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MORGAN JOHN RHEES.
By Rev. Owen James, Titusville, Pa.
The Rev. Morgan John Rhees, the great-grandfather of Rush Rhees, the new president of the University. of Rochester, and the great-grandfather of Nicholas Murray Butler, another foremost educator of today, was a man of remarkable qualities. His life began in 1760 in the vale of Glamorgan, the richest and most beautiful section of beautiful little Wales.
He was well born. His parents were in affluent circumstances, owned land and belonged to the upper social crust among the Welsh people. Personal dignity, force of character, social polish and ease, independence in judgment, speech and conduct, the habit of ruling, of being looked up to and of taking the initiative came naturally to him. These were the traits of the class to which he belonged.
His mind was noted for alertness and catholicity. His interests were universal. He appeared free from prejudices. His hospitality to the most advanced suggestion in all that pertained to the welfare of men was wonderful.
His education was excellent. His father gave him the best schooling that a Dissenter could get in England at that time. His mastery of the English language and literature.
was as thorough as that of his native Welsh. He was radically progressive. His insight was clear and penetrating. He saw accurately the condition of the age and the needs of the people. His sympathy was intense. He was the most unselfish of men. He was also an active and practical man. He no sooner perceived what was needed than he set about to bring it to pass. He saw visions and dreamed dreams, and then with all the energy of his forceful personality undertook to change them into actual realities. Hence he was a prophet and apostle of liberty and intelligence. He wrote books, published magazines, travelled extensively preaching and lecturing all in behalf of freedom and schools for the common people. He knew Robert Raikes, and organized Sunday Schools. Like Southey, Coleridge, Wordsworth, and almost every high-minded young man of that period he hailed the French Revolution with delight. In 1792 we find him in Paris preaching the gospel in a rented hall, and distributing Bibles to the people.
He was fearless and outspoken, reckless of consequences, and almost oblivious to all considerations of policy and expediency. In 1794 he fell under the suspicions of the Eng
lish government, and fled to America. Landing in New York, October 12th, he at once took a journey south as far as Savannah, Georgia. After his return he traveled to New England as far as Boston. On the ocean and on his travels, he wrote many letters and kept a diary. These show breadth of knowledge, versatility of mind, keenness of observation, clearness of insight, maturity of judgment, progressiveness of spirit and unselfishness of heart that are truly marvelous. They make plain also that he was an eloquent and masterful preacher, and a fearless advocate of liberty. All the way to Savannah and back he never ceased, in sermon, lecture and conversation, to condemn slavery and to plead for the emancipation of the negroes.
In 1796 he married Ann, the daughter of Col. Benjamin Losley, a leading citizen of Philadelphia. Five children were born of this union. The fourth was Morgan John Rhees, Jr., who married Grace Wallis Evans. To these were born three children; the second of which was John Evans Rhees, who married Anna H. McCutchen. These also had three children, two girls and a boy. The boy is President Rush Rhees of Rochester, N. Y.
The fifth child of Morgan John Rhees was Eliza, who married Rev. Nicholas Murray, and had ten children. The fifth of these was Mary Jones Murray, who married Henry
L. Butler. Of this union three children were born. The oldest is Professor Nicholas Murray Butler.
In 1798 Morgan John Rhees bought of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a large tract of land in the midst of the Alleghany mountains. This he called Cambria. It afterwards gave its name to Cambria County, and is to-day its center. Thither Mr. Rhees brought many of his countrymen, and was extremely busy among them selling land, building houses, preaching the gospel, teaching school, publishing a newspaper, establishing a library, and whatever else his fertile yeastful brain and indomitable energy led him on to. Later we find him successively a Justice of the Peace, Associate Judge, Prothonotary, Clerk of the Courts, Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds for Somerset County, of which Cambria was then a part. In 1804 he died, and was taken to Philadelphia for burial.
Within the past few weeks, the Rev. J. T. Griffith of Lansford, Pa., has collected into an interesting book almost all that is now known of this great Welshman. The book contains many of his letters, much of his diary, some of his sermons, addresses and essays, elaborate genealogies, and other matter of deep interest and value to all intelligent people. The book is published by the author, and is sold for sixty
Old winter's with us once again
Wrapped up in snow so white and nice
His breath is vapor, and his hair
Is naught ont icicles, so fair,
He hugs his breast to keep it warm
ABERGELE AND CEFN-YR-OGOF.
Abergele is about five miles distant from Rhyl on our journey westward. As we leave Rhyl, we cross the Foryd bridge, which conveys us over the estuary of the Clwyd, and enter Denbighshire, and soon. we take the last peep of the beautiful spire of Bodelwyddan, St. Asaph Cathedral, Rhuddlan and Dyserth Castles, and the Moels of the Vale of Clwyd to our left. The church we pass on our left is Towyn, and beyond it we see Kinmel on the hill side. Abergele, or rather its suburb, Pensarn (for the town is three quarter of a mile from the station and the shore) is now rising as a watering place, and all the attractions are almost equally as available from Pensarn as from Rhyl.
nameless epitaph on Abergele churchyard wall is called in evidence "In this church lies a man who lived three miles to the north of it." But as a better proof, it may be observed at low water, from the clayey banks, a long tract of hard loam filled with the bodies of oak trees, tolerably entire, but so soft as to be cut with a knife as easily as
The neighborhood of Abergele abounds in ancient encampments; in fact, the low range of hills from St. George's to Penmaenrhos seems to have been a chain of defences. One of these, Castell Cawr, is the hill covered with trees, which we see from the station, to the left of the other hill on the slopes of which Gwrych Castle stands. Castell Cawr is less than a mile from the town, and a pass over the fields a very slough of despond in wet weather— can be found by turning to the left
Bangor road, reached by turning up from one of the lodges of Gwrych Park. It is a trackless cavern, which, it is said, many a British army has sheltered in days of yore; and an inscription at the lodge we have just mentioned records some of the famous events which happened thereabout. This "Cefn Cave" is well worth a visit. The summit of the hill itself is called Cefn-yr-Ogof. There is, of course, a glorious sea view, including Puffin Island and the Anglesea coast, and then we see
marked ramparts of an ancient stronghold are to be seen. Gorddyn Mawr is on the east of the little valley, through which the stream runs to Llanddulas village.
Cefn Cave is one of the largest and most remarkable in Europe. The entrance opening is 48 feet high. A little way inside stands a pillar which divides the cave into two parts or rooms. The tunnel on the left side ends very soon, but the one on the right opens into a capacious room, 30 feet high, and a tunnel