THE WELSH SETTLEMENTS IN MINNESOTA: THE EVIDENCE OF THE CHURCHES IN BLUE EARTH AND LE SUEUR COUNTIES* CONDITIONS in Wales during the 'hungry forties' were to a great degree responsible for the second of the three major waves of emigration to the United States. These settlers, interested in agricultural rather than industrial employment, arrived in considerable numbers in most of the mid-western states during the pre-Civil War period. Another factor of great significance was direct propaganda, much of it from respected clergymen; this strongly suggested that a bright future awaited those who were willing to cross the Atlantic and settle on the abundant and inexpensive land that was now available on the prairies. Of these writers the most notable were two Independent ministers, the Rev. Benjamin Chidlaw (Yr American, 1840) and the Rev. R. D. Thomas, 'Iorthryn Gwynedd' (Yr Ymfudwr, 1856). Besides these two books, the idea of immigration was much in the public eye because of the Rev. Samuel Roberts's ill-fated settlement in Brynffynon, Tennessee, from 1857, and the much more successful one in Patagonia fathered by Michael D. Jones, from 1865. Thus, in 1857, when the proposed state constitution of Minnesota was under discussion, William Jones of Rochester was asked to translate the document into Welsh so that it could be understood by those who knew the language better than they did English. Most of these people were farmers who had come to Blue Earth and Le Sueur Counties in the 1850s. Their descendants still keep a rather strong ethnic profile in the area, as well as in Minneapolis-St. Paul, to which Welsh people in some numbers also came at about the same time, and to which many of the descendants of the rural Welsh gravitated when land was no longer easily available to them. Minnesota became a territory in 1849 and a state of the Union in 1858. In the summer of 1853, some Welsh immigrants who were considering settling in the areas arrived on a visit there. John C. Evans, David Jones, and John Roberts visited Ottawa township in Le Sueur County in May. David C. Evans (from Wisconsin, but born in Wales) explored the South Bend area in Blue I wish to acknowlege the encouragement of Dr. Hartmann whose Americans from Wales (1967, reprinted 1978 New York City) is the fullest discussion of Welsh immigration to the United States, as well as the assistance of the staff, present and past, of the Blue Earth County Historical Society, and of a large group of Welsh-Americans in the area who were kind enough to provide both information and encouragement while I was working on this paper.