Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , JOHN WILLIAM ( 1827 - 1884 ), editor of Y Drych , a Welsh-American newspaper ;

b. 11 Jan. 1827 at Bryn-bychan , Llanaelhaearn, Caerns. He moved with his parents to Ty'n-llwyn , Llanllyfni , where his father kept a school . In 1845 he emigrated, with a number of Caernarvonshire and Merioneth families, to the U.S.A. He worked on farms in Racine ( Wisconsin ), on a canal near Chicago , and as a furniture carpenter in Utica ( N.Y. ). He received some further education at Clinton and started to keep school himself, teaching his pupils arithmetic ; he became proficient in this subject as well as in astronomy and geology, and, in course of time, acquired a wide general knowledge. When Y Drych was founded in 1851 he began to contribute to its columns, and, towards the end of 1852 , was invited by the proprietor [ John Mather Jones , 1826 - 1874 , of Bangor (Caerns.) ] to come to New York as its editor , a post which he continued to hold until about the middle of 1884 . The Drych was, however, not a success, even after a journal called Y Gwyliedydd was joined to it in 1855 , until the editor became also the proprietor in 1858 . The Drych was thought by some people to be in favour of slavery. In the year in which he became proprietor of Y Drych , Jones won the prize at the Utica New Year's Day eisteddfod for an essay on the subject of the evils of slavery; at the same time he won the prize for an essay on geology. He had, in 1852 , been the editor of a Welsh quarterly journal , Yr Adolygydd Chwarterol , published in New York . He wrote several books — on such subjects as arithmetic, reading and writing, a history of the war in the Crimea , etc. He paid frequent visits to his native land. He d. 8 Oct. 1884 and was buried in Forest Hill cemetery , Utica .

Sources:

  • Y Drych newyddiadur cenedlaethol Cymry America , 18 Oct. 1856 , 2 Jan. 1858 , 7 May 1885 , 24 March 1921 , 10 Jan. 1924 ;
  • The Cambrian (Cincinnati), 1884 , 293;
  • J. Jones (‘Myrddin Fardd’) , Enwogion Sir Gaernarfon (1922) .

Author:

Robert (Bob) Owen, O.B.E., M.A., (1885-1962), Croesor

Published date: 1959