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National Archives of Canada C-037613

Welsh-Patagonian Emigrants June, 1902

Welsh Emigrants 1902

These Welsh Emigrants were photographed at Liverpool on board the Allan Line ship Numidian (ship picture) on June 12th 1902. The Numidian departed Liverpool, England 1902-06-12 and arrived at Quebec, Que. 1902-06-22.
The manifest may be found at the National Archives of Canada, Microfilm Reel no. T-480 List Number: 25
Welsh migrants had first left via Liverpool on board the Mimosa in May 1865 and landed at the port of Newbay, South America about 40 miles from Patagonia. By 1896, there were over 2,500 Welsh in a settlement in Patagonia and in a nearby settlement. Language, military training and land disputes caused many to leave Patagonia, to avoid assimilation. A group of about thirty, including Evan Jenkins, scouted the prospects in Saskatchewan, Canada. On May 15, 1902, 230 Welsh sailed from Port Madryn to Liverpool on board the Orissa. From there, a group of 208 Welsh proceeded to Canada on board the Numidian (pictured above).
Canada Sessional Papers Edward VII (25) 1903 p. li

Welsh-Patagonian Emigration
With regard to these settlers, I need not say that the answer of Mr. Chamberlain was not at all satisfactory to the delegation that waited upon him, nor indeed was it very satisfactory to Canadians generally. It must be remembered, however, that the deputation that waited upon Mr. Chamberlain in no way represented Canada, but was simply a committee of Welshmen who were desirous of relieving their fellow-countrymen from distress in Patagonia. It was neither an unnatural nor an unreasonable thing for the committee to make the request that they did of the Imperial government. Especially is this true when it is borne in mind that these Welsh residents in Patagonia, although they lived in South America from 15 to 35 years, had not renounced their allegiance to the British Crown and might have been regarded by the Imperial government as British subjects in distress in a foreign country, and, therefore, entitled to every reasonable consideration. I was informed that some time ago these same people made representation to Mr. Chamberlain asking to be transported to South Africa. Now this might have accounted in a measure for his reply when he stated that he misunderstood the object of the meeting of the deputation to himself. His reference, however, to the climate of Canada was a most uncalled for thing, and I think that it was quite proper for Canadians to resent it.

I certainly feel that if this government makes a grant to the committee appointed in this connection of $5 per head, which will amount to $2,500, in addition to the large expenditure which was incurred in sending Mr. Griffith and Mr. Reese--nearly as much more--to Patagonia to interview these people, that is all that could be expected of us. Moreover, I am convinced that just as many of as good a class of settlers could be got for an expenditure of probably less money.

On page 6 of Mr. Frank Pedley's report same Sessional Papers

The Welsh Colony in Patagonia
The department having reason to believe that the members of the Welsh colony, established in Patagonia many years ago, were not satisfied with conditons there, and were contemplating moving elsewhere--probably to Canada--appointed in the summer of 1901, W.J. Rees, of Swansea and W.L. Griffith, our agent at Cardiff, as delegates to visit this colony, with a view to ascertaining the nature and extent of the proposed movement.

The delegates visited the colony and found a general desire prevailing to seek a home where the surroundings were more congenial, and the means of obtaining a livelihood more certain. The representations made by Messrs, Rees and Griffith regarding Canada as a field for settlement were well received, as is evidenced by the arrival during the present year of over 200 persons from this colony, who are now settled in the neighbourhood of Saltcoats, north-west of Winnipeg.

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