Rhees, Morgan John (1)

Rhees, Morgan John (1), a Baptist minister, was born in Glamorganshire, Wales, Dec. 8, 1760. He devoted himself at first to teaching; but having studied theology in the Baptist College at Bristol, he entered the ministry. His liberal views led him to France at the beginning of the revolution in that country, but, disappointed by its excesses, he came back and began expounding his particular views in a quarterly entitled The Welsh Treasury. This brought him into some difficulties with the authorities, and he emigrated to the United States in 1794 as the protector of a Welsh colony. Here he traveled through the Southern and Western states, preaching with remarkable success. Having, in connection with Dr. Benjamin Rush, purchased a tract of land in Pennsylvania, to which he gave the name of Cambria, he planned the capital of the county, which he called Beulah, and settled there with a company of Welsh emigrants in 1798. He remained for several years, acting as pastor of the church at Beulah, but finally removed to Somerset, Somerset Co., where he died, Sept. 17, 1804. One of his sons was M.J. Rhees, D.D. (q.v.). His earlier productions were published in the Welsh language, and but few of them have been translated. He published a few Orations and Discourses in this country, which evince great vivacity and eloquence. See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulp. 6:344.

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