Welsh Mormon History Logo

A Swansea Man in Mormon Territory

In the Cambrian newspaper (Swansea)

27 January 1871





DEAR SIR – Please accept my cordial thanks for your prompt remittance of the Cambrian which I duly receive weekly and I assure you peruse with great interest, getting Swansea news about three weeks old at this great distance of 8000 miles. I hope you also receive the papers I send, although I have not seen any reference to their contents in the pages of the Cambrian, but very copious extracts from the New York papers about “Affairs in Utah.” I also thank you for the verbatim insertion of a short notice from me some few months back in which I wished to be remembered to many personal friends in the old town. I have since heard by private letter that the few words I then wrote were read with great interest by many in the Principality; in the language of the writer – “it was read as though it had come from the moon or some distant planet.”  One reason for this is that Wales has furnished her quota, very liberally, to this great representative gathering of the nations; and I can venture to assert without fear of contradiction that there are but few among the working classes in Wales who have not  some relation here, or at least know some one who has come here. There is not a town or village in Wales but has its representative here; but still you must not think that there is any preponderance of the Welsh element – nearly all the Protestant nations of Europe are fairly represented (Catholic countries none, or but very few); this is why a letter from Salt Lake City is thought interesting. Here live amicably together the Swede, Dane, Norwegian, German, Dutch, French people from all the States of the Union, from Australia, Cape of Good Hope, English (no Irish), Scotch and Welsh, and strange to say this national agglomeration is in the line and locale of human progress. It is a fact most clearly demonstrated that civilization and progression have from the beginning been in a westerly direction—

“Westward the tide of Empire makes its way.”

This is known for a certainty by all students of history, and specially announced by Sir Archibald Alison in his History of Europe. Is it then a full answer, when asking for a reason for this strange social phenomenon, to cry “folly,” “delusion,” “fanatiscim,” &c? More or less of this may be mixed up with it as with all things human, but underlying the whole the true philosopher will see the hand of Divine Providence urging people from a variety of motives to leave the old over-peopled countries of the East and go into the “Far West,” where the last set of the great drama of civilization will take place, and all the improvements and progress in science, literature, and art of the past 6000 years, will culminate. These are some of the views which induced me 2 ½ years ago to leave Swansea – a good situation, agreeable friends and connections - and many more I could adduce which,  perhaps, would be out of place in a public newspaper, and I might be accused of an attempt to proselyte to “the sect that is everywhere spoken against;” but I will just say that much as I love Swansea and my old friends, I have never for a moment wished myself back, but rather wished that thousands of the old country were here, where there is plenty of room to spread out, instead of being “cabin’d, cribb’d, confined” as too many are, even in Wales.

I hope that you will again permit me through your columns to be kindly remembered to those who know me. I should like to write to each personally, but they are far too many for the limited time at my disposal – please take this for all; but I should be most glad to have a letter from anyone, to which I promise a prompt answer, and I will endeavour to answer any queries they may wish to propound.

I had almost forgotten to allude to the mineral prospects of Utah. It is supposed to be the richest mineral district in the United States – nearly all the metals known here exist here in profusion, especially silver and lead, and tons and tons of ore are shipped from here to Swansea to be smelted; but as coal is also plentiful, there are a great number of furnaces in progress of erection to reduce the ores here and obviate the necessity of sending them so many thousand miles to be smelted. In reference to my own branch of business – the mechanical – we have a small Iron and Brass Foundry and Machine Shop, with as much as we can do, and bright hopes for the future.

I am, Sir, yours, &c


Machinist, &c.

West Temple Street, Salt Lake City

Utah, Jan. 3, 1871


Tuckfield, Joseph William


Thanks to Jill Morgan [jillmorgan56@gmail.com] for providing this information.