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An Account of the Saints' Emigration to California

John Davis.

Hanes ymfudiad y Saint i Galifornia; yn gynnwysedig mewn dau lythyr o New Orleans, America, un oddiwrth Capt. D. Jones, a'r llall oddiwrth Mr. Thos. Jeremy, (gynt o Lanybydder), at olygydd Udgorn Seion.

(An account of the Saints' emigration to California; contained in two letters from New Orleans, America, one from Capt. D. Jones, and the other from Mr. Thos. Jeremy, [originally from Llanybydder], to the editor of Zion's Trumpet.)

Merthyr Tydfil: Printed and for sale by J. Davis, Georgetown, 1849.

iv[51-24 pp. 17 cm.

The two letters contained in this pamphlet were meant to be printed in Udgorn Seion; because of their length, however, John Davis elected to have them constitute a separate publication.
The emigration mentioned in the title refers to the first group of Welsh Mormon converts to leave Britain for the Mormon "Zion," located in the Rocky Mountains. (The whole area from the Rocky Mountains to the west coast was called "California" by the Brit !!!!! the late 1.)
On 26 February 1849 the Buena Vista left Liverpool with 249 Welsh Mormons on board. Captain Dan Jones, their leader, had been the leader of all Mormons in Wales prior to his departure in February. His letter (17 of the 24 pages of the pamphlet) is a comprehensive and at times literary account of the fifty-day crossing to New Orleans. Thomas Jeremy's letter (3 pages of the 24) adds a few events not covered by Jones's account, but covers essentially the same material.
Both Jeremy and Jones hoped that others of their compatriots would follow after them; consequently their letters are filled with encouragement and positive experiences. Even the burials at sea are viewed in a positive light--the sea would preserve the body for resurrection better than would the earth.
In his 2-page foreword, John Davis quotes a letter which was supposedly from Dan Jones, but it was dated 27 February 1849, New Orleans, just one day after the group's departure from Liverpool. This, together with a few other strange aspects of the letter, led Davis to conclude that the letter was a forged one, written by antagonists in South Wales in an effort to thwart the success of the Mormons.
The pamphlet was published in two states. After 1,500 copies were printed (the preface is dated 26 May 1849), Davis received yet another letter from New Orleans, this one from Thomas Richards, who sailed on the Hartley, a ship that left Liverpool one week after the Buena Vista. On board the Hartley were approximately seventy-five Welsh Mormons who had not been able to travel on the Buena Vista because of space limitations. Upon receiving Richards's letter, Davis inserted an 11-line paragraph about the Hartley travelers on page iv of the pamphlet (the last of the foreword).
Hanes ymfudiad y Saint has a full title page with a double straight-lined border. Its price was twopence. In the May 1849 Udgorn Seion (wrapper, p. 2), Davis declared his intention to publish the Jones and Jeremy letters (both dated New Orleans, 18 April 1849) as a separate pamphlet. Strangely, this publication is not mentioned again in Udgorn Seion, nor does it appear in any book lists. Possibly the supply was depleted rapidly with no call for a second printing, since the information it contained was outdated.

CU-B, MH, NjP, UPB, USl, USlC, WN

Flake no. 4475

Immigrants:

Jones, Dan

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