Frontier of Illusion - The Welsh and the Atlantic Revolution

Inspired by the myth of Prince Madoc who was believed to have discovered America before Columbus. Welshmen sought to establish 'Gwladfa' a national home for their people in the new land and sought contact with the Mandan Indians who were said to be Welsh-speaking.

It was in the autumn of 1796 that the first party of settlers came across the Allegheny Mountains into the wilderness of western Pennsylvania. They came up from Philadelphia and the Great Valley of the Appalachians by boat and on foot, since only Esquire Jones the surveyor had a horse as yet. They found their way to the place by compass, cutting through an endless sea of rolling forest, down to Blacklick Creek and the Connemaugh, where they could see the lower ground sweeping on west towards the Ohio and that far Missouri of their Lost Brothers.

Twelve families and four bachelors, they ringed trees, planted their axe-crop and huddled before the winter. 'My first habitation here', wrote one of them years later, 'was a little cabin covered with spruce limbs or rather spruce brush and Providence covered that with snow two feet deep, where now the town of Ebensburg is. In this place, my child Rachel was born.' In that place, he lost her to the wilderness which was to break the spirit of half of them.

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