Welsh in Oneida County, New York - Welsh Press

The Welsh In Oneida County, New York  |  Evans  |  The Welsh Press | 18

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It was in January 1840 that the first number of
Y Cenhadwr appeared. The Oneida Assembly of Welsh Congregationalists had for some time had under consideration the establishment of a monthly magazine for their denomination. In their Assembly in September 1839, Robert Everett, James Griffiths and Morris Roberts, the three strongest ministers of the district, were given the work of founding and editing such a paper.  Circular letters were sent out asking support for the enterprise. The burden of the work from the first, as well as the expense, rested upon Dr. Everett, and in the Assembly of 1842 it was resolved that Y Cenhadwr was the property of Robert Everett and that from that time it should be carried on in his name and at his expense. The ministers resolved to support him in this in every way possible, beginning by addressing a letter to the people saying that they had seen by that time the difficulty of carrying on a magazine through a society, that no monetary return as to be expected, Dr. Everett having given his services as editor for the first two years without pay and even without his expenses paid. (21) Though after this time the connection of the Congregational organization with Y Cenhadwr was severed, it still remained, under Everett's management, devoted to the interests of that denomination. 

The first two volumes of
Y Cenhadwr were printed in Utica by R. W. Roberts, but this arrangement Everett found very burdensome. There was no railroad between Steuben and Utica and the frequent journeys between the two places on horseback, necessitated by the need for his oversight when the paper was in the press, were very onerous for a man who, beside his editorial work, had the charge of two churches. He was therefore glad to avail himself of the services of his sons, John and Robert, Jr., who had just graduated from Oneida Institute at Whitesboro, where they had learned the printer's art. After being printed in Remsen village for two years, Y Cenhadwr was moved to their house. In the parlor of the little parsonage, which stood off alone on his little hill farm a short distance from his Steuben church, Everett set up the printing press. The whole work of getting out the paper was after that done in his own house.  As Y Cenhadwr grew and other things beside were being printed at its office, the quarters in the parlor became cramped and a new room had to be found. To provide the needed space an addition was built to the house, in the lower part of which the press was set up and in the upper half story the extra copies of Y Cenhadwr were stored with the exchanges that were always coming in. 

Everett and his sons, John and Robert, were not the only ones in the family who took part in getting out the magazine. All save the youngest children had some share in the work. The mother was as interested in the continuance and success of
Y Cenhadwr as was Everett himself, for it was missionary work among the Welsh in America of the most necessary kind. It was by her insistence that the little fortune left her from Wales was used to support Y Cenhadwr when the receipts from subscribers were not sufficient to meet running expenses. The children with their mother aided in the preparation of the loose sheets of the magazine for mailing by sewing them together with the covers and then wrapping and addressing them. (22) They aided also by doing much proofreading and one of the daughters by typesetting.  The third son, Lewis, also helped in the publication as soon as he had finished school.  It was a family affair in which all of the members took as large a part as they were able. 

In this way was
Y Cenhadwr published. Its influence was growing continually in Wales (23) as well as in this country. Like Y Cyfaill the paper never obtained a large circulation, (24)  but like it also, and for the same reasons, its influence was not measured by the number on its subscription lists. It was not a paying business, but a philanthropic enterprise on Everett's part. The use of Mrs. Everett's funds has already been mentioned. Not until the early seventies did there begin to be a profit from the paper, and even then it was not large.

Dr. Everett continued the publication of the paper until his death in 1875. His son, Lewis Everett, who had for some years assisted his father, then took up the management of the paper at his father's house. In a year he bought the paper of his mother and removed it to his own home nearby. He continued to publish it until his death, when Rev. Edward Davies, a Welsh Congregational minister, bought it in 1882. He was pastor of Peniel and Bethel churches at Remsen, where he published
Y Cenhadwr. He later had charge of the Steuben church, Dr. Everett's old pastorate. Davies remained here until 1898, when he removed  to Waterville, taking Y Cenhadwr with him. In these later years, Mr. Davies was unable to do the work of the paper and the burden of the publication fell upon his son-in-law, Hugh Hughes, now of the Utica Press. The paper was suspended in 1901, because of the decrease in Welsh readers and the difficulty in securing help familiar with the Welsh language. (25) 

Y Cenhadwr from the beginning had been strong for temperance. Davies was a Prohibitionist, and the paper under his editorship reflected his views. Its part in the movement against slavery is discussed elsewhere. As befitted a paper for the Welsh and especially denominational paper, a large part of the space was given to religious subjects; theological points were discussed at length; notable sermons were frequently printed; much space was given to the memoirs of clergymen in Wales and America and many columns were filed with reports of the various church meetings held by the Welsh Congregationalists throughout the country. Always a part of the paper was given to news from Wales and Europe and usually some space was given to the general news in America, as well as to the missionary news in various parts of the world.  The Welsh love of poetry and music was appealed to by two or three pages monthly of verses and, at intervals, the score of a new hymn. There were no stories nor anything that resembled them, save at times an account of a trip from Wales to America or between two points in America. Anything of lighter character would have been out of keeping with the spirit both of the paper and of the bulk of the people who received it. This was the character of the paper which for sixty years held the foremost place among the Welsh American publications. 

Everett's fame rests upon
Y Cenhadwr and the brilliance of that paper has outshone that of two other papers which for a time Everett edited, Y Dyngarwr (The Philanthropist) and Y Detholydd (The Eclectic). Y Dyngarwr, an eight page monthly devoted to anti-slavery and temperance, was issued for one year from January to December 1843. (26)  It was in a way an overflow from Y Cenhadwr. The abolition sentiment so strongly expressed in that magazine had alienated many of its subscribers, particularly those who lived in the South. Everett, appreciating above all the importance to his denomination of a religious paper, did not think himself justified in jeopardizing the life of that publication even for the great principle of freedom. So Y Dyngarwr was started and during its existence much of the material which otherwise would have gone into Y Cenhadwr or have been rejected because of the lack of space, was incorporated in it. The price of the paper was fifty cents a year; to ministers of all denominations it was sent free. It did not obtain a large circulation (27) and soon proved to be too expensive a luxury. Everett had to give it up at the end of one year. 

Y Detholydd also was a kind of overflow from Y Cenhadwr. It had a somewhat longer life than Y Dyngarwr, coming out monthly from July 1850 to June 1852. It was for the most part made up of selections from the Welsh publications of Wales. Most of the periodicals from the principality were now coming to Y Cenhadwr office in exchange and there was much in them which Everett wished to give to the Welsh in America but for which there was not room in Y Cenhadwr. Such selections, religious, historical and biographical, as well as much of a miscellaneous character, were brought together in Y Detholydd. It was a sixteen page paper and sold at fifty cents a year. 

Of the three chief denominations among the Welsh Americans, it has now been seen how two acquired a magazine in their interest. The Baptists were yet to find an organ for their denomination. They have been weaker in numbers than the Calvinistic Methodists and the Congregationalists and this accounts for their failure to maintain successfully the magazine started in their interest. 

Y Cyfaill had at first circulated widely among them and reports of their church meetings were given much space in its columns. It soon, however, became unsatisfactory for the Baptists and there was a general demand among them for a paper of their own.  This appeared in Y Beread; neu Drysorfa'r Bedyddwyr (The Berean; or The Treasury of the Baptists). The first number was issued in January 1842, a sixteen page fortnightly, edited by the Rev. D. Phillips and printed by William Osborn in New York.  It was two dollars a year. Mr. William Lewis, a grocer in New York, was the treasurer. In the last issue, that for December 1842, the paper had changed to a monthly.  The editor expected to continue it the following year but it does not appear that any other copies were issued after this.  Its death was due probably to lack of financial support. 

The Baptists did not remain long without a periodical devoted to their interests.  In July 1844 appeared the first number of
Seren Orllewinol (Western Star) edited by W. F. Phillips, a Baptist minister of Utica, and printed by Evan E. Roberts. Mr. David R. Morgans of Utica was the treasurer. It was a sixteen page paper bound in yellow covers. After February, 1845, the Seren was issued from the press of R. W. Roberts of Utica. In May the editor left Utica and in the July issue there appeared the following notice; "Considering the removal from Utica of the Rev. W. F. Phillips, recent editor of the Seren, it was thought necessary by the Assembly of the Baptists in New York and the eastern part of Pennsylvania, which met last month at Pottsville and Carbondale, to choose new officers for the Seren and therefore it was resolved that Rev. J. P. Harris of Minersville should be the editor and the Rev. W. Morgan, Pottsville, the treasurer, and because of the settlement of the editor near Pottsville, it is necessary to move the office of the Seren from Utica…." (28) The next three or four copies were issued from the press of William Osborn, New York City; beginning December 1845, they were printed at the office of the Miners' Journal at Pottsville, Pa.  J. P. Harris continued to edit the paper from Minersville until the end of the year 1848. With the January issue 1849, Richard Edwards took charge of it as publisher and editor. The paper continued under Edwards' editorship till the end.  It never was of either the size or the importance of Y Cyfaill or Y Cenhadwr. Its circulation was small, less than a thousand, (29) and not very many of the subscribers were in Oneida County. Edwards finally gave up the paper with the December issue of 1867, selling it for one hundred dollars to Rev. J. J. Morton of Summit Hill, Penna. (30) The latter changed the name to Y Wasg (The Press) and issued seven numbers, when the publication of it was suspended. (31) 

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