Two bundles of letters from these Welsh settlers, preserved in the National Library, give us some enlightening glimpses of their life during the pioneering days. They all date from the period following the close of the Napoleonic wars, and introduce us therefore to settlers who were able from the outset to make contact with fellow-countrymen both in New York itself-their usual port of landing (which had had a small Welsh population for well over a century) I-and in the remoter settlements too. Many had been regaled by tales of this land of promise, whether in letters or by word of mouth from returned emigrants, before ever they set out; for example, young Benjamin Chidlaw, who went out with his father from Bala as a lad of eleven in 1821, had always cherished memories of what that father told him, after a temporary sojourn in New York state from 1794-9, of this 'great and good country beyond the ocean, where there is no king, no tithes, and where poor people can get farms, and where apples abound'.2 The letters are nearly all in Welsh, and personal and family affairs naturally take pride of place. But there are long passages of more general interest, and it is these that have been transcribed or translated in the following pages, with some indication of the general trend of the omitted passages. The passages between quotation marks are all directly copied or translated literally from the originals in the Library, only the punctuation and sometimes the sequence of paragraphs being modified. A single letter from a third bundle is added for the sake of comparison with conditions in the same area twenty years later, when pioneering had moved further west. I. LETTERS FROM MERIONETH IMMIGRANTS, 1816-18. (N.L.W. MS. 2722E; from the papers of Edward Griffith, Dolgelley, 1832-1918). 1. From Hugh Thomas and his wife Catherine (Trenton, Oneida county)3 to their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Zachariah (Gwastad Coed, Dolgelley, Merioneth), 25 September 1816. [An 'exact copy' in copperplate hand (with many underlinings, which are not reproduced here), apparently made by the son-in-law, of a letter in colloquial and ill-spelt Welsh. The copy is directed to Henry Owens, Esq., Dolgelley.] The writer begins by referring to his forty-acre holding, crossed by two streams and lying on a turnpike road, of which he keeps the gate, thereby supplementing his income by$80 a year. In worship they join a good deal with the English. There are two Societies4 in Utica5 (one Baptist and one 'ours') and two in Steuben 1 Dodd, op cit., pp. io-n. 2 Story of My Life, loc. cit. 3 Oneida is written 'Nerida', but the transcriber conjectures that 'Oneyda' is meant. 4 'sysciat' ('seseiet' elsewhere in the letter). He is using the word in the sense made familiar by Methodism (the modem Seiat); the bodies to which he refers belong, however, to the older Dissent, which in some counties (notably Merioneth) had for some time been profoundly influenced by ¡the Methodist Revival (see R. T. Jenkins, Hanes Cynulleidfa Hen Gapel Llanuwchllyn, Bala, 1937, pp. 48-58). The writers appear to have been Independents. 5 He writes 'Ueta' or 'Veta'.