The Welsh In America………
Despite being a small nation of only 3 million people, the Welsh have had a big impact on America. The links between the two countries are many and varied, with almost as many Americans claiming Welsh decent as currently live in Wales. The Welsh have made a huge contribution to American life, including Politics, Industry, Finance and Culture. The document below, reproduced with the kind permission of Welsh Government’s New York office, gives more details.
Welsh In America
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The Welsh connections…
Allegedly, prince Owain Gwynedd reached America in the 12th century and there are claims that historians studying long-extinct Native American tribes discovered Welsh words and customs. The ‘Welsh Caves’ in De Soto State Park are reputed to have been built by Welsh Prince Madoc who landed in Alabama in 1170. Some say that America was named after Welshman Richard Amerik (Anglicized from Ap Meryk, son of Meryk) who invested in the voyage of John Cabot, the first European to land on American soil in 1497 and owned Cabot’s ship ‘Matthew’.
Notable Welsh Americans
There have been at least eight U.S. Presidents with Welsh ancestry including Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, James Garfield and Barack Obama. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was also of Welsh extraction.
Others include William Penn (1644-1718), proclaimed freedom of religion. Penn also wanted to name Pennsylvania ‘New Wales’. Robert Morris (1734-1806) was the foremost financier of the American Revolution. Governor Morris (1752-1816) wrote the final draft of the Constitution. John Marshall (1755-1835) was Chief Justice and father of American constitutional law.
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