Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVIES , JOSEPH EDWARD ( 1876 - 1958 ), international lawyer ;

b. 29 Nov. 1876 in Watertown , Wisconsin , U.S.A. , the son of Edward Davies , carpenter , and his wife, Rachel ( DWB , 146) , an evangelist and a poet known as Rahel o Fôn . He spent part of his childhood in Anglesey and, as an university student, he spent each summer in Wales , part of the time with Evan Rowland Jones , the U. S. consul in Cardiff and a native of Tregaron , like Davies 's grandfather. Later, he marked the connection with Tregaron by naming his home in Washington after the town; he hoped that the house would become a graduate school in international studies. He was called to the Wisconsin Bar in 1901 and he eventually became a noted international lawyer . He was a strong and close supporter of Woodrow Wilson and he stood unsuccessfully for Congress in 1918 . He then retired from public life and devoted himself to his legal career. He was appointed ambassador to the Soviet Union in 1936 , to Belgium in 1938 , and again to the Soviet Union in 1943 . He became ambassador in Britain in 1945 and attended the Potsdam Conference . Davies was awarded nine hon. university degrees , including a LL.D. from the University of Wales , and he was a vice-president of Hon. Soc. of Cymmr. In 1946 , he received the Medal of Merit , the highest civilian honour awarded by the U.S. government , and he received similar honours from the governments of ten other countries. He published articles in various journals between 1913 and 1947 as well as reports on industry, corporation tax and legal topics. His influential book, Mission to Moscow ( 1941 ), brought him wider fame.

He m. (1) Emlen Knight on 10 Sept. 1902 and they had three daughters: Eleanor , Rahel and Emlen . A wealthy man in his own right, he m. (2) Mrs. Marjorie Post who inherited 20 million dollars from her father. He d. 9 May 1958 and was buried in Washington Cathedral .

Sources:

  • Who's who in America? , 1951-60 ;
  • Western Mail , 10 May 1958 ;
  • [ American National Biography , New York, 1999 , vol. 6, 156-158 (1999) ].

Author:

Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001