DAVID SAMWELL'S POEM—4 THE PADOUCA HUNT' As there are references elsewhere in this Wales and America' number of the Journal to the alleged discovery of America in the twelfth century by Madoc, a Welsh chieftain, it is not inappropriate to reprint the following humorous poem composed by David Samwell (1751-98), of whose career as surgeon in the royal navy, poet and letter- writer, and prominent member of the London-Welsh community in the last quarter of the eighteenth century the Editor of this Journal has given a full account elsewhere. Samwell has himself explained in his short introductory note how the poem came to be written and has explained most of the allusions in a series of footnotes it is not, there- fore, necessary to add more than a few prefatory lines. Two Welsh societies in London, the Gwyneddigion and the Caradogion, became deeply interested in the question of the existence in America, on the banks of the Missouri, of a people called Madawgwys or Padoucas, i.e., Indians who were said to be descendants of Madoc, for whom the claim was made that he had discovered America some centuries before Columbus sailed towards that continent in 1492. There is an extensive body of literature-pro and con--on this subject, much of which was critically examined by Thomas Stephens of Merthyr Tydfil, the author of The Literature of the Kymry, in the well-known essay which he submitted to the Llangollen eisteddfod of 1858, but which was not published until after his death.2 It will be remembered that the prize was with-held from Stephens, although his essay was adjudged the best in the competition, because he proved that Madoc had not discovered America Several times before 1858 controversy had raged over this question, and there were particular reasons why, during the last decade of the eighteenth century, both the Gwyneddigion and the Caradogion held much debate on the subject. Owen Jones (' Owain Myvyr '), writing from London on May 5, 1701, to Walter Davies (' Gwallter Mechain ') in Wales, said Dydd Llun nesaf y cynhalier Dadl erxyll am y Madogion-Dafydd ddu [i.e., David Samwell], Gwilym Owain [-Pughe], ac erailh i haeru mai gwir y xwedl, Sion Ceiriog ar ysgwyddau Dr. Robertson, Arglwydd Littleton ac erailh [?] a Ned Mon i wrth-ddadlu. 1 Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion for session 1926-27. See also David Samwell A Further Note in the Transactions of the same society for session 1937-38. Madoc. An essay on the discovery of America by Madoc ap Owen Gwynedd in the twelfth century. (London, 1893).