finding one barrel of brandy but half full, thought the crew had been committing larceny and were going to have us all arrested. I happened to be acquainted with one of these officers, explained the circumstances that caused the barrel to be but half full, that the captain had ordered it. After seeing the captain and he corroborating what I had stated, they sent for a liquor-gager to measure how much had been taken out. This settled, you understand there was a duty of one-hundred per cent on French brandy; other liquor fifty percent. The twenty gallons our men had consumed and splashed during the rolling of the vessel, was allowed to go free of duty. The other thirty gallons, that our boys did not care to drink, was charged 100 per cent – the captain paying the French price for the 20 gallons minus.

I had intended after every voyage to go home and finish my apprenticeship as printer, but more I saw of Capt. Evans more I liked him. Seafaring being pleasant and exciting life and myself young, my resolutions of going home were from time to time postponed.

I made some six or eight trips to France with the St. David. Nothing out of the ordinary happening, until one day on the dock in Liverpool, having arrived from France that morning, and everything in confusion, a neat, well-dressed elderly gentleman, wearing a white necktie, alighted from a carriage, asked me if the captain was on board. I answered in the affirmative by pointing him out. They were speaking together when I had occasion to pass them. I heard him ask if there was a person of the name John Brown among his crew. Capt. Evans answered there was not, and did not think a person had ever been on that vessel. Hearing that name mentioned, and knowing that I went under that name for years, but now had assumed my own name again, I stepped up and said that I had gone by that name some time ago. He then asked me if I was ever at Charleston, South Carolina. I said I had been. He then asked if I ever worked at a Karr & Bullocks cotton press. I answered in the affirmative. He then asked the captain if he would allow me to go to Mr. Dowling’s office, that he would bring me back in short time. The captain promptly asked him who this Mr. Dowling was. On learning that he was the chief police magistrate of Liverpool, the captain was alarmed and asked the gentleman if he had any papers to arrest me. On learning he had not, the captain asked by what authority Mr. Dowling wanted me to appear before him. He answered that the mayor of Liverpool had received an important letter from the mayor of Charleston; that it had been sent to Mr. Dowling for investigation, and assured the captain I would not be detained long, and that he would bring me back in his carriage. Upon hearing this I consented to go with the gentleman. Arriving at the office of Mr. Dowling, after stating who I was, he read the letter from Charleston, by which I learned a murder had been committed two days after I had sailed away from there. After finishing reading the letter, Mr. Dowling said that I was not implicated at all but wanted at Charleston as a witness, if I would go voluntarily. Finding by the letter that I was some 200 miles from the scene, I stated that I would go there if my salary and expenses were guaranteed. He stated that I was a British subject, and it was their duty to see that I should be properly treated. He spoke to me as a father and said it was my duty to save a human from the gibbet, if in my power to do so. I answered, “Enough said, I will go.” He then asked me to call on him at 10 o’clock next morning, and find what arrangement could be made for my voyage. The old gentleman took me back in his carriage to the St. David, as he promised he would. The captain, kind hearted man, would not consent for me to take this hurried step without further investigation; he would go with me next morning to Mr. Dowling’s office. We found there and old cotton merchant, who had offices both in Liverpool and Charleston, who was sent for to make arrangements for my passage and my comfort in Liverpool. He stated the ship, James N. Cooper of Bath, Maine, would sail for Charleston in about a week. He was instructed to make every arrangement as cabin passenger. Thus I left Liverpool and arrived in Charleston in about six weeks, having had pleasant weather during the whole trip.

During the passage I was a diligent student, having bought suitable books at Liverpool, as my education had been badly neglected, for the previous few years. Besides myself, there were three other passengers – a miller going to Savannah, Ga., to take charge of a mill there, and a young merchant of Charleston, who had been over to marry the girl he had left behind him. She was a delightful companion and happy to be my school teacher. From this young merchant I learned the terrible tragedy that caused me to be sent for by the state of South Carolina. The murder had taken place a year previous. A rich old Jew of the name Lyons, who kept a large jewelry store, had his throat cut from ear to ear, which was not discovered until late the next morning, and a large amount of money and jewelry carried away by the murderers.

This happened on the 12th of June, 1844. Many arrests were made, and Charleston was ablaze with excitement, but no clue could be had of the guilty parties. The city offered a reward of $1000 and a like amount by the friends of Lyons, for the apprehension of the guilty parties, but to no avail. One year after, a simple young man, who had been working about the cotton press where I had been engaged, swore out an affidavit that he and I saw the murder committed, at least said that we saw a young jeweler of the name Geo. W. Flash, with two Mexican officers, climbing the awning posts and gaining entrance to Lyons’ bedroom through the window, about 12 o’clock at night, and that articles from Lyons’ store were found at Flash’s store afterwards. This affidavit before the mayor was complete and voluminous. The only hitch made was that I was not with him that terrible night. Flash was committed to answer the crime. The only salvation his friends had was to find me. The mayor took the task upon himself, as you have seen how I was found in Liverpool. This I learned from my passenger friend.

On a Sunday evening our vessel dropped anchor in Charleston harbor. The young passenger and his bride went ashore in a yawl. We did not get to the wharf until next morning. The morning papers announced that the James N. Cooper had arrived from Liverpool and that the important witness in the case of Lyons was o board. When we came to the wharf it seemed to me that all the people in Charleston were there. The sheriff, Moses Levi, stepped on board and asked me if I was that witness. I answered that I was; then he asked me to come with him to the office of the district attorney. Arriving there, the officials expected us and had my bond ready. They asked me who were my bondsmen that I would appear in court, when it met. I was astounded and told them it was very unfair to make me give bonds, when I had come from England voluntarily. But this was the law of South Carolina; they could not violate it. Two gentlemen I had never seen before stepped forward and signed the bond. I had more invitations and visiting cards placed in my hand that day than I could fill in twelve months. The reason of all this was that the prisoner, Flash, was a German, and nearly one-third of the white population of the same nationality. It was no wonder they showed this friendship to me – a poor young man who had braved the tempest of the stormy ocean, to save their countryman, who was an entire stranger. I had a gala time during my short stay at Charleston, and was sorry my stay was so brief.

The second day, Tuesday, the court met, when the case was opened. I appeared at the sheriff’s office on time, but was informed by a deputy to stay there until my name was called as a witness. I was not allowed to know the other witnesses’ testimony. When adjournment for dinner arrived, the sheriff kindly took me with him to a hotel, where we both got excellent dinner. In the afternoon nearly all my acquaintances whom I had known there before, visited me at the sheriff’s office. The day passed by and many witnesses were examined but the time came to adjourn and my name was not called. The sheriff said my bondsmen were not there to renew my bond and the officers said jokingly that I would have to go to jail for the night. He stated this was the law and could not be obviated. He said he would give me a room as comfortable as any hotel. Nothing daunted, I went arm in arm with him through the streets, for the jail was about a mile from the court house. Arriving there, we had a good supper, and, as it was getting late, I was shown my room. It was a large room in the second story, containing about twelve or fifteen prisoners, committed there for debt. They had every comfort a rich man could wish – fruit, liquors, cigars, daily papers and latest magazines, in fact everything a man could wish, but liberty outside the walls. This was the most pleasant night I ever passed. They played cards, dominoes and whist until about midnight, when they all took to the downy cots and all slept comfortably, at least I did. In the morning the sheriff called on me and we both took a good breakfast at a restaurant, on our way to the court house.

Arriving at the sheriff’s office, there were a number of witnesses waiting to be called, as well as myself. About ten o’clock a gentleman with a young man entered the room. The gentleman was a turpentine manufacturer in North Carolina, who had gone bond for the chief witness in the case of Lyons. This bondsman had gone surety for the sole purpose of getting him to work making turpentine, in place of going to jail, which otherwise he would. His bond required him to produce this witness in court today. When they entered, I jumped up, extending my hand to this young man, saying “How are you Levi Messer.” He stood trembling like an aspen leaf. He had not heard that I had arrived, thinking I had left such a long time they would not be able to trace me up. He had sworn that himself and me had worked two months together at the cotton press. He had heard that I had gone to England on a certain ship, but he knew I did not go then. He stated that I owed him money, and that he went to look for me, in order to get this money, the very night Lyons was killed. He stated that I owed him three dollars and the least money I had was a ten dollar bill, that we both walked quite a distance before we could change this bill and pay him. East Bay in Charleston then (over fifty years ago) was a very prominent thoroughfare, the present street facing two wharves. One side contained a row of business houses. Here is where Lyons’ jewelry store stood. The office of the Charleston Evening News stood but a block distant on one side, and the French Coffee House, one of the most aristocratic saloons in the city, but few doors from Lyons. Both these places being lighted up all night so part of the street was almost as light as day. This witness swore that myself and him stood by a big pile of cotton on Magwood’s wharf straight across the street, when we saw three men. Flash, he said, he recognized as one, the other two as Mexican officer’s, as there happened to be a Mexican war ship in the harbor at the time, climbing up the awning posts in front of Lyons’ store, going in through the window of the room in which Lyons slept; that we heard scuffling in the room, and thought we heard some one choking, and that I proposed to run over and capture them. He swore that the young man he saw in the sheriff’s office was not the Lewis that was with him that night and worked in the cotton press, but some other young man of that name. Everyone in the court room knew he was a perjured liar. The proprietors of the cotton press, book-keeper, time-keeper, draymen, who hauled cotton to and from the press, half a dozen others who had worked with us, the man I boarded with and several others swore I was the one he swore was with him that night, for no other Lewis ever worked at that press, and all knew me when they saw me.

When I was called to the witness box, I stated my name, but when I left Charleston on the 10th day of June, 1844, more than a year since, I shipped on the brig, Alpha of London, by the name John Brown – that I worked at the cotton press over two months, and that Levi Messer worked about loading and unloading drays that brought cotton to the press. I never went by other name than Lewis while I worked at the cotton press. The state’s attorney asked me if I would know Levi Messer, if I saw him. “Yes,” said I, pointing my finger at him, “there he stands. I would know him among thousands.” Few more questions were asked me and answered. All the witnesses had testified that I was the one Lewis who worked for the cotton press, and the one referred to by Messer at the Mayor’s office.

I was not in the witness box more than from five to ten minutes before they were through with me, and I was at liberty to go where I pleased. The only thing I wondered as was that the state attorney or none of the lawyers questioned me about the reason I had for changing my names, as every one of the witnesses and all knew me only by the name of Lewis, and my leaving Charleston under a fictitious name of John Brown. If they had, I could have given them satisfactory reason.

Several witnesses were examined after me and night coming on, the court adjourned until next morning.

Next day arguments of lawyers consumed and continued most of the day, and Judge Evans, a very able man, announced that he would review the case and instruct the jury the next morning.

Friday morning arrived (the fourth day of this remarkable case). The court room corridors and streets were full of excited spectators. The judge at great length reviewed the case minutely and stated to the jury among other things that the presence of Lewis in person, broke down the eloquence of the state attorney, and instructed the jury to bring in a verdict of not guilty. The jury did not leave the jury box before they handed down a verdict of “Not Guilty.” The excitement in the court room and in the street baffles my powers to describe it. I managed to get out to the street through the great jam of excited people, when I was picked up and carried on the shoulders of several men a long distance down the street and landed in the parlor of the Charleston hotel, the most aristocratic hostelry in the city, where a lunch was spread for about fifty. Flash was also carried in like manner. I was bewildered by the popping of champagne bottles. I escaped as soon as I could. I was told that they kept it up nearly all night.

The next morning (Saturday) when I got up, the first thing I heard was that the police had to protect poor, unfortunate Levi Messer to get out of town, as the excited mob was determined to lynch him. The police took him quite a distance out of town, and his life was not safe, if he remained. Fool-like he came back and bought a bottle of whiskey in one of the many small saloons that are found in the suburbs of all large towns, and was found on the roadside as dead as a toenail. After breakfast I went out and avoided seeing those who had invited me to call on them. The first thing, I went to the sheriff to find how they were to dispose of me, as my mission was at an end. He stated that Mr. Brown, the mayor, was on point of death, and that he would see some of Flash’s friends and raise for me a purse to go home with. I turned around on him and said passionately: “You shall do no such thing. The people of South Carolina, or at least the people of the ancient city of Charleston, the descendents of those who held that fort (pointing to Fort Moultrie) against overwhelming odds, that inspired the ‘Star Spangled Banner,’ did not invite me here to become a beggar.”* The sheriff, and those with him in his office at the time, stared at one another, I inquired where the mayor lived and found the house. Mrs. Brown after I told her who I was, stated that her husband was very low, and did not think it safe to disturb him, however she took me to his bedside. He was the picture of death and could talk with great pain. With the assistance of his wife, he wrote a few lines with pencil, instructing me to take it to a friends of his, Capt. Cavendish, an old sea captain, keeping a ship-chandler store in East Bay street. Mrs. Brown stated her husband often spoke to her of me, and hoped I would be found, for he believed Flash was innocent. Mrs. Brown gave me a glass of wine in the sick-apartment when her poor husband fell back in a swoon.

Finding Capt. Cavendish a jolly old tar, the letter instructed him to make every provision to send me home. He stated it gave him great satisfaction of my coming and that he would deal liberally with me. I asked the old captain how he intended to send me home. He stated the ship Tyrone of Thomaston, Maine, was going to leave for Liverpool in a day or two and I could go with her. I asked him if he was going to deal liberally with me, as instructed by the mayor. He said, “Why not?” I stated that I had been idle then about fifty days, and if he would allow me forty days to go home, making ninety days in all and allow me fifty dollars, that the Tyrone would charge for my passage, I would find my way home in my own way and relieve them of the responsibility. The captain took me by the hand and said, “Bravo, boy,” I then turned round to him and said as the mayor had instructed him to deal liberally with me, he must have faith in him to do what was right. I would do the same, “Give me what you think my services have been worth to the people of this city and state, and I will be perfectly satisfied.” He went to his desk and drew me a check on the Bank of South Carolina for a sum that dazzled my eyes. After shaking hands with Capt. Cavendish and some others who were present, he said to his friends, who had been eye-witness to the whole negotiation: “Jack would sooner be before the mast than behind, sailor fashion.”

From there I went to a shipping office to inquire if the Tyrone had shipped all her crew. The answer was, they needed one able-bodied seaman. I asked to see the shipping list. It was from Charleston to Liverpool and from there to New Orleans. I signed it at once. She was to leave at eight o’clock that evening. I hustled around and saw all that I could in so short a time of the people that had befriended me. How disappointed they were that I did not stay a few days at least. They thought I was not satisfied with the welcome I had received at their hands. I told them I would have liked to stay with them at least for a month, if it had not been for one thing – I had left a mother prostrated with grief, for fear that I had come to some serious trouble in America, and that I would give all I had if I could send word to her that I was on my way home. We did not have telegraphs and but poor mail service at that time, and I could reach Liverpool as quickly as a letter could reach there. Many of these kind Germans that I have not seen since, saw me safe on board, with many tokens in remembrance of my visit to Charleston. Just before we left Capt. Cavendish came on board and informed me that the flag at half-mast, just hoisted on the court house, was in token respect of their kind and revered mayor, stating he had come down to inform me, by request of Mrs. Brown, that the last word he uttered was “Lewis.” Was it possible that my sudden appearance gave him such joy that his weakened frame could not withstand. I know that he had done much to discover the genuine Lewis, and that by his energy he was found. My mission at Charleston was at an end, and the good ship Tyrone arrived in Liverpool in thirty days. My joy knew no bounds when I arrived there, to tell the events and incidents of the short time I had been away, but imagine the first news I received when arriving there, was that the steamer St. David had been lost with all on board. There was joy and grief done-tailed together. It seemed that nothing but surprises followed me wherever I went. If it had not been for indefatigable exertions of the Liverpool police in tracing up the John Brown that left Charleston a year before, the next week after the discovery he too would have been among the list of those who went to their watery graves by the loss of the St. David, and poor Flash would most likely would have been sacrificed by rascally money mongers, for a reward of two thousand dollars. But providence would not have it that way. He would save me in order to save another.

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps on the sea
And rides upon the storm.

The St. David left Liverpool on her regular trip to Havre, France, about the same time I left for Charleston. But not a word was heard of her after that time, or anyone on board. She could not founder in a storm, because for the first day or two after leaving Liverpool, she would not be very far from course, and the weather was fine and pleasant for a week after. The supposition was that he boilers had exploded, for they were not very safe, and that the vessel, with all on board, went to the bottom. When I learned this, I went on board the Tyrone and told this awful tale to Capt. Gardener, and asked for a furlough in order to go home for a few days, which he willingly granted. All on the St. David, mostly married men with families, were natives of that little town, all well-known to me – old shipmates. Imagine the surprise among the inhabitants of this little town, where I was born and brought up, known to every man and woman there, the only person alive from that jolly crew, and myself reported by some rascally miscreant to have been hung in America. Here, as in Liverpool, joy and grief intermingled. After visiting friends and the families of my old shipmates who were under the waters of the St. George or English channels, I had to return to my ship, after promising my parents that this was the last voyage I would make. My voyage, according to the articles signed, ended at New Orleans, and when I got there I was honorably discharged, I could come home on some English ship, and my voyage would expire as soon as we arrived at some port in England. You understand that when a vessel ship crew it is for the round voyage, to come back to your own country. When sailors leave their ships at foreign ports, they are deserters, but what does Jack care if he becomes dissatisfied, about the little wages due him. Of course he leaves this for the benefit of the ship-owners.

When Tyrone arrived at New Orleans my voyage was at an end. I was paid off, together with the remainder of the crew. I was not long there before I felt indisposed and needing rest. I went to the custom house and got a permit to go to the Marine hospital. I was not very sick, but needed rest more than anything else. This was a private hospital, for seamen only. Few doctors had built this with their own means, having contract with the government to furnish medicine, board, keep perfect vigilance and one or more doctors constantly in attendance. I prepared to be in this hospital, where everything was quiet, neat and clean, with a fine reading room. I was perfectly happy here. There were three wards, so that those not very sick, need not be in a sick room. The ward which I was in contained about twenty patients, some of whom were intelligent men. We would sit in the reading room for hours, narrating our experiences in different parts of the world. Some playing billiards, others dominoes, cards, etc. One evening in the month of April, 1846, all had retired to our clean, comfortable cots, most all had gone to sleep, when the greatest noise I had ever heard in this street (Circus street) broke out in our ears. We all jumped up and looked out through the windows, to see a large crowd of people shouting, dancing, and singing patriotic airs, with two men at the head of the lively crowd rattling away with fife and drum, calling for volunteers to go to the aid of Gen. Taylor, who was surrounded by Mexican soldiers at Point Isabel, mouth of the Rio Grande.

This news had reached New Orleans by relay riders, changing horses at every opportunity. There was no telegraph nor railroads in the whole country at that time. New Orleans had sent two thousand men by steamer down the Mississippi river and Mexican gulf before they had received the news at Washington. This was a lively night at New Orleans. Before noon next day two thousand men had enrolled their names as volunteers to relieve Gen. Taylor and his garrison; among those were the names of every one of my mess-mates in the third ward of Circus Street hospital, including myself. In front of the St. Charles hotel next day we were formed into companies and marched to the camp, formed two or three miles below the city. Next day was consumed in forming companies and selecting officers. Arms were brought down from the arsenal and steamers chartered. Drilling commenced as soon as arms were received and an army sprang up as large as Gen. Jackson’s near the place where he won his famous battle. Here on the third day I was taken down with yellow fever, the doctor stating I was not fit for this arduous campaign, and recommending me to return to my old quarters at Circus street hospital, with three or for others who were returned in like manner in the same ambulance.

He who fights and runs away
Will live to fight another day.

The volunteers left and reached Point Isabel in about two weeks from the time news had reached New Orleans. The siege was raised, the Mexicans retreating. In few days after this war against Mexico was declared, and on the 24th day of April, 1846, the first engagement took place. Most all your readers the disaster to Mexico after their capital city was taken, and they crushed to earth, poor in pocket, but rich in land. To pay the expense of that war they had to give us California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

To come back to my story, I stopped at the Circus street hospital, gained my usual health, the weather becoming very warm, I commenced thinking about going home, as I had promised. I took a stroll around the printing offices to find that all the newspaper offices were short of regular number of printers, and wages fabulous. The cause of all this – all the printers had gone to the Mexican war. Wages had always been higher here than any other place. My mind was now made up for good. I would go the first opportunity to finish my apprenticeship and return to this place. Next day I found a shipping office was shipping men for an English ship going to Liverpool. This was my chance, and signed articles to go on the large and splendid ship, the Magnificent, from New Orleans to Liverpool, where my voyage would be finished, and there paid off.

I may here mention the reason this English ship was here in a foreign port without hands. It has always been the habit of sailors to leave their ship, if they find wages higher in some other place. They can always find in large seaport towns plenty of boarding house keepers and runners to spirit them to leave their ships and stop at their houses until their money has gone. All men shipping from these houses are in debt, and the boarding house keeper collects their month’s advance, which is always a rule, and poor Jack made drunk, if possible, and taken with a bundle clothing, in a cab, with a bottle of rum in his pocket, often not knowing the name of the ship nor what part of the world he is going to. New Orleans was noted for this kind of work. The ship captains never troubled themselves to get them back, especially if wages were coming to them over the month advance. This was the case with all the crew shipped for the Magnificent. They would keep me from going with this vessel, because I came right from the hospital, and I did not enter any of their houses.

We left with a tug boat in the evening, going down the Mississippi all night, ready to cross the bar next day. It puzzled me to know how a vessel drawing 18 feet of water could cross a bar where there was but 16 feet of water. One tug boat took us down, but when we got to the Belize, the pilot station at the mouth of the river, two more tugs came out to us. Here one placed ahead of the ship, and one on each side, they tugged away, making tremendous puffs, actually lifting the vessel and dragging her through mud bottom. It took more than an hour to cross the bar. This was hot summer weather with light southerly winds. In the course of a week or ten days we were in the midst of terrible mountains of ice on the banks of Newfoundland, here in a gale of wind, running under bare poles, the wind so strong we could carry no sails, heavy fog and vessel rolling hard, as cotton those days was not pressed as it is now, and in danger of running on an ice berg, made one wish he were in some quiet hospital in the sunny south, or at home among friends. We made the run to Liverpool in about seven weeks and there were honorably discharged.

In the course of forty-eight hours after landing I was setting type for John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, from the cases that had been always been reserved for me in my father’s office.

Farewell, dear Neptune – your beard is gray,
Perhaps we shall meet again some other day;
The sails are furled – my decks are clear,
The craft is staunch – I’ll tie up here.

Neptune replied in his old, gruff way,
Good-bye, my lad, we’ll meet on Christmas Day;
Your ship has freedom over my wide domain,
So, dear boy, we are bound to meet again.

Yours typographically,
L.E. Jones.
St. James, Neb., Dec. 20, 1899.

[The foregoing story was written by Mr. Lewis E. Jones, Sr. for the Christmas edition of the Cedar County News. We published one in the Christmas edition last year, when he promised to follow it up. It is written in his own peculiar style and vouched for every word to be true. – Ed.]


* While I suspect there is a great deal of exaggeration and hyperbole included in this story, I cannot let it pass without mentioning that Lewis got his facts patently wrong regarding the origin of the “Star Spangled Banner”. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from “Defence of Fort M’Henry”, a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in the Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. Ft. McHenry is in the state of Maryland, nowhere near Charleston, S.C.

Lewis Evan Jones Jr. — A Christmas Shipwreck, 1844

The following article is a transcription from a photocopied document of unknown origin. My copy was obtained from D. L. Bond, great-grandson of the article’s subject, Lewis Evan Jones Jr. of Cedar County, Nebraska. I believe this item was originally published, in whole or in part, in the Hartington News, prior to 1901, as it is referenced in another story authored by Lewis Evan Jones Jr., that was written in 1901.
C.H. Jones
Raleigh, N.C.


Shipwrecked“Lewis Evan Jones Jr. – A Christmas Legend

In the year 1840, then about fourteen years old, I left my father’s printing office to see a little of the world. The first voyage took me from Liverpool to the headwaters of the Baltic Sea – Cronstadt, the seaport of St. Petersburg in northern Russia. Subsequent voyages were made to the Mediterranean and Black Seas, call at all the important ports.

The spring of 1844 found me working in a cotton press at Charleston, SC, the first, I believe, in the world to compress cotton, which reduced the bales to almost one-half the size of those coming from the plantations. I had visited all the principal seaports on the Atlantic and Gulf coast previous to this time, and had many adventures. However, the month of June, 1844, being unusually warm, I became acquainted with the captain of an English brig returning home from Galveston, Texas, and called at Charleston in search of freight for England. Here he found a cargo of cotton for Liverpool, and the weather becoming warmer daily, he induced me to go with him for a nice summer voyage, which turned out very pleasant and agreeable. From Liverpool I went to Wales to visit my parents, calculating to return to the US with some American vessel.

Returning to Liverpool I found the English brig Alpha, of London, with which I had left Charleston, loading a cargo of salt for the Russian navy at Revel, on the headwaters of the Gulf of Finland. The old Captain, whom I found on the passage from Charleston very agreeable, prevailed on me to go with him on this voyage expecting to be back in time to go to Charleston or New Orleans for the winter season, where the times were good and the wages high.

In this way I left Liverpool in the early fall, having come from South Carolina, where the thermometer stood at 100 in the shade, scantily clad, sailing for the Baltic Sea thus late in the year, but hoping to make a quick trip before the Baltic closed for navigation. We passed up the Baltic Sea and entered the Gulf of Finland in good season, unloaded our cargo of salt, which, by the way, was a valuable article in that part of the world, the reason that custom house officers searched every pocket on our persons every time we went ashore.

From Revel we sailed down the Baltic Sea, and called at several seaports in search of a back cargo, as ours was a tramp ship. Finally calling at Memel, Prussia, we found a Catholic church, already framed, waiting transportation to Limerick, Ireland. Thus we were in luck, for this was a large church building which gave us all we wanted to carry. Having all the men to load that could conveniently work, we left Memel in good spirits, hoping in good time to reach our destination, and again sail for Charleston or another southern city. Passing out of the Baltic and Cattegat Seas, we had made very fair progress approaching the Highland of Scotland, our men singing the familiar songs, “Annie Laurie” and “Bonnie Lassie”. When all was going on in the happy mood, and we had sighted Cape Wrath lighthouse, the most northern part of Scotland, a terrible gale came on from the south that continued to blow like fury for four long weeks, so much so that we could carry no sails, but close reefed main top sails, to keep us as much as possible to the wind, to save our deck being swept by tremendous waves in which we were engulfed.

Here we were, drifting helpless in the North Sea, in the month of December, going due north, and the days shortening rapidly, until we had but four hours daylight, not a stitch of clothes nor bedding dry, provisions giving out rapidly, until all hands from the Captain to the cook volunteered to go on short allowance of hard tack, which was about all we had left. Our water casks were nearly all empty, but by spreading sails on the deck we managed to save some hailstones which were continually pelting us. It was too cold to snow. If your could have seen me at that time it would have reminded you of Joseph, whom his brethren sold into Egyptian bondage, about every stitch of clothing I had of all shades and colors, were stitched together in one garment, which was about all I could carry. In the same way I had stitched together my four blankets, all wet through, which kept the biting winds from my body. Thus we drifted day after day in the bowels of the North Sea, with no intermission in the fury of the elements.

One morning, if I may call it such, the man on the lookout shouted “Land, land!” The Captain, who had become discouraged of ever seeing land again, said to me, who stood close to his side, “It is Greenland, sure; I did not think we had drifted this far North.” As we neared this rugged promontory we could see plainly that it was not a main land, but some rugged island in the midst of the waste of waters. Consulting our charts, we came to the conclusion that they must be the Faroe Islands belonging to Denmark, and four hundred miles north of Cape Wrath, Scotland. Our hearts leaped with joy, as these islands were known to be settled sparsely by a hardy race of people, said to produce oats, potatoes, etc, besides being daring fishermen. The wind also seemed to slacken in its fury. All our ambition then was to communicate with the people on shore in order to replenish our larder and fill our water barrels. As the wind slackened up we made sail to find some landing place. We could not come within four of five miles of the isles, as currents were whirling, and turned our vessel around several times. At one place the land sloped down to the water’s edge and looked like a small harbor. It was impossible to approach near. We hoisted flag of distress to entice these people to have compassion on our plight. It must have been the late storm that made it impossible for them to get their boats out from shore. Now it looked hard for us poor mortals to come in sight of the promised land, like the patriarch of old, and denied the pleasure of treading its soil.

While in this dilemma the wind changed for the first time in four weeks to the north, blowing about a half gale. Our old Captain gave the order to square the yards and set all the sail we dare carry, and sail back for the land we were blown from (Cape Wrath) four weeks previous. As the old Captain remarked “Boys, make our crackers last three days and I promise you, if this wind continues, to be in some safe harbor by that time.” We all did our duty, as this was a race between life and death. At the expiration of three days, at ten o’clock in the forenoon, we furled sail and tied our vessel up at a small sea port, the most northern harbor in the highlands of Scotland, called Stormness, and indeed it is rightly called, for this is a stormy coast and no mistake.

This was the 24th day of December, 1844, and our Captain, as they generally advised by ship owners when making long voyages, was very anxious to get to Limerick and deliver the church we had on board at as early a date as possible, concluded to get in provisions and water as fast as they could be got on board. Stormness is a small outfitting port for vessels calling, like ours, in distress. All was ready early in the afternoon, and we cast off with the well wishes of the sturdy of the small harbor. The wind had been blowing a gale so lately that the sea was not yet calmed. Our course after we left Stormness, was through and an archipelago of islands, some very small and not inhabited, called the Hebrides. Among this group is and important island called the Isle of Skye. Twenty miles northwest of this are a group of small islands called the Lewis islands. Through the channel between the Isle of Skye and the Lewis islands we had to beat up against head winds, the sea being very rough. About six o’clock in the evening, by moonlight, we got to near the Lewis group of islands, our craft becoming unmanageable and drifting very rapidly before the winds and waves toward dangerous and lofty cliffs where no ship or boat could live. As a man clinging tenaciously to life, the first thing I did was get out my knife, cut the lashings that fastened the long boat down to the deck. Just as I had the ropes all cut I wondered what next I could do, when a tremendous wave swept the deck clean of everything portable, including the boat I had just cut loose, and on which I thought our lives depended. We were now close to the rocky shore and the Captain shouted at the top of his voice through the terrible tempest of wind and wave crashing against the high, rocky cliff, to “take to the rigging”, as by this time every wave washed over the deck of the vessel. I had, after losing the boat, a good hold on the main mast shrouds. At the request of the Captain to take to the rigging, I found two of the crew crouched at my feet praying fervently. I will say here that at this moment, in the very jaws of death itself, I did not think we were lost. In mounting the rigging I shouted out to these two men, “This is no place to pray–save your lives!” Before I had gotten ten feet up the rigging a tremendous wave, in fact the largest I had ever seen, picked up the vessel bodily on its crest and landed it fifty feet above the low water mark. The other waves that came after were not of sufficient strength to move the great mass, lying as on a shelf on the side of a mountain. Another thing was in our favor: the tide was ebbing very fast, so much so the vessel was left above the reach of other waves. We did not wait for the tide to ebb, but everyone managed, some by jumping, and others by ropes, to reach the rugged rocks. There was but one accident, that of the mate who broke his leg by jumping on the rocks. While in the rigging, waiting to see if another wave would dislodge us, I had formulated a plan by which I could reach the rocks easiest. I came down from the rigging, ran out on the bowsprit and slipped down on the martingale, where I had but a few feet to drop. My first duty then was to help the mate, who had broken his leg, out of the reach of the receding waves. Finding that crew and officers were all saved, our next duty was to get ashore and secure provisions, water, and sails to build shelter, for we knew not how long we would have to remain here before we would be discovered and rescued, for this was a barren island, uninhabited, with cold and stormy weather. After the water had receded sufficiently to allow us to go on board safely, we unbent the sail, running riggings, provisions, our clothing and firewood ashore, for we knew not what kind of a home we had. We found 100 feet above our vessel the island gradually sloped off on the land side down to the water’s edge. Here we concluded to build our tent and spend Christmas day. By this time the flood tide was coming in rapidly, and a little before daylight the waves, one after another, began shaking our vessel, which stood there majestically, with her mast still standing. Like the big wave that carried her up to her perch, another came and took her away from her snug roost. When about 500 feet from the shore both her anchors dropped about the same time, and thus she rode with her head into the wind, her anchors holding her fast, while the waves overwhelmed her, and often we could not see her for some moments. Finally the anchors dragged and allowed her coming nearer the shore when all at once a giant sea struck her and dashed her, mast and all against the rocks, a complete mass of kindling wood, ship, church and all, and afterwards strewed for many miles on this and adjacent islands. It was a horrid spectacle to see the noble craft, which myself and the Captain had for a home from the time we left Charleston the previous June (balance of crew were shipped at Liverpool), and there we were in the dead winter, shipwrecked on a barren island in a stormy clime at the time our friends were visiting and feasting in their cozy and comfortable homes. It was fortunate for us the moon was full (and in these latitudes the tides at these times are much higher than any other) or I no doubt would not be here to relate this unfortunate catastrophe.

After the vessel had disappeared we went to work to prepare a home with what wreckage we could pick up, and the sails we had rescued from our doomed ship. Some of the crew had gone to explore the island, others were burning what dry wood there was to attract our neighbors from other islands, and the cook had seen a tremendously large rooster, the only living thing to be seen. Where he came from was a conundrum, but he likely escaped from some previous wreck. However this might have been, the rooster was there, big and fat. As superstitious as sailors are, I had no trouble to make them believe that Providence place him there for our Christmas dinner. This rooster, by some means, had his wing broken, or it is doubtful whether we could have captured him at all, for he jumped from crag to crag, and was as tired as ourselves when captured. The cook was instructed by the captain to make the best use of what was sent to us, no doubt, from above. One of the men, being religiously inclined, was requested by the captain to make a prayer before sitting down to this sumptuous Christmas dish. In this way, in our humble abode, we relished our humble dinner as we never relished a dinner before. Thus we spent Christmas on a barren island, cut off from all the world. In a couple of days, finding wreckage floating about, the sturdy fishermen of an adjacent island, when the wind and waves had exhausted themselves, seeing the beacon light from our retreat, came out and took us with them to their own island, about ten miles distant. Here we found a small colony of ten or twelve families, among whom was a Mr. McDonald, Justice of the Peace and owner of the island. They lived close together and farmed small tracts of land, besides fishing. Arriving there we were treated very humanely by Mr. McDonald. There being no vacant houses he had a very respectable barn cleaned, putting in a fresh load of straw for our comfort during our stay. We resided here about eight days, gathering what part of the wreck we could collect, awaiting the sea to calm, for our only chance to get away was an open fishing boat to the Isle of Skye, a distance of about 25 or 30 miles. When it was useless to stay here longer we expressed to Mr. and Mrs. McDonald our wishes to get away. Our Captain had no money to pay us our wages, but consented to stay there and dispose of what was saved of the ship and church. The kind justice advanced one pound ($5) each and paid the boatmen for taking us to the Isle of Skye. Thus we left these kind and humble people, dwelling in content on a rough and stormy coast. Our next journey was on foot across the Isle of Skye, to Oban, ten miles distant. Oban is a small town, having a little business in small vessels with Glasgow and other places. After waiting here two days a small steamer, which traded between these islands, came along, and as we were shipwrecked seamen, gave us free passage to Glasgow. Here was a large seaport with vessels lading for all parts of the world. Most of the crew shipped for different places, but myself and one other wanted to go to Liverpool, as we had friends there who would help us in the dilapidated condition we were in. A large steamer was making regular trips between the two places carrying passengers and freight. I made application to the captain of this steamer for free passage stating our condition. He did not answer and as he did not refuse I took it for granted. St. George’s Channel on this passage was very rough, the sea continually breaking over the vessel, keeping us continually wet. Here during a cold and stormy night, crouched down in one corner, as hungry as I had ever been, I passed the night. Getting to Liverpool in the forenoon my spirits revived as we entered the dock, soon to be among friends. As soon as the stage to land passengers was put out I was the first to step out on it with a bag of soiled and water-soaked clothing, which I saved from the shipwreck and packed across the Isle of Skye, but our uniformed officer grabbed it from my hand, saying I could have it when I paid my passage. This was the meanest act I had yet seen. What could I do to resent this indignity, especially when the police were there at the fellow’s service? But I soon found friends, and my sister gave me money to redeem my historic wardrobe. After spending a few days in Liverpool and with my parents in Wales, I crossed over to France and remained there during the summer, and the fall of 1845 found me again in South Carolina.

Lewis Evan Jones Jr.
Wynot, Nebraska”

Lewis Evan Jones (1825 – 1910) — Mutiny on the Ocean Waves

The following document is a transcription from a photocopy of a letterpress set pamphlet style publication with colored paper wraps, measuring approximately 8 1/8” x 4 3/8”. Text pages number 36 pages. There is no date of publication, but the text is dated 1901 at the end of the story. The cover bears the following information; handwritten at the top of the wrap in ink (“No. 1.)”, title is indicated as “MUTINY ON THE OCEAN WAVE”, author is listed as “By LEWIS E. JONES, SR.”*, and imprint is “Herald Printing House, Hartington”.

* Note that Lewis E. Jones Sr. is actually indicated as Lewis Evan Jones Jr. for the sake of this archive, as his father’s name was also Lewis Evan Jones. Once in America, this author had a son, also named Lewis Evan Jones, who for the sake of this archive is denominated as Lewis Evan Jones III.

Note: In handwriting at the end of the editors note (between brackets) in the introduction is written “age 17” to indicate that Lewis Evan Jones was only seventeen years old when he participated in this voyage.


Mutiny on the Ocean Wave.

[The following story was written by Mr. Lewis E. Jones, from memory, and is vouched by him that every word is true and happened as it is written. This voyage was made by him from Liverpool to New York, from there to Baltimore, from there to Rotterdam, Holland, from there to Liverpool, thence to Charleston, South Carolina, in the ship St. Lawrence of New York, during the years 1842 – 43. – Ed.]

Short stories told now and then.
Relieve the craniums of some men;
Such cumbrous stuff is not to save,
Then why carry them with you to the grave.

291One day while strolling leisurely along the dockside of Liverpool, I heard two boys converse together, which attracted my attention. One said to his companion that the American ship St. Lawrence, of New York, lying in the Princess Dock, wanted a boy; that he was going to see if he could secure the place. This was near dinner time. After dinner I went down to that ship, and saw the mizzen royal flopping in the wind. This is the loftiest of the fourth sail on the third mast. One of the big boys spoken of was on his way up the rigging to furl this sail. He seemed very clumsy and slow getting up the rigging, and when he got up did not know how to gather the sail together so as to make a neat job of it. I noticed a man whom I learned was the chief mate, watching him from the dock. After he had made several attempts, the mate called him down. The boy walked off crest-fallen. After he had disappeared, I walked up to the mate, thinking that this was his way of finding out what a boy could do, I asked him if I could go up and furl that sail. He asked where I had learned to furl such sails. Answering him that many times a day in the Mediterranean it was my business to furl the royals, while the men were at the heavier sails. He doubted that such a small boy as I was could furl such sails in heavy winds. It was blowing quite stiff at this time. Finally he said I could try. I went aboard, doffed my jacket, and went up the rigging one a trot, getting out on the royal yard, gathering the sail on one side and then the other, passing the gaskets around, gathering the slack of the sail in the center, passing around a netting made for that purpose, I had the bunt in the center like a drum, all in ship shape. I descended the rigging as lively as I went up, picking up my jacket and walked where the mate stood, watching my every movement. He also walked towards me without saying a word, handing me a card which instructed the shipping master who was shipping a crew for this ship, to place me on the list. There were many of these shipping masters in Liverpool, as well as every large seaport. When a ship has taken in all her cargo, the captain a few days previous instructs one of these shipping masters to ship so many men for his ship, to sail on such a day for such a place. Master-riggers with a gang of men having bent all the sails, examined all the rigging, replacing all the defective, you will understand this was an American ship, all hands had abandoned her, when in fact they had no right to leave until she arrived at some designated port in the United States. When men are not properly treated, they abandon their ships at the first opportunity. This was the case with the St. Lawrence. Not one left but the captain, first and second mates.

Mr. Moore I found was the name of the first mate, who had given me the card, instructing the shipping master to ship me at $10 per month, and come aboard next morning. The men received $15 per month. She was bound for New York with a general cargo and 300 Irish passengers.

Captain Brown I found in the morning, a perfect gentleman, looked more like a clergyman than a sea captain. He took me to the cabin and talked very kind with me, inquiring about my nativity, relatives, etc. He seemed to be well pleased with me, instructing me to come to him if I should want anything during the voyage. He asked me to take care of the cabin until he could engage a steward, and gave me perfect liberty to make the cabin my home should he get a rough crew – he knew not what kind of men the crew would turn out to be, for he had never seen one of them. I thanked him very much, but stated that I would like to be with the men as much as possible, that I went to sea not of necessity, but to learn to become a seaman. He commended my resolution and promised to assist me in my endeavors.

In three days after this ship was ready for sea, and the crew came on board as well as the passengers. We went out of the Princess Dock and dropped anchor in the Mersey. Next morning the captain came on board, ordered the anchor to be raised and sails set loose. I loosed the three sails on the royal masts, by order of the mate, for he had learned, he said, I was an expert with these light sails. Most of the men were heaving up the anchor. When I came down the rigging, I took hold of the long leaver, for she had what was then called patent windlass – two long levers working up and by 15 or 20 men. When I took hold of the lever the next man to me was a splendid, fine looking man. His bronzed face indicated he had seen service in the tropics. This was the first time I had ever seen him, but he struck me as an ideal seaman, such as I would like to pattern after. He wore a red flannel shirt, white duck pants and a jaunty straw Manila hat on his head. He smiled on me as I took hold of the leaver by his side. I was glad to be noticed by such a powerful and perfect man as I considered him to be. Whilst I was doting on him the mate came along with loud curses on his lips, telling the men that they were not half heaving; passing along after abusing nearly all the men, he came to where I was. He was rolling up his shirt sleeves, for he had taken off his coat before. He roared out, “you man, with the red shirt, why don’t you heave?” This shipmate, for I was glad to call him such, answered he was doing his duty. At this the mate jumped about with his clenched fist, saying he was the first man he would commence on when we got under way. The man with the red shirt paid no attention to his threats, only he turned to me and thanked the mate for this timely warning, so that he could be on his guard. After the mate had left, he smiled on me and said, “if I am the first he is going to pick on, he will have a tough chicken to pick.” Thus we left Liverpool with fair wind and all sails set.

The first thing when a ship is well underway is to divide the crew into two watches, when all the men are assembled on the quarterdeck. Thus we were all ordered to come aft, and the division was made, by the captain having the first choice, named the man at the wheel. The mate then selected the man whom he called “the man with the red shirt.” Then the captain made another choice, then the mate, and so on until whole crew were selected, and the watches formed. On this particular occasion the men were all selected, the mate had to take me, for I was the last. I was glad that the man with the red shirt was on the same watch with myself. I had taken a great liking to him and he also to me. We were strangers to one another. I had never seen one of them before. However, that night, when on watch, I learned from my newly made friend, the man wearing the red shirt, was a countryman of mine, who lived in a small seaport only twelve miles from my home. He also informed me there were two other men on board from the same place, one of whom was on our watch. He stated they always sailed on the same ship – they had been together in the English and American Navies, and had been together for many years in vessels of both nations. I was glad to learn I had countrymen on board, the first I had since I went to sea. The name of my friend with the red shirt was Jack Thomas, the other in our watch was named Dick Lewis, and the one in the captain’s watch was named John Evans. There was another young man in our watch that I had taken a liking to. He was a native of New York City, named Wm. McFarlane, whom we called Yankee Bill. All this crew were more intelligent than the common run picked up in foreign ports.

After a few days out from Liverpool we had very high winds and disagreeable weather. The sea was very rough. The poor passengers were very sick and suffered much. The captain had appointed me store keeper to deal out water and provisions to the emigrants. At that time steerage passengers in sailing vessels had so much water and provisions dealt out to them daily. At night I had to stand watch like the balance of the crew. It is the custom on all ships to wash the decks every morning at six o’clock, whether they need washing or not. On the third or forth morning out of Liverpool, the weather was very stormy and the sea running high. Buckets, scrubbing brushes, brooms, etc., were brought out for that purpose, when the mate came forward and ordered Yankee Bill to go out on the fore poop deck to wash to pump water to wash decks. We had a small hand pump, such as is used in cisterns, for that purpose, on the larboard bow. The wind was blowing almost a gale on that side, and sea splashing over continuously. The men all wondered at the mate giving such an order, when water was plentiful on deck. Bill told him he could furnish all the water required from lee-scuppers, as the water was almost knee deep as the ship careened over. This would not satisfy the mate. Bill dipped up water in buckets as fast as required. The mate became boiling mad because his orders were disobeyed. He walked back to the stern of the ship and took an iron belaying pin out of the rail. These pins were used where very heavy weight is to be sustained, otherwise wooden pins are to be used. These iron pins are about a foot in length and one and a quarter inches in diameter. With one of these pins in his hand he rushed to where Bill was filling water buckets. He aimed a full blow with this weapon on Bill’s head, but the ship plunged at the moment and he only received a light blow on the side of his head. Bill was bleeding profusely. At that moment Jack Thomas came like a flash of lightening, grasping the iron bolt from the mate’s hand and threw it overboard, telling Bill he was a better man than Mr. Moore, to settle his grievance there and then, and he would see no one should interfere. By this time Bill had the mate more than a foot of water with his foot on his neck. The ship was rolling and plunging, the water rushing backward and forward, so that occasionally Mr. Moore could see about him. He saw and begged me to call the captain, for I was an eye witness to the whole transaction.

The cooks gally was close by. The cook, a large negro hailing from Sierra Leone, a British West African Colony, rushed out of the galley with a large carving knife in his hand, to the assistance of the mate. Dick Lewis, who had come on the scene, saw the negro rushing into the fray, gave him such a blow under the ear, that he also fell in the water by the side of the mate, while Dick Lewis disarmed him of the knife, throwing it overboard.

They did not mutilate the two prostrate me, but made them swallow their fill of salt water. At this time I thought it my duty to call up the captain and the second mate, who were asleep in the cabin, informing captain Brown the men were killing Mr. Moore. He hurriedly slipped on his pants, boots, and coat, rushing on deck with a cutlass in his right hand (a short sword about a foot and a half long) and a book containing the riot act in the other. By the time he came on deck the men had released the half drowned bullies. Mr. Moore, like a drowned rat, went to his room to put on dry clothes. The negro went to the gally, where he barricaded himself, swearing he would scald the first man who came there.
The captain instructed me to tell the first watch to come on the quarterdeck. All the men came cheerfully. The first thing the captain did was to read the riot act, from the book he brought with him from the cabin, whilst I held his cutlass. After this reading he commenced to examine witnesses to get at the origin of the riot. Jack Tomas was the first witness to the whole affair. While he was explaining the mate’s actions, gentlemanly and cool, Mr. Moore leaped on deck, passing the captain and myself, who were standing before the men, pulled out a heavy claw hammer from under his coat-tail, and made a desperate attempt to strike Jack Thomas in the head with the hammer. Dick Lewis, who stood by the side of his friend, saw the mate’s movements, jumped to the front of him, receiving quite a cut on his head. In less time than it takes to write this, Jack Thomas knocked him down. Whilst both him and Dick Lewis, who was bleeding, took the cutlass from me and threw it overboard, together with the hammer taken from the mate. After this the men carried Mr. Moore to the cabin and placed him in bed.

Here were men well formed by nature
In deadly combat for their rights;
The elements above and the waters below,
Protesting against these unholy fights.

The men after this went forward to consult the other watch, which was called yup for breakfast, who knew nothing of what had taken place during the morning watch.

After learning all that had taken place, and fully argued among themselves, they came to the conclusion to send word to the captain, through me, for I was the only confidant both sides had, and to tell the truth I had seen the whole trouble, besides hearing Mr. Moore’s threat while hoisting anchor at Liverpool, that the whole affair rested on his shoulders, and that he received nothing more than he deserved.

The decision of the men of both watches was that the mate should be put out of commission, that the captain could find a man among the crew fully as able as Mr. Moore, to take his place until we arrived at New York, and if they violated any law they were willing the courts to decide.

Receiving this message, I went to the cabin, to tell him the decision of both watches. He tried hard to pump out of me if Jack Thomas and Dick Lewis were not the leaders, and that they were bad men. I told him what Mr. Moore had said and threatened the first time he ever saw them when hoisting anchor in the river Mersey. I told him also that the two men he mentioned were gentlemen in every sense of the word, and by what I had seen of them, they had a perfect right to defend themselves as they did, and if they did not, I would consider them craven cowards, that all this unfortunate affair was entirely the work of Mr. Moore.

He sent the second mate on deck to take charge of the ship, and told me after breakfast to come to him, so that I could carry his decision to the men. After breakfast the men waited to know what to do, and I went to find out what the captain had decided on. He inquired of me which of the men I thought the most capable for the position of mate, for he had seen very little of them. I told him that I had never seen a single one of them in my life before they came on board his ship, and it was not right for me, a mere boy, to give advice to a man of his mature age, but if he would allow me to give my opinion, – if it had not been for the unfortunate occurrence that had happened, Jack Thomas or Dick Lewis could have filled the position with honor, but since neither of the two could be considered, there was a man in his watch that I thought well suited to take the place. He is of a mature age, a sailor every inch of him, had the appearance of having seen much service. He is of course in your watch, but you should take one from the mate’s watch, to keep the division even. If you want my advice, I have but formed little friendship with the crew thus far, I would appoint Mr. Mitchell, second mate, to be first mate, in place of Mr. Moore, and take a man from your own watch for the place of second mate, who will always be under your eye. That man, I opine, you already have in your mind – it is old John Evans, the oldest and one of the most able among your crew.

The captain seemed surprised at the able advice given him by a person of my age. He, however, seemed to be pleased with my logic. He considered for a moment and then told me he would like to speak with John Evans. In passing out of the cabin I had to pass Mr. Moore’s room, and saw that he had been listening to our conversation, for the door was partly open. He had partly recovered from the terrible beating he had received. Arriving on deck I saw the men sitting on some spare spars always carried in case of accidents. They were conversing about the output, which they called “Mutiny”.

I told John Evans the captain would like to speak with him. He went down to the cabin. He was down about half an hour and arranged with the captain to work his watch while Mr. Mitchell would take Mr. Moore’s place. When this became known to the crew they were delighted, for everyone on board loved and respected old John Evans, the oldest man on board, and the one who had seen the most service on all the oceans of the world. From this out we had a pleasant voyage, but sometime very rough. We arrived in New York in four weeks, dropping anchor in the river, the captain going ashore in a boat. While in harbor at anchor two men at a time keep watch all. I was on watch from 10 to 12. In the morning it was discovered that six barrels of the cook’s grease (this grease is part of the cook’s emoluments) the brass bell on the poop deck, several ropes and light sails had disappeared during the night. No one seemed to know anything about them. Ten men had been on watch during the night, no one seemed, or pretended to know anything about them. The captain came in a tug-boat which took us to the wharf. A dozen or more boarding house runners with hacks ready to dispatch the crew with their respective baggage to their respective houses were on the dock. In less than ten minutes all the crew had abandoned the ship, and no effort was made to trace the robbery of the night before, as there were several bum-boats visiting vessels at anchor that night, likely it was sold to them more for revenge than depravity. The crew had received as they always do, a month’s wages in advance at Liverpool, therefore they had no pay coming to them. Mr. Moore did not appear on deck after he was deposed. I went ashore with the men, since the voyage was at an end, therefore not wanted. In this way I boarded for about a week, the boarding master promising me he would get a good ship in short time. I was getting tired and did not know how to pass the time away.

One fine morning sitting on a bench in Central Park, Capt. Brown came and sat by my side, asking me what made me leave his ship in the way I had. I told him it was my understanding that all crew leave when the voyage is at an end. He said he did not want me to leave, and asked if I would not like to go with him another voyage. I asked if Mr. Moore was still with him. He said he was, that Mr. Moore was a good man, but once in awhile a little hot-headed, that he would be kind to me. I told him if Mr. Moore would treat me right I would go with him another voyage. He was pleased and gave me ten dollars to pay what I owed my boarding house and bring my clothes on board. Next morning I went down to where the St. Lawrence was. I did not see anyone on board, so I took my clothes down to the forecastle, took off my best clothes and put on a working suit. Coming on deck the first person I saw was Mr. Moore. He asked me what business I had on board. I told him Capt. Brown had hired me, and asked what he had for me to do. It seemed that my presence was not agreeable to him. He walked off without saying another word. I picked up a broom and commenced sweeping the deck, seeing nothing else I could do. I went over several times, thinking that he could see I was only killing time. After some time thus employed, I went down the forecastle, intending to change my clothes and go ashore, for I did not deserve to be treated in this way.

After sitting down a short time thinking of how to act, I heard the voice of Captain Brown on deck giving some orders. I went up and told him I was there according to promise, what work did he want me to do. He asked me to come with him to the cabin, where he told me that he was going to take in ballast and sail for Baltimore, for he had engaged to take a cargo of tobacco to Rotterdam, Holland.. All he had for me to do was to act as watchman and take care of the cabin until the crew were shipped, when he would have a steward employed, or if I wished he would keep me as steward. I thanked him for his kind offer, but declined for the reason I stated to him before, that I went to sea for the purpose of learning to be a seaman, not a steward or sea cook. He saw my point and said I was perfectly right. For the present he hoped I would take care of the ship and gave me the keys of the state room. He said that Mr. Moore was perfectly satisfied that I would take care of the ship, which would give him more time to visit his relatives for he had many in New York. By degrees Mr. Moore and myself became friends, for the reason I never had been his enemy. When he had trouble at sea with the men, he knew it was his own fault and I told him so more than once. Because I lived with the men forward I did not consider I lived with brutes, but with men who knew their rights and were able to maintain them. We lived thus about ten days. I always showed him civilities his position entitled him to receive.

On Sunday morning, the second I had spent in New York, I walked along the wharves on East River, looking on all the large ships lying there, I spied a number of drays bringing provisions to a large, full rigged ship, according to amount, I thought she was destined for a long voyage. By inquiring I found the ship was called Columbia, bound for New Zealand on a trading which might take several years before her return. I was surprised to see my old friend John Evans in full command. He saw me and invited me to come on board. I found by him that through the influence of some captains he had sailed with before, he got the position of chief mate, that Jack Thomas was second mate, Dick Lewis, boatswain, their newly made friend, Yankee Bill, was with them before the mast. In remarking what strange coincidence that they should be together again on the same ship, old John Evans, who had been with them for many years, said he could not go without them, they were as worthy as any men who ever trod a ship’s deck, and as true as steel. I saw the whole four in prime health and spirits. Jack Thomas jokingly remarked to old John Evans that he should share the extra pay he got from the St. Lawrence as mate, with me, for it was me who got him the position. The old man put his hand in his pocket and handed me a ten dollar gold piece, which he insisted on me to take. I was never more glad than to see those men on a good ship, but in all probability, would never see them again. The ship soon after cleared the harbor with fair wind and all sails set. I made up my mind never to mention their names when Mr. Moore was present.

In the course of ten days we shipped a new crew at New York for a run to Baltimore. These men were all foreigners, Sweeds, Danes, Norwegians, and all from the northern part of Europe. There was not an American or Englishman among the crew. The weather was stormy and the passage rough. Mr. Moore as usual finding there was not an Englishman nor an American among the crew, commenced his brutality on them as he had done before. I felt sorry for them but knowing they came from military empires, where a poor man has no right to protest against their superiors. However the poor fellows were glad to reach land, for they had only shipped for the run from New York to Baltimore.

Having discharged ballast and taken on a cargo of tobacco for Rotterdam, Holland, we shipped another crew, a duplicate of the last, Mr. Moore had a lively time kicking and knocking these men to his entire satisfaction. I was treated humanely, and as these men had no spirit to defend themselves I had nothing to do but pity them. It took us two months to reach Rotterdam. As usual the men all deserted, leaving a months wages behind. I was pleased to find that some of the men were acquainted here, who went to an old Jew merchant and made arrangements with him to pawn all their wages, half cash and half clothing, this accomplished they all deserted. In a few days the old merchant came down to the captain with the bills, which he refused t pay because they had deserted. The old fellow did not seem to care much for this refusal, but smiled and took considerable snuff.

This vessel made considerable money by making it untenable for the men to stand the abuse. We had shipped in Baltimore two Chinamen, one for cook the other steward. They were fine, quiet, gentlemanly and remarkably clean, understanding their business thoroughly. The mate found they were packing up to leave, had them put in irons and fastened to the ringbolts below decks, for he did not want them to leave as they were experts at their business. They called me to the cabin to act as steward while we remained at Rotterdam. I had these two men to wait on as well as the officers. The second mate acted as cook. The first opportunity I had, my resolution was put in force. I went straight to the American Consul and told him there were two American citizens, for such they had become on board the American ship St. Lawrence in irons. He told me very surely he would see to it. The next day he came down in his carriage, and arm in arm with Captain Brown, went down to the cabin, drank a bottle of champagne, then both came on deck, the captain taking him to his carriage, and shook hands very cordially. In an hour or two the Chinamen were released. The first opportunity they had (the mate having gone ashore on business) they left the ship, thanking me, for they suspected I had been the cause of their release, and said I could have all their effects left behind, consisting of fine clothing, hair mattress and fine blankets to the value of $200. In a couple of weeks we had unloaded our cargo and taken in ballast for Liverpool. A new crew had been shipped, something of the same character as the last. Just as we were ready to cast off two officers came on board and told us not to touch the cables with which the ship was fastened. They told the captain that the Jew merchant had got a judgment against the ship for the sailors wages which had to be paid before we could leave. Nothing could be done but pay the judgment with costs. Captain Brown told me, for I was the only confidant all hands had, that it was preposterous to make him pay when the men were deserters. I reminded him that when in Venice we had to comply with the laws of Venice. We were delayed a long time in a canal coming out of Rotterdam on account of stormy weather and head winds. We made a long voyage to Liverpool, but when we reached there, the crew, as usual, deserted. I could not leave for I had too much wages coming to me. They treated me kindly, and all I had to do was act as watchman. I was allowed to board with a friend, and night watchman hired. No fires are allowed in Liverpool docks, consequently everyone has to board ashore.

Here we found a cargo of general merchandise for New York, and I made up my mind to leave when we reached there, as my voyage would expire then. The crew we got here were but little better than the last two or three we had run across, for we had few Americans and Englishmen among them. We did not have such men as Jack Thomas, Dick Lewis and John Evans, who dared to do right in any position they were placed. Mr. Moore had many of these men under his thumb. We had a long and stormy voyage. Our masts were sprung, so that we could carry but little canvas. Provisions and water giving out rapidly. Many vessels spoke us and offered. We refused every offer. The mate getting uglier daily. I was determined to make some effort to get better treatment. I spoke with several of the men that we should go boldly and inquire of the captain the reason for refusing assistance when offered, and we on short allowance. I could get no one to go with me, but went alone. Captain Brown had always been my friend, and was not averse to speak with me on the subject. He stated the reason he refused assistance was that we had been long on the passage and the voyage had been disastrous to the owners financially. He asked me to inform the men that if the wind continued in the same direction it was in for two days longer we would be in Charleston, S.C., for we had already passed the stormy Cape Hatteras, that in the condition the masts were in he had to run in the direction the wind blew. We had sailed more than one thousand miles beyond our destination – New York, he begged the sympathy of the men in his unhappy condition. He thanked me for acting as medium between him and the crew.

I went forward where the men were waiting the result of my visit. I passed Mr. Moore on the way. He looked daggers at me but said nothing. I explained to the men what the captain informed me, with a great deal of sympathy in my words. All were glad to know were we were, but were surprised that we were near Charleston in place of New York. They all agreed to take things as they were, for a few days at least, hoping soon to be ashore. That evening when our watch was on deck from eight to twelve o’clock, Mr. Moore came forward and ordered me to fore top sail yard to keep lookout for land. Thinking nothing wrong, as this is always a rule when nearing land at night. I felt very sleepy and fearing to fall asleep I tied myself to the halliards so I could not fall off, finding a gasket on the yard for that purpose. I had been there about two hours and thought it was near twelve o’clock when the watches changed, and a man come to relieve me. All at once the yard went down without notice given, and came down with a thud. It was well I had the foresight to lash myself to the halliards and went down with it, as the sudden jar would sure throw me overboard. When I came down on the deck the bell struck eight bells and the watch relieved. Mr. Moore was jumping about the deck saying he would kill the man who let go of the top sail halyards if he knew who he was. I said nothing, but suspicioned it was him who was guilty.

Next day in the forenoon watch he came to me, said he thought next day we would be in Charleston, all the hands were busy cleaning the paint work as was the custom. He ordered me to get a pail of water and ashes and scrub the martingale. I knew this was a risky job with the swell that was then in the sea. This martingale reached within five or six feet of the water and when the ship plunged it often dipped. The voyage was then so near up that I did not wish to disobey my superior officer, willingly went at it. The vessel often plunging until my feet was in the water, and dozens of dog fishes, a species of shark, trying to get at them. Little scrubbing was done by me and glad to hear the sound of the eight bells, when I came up on deck and the other watch coming on duty. I pretended to be cheerful, but my mind was far from being so. That evening we sighted land, and the next forenoon we landed at one of the wharves of Charleston, S.C. having been ninety days out from Liverpool. The captain soon went ashore.

I was glad this unpleasant voyage was at an end. As soon as the vessel was fastened I went down to the forecastle to change and pack up my clothes and go ashore. Mr. Moore came to the companionway and said that the Captain wanted me to came and take care of the cabin, for the sheriff had taken the cook and steward to jail during the vessel’s stay in port. This was the law then, when slavery was in full force, and half the city’s population being slaves, free negroes talked too much politics to the slaves therefore, would have no access to them. He told me the ship had to have new masts and rigging, which would consume about seven or eight weeks, the captain was going to New York, there would be only him, second mate, and myself in the cabin, and the captain had gone ashore to find a negro woman for cook and my work would be light. I told him this was the opportunity I had been looking for, that I could help and learn to rig a ship and that it would be a school for me. He would not listen to this philosophy, but must come to the cabin. I told him plainly that I could not think of it, as it had come to this my voyage was up, and I was going ashore. He said I could be arrested as a deserter. I then stated I had signed articles in New York to go from there to Baltimore, from there to Rotterdam, from there to Liverpool then to any port in the United States and thought I was now in a port of the United States and my voyage at an end. He went back to the cabin, got the articles, but I discovered and told him that those were the articles signed by the present crew to go from Liverpool to New York. I agreed with him that the voyage of these men was not up until they reached New York. Finding he could do nothing with me he walked off with curses on his lips, I walked ashore.

My first inquiries was for the Mayor’s office, and after walking quite a number of streets found the Mayor at his office in the court house. This was the same Mayor Brown, who a year after, sent to Liverpool for me as witness in a state case which I described in a story written to the News last Christmas. I explained to the Mayor that I wanted to part with my ship, and gave him my reasons for doing so, and whether I could collect the wages due me. He said the St. Lawrence was in the hands of the Underwriters, that the captain or owners had nothing to say until she was thoroughly repaired and ready for sea. I then asked the status of the men who shipped from Liverpool to New York. He answered that their voyages was also up as well as my own.

After I learned this I hired a spring wagon and went down after my clothing. I also informed the men of the result of my inquiry. Every man quit work and followed me up to town. We had not gone more than a quarter of a mile when the second mate overtook us and said the captain had sent him to inform us to come down next morning he would pay us all off. This was a jolly night for the crew of the St. Lawrence. All happy it terminated as it did.

Next morning we all went down on board the ship and settled with the captain satisfactory. I was the last and expected a good lesson for the part I had played, but the captain did not mention a word on what had passed. He had given me money on several occasions. I had kept an account of all sums I had received and told him the amount. He said, “never mind, that was my gift and not charged to you.” We shook hands on parting. He hoped I would prosper as I deserved.

In a few days the hands had scattered on different vessels and different destination. I found employment in a cotton press, where I often met Captain Brown. One day sitting down in the office he told me his ship repairs would soon be completed and asked me if I would go with him to Liverpool, as the ship was loaded with cotton and the riggers had nearly completed their work, another vessel had taken his freight to New York. I told him I would be glad to sail with him, but as long as Mr. Moore was on her I would not set a foot on the deck, not because I feared him physically, but feared his treachery. I told how he tried to throw me overboard from the topsail-yard and the way he sent me to scrub the martingale, hoping no doubt that sharks would get hold of me. Captain Brown was horrified at such villainy. He told me the reason for his being mate that he and his friends in New York were in New York were nine-sixteenths parts of the ship, while he and his friends owned but seven-sixteenths parts (you will understand that a ship is divided into sixteen parts or ounces as they are called, so that one man may own hundreds of ounces in different ships without owning a whole one.) The captain told me that he had tried many times to sell his interest but ship owners were so well acquainted with Mr. Moore, that they would not buy as long as Mr. Moore and his friends owned controlling interest. He also told me that the friends of Mr. Moore did not want to elevate him as captain. After hearing this I told him that as poor as I was I would not change positions with him. With this he left the office, parting as friends.

To finish this story I must tell what happened a few years after, when working on a weekly newspaper in a small town on the west of England – a watering resort. Many of the aristocracy living in the neighborhood, having parks and gardens extending down to the seashore, with sailing yachts anchored before their doors. With these they go on pleasure excursions often during fine weather in summer. They generally keep an old seaman by the year to take care of and the sail the small crafts. In summer they have regattas at the different water resorts, and set time to run at the different circuits. The editor of the paper on which I worked went around to report the incidents of the races. He asked me to go with him in his buggy, there was an exciting race to take place next day about fifteen miles from our town. Arriving there the little town was in its holiday attire, the yachtsmen in uniforms were the lions of the day. The morning turned out fine, but the wind blowed hard and the sea was rough for the small crafts that were there to test their valor. The course to run was about twenty miles. A ship was anchored at both ends which they had to go around. Twenty yachts were booked for the race. The programs were printed and held by most of the excited crowd, naming the yachts and captains of each by the flags displayed. Thousands from the surrounding country lined the shores and housetops and every avenue from which the race could be seen. At the firing of a gun they all started. The friends of each yacht straining every nerve to keep track of his favorite. The wind blew hard. Before the wind we could not judge which was making the best time. In coming back they had to beat against the wind, and here the tug of war was displayed. They had to tack more than twenty times from one side of the narrow straight to the other, for it was not more than a mile wide. One yacht would gain on the other and their positions changed often. The men on shore becoming excited and bets were changed from one craft to the other continually. In the last half hour a yacht called Arvonia and another called Dolphin seemed to gain gradually. It was a grand sight to see these small cutters ploughing through the water, carrying such large sails that they were almost on beam ends, covered literally by foam. On and on they came, changing positions often. Experts could see the Arvonia and Dolphin, though not the fastest, but better handled, stood good chance of winning. The best were high on these two boats. Sometime these boats could not be seen for the foam they made. When the Arvonia once came in sight it was with the topmast carried away. There was excitement, among those who had bet heavy on her, that can hardly be described. Just at this moment the wind freshened to about a gale. The top mast was quickly cut away, and the Arvonia, relieved of too much canvas, rushed forward like a wounded bull. She rounded the ship anchored for mark, the cannon fired as the signal, then the other slow craft Dolphin, in two seconds had the gun fired for her. The other yachts steered away and gave up the contest. That evening the people of the town gave a grand banquet to the yachtsmen. Our editor was presented with two tickets to the banquet, one for him and one for me. The mayor of the town presided at the table, with Capt. Thomas, of the yacht Arvonia, on the right and Capt. Lewis, of the Dolphin, on the left. In a neat speech he presented the first prize, a handsome gold goblet, to the gallant master of the cutter Arvonia. Capt. Thomas in a patriotic speech acknowledged the great honor done them by the hospitality of the little town. The second prize was then presented to Capt. Lewis, of the Dolphin, a miniature ship made of ivory, with rigging of gold thread. He also made a neat little speech in acknowledgment of the kindness they had received during their stay by the kind and happy of the town and surrounding country. Many others made patriotic speeches, commemorating the innocent and recreative pleasures of yachting. After the inner man had been satisfied the meeting broke up, with all present singing “Brittania Rules the Waves”.

In breaking up all the present took the two gallant captains by the hand, with great praise for the manner of handling their crafts.

I was considerably excited and waited till the last, when I took those two gallant tars by the hand, never having given a thought until I heard their voices that they were my shipmates on the ship St. Lawrence. Jack Thomas and Dick Lewis. I spent the next day with them on their yachts, for they were as glad to see me as I was to see them.

To end this story. They told me that when I saw them leaving New York, on the ship Columbia, they went to New Zealand and traded in the Orient about three years: that our old friend John Evans had died with cholera at Calcutta; that Yankee Bill had fell from the yard arm off Cape of Good Hope, and lost: that they were both married and settled down at their old home and lived comfortable and both were happy.

Peace to their ashes is the tribute of an old shipmate who has also retired from the hardships seen at sea.

Dear friends I’ll keep your memory green.
You were men when I was sweet sixteen:
No doubt you’ve paid the debt of nature.
Like gallant chiefs at last surrender.

Yours respectfully,

L. E. Jones, Senior
St. James, Nebraska, January 1, 1901.

Lewis Evan Jones Sr. (1795 – 1860) – Evidence of his radical affiliations and practices

Lewis Evan Jones Sr. (1795 – 1860) – Evidence of his radical affiliations and practices.

1] From the London Express: Saturday, July 26, 1817 – Page 4

“NORTH WALES CIRCUIT—Beaumaris, July 23.

Before Mr. Justice Maule. Libel. — The Queen on the Prosecution of John Lloyd against Joseph Davies and Robert Williams. — This was an indictment for libel. The prosecutor (plaintiff) is the surgeon at Llangefin, the defendant Davies a medical practitioner in the same neighbourhood, and the other defendant a schoolmaster at Newborough. The declaration charged the defendants with having caused to be written, printed, and published a false, scandalous, and malicious libel, reflecting on the character and skill of the plaintiff as a medical practitioner. — Mr. Welsby and Mr. Temple appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Townsend for the defence. The libel was read at length, and never perhaps was so extraordinary a production produced in a court of justice, under cover of a dialogue between an Anglesey man and a Carmarthenshire man, replete with monstrosities and hyperbolical figures of speech of the most ludicrous description tending to the ridicule, and it might be to the injury, of the prosecutor. — On the part of the prosecution, the printer (Lewis Evan Jones Sr.), his son*, and wife were put into the box to trace the MS. (manuscript) and act of printing the same to the traversers. Other witnesses deposed to their having given publicity to the document so printed, and Mr. Lloyd, the prosecutor, swore that the libel in question had reference to himself. — Mr. Townsend addressed the jury with much force on the part of the traversers, and although he had no instruction to assail or call in question the character or skill of Mr. Lloyd, he much doubted bis good sense in not treating with indifference and contempt a pointless and unmeaning squib. The learned counsel next impeached the credibility of the witnesses for the prosecution, whose testimony he would overturn on the evidence of highly respectable witnesses. At the close of his address to the jury, Mr. Townsend called three witnesses, each of whom distinctly swore that Lewis Evan Jones, the printer, and first witness examined for the prosecution, admitted in their presence that Isaac Harris was the real author of the libel, and that Dr. Davies was an injured man — Mr. Temple replied, and the court summed up. The jury retired, and in a short time returned with a verdict of Guilty against both traversers. After some conversation between thee court and counsel, the verdict was taken. Guilty on the first five counts. Not guilty on the sixth. Mr. Temple prayed for judgment. — The sentence of the court was, that Davies be imprisoned for the space of four calendar months, and pay a fine of 60s; and that William be imprisoned two months. The term of Davies’s imprisonment was, at his own request, commuted to two calendar months, the fine being increased to 100s.”

* It is impossible that Lewis Evan Jones’s son was called as a witness at this trial, which occurred on July 23rd, 1817, as his eldest son, Lewis Evan Jones Jr. was not born until 1825. It is possible that the witness indicated here was an apprentice, possibly William Ellis Jones II (aka “Cawrdaf”) who was then about 22 years of age. It’s possible also that the witness in question was Cawrdaf’s younger brother, David Ellis Jones (born 1804), or his middle brother, Thomas Norcliffe Jones (born 1803), both of whom apprenticed at Lewis’ Carnarvon printing firm, and either one of whom could have been mistaken for Lewis Evan Jones Sr.’s sons.


2] From Ifano Jones – History of Printers and Printing in Wales and Monmouthshire, page 67.

“…That Robert Jones had left Conway to to settle at Pwllheli by 1828 is proved by the appearance of his name in Pigot & Co.’s directory for 1828 as ‘Jones Robert, stationer, printer, and sheriff’s officer, Penlan st.’, while his imprint appears on a book1 as early as March, 1829.

That he removed from Pwllheli to Bangor in 1834 is certain, for whereas his Pwllheli imprint appears in 1833 on ‘Natur Dyn… gan Griffith Jones’, his Bangor imprint appears in 1834 on ‘Galarnad… William Barnett… a fu farw… Gorphenaf yr 22, 1834 … Gan William Morgan, Caergybi.’ By 1835 he was printing at Bangor a satirical English newspaper entitled ‘Figaro in Wales’ a demy-folio sheet of four pages, treble columns, price 2d. No. 7 dated ‘Tuesday, September 1835’, bears the imprint, ‘Printed and Published for the Proprietors, by Robert Jones, at the Albion Office, Friars’ Place, Bangor,…where the Printing Business is carried on in all its departments.’ The scurrilous personal attacks of Figaro in Wales’, with its caricatures engraved by John Roberts, the Holyhead printer (son and successor of Robert Roberts, the Holyhead almanacer and printer, and grandson of Shon Rhobert Lewis), soon resulted in the publication of a similar paper, entitled ‘Anti-Figaro’, issuing from the printing-office of Lewis Evan Jones, Carnarvon2. Subsequently Robert Jones issued his paper ‘Philo-Figaro’3. The editors became so abusive of each other in their respective journals, that the officers of the Law put an end to the existence of both2, Robert Jones being proceeded against for libel ; and the Merionethshire Assizes held at Bala in March, 18364, he was mulcted in damaged to the tune of £2505.”


3] From the A Merioneth Family of Printers in Wales and the U.S.A. by Dr. Lewis Lloyd – The Journal of the Merioneth Historical and Records Society, Vol. XII (iv), 1997, we have the following insightful detail that captures the point of view expressed by Lewis Evan Jones Jr., son of Lewis Evan Jones (the elder), and is summarized by the author:

“…The reform agitation regarding parliamentary representation and local government at Caernarfon in the 1830’s, in which his father was actively engaged with the surgeon O.O. Roberts and other radicals, clearly made a lasting impression upon the growing boy…”[9]

A good deal later in Lewis Evan Jones Jr.’s reminiscences, writing from his new home in the Nebraska Territory after having traveled the world and having seen much of the United States, he recounts that he bought “…a steam sawmill and had a small printing office … the two most important things to civilize a new country…” [10]


4] Controversial Books Published that have survived the censors:

1] Authors: Lloyd, Evan, 1734-1776.
Title: The curate
Description: 27 p.
Imprint: Printed at the Arvonian Press by L.E. Jones for Owen Owen Roberts, 1832
Annotation: Originally published about the year 1766.

1] Authors: Uncredited
Title: Address to electors accusing William Buckeley Hughes of bribery
Description: 1 sheet 17 x 21 cm. Broadside
Imprint: Lewis Evan Jones, Printer, 1841
Annotation: Dated 1 July 1841. Probably published against the Conservative candidate, W. Bulkeley Hughes, by supporters of the Whig, Lord George Paget, in the Caernarvon Boroughs constituency at the 1841 election.


Lewis Evan Jones Jr. (1825 – 1910) — Family History and Biography Sketches

The following is a faithful transcription of a photocopied document that I received from Douglas Bond of Raleigh, North Carolina, (great-grandson of Lewis Evan Jones Jr., of Nebraska). The original document appears to have been printed on a dot matrix printer, and is dated June 30, 1991. The original author is Lewis Evan Jones Jr. of Cedar County, Nebraska. The editor is presumed to be Mr. E.W. Jones, mentioned below. My notes follow the transcribed text, related to asterisks(*) placed in the body of the transcription.

Regarding the transcription: mis-spellings, mistakes, etc. that appear in the original transcription appear here italicized. Punctuation errors and ALL CAPS are retained from the original. Where I have introduced corrections to either clarify a misspelled or missing word, I have included them in parenthesis, (in italics). It cannot be determined what errors were introduced by the original transcriber or are original to the hand-written original text, however every effort has been made on my part to copy the text in my possession verbatim.

C.H. Jones
Raleigh, NC
December 14, 2014

“The following is a typed version of a document (the original is presently in the possession of Mr. E. W. Jones, grandson of the author, 2891 Laurel Street, Napa, California 94558-5728). The document is written in the hand of Mr. Lewis Evan Jones (1825 – 1910). The date of the document is unknown, however several entries are dated March 1st, 1898.



“My ancestors were all thorough Welsh, and inhabitants of Merionethshire, North Wales, on my father’s side.

“My great-grand-father was named RICHARD JONES, Tzddyn-du (Black Farm) half way between the town of Barmouth, (a prosperous sea port on Cardigan Bay, at that time, and until the Railroads took all that business from ships who applied to and from all ports of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales,) and Dolgelley, a prosperous town, ten miles from tide water. This place was noted for its woolen manufacture, and good market for wood, which was a flourishing business raising sheep those days, and in a mountainous country. It is yet a good manufacturing town, making the famous Welsh flannels, known all over the world for its sterling qualities.

“My great grand father owned two pieces of land contiguous to Tzddyn-du, called Bont-ddu (Black Bridge) and Tynybuarth. These farms contained some good farming land and large mountains, very lofty, extensive gold mines are now worked on these mountains, said to pay well, all owned by farmers of this neighborhood. At Bont-ddu, same neighborhood, my great grand father had built a woolen mill, which is still operating, but greatly improved since those days. There is also quite a village formed around it, with a large, excellently built Wesleyan chapel. The name of Tyddyn-du was changed by my grand father to Bryntirion (Pleasant Mount.) On this spot is one of the most exquisite palaces in North Wales built by a Mr. Myan, a member of Parliament from that county. (My great grand Mother’s name was Ann. They lived about the year 1700.)


“William Jones, of Bryntirion (Pleasant Mount), my grand father was the eldest of two sons of Richard Jones, Tyddyn-du. After the death of his brother he inherited Tyddyn-du and changed the name to Bryntirion. This large estate was situated halfway between Barmouth, and Dolgelley, five miles from each, close to the public highway. My grandfather at an early age, together with his brother Ellis, were sent to a town in the adjoining county (Carnarvonshire) called Pwllheli, where was located one of the best colleges at that time in the whole country. There they remained many years, where they learned all the classics, and became very well versed in English, Greek, and Latin. They were considered excellent scholars and linguists. My grand father settled down at Bryntirion, and his brother Ellis inherited Bont-ddu, and carried on the business of the woolen mill that was already established, there being a fine waterfall nearby.

“My grand father had two sons and three daughters. The eldest son Richard, he set up in the printing business at Dolgelley, one of the first, if not the first printing offices in North Wales. The second son, my father Lewis, learned the printing business with his brother, Richard at Dolgelley. After serving his apprenticeship my grand father started my father in that business at Carnarvon, in the adjoining county, the largest town at that time, and is yet, in North Wales. There my father in that business, raised a large family of children, both my father and mother lived to a good age, and there they were both buried, honored and respected.

“My grandfather was an early follower of John Wesley and all the family are Wesleyans ever since. I much remember that on a visit to to his old house, my father took me with him, then very young, nothing struck me more than a neat circular chapel, on a level spot half way up a tall mountain that my grandfather had built for his family and neighbors to worship God on his estate….*

“Note: With respect to the college (school) referred above, which school William and Ellis were to have attended in Pwllheli, this compiler, has had correspondence with Professor Geraint H. Jenkins, Coleg Prifysgol Crmu, Aberystwyth, Department of History, Aberystwyth, North Wales and in this correspondence the professor has tentatively identified this school and the head master. However the correspondence has been forwarded to Mr. W. Glyn Thomas to enable him to check out the school. No response has yet been received.**


“My father, Lewis Evan Jones, was the son of William Jones, of Bryntirion (Pleasant Mount), Merionethshire, North Wales. He was established in the printing business at Caernarvon, in the early part of this century. He was married on the 13th day of January 1819, to Jane Pritchard, at Llanbeblig Parish, at the age of 23. He was a practiced printer, having served his apprenticeship with his brother Richard at Dolgelley. He raised a large family of children and died at the age of 57. He was buried at Llanbeblig Parish yard in the same grave with my mother and three children, died young.***


“My mother was the daughter of Mordeceh (Mordecai) Pritchard and Jane Pritchard of Carnarvon. She was born in London – her parents living there at the time. She was married to my father at Llanbeblig Church on the 13th day of January 1819, and died February 1852 at the age of 54.

“Seafaring life is exciting and healthy
Men aboard ship are cheerful and lively;
Cut loose from shore with good bottoms under
They care not for storm, cyclone or thunder.

“Christmas carols – sweet their tune,
Babe of Bethlehem they enthrone;
Pious anthems cheer the weak,
Balmy zephyrs bathe the cheek.

“Note: This document has not been fully extracted, only that portion that related to Mr. Jones’ Welsh ancestors. What follows is a type written version of Mr. Jones hand written comments that pretained to his own life as a young man in Wales and later about his life as a new immigrant, and subsequently as a naturalized citizen of the United States.

“Mr. Lewis Evan Jones was born at Carnarvon, North Wales, on the twenty first day of February 1825. (Died Oct. 21, 1910)

“My father kept his printing office up stairs in his dwelling house, and therefore I had a good chance to learn that trade. At the age of 16 I was a pretty good workman, having had little education in the common schools, but learned more at my father’s office than I did at school. Carnarvon being quite a sea-port at the time, I came across many seafaring men, Welsh, English and foreign. I made up my mind to go and see (a) little of the world. Proceeding to Liverpool I found and English brig going to Stettin in Russia and Constantinople (former name of Istanbul, then part of the Byzantine empire.) Returning in the fall to Hull, England. From there I returned home and worked in the office with my father. When spring came I was in Liverpool again. This time I got a vessel going to Constantinople and the Black Sea going the whole length of the Mediterranean Sea. Went on a voyage to the Baltic Sea. After this I got aboard American ships with different ports in Europe and the United States. After following sea life (for) years, I had seen all I wanted. I then returned home and worked for my father and the “Carnarvon and Denbeigh Herald”. In the course of two years a large ship the ROYAL WILLIAM came there to load slate for New Orleans.

“(see page 54 ‘The Port of Caernarfon 1793 – 1900’ by Mr. Lewis Lloyd ‘ ‘ The ship Royal William (311 tons), built at Montreal in 1831, was transferred to the Baumaris Register in 1836. The sole owner was William Turner, junior, and the first local commander was Captain Griffith Hugh Rogers. Humphrey Owen bought the vessel from William Turner in 1850 and the Royal William was ‘sold foreigh’ in 1867. So this vessel’s association with Caernarfon, as a timber and emigrant carrier, was a lengthy one (1836 – 1867)…… page 55 ….. Like the Brig Belle Isle and the barque Hindoo, the ship Royal William was a timber carrier which sometimes loaded cotton for Liverpool at New Orleans.)

“I had been there before, and I took passage one her, and left father, mother, and sisters and brothers for the new world, as then called. I have seen (?) brother and one sisters – all dead. We left Carnarvon on the 23 December. Found work at New Orleans, but Cholera was bad. Left for St. Louis. Found work on Missouri Republic, now Republic. I then bought a small office and printed the St. Louis Chriisian (Christian) Advocate for six years. At this time the government purchased Kansas and Nebraska from the Indians. I married Louisa Richards. Then I went to Nebraska on a voyage of discovery. The territory was then just organized containing all the land between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains. This vast territory contained but four thousand white population when I first came here. I found passage on the steamer TWILIGHT, engaged by the government to take provisions to the soldiers at Fort Union and found half-dozen pioneers located here. (Now St. Helena, Nebraska) I looked the country over a few days, and then went back to my family at St. Louis to make preparations and sell out what property we had there. We found the steamer FLORENCE getting ready to go up for the government the latter part of 1859. I then purchased a steam sawmill and had a small printing office. The two most important things to civilize a new country. We landed here in 12 days from St. Louis. We had many ups and downs for the country settled up very slowly. Grasshoppers came upon us like the locust of Egypt and drove many settlers away. Then the Civil War between North and South took all the young able-bodied men for soldiers. Through all these draw backs we increased in population gradually from 4000 in 1856 to 1,500,000 in 1898. As soon as justified I built a flour mill at the mouth of Petit Arc river, (Little Bow) near a never failing stream emptying into the Missouri river at this place, in 1868; and remodeled it to Roller Mill, 557 bbs capacity in 1890. I laid out the town of St. Helena where I first landed in 1858. The Bow Valley Mills where I now reside is six miles from St. Helena, two from St. James and one to the Niberia River, 12 from Hardington railroad and telegraph.”


CH Jones Notes:

* The Wesleyan Chapel built by William Ellis Jones of Brytirion was called Pen Nebo. See: The Origin and History of Methodism in Wales and the Borders, by David Young – Morrison & Gibb, Printers, Edinburgh, 1893. See: Pages 589 – 590.

** The free Grammar School at Pwllheli was in operation prior to 1744 when the famed Welsh bard Goronwy Owen became an assistant schoolmaster there. This is the same school attended by brothers William Ellis and David Ellis Jones, although they attended at a later date than when Owen was in residence. The school was respected as providing a high-quality education to the children of Wales best gentry and rising middle class families. It taught the Anglican religion, English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Artithmatic, along with a heavy emphasis on the classics.

*** Lewis Evan Jones Jr.’s account of his father is curiously silent on the elder’s politics. Lewis Evan Jones Sr. was famous in North Wales for his radical politics, his rabid opposition to the Anglican church, and his critical (arguably libelous) writing against political opponents published from his printing office in Carnarvon. See Ifano Jones, History of Printers and Printing in Wales, for starters.

Lewis Evan Jones Sr. (1795 – 1860) of Carnarvon – His Children

The following is a faithful transcription (typos, incorrect and missing punctuation, poor grammar and all) of a photocopied document that I received from D.L. Bond of Raleigh, NC, (great-grandson of Lewis Evan Jones Jr., of Nebraska). The original document appears to have been set in the late 19th century and printed in letterpress. It is set in the style of a newspaper advertisement, with a decorative border (see scan of the original, below). Handwritten on a generation of photocopy is the following, “This is A.W. Jones Grandfather”. Handwritten on a later generation of the photocopy is the following, “Lewis Evan Jones Carnarvon, Wales”.

While there is no indication of where the original first appeared, it seems likely that it was produced in one of the Joneses printing/publishing firms in Wales. It’s possible that it was produced at the shop of Lewis Evan Jones in Caernarvon, after the death of Lewis Evan Jones or his wife, Jane. Given the expense required to produce this, and the fact that the author is indicated as “Jane, his wife”, I am considering this Primary Source material.


Lewis Evan Jones,

“Lewis Evan Jones, Aged 23 and Jane Pritchard Aged 22 was Married at Llanbeblig by Mr. Roberts, the Rector on the 13th of January 1819. Jane Jones (the Mother) Died February 8th 1852, Aged 54. Jane Jones, (the Daughter) was born on the 23rd of Jenuary 1820. Catherine Jones, was born on the 6th of November 1821. Ann Jones, was born on the 25 of February 1823 Lewis Evan Jones, (the Son) was born on the 21 of January 1827. Laura Jones, was born on the 19th of January 1829. Mary Jones, was born on the 9th of February 1831, Died October 16, 1832, Aged 20 Months and 7 days. Richard Jones, was born on the 20 of February 1833. Died March 10 1837 Aged 4 years. Thomas Jones, was born on the 12 of January 1835. Richard Evan Jones, was born on the 10 of March 1837. Margaret Jones, was born on the 8th of August 1839. Died on the 13th of May 1852. Aged 12 years and 10 months,”

A History of Printing and Printers in Wales : Transcribed

In the very early 19th century, the Jones family of Dolgelly, Wales launched into the printing and publishing business. The family’s reasons for doing so seem to have more to do with religion than commerce.In the late 18th century, Wales was swept over by a spiritual and religious fervor led by John Wesley. The tide was ardently non-conformist, anti-Established Church (Church of England), Welsh-nationalist, and decidedly working and middle class in its congregational focus.

William Jones (b. about 1760 – d. 1830), who was known in his community as “William of Brynterion“, was the first in his neighborhood to convert to Wesleyanism. His passion for the new, non-conformist faith was exceptional, and like many of the early converts, he sought to spread the “Good News”.  While some of his Wesleyan peers traveled the Welsh countryside preaching in open air revivals, William – a forward looking man – saw the power of the press as his means of reaching thousands. As one of the principal landowners and citizens of Dolgelley, it is believed that he invited Thomas Williams (discussed below) to Dolgelly, and offered his youngest son, Richard Jones, as an apprentice to learn the trade.

From this office, a dynasty of eminent printers, authors, book publishers and Welsh political activists was launched.

In 1925, Ifano Jones, the Welsh Librarian at Cardiff and respected historian, published a dense, deeply researched book that revealed the history of the printed word in Wales; from it’s first cradle press in the early 18th century, to the early 20th century. The Joneses of Dolgelly figured prominently into that work. The following is a transcription of the chapters that deal principally with this family, their founding of the Dolgelly press, and all the 19th century individuals who started their careers there, then went on to even larger accomplishments.


The following is a partial transcription of “A History of Printing and Printers in Wales to 1810, successive and related printers to 1923, also, A History of Printing and Printers in Monmouthshire to 1923.”

By Ifano Jones, The Welsh Librarian, Cardiff

William Lewis (Printers), Limited, Cardiff. 1925.

Chapter XXIV

Page 152


About 1798(1) THOMAS WILLIAMS commenced printing at DOLGELLY, continuing until 1807(2), when he took into partnership RICHARD JONES(3), who had served his apprenticeship with him, and who, soon after – in 1808(4) – upon THOMAS WILLIAM’S retirement, became sole proprietor.

THOMAS WILLIAMS had before commencing to print been in business at DOLGELLY as a bookseller: see his name as ‘Mr. Williams, Bookseller, Dollgellau.’ Among the ‘Subscribers’ Names’ in ‘Drych y Prif Oesoedd’ (ed. Mirror the First Time?)(1794).

THOMAS WILLIAMS, self-taught as he was, and lacking in skill and taste as a printer, was nevertheless better than some of his predecessors. Born in 1757, he was the son of William Jones (1717 – 1783) and Ellen Thomas (1718-1780), of Penardd Wnion Fawr and Y Cae Glâs, in the parish of Llanfachreth, near Dolgelly. His first occupation was that of a cattle-drover, which took him frequently over the Welsh Border; but developing a love of books, and becoming acquainted with booksellers and printers in carrying messages for Rhys Jones of Y Blaenau and Hugh Jones of Maesglasau, he learnt sufficient of the craft of printing to set up as a master-printer, and so inaugurated what for DOLGELLY has since 1798 been an industry of considerable importance. In religion he…

(1)    Owen Rees, Dolgelly, in ‘By-Gones (Dec. 24, 1879) surmises it was about 1795’. ‘Cambrian Bibliography’ records nothing printed by THOMAS WILLIAMS before 1799; but that he was in business before is clear from the fact that on the last page (8) of the ‘Troeadigaeth yr Atheist… Dolgelley, Argraphwyd gan T. Williams.’ He advertises ‘Dolgelley, Mai 3dd. 1798 Heddyw [=to-day] y cyhoeddir. Annerch Ieuengctyd Cymru’, etc.

(2)    Galwad Caredigol ar yr Arminiaid (Call friends for the Arminians?) … Dolgellau. Argraphwyd gan T. Williams.’, signed and dated on the last page (12), ‘John Roberts Llanbrynmair. Chwef. 10, 1807.’

(3)    Yr Ysgerbwd Arminaidd (The Arminian Skeleton?)… Gan Wilym Huntingdon… Dolgellau: Argraphwyd gan Williams, a Jones’ 240pp., cr. 8vo, undated, but printed in 1807, being one of several publications of the like controversial nature issued in that year and the years immediately preceding it.

Page 153

…was a zealous Church-of-England man; and to him is attributed the planting of the ivy that adorns the walls of church and churchyard at Dolgelly. He also bequeathed the half-yearly interest of £50 to the poor communicants of the Parish Church of Llanfachreth. He died Aug. 16, 1841, aged 84 years, and was buried in the Llanfachreth churchyard(1) His wife (Barbara, a daughter of squire Pierce, of Pengwern, Ffestiniog, who brought him considerable wealth), had predeceased him Mar. 19, 1830(2)

His apprentice and, in 1807-8, his partner, was besides being better equipped, more ambitious. Becoming sole proprietor in 1808(3), he undertook the printing of ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’(4), issuing its first number in January, 1809. This periodical he printed from January, 1809, to December, 1811, and again from January, 1819, to May, 1824. He started or printed several other periodicals, such as (a) the second number (1814) of ‘Cylchgrawn Cymru’ (a Church-of-England quarterly), (b) ‘Y Dysgedydd Crefyddol’ (A Congregational monthly) from November, 1821, to December, 1832, (c) ‘Pethau Newydd a Hen’ (a juvenile montly) from 1826 to April, 1829, (d) ‘Trysor I Blentyn’ (a juvenile monthly) in 1826, (e) ‘Yr Athraw’ (a juvenile monthly) from January, 1827, to June, 1829, (f) ‘Trysorfa Rhyfeddodau’ (a monthly) in 1833-4, and (g) ‘Y Dirwestwr’ (a temperance monthly) in 1840-4. But he was better at inaugurating than continuing a project, and was dilatory and frequently careless in execution. This accounts for the taking out of his hands of more than one periodical.

His early printing at DOLGELLY was good and important, including such heavy tomes as the quatros, (a) a reprint of Walter’s Welsh dictionary in 1815, (b) ‘Holl Weithiau Josephus’ in 1819, and (c) a reprint of Dr. William Morgan’s Welsh version of the Bible (1588) in 1821(5). He also published the first 17 parts, comprising nearly 550pp. 4to, of a translation into the Welsh of Matthew Henry’s commentary, the first part appearing May 1st, 1820, and the 17th in 1825(5).

But the hearsay statement made by ‘Gwalchmai’ (the Rev. Richard Parry) on pp. 186-7 of ‘Y Dysgedydd’ (1882), that RICHARD JONES was the first to publish a Welsh weekly newspaper, cannot be entertained. The statement (translated) is as follows: –‘It is said that Richard Jones … was the first to venture to publish a Welsh weekly newspaper; it continued one year only; he lost money on the affair, and he gave up the venture. The Rev. Josiah Harris [(‘Gomer’)], of Swansea, afterwards resuscitated it in Seren Gomer.’ – Surely, had such a paper been issued, and especially week by week for a year, some authentic record would have survived by Jan. 1, 1814, when the first number of ‘Seren Gomer’ was issued and universally hailed as the first attempt at a newspaper in Cymraeg. ‘Gwalchmai’ was misled by somebody who evidently believed that the first series of ‘Seren Gomer’ (1814-15) was published by RICHARD JONES instead of by JOSEPH HARRIS (‘GOMER’), who, in 1818, after the suspension of ‘Seren Gomer’ in 1815, resuscitated it under the same title.

In 1824 RICHARD JONES was in trouble over nonpayment of paper tax, and had for a time to keep out of the way of civil authorities.(6) This probably accounts for his selling(6) his press, after printing the June number of ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ in 1824, to the Welsh Circuit of the Wesleyan-Methodist Connexion, who had at Dolgelly, in the autumn of 1823, formed its first(6) Welsh Bookroom…

(1)    ‘Cambrian Bibliography’, p 719, on the authority of L. Williams, Dolgelly, and CATHERINE JONES, widow of RICHARD JONES.

(2)    ‘Y Dysgedydd Crefyddol’ (April, 1830, p. 128)

(3)    Rowlands, in ‘Cambrian Bibliography’, p. 336, is in error in stating that RICHARD JONES printed ‘Yr Udgorn Arian’ (undated) ‘about the years 1800-1804’: RICHARD JONES was only an apprentice, aged 17, in 1804.

(4)    The Welsh Wesleyan monthly, still issuing.

(5)    See my (ed. Ifano Jones) notes, description and bibliography in ‘The Bible in Wales’ (1906)

(6)    ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (1890, p. 288, and 1909, pp. 4 and 33)

(Eds. Note: Not to take anything away from Ifano Jones, but given this family’s track record, it isn’t impossible for me to contemplate that RICHARD JONES would have been both ambitious enough and capable enough to attempt the FIRST Welsh language weekly newspaper, regardless of his youth. This family had a penchant for striking off at a very early age at endeavors we would consider today, almost impossible, at any age. I consider the statement  of the Rev. Richard Parry,  on pp. 186-7 of ‘Y Dysgedydd’ (1882), that RICHARD JONES was the first to publish a Welsh weekly newspaper, in the realm of absolute possibility.)

Page 154

…Committee, and who, in 1824, removed the Bookroom from Dolgelly to Llanfair Caereinion, Montgomeryshire (1).  With the press went three journeymen-printers from the Dolgelly office, namely, ROBERT JONES, (‘Bardd Mawddach’), JOHN JONES (‘Idrisyn’), and RICHARD HUMPHREYS – the first to act as managing printer up to October, 1827, and afterwards as a printer in his own up to 1835(2), when he returned to Dolgelly(3).

After October, 1827, the press, Bookroom and workmen were removed from Llanfair Caereinion to Llanidoles, where they remained in operation under the management of JOHN JONES (‘Idrisyn’) until August, 1836, when the Bookroom Committee sold the press and plant to Rev. Edward Jones, Wesleyan Minister at Llantysilio, Montgomeryshire, who gave more than £300 for them, with extra sums for paper, etc. (4), and who made his son, JOHN MENDUS JONES, master-printer(4). The latter was born in 1814(5), and had served his apprenticeship in the office under JOHN JONES (‘Idrisyn’), and from September, 1836, printed ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ at Llanidloes up to September 1846. From October, 1846, to April, 1853, Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ was printed by JOHN JONES (‘Idrisyn’); but from May, 1853, until his death Feb. 24, 1899(5), the montly was printed by JOHN MENDUS JONES, who, in December, 1859, after issuing the number for that month, had removed his press to Bangor, Carnarvonshire. At his death the press became the property of EVAN THOMAS, who after printing ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ for years in 207, High Street, Bangor, prints it now in the Gwalia Printing Works, Sacksville Road, Bangor.


After disposing of his press to the Wesleyan-Methodist Connexion in 1824, RICAHRD JONES acquired another, and continued to print at DOLGELLY in 1825, 1826, and 1827, as many of the dated examples of his imprint prove. But in 1827 he left Dolgelly for PONTYPOOL, in Monmouthshire, to set up there the first of three branch printing-offices he then and subsequently managed. On the Pontypool publications the same founts of type and the same kinds of ‘flowers’ and borders are found as on those of Dolgelly. But the struggle to keep both presses working simultaneously, at such a distance the one from the other – the one at the foot of Cader Idris and the other at the foot of the Tranch – did not last long; and few and slight are the publications that bear his Pontypool imprint, his most important being three parts out of a projected dozen comprising a volume of Biblical and moral essays, entitled ‘Y Blaguryn’, from the pen of David Owen (‘Brutus’). The first part was issued in October, 1827, the second later in the same year, and the third in 1828. Each part numbers 32pp, demy 8vo, in a wrapper full of notices of forthcoming numbers, apologies for delays and irregularities, and promises of amends in the future. The title of the first part is, ‘Nodded | y | Goron | |i | Ryddid | y | Wasc. | 1. Y Rhifyn Cyntaf, |Pris a chyhoeddwyd, | o’r | Blaguryn, | Gan Brutus. | … | Pontypool : | Argraffawyd a chyhoeddwyd gan Richard Jones ; | Cyhoeddedid hefyd | Gan R. Jones, yn Nolgellau, Meirion : | Hydref 1827.’

RICHARD JONES’s compositor at PONTYPOOL(6) was JEFFREY JONES (‘Ab Cilydd’, ed. Son of mother named Cilydd?) who in 1828 became a master-printer himself at Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, but died August 5, 1830, aged 24 years((6). (For further particulars respecting JEFFERY JONES see Chapter XXVI.)

(1)    ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (1890, p. 288, and 1909, pp. 4 and 33)

(2)    Pigot & Co.’s directory (1835-6).

(3)    ‘Y Dysgedydd’ (1838, p. 220).

(4)    Ibid (1899, p. 200).

(5)    ‘Lleuad yr Oes’ (1830, p. 282).

Page 155

Before(1) September, 1828, RICHARD JONES had decided to remove his press from Pontypoll to MERTHYR TYDFIL. There, at first, he printed in partnership with the REV. JOHN JENKINS(2) – a Baptist minister, better known, as well as more endeared to the peoples of Wales, as SHÔN SHINCYN – and THOMAS WILLIAMS (‘GWILYM MORGANWG’) – ‘mine host’ of The New Inn, Pontypridd. Their imprint appears on (a) ‘Pregeth, ar Execiiel X. 13. “O Olwyn”. Gan William Davies, Llantrisant. Merthyr: Argrawffwyd gan Jenkins a’I Gyfeillion. 1828.’, 16pp., foolscap 8 vo.; (b) ‘Ymddiddanion rhwng Thomas y Colier, a Dafydd y Miner… Gan hen Finer. Y Trydydd Argraffiad… Merthyr;  argraffwyd dros J. Jones, gan Jenkins a’I Gyf… 1828.’ 34 pp., 12mo, with a two-page advertisement at the end headed ‘Llyfrau Cymraeg, ar werth gan Jenkins, Jones, gan John Jones, cyhoeddwr y llyfr hwn’; (c) ‘Traethawd, … Swper Argraffwyd gan Jenkins a’I Gyfeillion,. 1828.’, 256pp., foolscap 8vo, the colophon and the last page being ‘Merthyr; argraffwyd gan R. Jones.”

Once before, but only for a short time in 1819, SHÔN SHINCYN and GWILYM MORGANWG (THOMAS WILLIAMS) had been in partnership as master ‑printers in Mill Street, MERTHYR TYDFIL; but from, 1819 to May 30, 1827, when the press and type of that office were removed for re-erection at MAESYCWMWR, Monmouthshire, SHÔN SHINCYN was the sole proprietor.

Lacking money and trade connections, RICHARD JONES, in re-erecting his Pontypool press in the High Street (=’Heol Fawr’) at MERTHYR TYDFIL, found the names, if not the actual partnership, of SHÔN SHINCYN and GWILYM MORGANGWG advantageous to him. However, before the end of 1828, he was on his own; and by January, 1829, he had printed there the January number of the juvenile monthy, ‘Yr Athraw’(3), of which he printed five more numbers, the last of them being that for June, 1829. At MERTHYR, in 1829, he printed little else, probably not much more than (a) the objects and rules of ‘Cymdeithas y Dynolwyr yn Nantyglo’… Merthy: Argraffwydd gan Richard Jones. 1829.’ 24pp., cr. 8vo; (b) ‘Traethawd ar Dywyllwch t Cymry, a Bendithion eu Gwlad … Merthyr: Argraffwyd gan R. Jones. 1829.’ 24pp., foolscap 8vo; (c) ‘Twyll Sosiniaeth… gan David Griffiths…Merthyr: Argraffwyd ac ar werth gan Richard Jones… 1830.’ Cr. 8vo, 40pp.; and (d) a foolscap folio poster in Welsh and English announcing ‘The Annual Meeting of Cymmrodorion Society of Merthyr-Tydfil,… at the Bush Inn, on Tuesday, the 14th of July, 1829…R. Jones, Printer and Auctioneer, Merthyr.’

But RICHARD JONES having sold the Merthyr press and type March 20, 1829(4) two months before he printed the June number of of ‘Yr Athraw’ – to WILLIAM ROWLANDS, who immediately removed them back to Pontypool, and who, despite the delay over the removal, was able to issue in August, 1829, a double number (July-August) of ‘Yr Athraw’,  — could not have printed ‘Twyll Sosiniaeth’ (1830) at MERTHYR except on somebody else’s press; and a comparison of the type-founts used in ‘Twyll Sosinaeth with those used by BENJAMIN MORGAN, High Street, MERTHYR, in ‘Traethawd ar Ostyngeiddrwydd… Gan… (Togarma)’ (1830), points to BEJAMIN MORGAN’s being that particular press.

In the beginning of 1831 WILLIAM ROWLANDS disposed of the Pontypool press and type, and retired from business. (For further particulars respecting WILLIAM ROWLANDS see under PONTYPOOL in the second part of this work.)

(1)    On p. 160 of ‘Y Dwsgedydd Crefyddol’ (May, 1829) there was ‘Ynglynion Croesawaid Mr. Richard Jones, Argrawffydd, I Ferthyr, Medi, 1828.

(2)    See Xhapeter XXIII, and under ‘MAESCYCWMWR’ in the second part of this work, for further particulars.

(3)    Printed previously from Merthyr from January, 1827 (the first number) to December, 1828.

(4)    Cofiant… William Rowlands, D.D…. Gan… Howell Powell’ (1873, p. 159)

Page 156

Meanwhile RICHARD JONES’s Dolgelly press thrives. Since 1813(1), he had described his press as ‘Gomerian Press’(1) and ‘Gomer-Wasg’(2), which he varied later as ‘Y Wasg Omeraidd’(3). To his activities as a printer, publisher and bookbinder, he added those of auctioneer. He was also as elder in the local Wesleyan-Methodist church, and on the ‘plan’ as a preacher.

Early in 1842(4) he again left his home and office at Dolgelly in charge of his family and employees, and proceeded with his son, ISAAC FRANCIS JONES, to MACHYNLLETH, Montgomeryshire, to set up there his second branch-printing office as ‘Jones Richard, printer, Pentre rhedyn st.’; but later in 1844(5) he had given his son a share in the business of the branch, and in January, 1845(6), he had made him sole proprietor.

ISAAC FRANCIS JONES, like his father, was a Wesleyan-Methodist local preacher. By May, 1849, he had sold his press and the contents of his office to Adam Evans, and had emigrated to the United States. On pp. 124-5 of ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd; (1850) I find “Anerchiad at Mr. Isaac Francis Jones, gynt o Dolgellau, Argraffydd, a Phregethwr yr Efengyl; Yr hwn a Ymfudodd o Fachynlleth I Unol Daleithaiu yr America, en Mehefin, 1849, gyda’I Briod, a Mr. Evan E. Jones ei Frawd-yn-nghyfraith; ac a hwyliasant o Gaerefrog Newydd I fyned I San Francisco, California, Rhagfyr 11, 1849,’ signed and dated ‘Ei Dad, R.J. Dolgellau, Ionawr, 1850.’ Alas! By Nov. 3, 1850 – his birthday – he had died of cholera at San Francisco, at the age of 31(7). He was born Nov. 3, 1819, and was the fourth son of RICAHRD JONES. In his 20th year (1839), having served his apprenticeship in his father’s office, he had left Dolgelly to work as a compositor in ‘The Carnarvon and Denbeigh Herald’(8) office, Carnarvon. After a brief sojourn there, he returned home. In February, 1840, he left again, this time to work for a London printer named GAUTRESS, in the office of ‘The Watchman’(9) – a Wesleyan-Methodist organ. After a year and a half in London, he returned home once more. No printer having been at MACHYNLLETH for some years, his father, early in 1842, setting up there a branch office, put him in charge. March 20, 1846, he married Mary, the only daughter of Edward Jones, Bryncrug, near Towyn, Marionethshire. Monday morning, May 28, 1849, he left his father’s house for Liverpool, embarking on June 6 in the steamship, ‘Constellation’, for New York, and landing there July 10. Leaving new York, December 6, in the steamship, ‘Pawbattan’, and rounding Cape Horn, he landed in San Francisco July 30, 1850, and on the following morning was engaged as a compositor on an evening newspaper.(10) He was deeply religious and was the first Welsh Wesleyan preacher in San Francisco, initiating in his own house there a Sunday School for the instruction of Welsh people of…

(1)    ‘Casglaid o Bregethau… Gomerian Press: Dolgellau, Argraphydd, gan R. Jones. 1813.’ Xiii, 240pp dy. 8vo.

(2)    Ffydd Eliphaz y Temanaid … Gan… William Williams…Gomer Wasg: Dolgellau, Argraphydd gan Richard Jones. 1824.’

(3)    Pryddestau Gwodrwyol …  T.B. Morris (Gwyneddfardd..)…Y Wasg Omeraidd: Dolgellau: Argraphydd gan R. Jones. 1853.

(4)    ‘A Catalog of …Books …Auction Bodtalog House, Near Towyn…July 13th and 14th, 1842…Machynlleth: Printed by R. Jones’, 16pp., foolscap 8vo.

(5)    ‘Y Ffordd Dra Rhagorol… Gan Richard Davies… Machynlleth: A Argraphydd gan Richard and Isaac Jones. 1844.’, 12pp., cr., 8vo.

(6)    ‘Anerch at Weinidogion Crist,… 4pp., foolscap 8vo; on p.4 – ‘Griffith Evans. Maes-y-Pandy, Dydd Calan, 1845. I.F. Jones, Argraphydd, Machynlleth.’

(7)    ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (1851, p. 227 et seq.).

(8)    From Jan. 1, 1831 (no. 1) up to and including Jan. 2, 1836, ‘The Carnarvon Herald and North Wales Advertiser’; since Jan 9, 1836, until to-day ‘The Carnarvon Herald and North and South Wales Independent.’

(9)    Jan. 7, 1835 (no. 1) – Dec. 31, 1884 (the last no.)

(10)‘The Evening Picayune’ (‘Welsh People of California… by David Hughs (Afronydd) San Francisco’ (1923), p. 15.

Page 157

…the city. When, under pressure of work in the offce, he was asked to work on a Sunday, he resolutely refused to do so, affirming that ‘not all the gold of California could tempt him to desecrate the Lord’s Day.’ But Nov. 3 he died of cholera. Three days after his young widow succumbed to the same scourge. Both lie buried in a cemetery situate near San Francisco.

When ADAM EVANS purchased the MACHYNLLETH press from ISAAC FRANCIS JONES in 1849, the office had been removed from Pentre Rhedyn Street to Maengwyn Street(1) By 1858(2) ADAM EVANS had removed it to Penyrallt Stree: he was there in 1868(3). By 1880(4) he had removed it back to Maengwyn Street Street, where it remained until his death March 3, 1896(5), aged 77 years. He was one of eight children of the Rev. William Evans, Wesleyan minister, and his wife Jane, the daughter of Maurice and Elizabeth Davies of Carnarvon. His father was born at Carnarvon Oct. 25, 1779, and died at Machynlleth July 30, 1854(6). ADAM EVANS’s mother too, was a native of Carnarvon, born in 1784, married June 25, 1811, and like her husband, died at Machynlleth, July 3, 1861(7)

After ADAM EVANS death in 1896, his widow, MARGARET EVANS(8), carried on the business until her death Dec. 26, 1905, aged 73 years.

After her death MR. JOHN EVANS became sole proprietor, and still carries on. Some of his earlier imprints describe his office as ‘The Standard Printing Works’; but his later ones describe it as ‘The Albion Printing Works’. MR. JOHN EVANS, prior to his becoming master-printer, had spent 14 years in the office, and is the last of the apprentices trained by ADAM and MARGARET EVANS.


In 1849(9) RICHARD JONES set up his second son(10), RICHARD, in business as printer at LLANFYLLIN, Montgomeryshire. The press, described in its imprint as ‘Albion Press’(9), was the third set up by RICHARD JONES, senior. About 1859(11) the son disposed of the business, and migrated to MACHYNLLETH, to work for LEWIS WILLIAMS. Subsequently, he worked at the printing office of THOMAS GEE, Denbeigh, removing thence to RHYL, to work in the printing-office of ‘Y Dywysogaeth’ the Church of England weekly; and here he died aged 64 years. Prior to his settling at LLANFYLLIN, he had worked as a journeyman in South Wales, having been regularly brought up as a printer in his father’s office. In a letter to me Feb. 23, 1908, the son of RICHARD JONES, junior, namely D. LEWIS JONES, Seacombe, Cheshire, also a compositor adds, ‘I have my father’s apprenticeship indentures, binding him to my grandfather as a printer in the year 1828, at Dolgelly.’

RICHARD JONES, senior, had four other sons to whom he taught the craft of printing at Dolgelly. In his elegy to his son ISAAC FRANCIS JONES, in ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (1851, p.375 et seq.), he mentions the names of his eleven children, those of the six sons being WILLIAM, RICHARD, ABRAHAM, ISAAC, FRANCIS, JACOB, and JABEZ, and those of the daughters being Catherine, Ellenor,…

(1)    Slater’s Directory (1850)

(2)    Ibid (1858-9)

(3)    ‘Mynag Blynyddol Cymdeithas Genhadol… Trefynddion Wesleyaidd… Deheudir Cymru… Machynlleth:… Adam Evans, Hoel Penyrallt. 1868.’

(4)    Ibid. (1880) ‘Machynlleth:… Adam Evans, Hoel Penyrallt.

(5)    Information kindly supplied by Mr. Hugh Davies, chemist, Machynlleth, and MR. JOHN EVANS, printer, Machynlleth.

(6)    ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (1856, p.1, et seq.).

(7)    Ibid. (1862, p. 265 et seq.).

(8)    ‘Mynag Blynyddol Cymdeithas Genhadol… Trefnyddion Wesleyaidd, Talaeth Ddeheuol Cymru… Machynleth: Argraffwyd gan M. Evans, Heol Maengwyn. 1899.

(9)    ‘Pregeth… ar Fedydd Dwfr. Gan D. Morgan, Llanfyllin. Albion-Wasg: Llanfyllin, Argraffwyd gan Richard Jones. 1849.

(10)‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (1851, p. 229).

(11)He is listed under ‘Llanfyllin’ in Slater’s directory (1858-9).

Page 158

…Charlotte, Maryanne, and Margaret. In the elegy the father laments as well the death of four other of his children, namely Ellenor, Charlotte, Jacob, and Catherine. The last mentioned, who had kept house for her brother ISAAC FRANCIS JONES, at Machynlleth, for the four years there prior to his marriage, died Dec. 3, 1850 –  a month after her brother – at the age of 41 years(1) Feb. 28, 1856, JABEZ, the youngest passed away, at the age of 25 years, on the Island of Malta(2) JABEZ had always worked at home with his father, while ABRAHAM, like RICHARD, worked for some years as a journeyman in South Wales(3).

Besides his sons, the brother (LEWIS EVAN JONES) and first cousin (WILLIAM ELLIS JONES ‘Gwilym Cawrdaf’) of RICAHRD JONES, senior, were compositors, both, like the sons, serving their apprenticeships in the office at Dolgelly.

LEWIS EVAN JONES left the office in 1814(4) to settle as master-printer at Carnarvon(4), where he died Dec. 28, 1860, aged 66 years, and was buried in Llanbeblg churchyard(5). His office was in Bridge Street(6), in the Pendist, Turf Square, described in his imprint to ‘Cofiant… Peter Williams’ (1817) as Arvonion Press’.

WILLIAM ELLIS JONES (‘GWILYM CAWRDAF’), born at Tyddyn Shôn, Abererch, Carnarvonshire, Oct. 9, 1795, was the eldest son of Ellis Jones, a dyer and fulkler of Y Bontddu, near Dolgelly, who in November 1793, had married Catherine, the daughter of William Hughs, and who, in 1795, turned schoolmaster in Carnarvonshire – first of all at Llanarmon Church. Ellis Jones was the brother of William Jones , Bryntirion, near Dolgelley, who was the father of RICAHRD JONES, the Dolgelly master-printer, to whom – his first cousin – ‘Gwilym Cawrdaf’ was bound as apprentice in 1808, before attaining his 13th year. In 1815, at the expiration of his seven years’ apprenticeship, he went to Carnarvon as compositor in the office of his cousin and fellow-apprentice, LEWIS EVAN JONES. ‘Gwilym Cawrdaf’ was never a master-printer; but he proved himself an admirable overseer in many printing offices, including those of CARNARVON (L.E. Jones), DOLGELLY (Richard Jones), Carmarthen (John Evans), CARMARTHEN (John Lewis Bridstocke, Lammas Street), Merthyr (Josiah Thomas Jones), Cowbridge (Josiah Thomas Jones), and Carmarthen (Josiah Thomas Jones). Like other members of his family, he was a Wesleyan-Methodist local preacher. He died March 27, 1848, at the age of 53 years, and was buried in St. Peter’s Churchyard, Carmarthen, April 2. As poet, litterateur and landscape painter, ‘GWILYM CAWRDAF’ won much fame in his day. One of his three sons – a namesake – became a compositor, and worked under him for some years at COWBRIDGE; ‘and a fine workman he was’.(7)

‘GWILYM CAWRDAF’s brother ELLIS, born at Dolbenmaen, Carnarvonshire, July 18, 1804, was also a compositor, who, at the age of eleven years, was apprenticed to his first cousin, LEWIS EVAN JONES, at the outset of the latter’s career as master-printer at CARNARVON. In 1826 he worked as a compositor in JOHN A. WILLIAMS’s office at SWANSEA, and subsequently in the ‘Seren Gomer’ office at CARMARTHEN. From Cramarthen he went to CARDIFF, to become overseer of the office of WILLIAM BIRD. From Cardiff he went to London, to work in Eyre & Spottiswoode’s office, returning in about two years to Carnarvon, to work on ‘The Carnarvon and Denbeigh Herald’. In 1845 he became overseer…

(1)    ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (1851, pp. 87-8)

(2)    Ibid. (1856, p. 180), where his name is given as Jabez G. Jones.

(3)    The late Edward Griffith, J.P. Coedcymer, Dolgelly, in a letter to be Feb. 15, 1908.

(4)    See ‘L.E. Jones, Argraffwydd, Caernarfon’, as one of the vendors in the imprint to ‘Casgliad o Bregethau… P. Williams, D.D.’, vol. II., which, although undated, was printed before vol. III, with its dedication dated Nov. 1, 1814. See also the back page of the wrapper of ‘Cylchgrawn Cymru’ (No. 2, 1814 for ‘Caernarfon, Mr. L.E. Jones, Printer and Stationer.’, as one of the vendors.

(5)    ‘Y Traethodydd’ (1901, p. 276).

(6)    Pigot & Co.’s directory (1828, 1830 and 1844) and Slater’s (1844, 1850 and 1858-9)

(7)    ‘Gweithoedd Cawrdaf’ (1851, pp. Xii-xxii.).

Page 159

… of HUGH HUMPHREY’s office at Carnarvon – a post he held for 15 years. At the death of his cousin, LEWIS EVAN JONES, in 1860, he bought his office; but after two years and a half as a master-printer, he had a paralytic seizure, which incapacitated him for any work during the remainder of his life. He died May 23, 1870, aged 66 years, and was buried with his parents in Llanbeblig churchyard(1) Like his brother, ‘GWILYM CAWRDAF’, whose life and works (‘Gweithoedd Cawrdaf’… 1851) he compiled and edited, he was a literary man, and compiled, among other things, a Welsh-English pocket dictionary printed by W. POTTER and Co., Carnarvon, in 1840.

‘GWILYM CAWRDAF’ and his brother, ELLIS JONES, were not the only literary men apprenticed to RICHARD JONES, Dolgelly. – ROBERT JONES (‘BARDD MAWDDACH’), born in Barmouth in 1801, was another. He settled at Llanfair, Caereinion in 1824, first as managing printer to the Wesleyan-Methodist Connexion, and afterwards, from October, 1827, as master-printer, describing his press in his earlier imprint as ‘Golden Press’ or ‘Eur-Wasg’(2), and in his later as ‘Albion Press’(3). He printed there until 1835(4), when he sold his plant and type t ROBERT HUMPHREYS(3), a compositor in the office, and returned to DOLGELLY. In 1845 he left for London, undertaking there an important post with CLOWES, LTD., Government Printers(5). In 1886(6) he died at Bermondsey(6), London. – The REV. JOHN JONES (Idrisyn’), born Jan 20, 1804, was another literary man apprenticed to RICAHRD JONES. His apprenticeship dates from 1818, In 1824 he accompanied ‘BARDD MAWDDACH’ to Llanfair Caereinion, to work as compositor on ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’, becoming, bay January 1827, managing printer for the Wesleyan-Methodist Connexion. In October of the same year he went with the Connexion’s press to LLANIDLOES, to print ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ there until the end of 1836, when the press was sold to the Rev. Edward Jones, Wesleyan Minister, Llantysilio, the father of JOHN MENDUS JONES, a compositor of the same town. The Wesleyan Bookroom and printing-office were housed in the ‘Elephant Buildings’, Long Bride Street(7). But JOHN JONES (Idrisyn’) remained at Llanidloes as master-printer on his own. After many years of usefulness as a local preacher in the Wesleyan-Methodist Connexion, he took Holy Orders in the Established Church in 1854, serving as curate at Llandysul, Cardiganshire, until 1858, when he became vicar of Llandysiliogogo, in the same county. He died at New Quay, near by, August 17, 1887, aged 83 years, and lies buried in the Llandysiliogogo churchyard.(8) He compiled and published many works, the most important being ‘Yr Esboniad Berniadol’, 6 volumes (1837-45), and ‘Y Deonglydd Berniadol’, 5 volumes. (1852)(9) During 1852-3 he was Mayor of Llanidloes. – Another of the apprentices of RICAHRD JONES was ROBERT RICHARDS, who set up as master-printer at Dolgelly in 1818, printing in that year Rhys Jones’s “Gwaith Prydyddawl’, and emigrating to the United States sometime after 1821, when he printed Dafydd Ionawr’s ‘Cywydd y Diluw’.


The late Peter Williams, B.A., Dolgelly, in ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (1909, p. 33), states RICAHRD JONES’s first office at Dolgelly was on the site upon…

(1)    ‘Y Herald Cymraeg’ (May 27, 1870).

(2)    ‘Ychydog o Hanes Enwogion yr Hen Destament… Gan Samuel Roberts… Eur-Wasg; Llanfair-Caer-Einion; Argraffyd gan R. Jones. 1827.’ 22pp.

(3)    See the wrappers of ‘Y Geirlyfr Cymraeg… Gan Owne Williams’ (1825-35), 4to.

(4)    Pigot & Co.’s directory (1835-6)

(5)    ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (1909, p. 64).

(6)    ‘Hanes Dolgellau’ (1872, p 116).

(7)    ‘A Municipal History of Llanidloes. By E.R. Horsfall-Turner, B.A…. 1908’ pp. 118-121.

(8)    See my notes, description and bibliography in ‘The Bible in Wales’ (1906).

Page 160

…which stood, in 1909, Mr. Henry Miles’s bakery. This probably means that RICAHRD JONES’s first office was Dolgelly’s first; that is, Thomas Williams’s from 1798 to 1808, which was afterwards demolished, a better one being erected on the site. It is situate in that part of town known as ‘Yr Uffern Fach’ (+ The Little Hell). RICHARD JONES removed the office thence to a building which in time became the dwelling-house and shop for Gruffydd Dafydd, the watchmaker, the press being set up on the upper floor. The building also was demolished, and in 1909 Grenwich House(1) – the shop of the late William Williams, the watchmaker – occupied on the site. All that may be correct; but, to be more definite, RICHARD JONES’s office was on Eldon Row – opposite The Angel Hotel on Eldon Square – up to 1858, when OWEN REES purchased the business from RICHARD JONES’s widow, CATHERINE JONES(2).

By 1863 the house on Eldon Row was again the home of a printing press, that of DAVID HUMPHREY JONES, of whom later on.

RICHARD JONES was of good yeoman stock, being the namesake and grandson of Richard Jones, heir of Y Tyddyn Du, Y Bont Ddu and Ty’n-y-buarth, near Dolgelly. The grandfather was a well-to-do Church of England man, who saw to the proper education of his sons, William and Ellis. William married Catherine, daughter of Lewis Evans, of Ty’n-yr-eithin in the parish of of Towyn, Merionethshire, and became the father of nine children, the third born being RICHARD JONES, the Dolgelly printer, and the fifth LEWIS EVAN JONES, the Carnarvon printer. William Jones lived at Bryntirion, Y Bont Du, and died Feb. 2, 1830(3) He contributed much to ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ above his pseudonym, ‘Pererin Pen Nebo’(4). In a family Bible in the possession of Mrs. John Jones, daughter of RICHARD JONES, the printer,  the late Charles Ashton, in 1892, found the following record –‘RICHARD JONES, Printer, Dolgelly, was born May 26th, 1787, at Brunterion, Bontddu, Dolgelly. His wife Catherine Evans was born March 18th., 1786; and they were married at Dolgelley Parish Church on Saturday the 7th day of January, 1807(5). The date of RICHARD JONES death is not known; but that he died in in 1855 is pretty clear from the fact that the obituary notice of his son Jabez, in ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (June, 1856), he is referred to to as ‘y diweddar [= the late] Mr. Richard Jones.’

After his death, his widow, CATHERINE JONES, carried on the business until 1858(6), when OWEN REES, the son of Rees Owen,, the mason, and a printer who had learnt his craft in EVAN JONES’s office, succeeded by purchase to the sole proprietorship of the business. He printed in Bridge Street, describing his establishment as ‘Caxton House’, and dying June 9, 1887, aged 60, was buried June 11 in the burial-ground of Zion Chapel, Dolgelly(7).

His widow, ELIZABETH REES – a sister of EVAN JONES, master-printer, Dolgelly (of whom later) – carried on the business until January, 1891, when she sold it to MR. EDWARD WILLIAMS (‘Llew MEIRION’) Dolgelly, in whose hands it has continued ever since, the office known as ‘The Victorian Printing Works’, being situate in Well Street, whither he removed in 1887(8) from Eldon Square, where he had commenced printing in 1886. He spent his apprenticeship with…

(1)    The one of the two houses constituting the block on Eldon Square known as ‘Y Plâs Newydd’, Grenwich House today is occupied by Mr. R.P. Owen, jeweler, etc., while Mr. Rowland Ellis, draper, etc., occupies the other house known as ‘Y Plâs Newydd’.

(2)    Pigot & Co.’s directory (1830 and 1844) and Slater’s (1844, 1850 and 1858-9).

(3)    ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (1831, pp. 65, 97 and 129).

(4)    ‘Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd’ (1830, p. 90).

(5)    ‘Y Geninen’ (1892, p. 23).

(6)    Not ‘1859’ as stated in OWEN REES in ‘By-Gones’ (1878-9, p. 347), because although her imprint appears on the titlepage of ‘Y Gwrthryfel yn India… Dolgellau: A Argraffwyd gan Catherine Jones’, preface dated ‘Mai, 1858.’, the imprint of OWEN REES appears on ‘Y Seraph … Dolgellau: Argraffwyd … gan Owen Rees, Heol y Bont. 1858’

(7)    ‘Y Goleuad’ (June 11, 1887).

(8)    The year of the late Queen Victoria’s Jubilee; hence the name of the office.

Page 161

… DAVID HUMPHREY JONES in ‘Y Goleuad’ office, Dolgelly. DAVID HUMPHREY JONES commenced as master-printer in a house opposite The Ship Hotel.


RICAHRD JONES was not the only apprentice trained in THOMAS WILLIAMS’s office at Dolgelly during 1798-1807; JOHN PUGH (‘IEUAN AWST’) was another, born August 26, 1783(1), at Melin Ddraenen, in the parish of Celynin, Merionethshire, his parents being David and Catherine Pugh. JOHN PUGH became at the age of 13 a junior clerck in a solictor’s office at Dolgelly; but after spending some years there, he apprenticed himself to THOMAS WILLIAMS. He afterwards articled himself to a solicitor in the town, eventually practicing there as such, and from 1815(2) as master-printer, his office at first being at Ivy House, in which previously resided William Williams, and in which to-day resides MR. EDWARD WILLIAMS (‘LLEW MEIRION’); later the office was in Finsbury Street. JOHN PUGH died Feb. 16, 1839, in his 56th year and was buried in the churchyard of Llanfair Bryn Meurig, Dolgelly(1). His name (‘John Pugh, Heol Finsbury’) appears in the imprint to ‘Y Dysgedydd’ from January, 1833, to December, 1840; but from his death, Feb. 16, 1839, to December, 1840, his successor,

EVAN JONES, traded under his name. EVAN JONES, a native of Llanegryn, Merionethshire, had spent his apprenticeship with RICHARD JONES(3). From March, 1839, to December, 1841, his office was in Finsbury Street; from January, 1842, to August, 1848, in Meurig Street: and from September, 1848 to November, 1863, in Mount Pleasant (+’Brynteg’). During 1839-63 he printed the monthly ‘Y Dysgedydd’, and during 1843-63 another monthly, ‘Cronicl y Cymdeithasau Crefyddol’ (the first number appearing May, 1843,and the last, December, 1910). In November 1863, he retired, disposing of the business to JOHN WILLIAMS, timber merchant, the father of MARGARET OGWEN JONES, wife of WILLIAM OGWAN JONES (‘GWILYM OGWEN’), whom JOHN WILLIAMS intended to set up in the business at Dolgelly. EVAN JONES, after retiring, lived at Rhydwen(3), about a mile from Dolgelly on the old road to Towyn, there to cultivate a small farm.(3) Thursday, Mar. 31, 1881(3), in a fit of insanity from which he had occasionally suffered during the previous 15 years, he killed his wife by splitting open her skull with a hatchet, and then committed suicide by cutting his own throat with a razor. At the time he was 75 years of age. The following Monday, April 4, 1881, both bodies were buried at Llanegryn(3)

WILLIAM OGWEN JONES (‘GWILYM OGWAN’) had commenced business as master-printer in the preceding summer at BETHESDA, Bangor, Carnarvonshire; but at Y Ganllwyd, on his way to Dolgelly, he fell ill, and died at Dolgelly Dec. 18, aged 25(4). During his brief business career at Bethesda he had printed the monthly ‘Yr Ardd’ (the first number appearing Aug. 15, 1863). The office at Dolgelly was in Mervinian House, Meurig Street, where he was succeeded by his widow,

MARGARET OGWEN JONES, whose imprint appears on the ensuing January and February numbers respectively of ‘Y Dysgedydd’, ‘Cronicl y Cymdeithasau Crefyddol’, and ‘Yr Ardd’. The imprint for the M. OGWEN JONES & CO.’, ‘&Co.’ representing JOHN WILLIAMS, MARGARET OGWEN JONES’s father, GORONWY JONES acting as superintendent. Later, to…

(1)    ‘Y Dysgedydd’ (March, 1839, p. 100) and ‘Cantref Meirionyth… Gan… Robert Prys Morris’ (1899, p. 396).

(2)    Barddoniaeth Gristionogawl: Gan DD. Ionwr… Dolgellau: Argraphyd gan John Pugh. 1815.’ Viii, 232pp., foolscap 8vo.

(3)    ‘Y Goleuad’ (Apr. 9, 1881), ‘Y Tyst a’r Dydd’ (April 8, 1881), and ‘Baner ac Amserau Cymru’ (Apr. 6, 1881).

(4)    ‘Yr Ardd’ (Jan. 15, 1864, p. 96).

Page 162

…superintend the office of WILLIAM HUGHE from the office of THOMAS GEE at Debeigh. In January, 1865(1), he married MARAGRET OGWEN JONES, and from May, 1866, to December, 1866, the office and its contents were the property of WILLIAM HUGHES & CO.’, ‘&Co.’ still representing JOHN WILLIAMS. By January, 1867, the business had become solely

WILLIAM HUGHES’s. The business (carried on until the end of 1899 in the name of WILLIAM HUGHES; from January, 1900, to 1910 in that of WILLIAM HUGHES & Sons; from 1910, when WILLIAM HUGHES retired, to 1912, by his two sons, trading as HUGHES BROS.; and since 1912, when the younger son, JOHN HUGHES, retired, by the elder son, ALFRED ERNEST HUGHES, trading as HUGHES BROS.) still thrives in Dolgell, but now at Y Felin Uchaf (=Upper Mill), whither, in 1911, it was removed from Mervinian House. Since June 5, 1868 (the date of the first number) the firm has printed and published the weekly, ‘Y Dydd’, and since January, 1871 (the date of the first number), the monthly, ‘Dysgedydd y Plant’.

WILLIAM HUGHES was born at Mold, Flintshire, January 27, 1838, and learnt his craft at the office of THOMAS GEE, at Denbeigh. He was J.P. for Merionethshire, and ex-Chairman of the Marionethshire County Council, when he died at Dolgelly Feb 23, 1921, aged 83; he was buried Feb. 25 at Brithdir. His widow survived until April 16, 1923, aged 84. In ‘Y Dysgedydd’ (Nov. 1921, p. 327) there is a portrait of both.


One of EVAN JONES’s apprentices was DAVID HUMPHREY JONES(2), the eldest son of Humphrey Jones, of Dolgelly, locally well known and highly respected as ‘Hwmffra Jones y Blaenor’(3). DAVID HUMPHREY JONES was apprenticed to EVAN JONES about 1854(3), in 1862(3) he left Dolgelly for London, to work there, for a short period, as compositor for CLOWES & SONS’ offices(3) whence he left to work in RICHARD HUGHES & SONS’s office at Wrexham(3); but in 1863(3) he returned to Dolgelly, opening business there as master-printer in Eldon Row(4), — in the very house(3) in which successively RICHARD JONES and his widow, CATHERINE JONES, had printed up to 1858. By 1872 he had removed his press and plant to Parliament(5) Street(6), and in 1875 from Parliament Street to Waterloo Street (7). Since January, 1879, the office has been in Smithfield Lane. From Nov. 2, 1872, until June 26, 1884, he printed for the North and South Wales Newspaper Company, the Calvanist-Methodist weekly, ‘Y Goleuad’, which had since Oct. 30, 1869 (the date of the first number) been printed for the same company by HOHN DAVIES (‘Gwyneddon’) in Bridge Street, Carnarvon. At first, for some time, owing to the limited space at his disposal in the Parliament Street office, DAVID HUMPHREY JONES printed ‘Y Goleuad’ in a loft near the premises of David Jones, the bark merchant, in Upper Smithfield(4)(=’Pen-ucha’r-dre’). From January, 1875, until December, 1878 (the date of the last number), he printed the Good-Templar monthly, ‘Y Temlydd Cymreig’, the previous numbers (March, 1873 – the first – to December, 1874) having been printed by JOHN DAVIES (‘Gwyneddon’) at…

(1)    ‘Y Dysgedydd’ (Nov., 1921, p. 372).

(2)    He must be distinguished from his uncle, David Jones, the china and earthenware dealer in Eldon Square at the time.

(3)    ‘Y Goleuad’ (Feb. 19, 1904).

(4)    Slater’s directory (1868)

(5)    So named owing to the ancient structure used by Owen Glyn Dwr during his insurrection (1400-1415) being situated in it until it was removed in 1882 and re-erected in the park of the late Sir Pryce –Jones at Dolerw, Newtown, Mont.

(6)    Imprint to ‘Y Goleuad’ (Nov. 2, 1872)

(7)    Imprint to ‘Y Temlydd Cymreig’

Page 163

…Carnarvon. From January, 1878 (the day of the first number), until February, 1884 (the date of the last), DAVID HUMPHREY JONES printed the Sunday School monthly, ‘Cronicl yr Ysgol Sabbothol’. In 1884, after printing the number of ‘Y Goleuad’ for June 28, 1884, he disposed of his business and office to MR. EVAN WILLIAM EVANS, who had served a seven-years’ apprenticeship with him. Subsequently, DAVID HUMPHREY JONES became a commercial traveler. Feb. 11, 1904, he died at his home, Lawn House, Dolgelly, aged 62(1), and was buried Feb. 15 in the Nonconformist burial-ground.

His successor in the printing and publishing business in Smithfield Lane, Mr. EVAN WILLIAM EVANS, born at Cae Einion, Dolgelly, Oct. 7 1860(2), continued to print ‘Y Goleuad’ from July 5, 1884, until June 26, 1914(3). July 1, 1914, he printed and issued the first number of his ably edited weekly, ‘Y Cymro’, still issuing from the office in Smithfield Lane. In 1888 (the first number, Jan. 6; the last March 29) he printed the weekly, ‘The Merionethshire News’, incorporated April 5, 1888, in ‘The Merioneth News and Herald’ – a localized edition of ‘The Carnarvon and Denbeigh Herald’ (Carnarvon). In January, 1885, he printed the first number of the Sunday-School monthly, ‘Y Lladmerydd’, still issuing. In January, 1888, he printed and partly edited the first number of the national monthly, ‘Cymru Fydd’, which ended its course with the April number of 1891. In January, 1896, he printed the first number of another monthly – this one for the women of Wales – entitled ‘Y Gymraes’, still issuing. At the beginning of 1917 the business was converted into a liability company, trading since as E. W. EVANS, LTD., with MR. EVANS as managing director. Since April 2, 1920, the firm has printed the weekly of the Church in Wales, entitled up to January 19, 1923, ‘Y Llan and Church News’,and since ‘Y Llan a’r Dywysogaeth’, while since January, 1920, the firm has printed the monthly of the same Church, entitled ‘Yr Haul’. This office, like that of MESSRS. HUGHES BROS., has also well maintained the reputation of the town of Dolgelly, since the days of RICHARD JONES, for the production of a large number of books of importance and merit. Mr. EVAN WILLIAM EVANS is a Justice of the Peace for the County of Merioneth.

(1)    ‘Y Goleuad’ (Feb. 19, 1904).

(2)    Who’s Who in Wales (1921).

(3)    Since July 3, 1914, ‘Y Goleuad’ has been printed at Carnarvon.


Chapter XXII

Page 146

Mold (W. Codington) ; Holywell (Edward Carnes) ; Carnarvon (Thomas Roberts, Mary Roberts, [Mary] Roberts & [R] Williams, R. Williams, R. & W. Williams, Peter Evans.)

… (Introduction content includes the first two master printers who are the focus of this chapter; W. Codington at mold, and Edward Carnes at Holywell)…

The third of the 1796 new master-printer was THOMAS ROBERTS, at CARNARVON – the printer so egregiously confused with both ‘MR. HUGHES’ and EVAN ROBERTS of the TREVECCA press in the contribution by Mr. John Ballinger in ‘The Library’ (1907). THOMAS ROBERTS’s was Carnarvon’s first press. HUGH HUMPHREYS(3), printer and publisher, Paternoster Buildings …

(3)    Born at Carnarvon Sept. 17,1817, apprenticed to PETER EVANS, Carnarvon: commenced as master-printer in Bangor Street, Carnarvon, in 1837: Mayor of Carnarvon in 1876-7; died May 2, 1896, in his 79th year (‘Y Traethodydd’, 1901, p. 279).

Page 147

…14, Castle Square, Carnarvon, in a letter printed on pp. 704-5 of ‘Cambrian Bibliography’, state (in Welsh) that THOMAS ROBERTS

‘…was supposed to be a son of William Roberts, of Plas Bach, near Conway, at which house John Wesley had been welcomed on one occasion. Thomas Roberts was born in 1760, either at Llanrhos or at Eglwys Bach, in Denbeighshire. His parents migrated when he was young to Trevecca, as members of the Howell Harris’s “Family”. At Trevecca Thomas Roberts was brought up to the craft of printing. It appears he was 36 years old when he went from Trevecca to Carnarvon. At the latter place he married a widow of some means. He, too, possessed property, being the owner of the Bryn Eisteddfod estate, in the parish of Llansantffraid Glyn Conway, which property, for some reason or another, remained in Chancery until about the year 1860, when it was publicaly sold, the poster advertising it as the property of the late Thomas Roberts, of Carnarvon, printer. He went to Carnarvon sometime before 1797. It is said that he was one of the persons who built the Pendist houses there in 1800. Pending, probably, the completion of the new houses, he set up his first press in the High Street, or rather, in the street leading out of it. There was at that time, at the farthest end of that street, an upper room to which access was gained by climbing exterior stairs; in that upper room was lodged the first Carnarvon press, which was a wooden one, of good make, and which worked easily. This press was in existence up to the year 1858, when the son of Peter Evans, while selling his father’s belongings, broke it up for firewood. It had come into the possession of Peter Evans by his purchasing the greater portion of Thomas Roberts’s belongings; and it was with it that Peter Evans worked for many years after settling as master-printer at Carnarvon. Thomas Roberts set up in the Pendist as soon as the new houses were completed. He published a considerable number of small books. He was a skilled, careful, and correct printer. It appears that Thomas Roberts was a Churchman; in any case, he regularly attended the Sunday-morning service at Llanbeblig Church, taking with him his little French Common-Prayer Book, with which he used to follow the service. He was a good Welsh scholar, and a proficient English one. He died April 30, 1811, at the age of 51 years, and was buried in Llanbeblig churchyard, where a memorial stone marks his last resting place. For some time after his death his widow carried on the business, several booklets bearing her imprint (“M. Roberts, Argraffydd, Caernarfon”) … In 1816, a nephew of Thomas Roberts was in partnership with the widow, their imprint (“Caernarfon: Argraphydd gan Roberts and Williams”) being found on the elegy of ‘y meddyg esgyrn hynod hwnw, Evan Thomas o Faes y Meddwyn Crych:. Subsequently, for a short time, Williams himself carried on the business, after which Lewis Evan Jones took it over, he in turn being succeeded by Peter Evans in 1816. The latter died in 1859.

Full and circumstantial as the foregoing appears to be, it nevertheless contains several errors that need correcting here. (a) THOMAS ROBERTS dying Apr. 30,1811(1), and his widow dying July 20, 1814(2), PETER EVANS, whose known earliest imprint is that on ‘Peroraieth Awen … Gan Richard Jones… Caernarfon : Argraphwyd a Chyhoeddwyd gan P. Evans. 1818.’, could not have purchased ‘the greater portion of Thomas Roberts’s belongings of THOMAS ROBERTS or his widow.  (b) MRS. ROBERTS dying July 20, 1814(2), no ‘nephew of Thomas Roberts’ could be ‘in partnership with her in 1816’; neither could she be in business two years after her death. (c) LEWIS EVAN JONES did not succeed any ‘Williams’ or anybody else in 1816, because he had commenced business of his own at Carnarvon by the autumn of 1814; see L.E. Jones, Argraphydd, Caernarfon’ (as one of the vendors) in the imprint to ‘Casgliad o Bregethau… P. Williams, D.D.’, vol. II., which, although undated, was printed well before vol. III. with its dedication dated Nov. 1, 1814 ; see also his imprint to “Haul yn codi, neu Ychydig Hanes am Lwyddiant Cymdeithas y Biblau… Caernarfon; Argraphwyd gan L. E. Jones. 1815.’ (d) PETER EVANS did not succeed LEWIS EVAN JONES, both printers continued to print each in his own office for many years after 1818. € PETER EVANS died – not in ‘1859’, but March 14, 1856, aged 69(3). (f) The ‘elegy of “y meddyg esgyrn hynod hwnw, Evan Thomas o Faes y Meddwyn Crych”, was not printed in ‘1816’, but in 1814, and ‘Maes y Meddwyn Crych’ is an error for ‘Maes-y-Merddyn’: note the title is on a…

(1)    ‘The Cambrian’ (May 10, 1811).

(2)    ‘Mrs. Roberts, relict of the late Mr. Roberts, bookseller and printer, Carnarvon’ (Obituary notice in ‘The Cambrian’, July 29, 1814).

(3)    ‘Y Traethodydd’ (1901, p. 277).

Page 148

…copy seen by me – ‘Marwnad, | … Evan Thomas | Maes-y-Merddyn, | Hugh Pritchard Niwbwrch yn Mon. | Caernarfon. | Argraphwd gan [Mary] Roberts a [R.] Williams. | Gwerth Ceiniog’ |, 8pp., foolscap 8vo.

It is to be regretted that Edward Jones, in ‘Y Traethodydd’ (1901, p. 275), in repeating HUGH HUMPHREYS’s statement, makes the latter ones elegy in ‘1816’ [sic 1814] into a ‘number of books’, and this without giving the title or the date of a single publication.

THOMAS ROBERTS’s nephew, R. Williams – the partner of THOMAS ROBERTS’s widow in 1814 – was in business at Carnarvon as a master-printer on his own as early as 1810(1). After the death of his aunt, MARY ROBERTS, he became sole proprietor; but by 1817(2) he had taken into partnership his brother(2)(?) W. Williams, for to a ballad printed in 1817(2) the imprint is, ‘Caernarfon: Argraphwd gan R. a W. Williams.’(2) But Charles Ashton, accepting HUGH HUMPHREYS’s statement, and unmindful of MARY ROBERTS’s death July 20, 1814, conjectures that the ‘Williams’ of Roberts a Williams’ in ‘1816’ [sic 1814] was ‘W. Williams’ instead of R. WILLIAMS.

If, according to HUGH HUMPREYS, PETER EVANS purchased the press and the ‘greater portion of THOMAS ROBERTS’s belongings (and there is no reason for not accepting the statement), he did so of R. and W. WILLIAMS about 1818…

…(Content continues with details of THOMAS ROBERTS printing career, R. Williams, career, and a final note about PETER EVANS. Chapter ends on page 148.)

(1)    ‘Can Newydd, yn dangos Bradwriaeth are droed… Caernarfon; Argraphwyd gan R. Williams. 1810.’ 4pp., foolscap 8vo.

(2)    Cerdd, am y galarus ddigwyddiad a fu ar Draeth y Lafan, Ebrill 21, 1817,… (Richard Jones [‘Gwyndaf Eryi’], Erw, Llanwyndaf, a’I cant, Ebrill 29, 1817.) Caernarfon: Argraphyd gan R. a W. Williams.’ 4pp.

John Ellis Jones (1807 – 1875) – Catalog / Bibliography

John Ellis Jones (1807 – 1875), Printer of Caernarvon

To view the biography of John Ellis Jones (1807 – 1875), follow this link.

Selected Catalog of surviving work contained at the National Library of Wales

John Ellis Jones (1807 – 1875), brother of William Ellis Jones (1795 – 1848.)  He took over Lewis Evan Jones’s (1786 – 1860) shop upon his retirement about 1840.

John Ellis Jones was considered a radical and therefore much of his work has not survived.

Authors: Unaccredited
Title: Addysgydd yr ysgol Sabbothol (Sunday School Teacher)
Description: 16 p
Imprint:  Cyhoeddwyd ac ar werth gan John Jones, 1846

Authors: Jones, John, of Llangollen and Rhyd-y-bont, 1801-1856.
Title: Testament yr athraw (The Testement Teacher)
Description: 393 pages, maps
Imprint:  Cyhoeddwyd, argraffwyd ac ar werth gan J. Jones, 1849

Authors: Jones, John, Ioan Glan Cledr, 1812-1870
Title: Y blaguryn dirwestol (The Bloom of Temperence)
Description: 80 p.
Imprint: argraffwyd gan H. Humphreys, cyhoeddwyd ac ar werth gan John Jones, 1850

Authors: Jones, John Ellis
Title: Gweithoedd Cawrdaf  (Biography of Cawrdaf)
Description: 2 v. in 1, 208 pages
Imprint: Argraffwyd gn H. Humphreys, cyhoeddedig gan Ellis Jones, 1851
Annotation: Two parts in one vol.

Authors: Lewis, Titus, 1773-1811., Jones, John Emlyn, 1818-1873 (rev. & enl. by J. E. Jones. Caerfyrddin)
Title: Hanes Prydain Fawr (History of Great Britain)
Description: 15p
Imprint: Cyhoeddwyd ac ar werth gan Wm. M. Evans, 1856

Authors: Jones, John, Ioan Glan Cledr, 1812-1870.
Title: Marwnad er coffadwriaeth am y Parch. John Jones, Runcorn, yr hwn a fu farw Gorphenaf 25ain yn y flwyddyn 1860, yn 73ain oed, a’r Parch. John Hughes, Liverpool, yr hwn a fu farw Awst 8ed yn yr un flwyddyn, yn 64ain oed (Elegy in memorial for the Rev. John Jones, Runcorn, who died on July 25th in 1860, at 73 years old, and an elegy in memorial of Rev. John Hughes, Liverpool, who died August 8t, 1860, at 64 years old)
Description: 8 p.
Imprint: Cyhoeddwyd gan John Jones,1860

Authors: Jones, John, Ioan Glan Cledr, 1812-1870.
Title: Tuchan-gerdd i’r drwg-dalwr, gan Gelyn Twyll (Silent prayer to Evil Money, by Enemy Fraud)
Description: 8 p.
Imprint: Caernarfon, Cyhoeddwyd gan John Jones (I. Glan Cledr) 1861

John Ellis Jones (1807 – 1875), Printer of Caernarvon

John Ellis Jones d. 1875 - Portrait taken 1875

John Ellis Jones d. 1875 – Printer of Caernarvon

John Ellis Jones (1807 – 1875), printer of Caernarvon
The youngest son of David Ellis Jones and Catherine (ne. Hughes) Jones was born August 13, 1807 at Tyddyn Siôn (Gift House), Aber-erch, Carnarvonshire, (near Pwllheli). We have the following details from Eminent Welshmen, published in 1908:

“…for some years, in partnership with his brother (William Ellis Jones, 1795 – 1848), he kept a printing office in London. The monthly periodical, Y Cymro (The Welshman), …published in 1830-1831, was issued from his establishment. He was through life an ardent lover and unflinching advocate of civil and religious liberty. During the great Reform Bill agitation, he, in conjunction with his brother (William Ellis Jones), rendered valuable service to the case as authors and publishers of numerous productions on political subjects in Welsh, which were disseminated throughout the principality…”

From Ifano Jones, Printers and Printing in Wales, we also learn that in 1818, John Ellis was apprenticed to his cousin Lewis Evan Jones at his new shop in Caernarvon. He was just 11years old. By 1826 he was working as compositor in John A. Williams’s office at Swansea. Later he worked at the offices of Seren Gomer at Carmarthen, and eventually succeeded to Overseer at William Bird’s offices in Cardiff. John Ellis also worked in London at Eyre & Spottiswoode for two years, then returned to Caernarvon to work at the Caenarvon & Denbeigh Herald. In 1845 he became overseer at Hugh Humphrey’s office at Caernarvon, and held that post for fifteen years. When his cousin Lewis Evan Jones died in 1860, he bought his office and became Master Printer of that establishment, printing under his own imprint.

(The National Library of Wales gives John Ellis Jones publishing credit from that office somewhat earlier than does Ifano Jones. See his partial bibliography of surviving work, here.)

Beyond this, we know that John Ellis Jones, who wrote and published as “John Jones”, “Ellis Jones”, and “J. Jones”, is to be credited with preserving the most valuable record in our Welsh family history; as he was the author and publisher of Gweithoedd Cawrdaf: sef, y diweddar W.E. Jones: yn cynnwys ‘Gwyddfa y bardd’ a’r ‘Meudwy Cymreig (The Poetical Work of Cawrdaf, namely, the late W.E. Jones – includes ‘Snowdon Poet’ and  ‘The Welsh Hermit’), the biography of his brother, William Ellis Jones[21]…

…Through these sources we are made to understand that Ellis and his elder brother William were quite close, and in perfect agreement politically and philosophically (i.e., they were both committed to political as well as social reform and spent the greatest portion of their professional lives working in support of those aims.)  It can’t be over emphasized that in his earliest youth, John Ellis Jones, like his brother William, worked in the office of their cousin Lewis Evan Jones in Caernarfon. The close relationship that the two young men developed with their cousin Lewis – who was an unapologetic radical in his political views and associations – clearly influenced the two young men deeply.

John Ellis Jones stayed in Wales for the greatest part of his life and worked hard in support of progressive reforms. Beyond this, he appears to have been happy in his career, advancing with ease, while living in the reflected glow of his famous brother William, who he clearly idolized and loved dearly.

John Ellis Jones died December 20th, 1875 and was buried at Llanbeblig, Carnarvon.

For a catalog of his surviving works included at the National library of Wales, follow this link.


[21] John Jones (1807 – 1875) – Welsh Biography Online: http://yba.llgc.org.uk/en/s-JONE-JOH-1807.html

Lewis Evan Jones (1786 – 1850) – Catalog / Bibliography

Lewis Evan Jones (1786 – 1850), printer at Caernarvon (Took over existing shop from Thomas Roberts, upon his retirement.)

Selected items from the Catalog at the National Library of Wales from 1814 to 1850. Lewis Evan Jones was a radical and much of his work has not survived.

William Ellis Jones (1795 – 1848) worked in this office from 1814 to 1816*.

1] Authors: Jones, S
Title: Lladmerydd gweledigaethau’r nos (In support of dreams)
Description: 44p.
Imprint: Argraphwyd gan Lewis Evan Jones, 1814

2] Authors: Griffith, Owen, 1803-1868
Title: Galarnad er cof am amaethwr parchus ag oedd yn byw yng ngogledd-barth sir Feirionnydd, yr hwn a gafwyd wedi marw rhwng Maentwrog a Llandecwyn, dydd Sadwrn, Tachwedd 25ain, 1837 (Lamentations in memory of a respected farmer who lived in the north area of Mer, who was found dead between Maentwrog and Llandecwyn, Saturday, November 25th, 1837)
Imprint: Argraffwyd gan Lewis Evan Jones, 1814

1] Authors:Williams, Peter, 1723-1796.Williams, O. (Owen), 1790-1874
Title: Cofiant neu hanes bywyd a marwolaeth y Parchedig Peter Williams, o Gaerfyrddin (Biography of Reverend Peter Williams, of Carmarthen)
Description: 131 p
Imprint: Arvonian Press, Argraphwyd gan L. E. Jones, 1817

1] Authors:Evans, Christmas, 1766-1838., Jones, Thomas, 1756-1820.
Title: Prynedigaeth o fewn cylch etholedigaeth (Redemption within the sphere of the elect)
Description: 52 p.
Imprint: Argraffwyd gan L.E. Jones, 1819

1] Authors: Bunyan, John, 1628-1688.
Title: Dull priodas ysbrydol rhwng Siloh a Seion (Methods of Spiritual Union between Zion and Shiloh)
Description: 60 p.
Imprint: Argraphwyd ac ar werth gan L. E. Jones, 1820
Annotation: The ascription to Bunyan is dubious.

1] Authors: Williams, Peter, 1723-1796, Jones, L. E. (Lewis Evan)
Title: Y Bibl sanctaidd (The Holy Bible)
Description: 1474 pages. : ill., maps
Imprint: Argraffwyd a chyhoeddwyd gan L. E. Jones, 1822
Annotation: New Testament has imprint date of 1826

2] Authors: Uncredited
Title: Balm o Gilead, i enaid archolledig (Balm of Gilead, to the wounded soul who believes in Baptism)
Description: 60p.
Imprint: Arvonian Press, L. E. Jones, printer, 1822

1] Authors: Jones, David, d. 1785
Title: Blodeu-gerdd Cymry (Welsh Poetry of Blodeu)
Description: 509 p.
Imprint: Argraphwyd ac ar werth gan E. Carnes, ar werth hefyd gan L. E. Jones, Caernarfon, J. Evans, Caerfyrddin, W. Williams, Merthyr Tydfil, R. Jones, Dolgellau, R. Saunderson, Bala, R. Hughes, Wrexham, J. Parry, Caerlleon [etc.], 1823

1] Authors: Evans, John, fl. 1824.
Title: A new map of the vicinity of Aberystwyth
Description: 1 map 2 x 49 cm.
Imprint: Printed by J. Cox for Lewis Jones, 1824
Annotation: Cardiganshire, north of Aberaeron and Lampeter showing towns, villages, farms, country seats, churches, roads, rivers with highest lands hachured. From: ‘The new Aberystwyth Guide’ by T. J. Ll. Prichard. Aberystwyth : J. Cox for Lewis Jones, 1824.

1] Authors: Lloyd, Evan, 1734-1776.
Title: The curate
Description: 27 p.
Imprint: Printed at the Arvonian Press by L.E. Jones for Owen Owen Roberts, 1832
Annotation: Originall published about the year 1766.

1] Authors: Williams, William, fl.1828-1847.
Title: A vocabulary of familier dialogues in English & Welsh :
Description: 60p.
Imprint: Printed and published by Lewis Evan Jones, 1837

2] Authors: Williams, Peter, 1723-1796
Title: Y Bibl Sanctaidd (The Holy Bible)
Description: 908 pages, 270 pages, 52 pages.
Imprint: Lewis Evans Jones, 1837

1] Author: Unacredited
Title: Yr adolygydd (The Reviewer)
Description: 1 v. 29 cm. Periodical/Monthly
Imprint: Lewis Evan Jones, 1838

1] Authors: Philogathos Kai Eirene.
Title: Presbeia eirena
Description: 20p.
Imprint: Lewis Evan Jones, printer, 1839

2] Authors: Unaccredited
Title: Cadwain oesyddiaeth ysgrythyrol, mewn saith dosbarth amser (Seven classes in Scripture)
Description: 28p.
Imprint: Argraffwyd, gan Lewis Evan Jones, 1839

3] Authors: Unaccredited
Title: Myfyrdod alltud ar ddull yr oes yn ei gwaith yn amharchu’r Sabath, a chymryd enw eu Cynhaliwr yn ofer, a wnaed ar gynghanedd er denu ieuenctid i’w darllen (Perfect verses for the education of children, on the topic of keeping the Sabbath and on the prohibition swearing)
Description: 12 p.
Imprint: Argraffwyd gan Lewis Evan Jones, 1839

1] Authors: Phillips, William
Title: Ychydig o ystyriaethau byrion ar y Bod o Dduw, ac hefyd ar ddyn (Contemplations on having too little faith in God or in Man)
Description: 24 p.
Lewis Evan Jones,1840

1] Authors: Unacredited
Title: Address to electors accusing William Buckeley Hughes of bribery
Description: 1 sheet 17 x 21 cm. Broadside
Imprint: Lewis Evan Jones, Printer, 1841
Annotation: Dated 1 July 1841. Probably published against the Conservative candidate, W. Bulkeley Hughes, by supporteres of the Whig, Lord George Paget, in the Caernarvon Boroughs constituency at the 1841 election.

1] Authors: Hughes, Richard, of Llangefni.
Title: Music Mon (Music of Anglesey)
Description: 24 pages
Imprint: Lewis Evan Jones, 1848

1] Authors: Thomas, David, of Tre-hwfa, 1817-1887.
Title: Pregeth ar y geiriau hyny o eiddo y Psalmydd, sef ‘Ofnadwy a rhyfedd ym gwnaed’, Psal. 139, 14 (Sermon on the words and properties of the psalmist, namely ‘Terrible and strange’, Psalms 139, 14)
Description: 20 p.
Imprint: Aroraffwyd gan Lewis Evans Jones
Annotation: Includes Hymn ar fedydd credadyn / Robert Morris, Llangefni, p19-20. (Includes a hymn on the belief in Baptism…)

1] Authors: Williams, Peter, 1723-1796
Title: Y Bibl Sanctaidd (The Holy Bible)
Description: 908 pages, 269 pages, 6 pages, 49 pages, 3 pages.
Imprint: Argraffwyd gan Lewis Evan Jones, 1850
Annotation: New Testament has separate title page.

2] Authors: Caernarvonshire Magistrates.
Title: A table of fees to be taken by clerks to magistrates acting in and for the County of Carnarvon.
Description: 13 p.
Imprint: Printed by Lewis Evans Jones, 1850

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