In 1793 Williams sailed for America , landing at Philadelphia , from which he soon made his way to New York , where his wife d. of yellow fever . He married a second time, and in 1797 moved to Essex County , New Jersey . Rowland fab Owen , who tried to find out something about his history in America , states on the authority of his daughter, Catrin , that in 1798 he settled at Dorence , Luzerne County , Pennsylvania , where he bought land, set up a saw-mill on the river bank, and proceeded to manufacture chairs . Catrin showed Rowland one of the chairs her father had made; the seat was made of hickory strips and she said she had fixed the seats to hundreds of chairs when she was a girl. Rowland fab Owen was of opinion that when he was in Wales Abraham Williams inclined towards the Baptists , but that in America he became a Wesleyan . In 1816 he again moved, this time to Grist Flatts , a place on the west bank of the Susquehanna river , where he set up another similar factory. In 1828 he went to an election meeting held on behalf of Andrew Jackson , who subsequently ( 1829 ) became president of the U.S.A. , but the journey proved too much for him and he died shortly afterwards. He was buried in a cemetery near his house, and on his tomb-stone was carved: ‘ Abraham Williams , Died Dec. 27, 1828 , Aged 73 yrs. 3 m. 9 dys .’ An unfounded rumour that he had died before 1816 drifted to Wales , and Gutyn Peris wrote a lament for him in the form of an awdl ( Ffrwyth Awen , 60). Thus, Abraham Williams was privileged to read his own elegy, and in ‘ Cywydd yr Adfail ,’ which he sent to Wales ‘ from the dark forest on the bank of the great Susquehanna river , a long and winding river, May 30, 1819 ,’ we get a reference to the premature elegy and a vivid picture of the poet drawing to the end of his journey after his distant travels.
Griffith Thomas Roberts, M.A., Llanrug
Published date: 1959