Morgan John Rhys

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Morgan John Rhys, also Rhees (December 8, 1760 – December 7, 1804) was a Welsh radical evangelical Baptist minister. He preached the principles of the French Revolution, against slavery, and in favour of the reform of parliament.


Rhys was born in Llanbradach, near Caerphilly, and became a pastor of a Baptist church in Pen-y-garn, near Pontypool. In 1793 he established and edited Y cylchgrawn Cyn-mraeg (=The Welsh magazine) in order to spread his political and religious ideas.

In 1794 he grew tired of the repression in Britain and emigrated to America where he established a Welsh colony, Cambria. Here he established his own religious denomination and a newspaper, The western sky. After emigrating to America he changed his surname to Rhees.

He moved to Somerset County in 1799 and died there in 1804.


Further reading[edit]

  • J. Evans, Morgan John Rhys a'i Amserau (1935)
  • Gwyn Alf Williams, The Search for Beulah Land (1980)
  • E. Wyn James,‘ “Seren Wib Olau”: Gweledigaeth a Chenhadaeth Morgan John Rhys (1760-1804)’, Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes y Bedyddwyr (2007), pp. 5–37. ISSN 1462-9429
  • E. Wyn James, 'Morgan John Rhys a Chaethwasiaeth Americanaidd', in Canu Caeth: Y Cymry a’r Affro-Americaniaid, ed. Daniel G. Williams (Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, 2010), 2-25. ISBN 978-1-84851-206-1.
  • E. Wyn James, 'Welsh Ballads and American Slavery', The Welsh Journal of Religious History, 2 (2007), pp. 59–86. ISSN 0967-3938.

External links[edit]