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DAVIES, DAVID STEPHEN (1841 - 1898), preacher, temperance reformer, man of letters, and colonist

Name: David Stephen Davies
Date of birth: 1841
Date of death: 1898
Spouse: G. Davies (née Stephens)
Parent: John Davies
Gender: Male
Occupation: preacher, temperance reformer, man of letters, and colonist
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Religion; Scholarship and Languages; Travel and Exploration
Author: Richard Bryn Williams

Born at Brynffynnon, Plas-marl, Swansea, 14 February 1841, son of John Davies (1803 - 1854), minister of Mynydd-bach, Llangyfelach. In 1854 his father was killed in the mine, and the boy was forced to leave school and go to work as an engine-driver at Aberdare. In 1857 there was a strike, and he emigrated to the U.S.A., where he began to preach at Holidaysburg. He then underwent training at the Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, and the Western Theological Seminary, Allegany, and in 1862 was ordained minister of Emmett and Ixonia; he married G. Stephens of Wisconsin in the same year. He moved to Denton in 1864, then to Centreville, and, in 1872, to New York. Here he formed a company to promote emigration, the ship Rush was purchased, and twenty-nine emigrants were sent off to Patagonia. They got no further than Montevideo, where they dispersed. Another company was formed comprising forty-two emigrants, himself among them. The ship Electric Spark, 200 tons, was purchased, and sailed with a company and a cargo of 250 tons of agricultural implements. This ship was wrecked off the coast of Brazil, the cargo was lost, and it was only after great tribulations that the emigrants reached Patagonia, penniless. It was rumoured in the U.S.A. that they had all been drowned, and a memorial service was held for D. S. Davies, and obituary notices were published. Four months later he returned from the colony to Wales and, in 1875, was invited to become minister of Ebenezer, Bangor, in succession to Robert Thomas (Ap Vychan, 1809 - 1880). He went to New York to fetch his family and there arranged for a third ship, the Lucerne, to sail for Patagonia. This voyage also was a failure. In 1886 he went to Carmarthen to take charge of the church at Union Street, and there he remained until his death, 29 October 1898. He was editor of Y Celt and published a number of books: Llawfer (Shorthand), Ystyr Bedydd (The Meaning of Baptism), Adroddiad, 1875, which gave details about Patagonia, and two others designed to appeal to intending settlers in that country, Y Cymro: Llawlyfr y Wladfa, 1881, and Atodiad i'r Cymro, 1882.


Published date: 1959

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