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150th anniversary of Mimosa’s emigrant voyage

28 May 2015 by Ellie

Group photograph of Welsh settlers

Settlers in Patagonia, 28 July 1890, including some Mimosa emigrants. Image courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Bangor University, John Murray Thomas Collection

In our Emigrants to a New World gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum, we tell the story of the millions of people who left Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries in search of better lives overseas, with Liverpool being the departure point for many.

Large numbers of Welsh emigrants sailed from Liverpool, mostly settling in the United States of America. With the next generation, concerns were raised about that fact that the Welsh language was no longer being spoken and traditions were being forgotten.
To safeguard their culture, the idea of creating a Welsh colony spread and Patagonia, in Southern Argentina, was chosen as a suitable location and land was granted by the government.

On 28 May 1865, Mimosa set sail from Liverpool bound for Patagonia, carrying 160 courageous Welsh men, women and children on board. After an eventful 2 month voyage, the ship arrived at Porth Madryn on 28 July. The emigrants created the first settlement by the Chubut River. Today it is estimated that 50,000 Welsh descendants still live in Chubut province, with 5,000 of still speaking Welsh.

Mimosa was a wooden clipper built in 1853 by Alexander Hall & Sons, Aberdeen and owned by Vining & Killey of Liverpool.

Photo of ship model

MMM.2008.19 Donated by Merseyside Welsh Heritage Society

On display in our Emigrants to a New World gallery, you can see an exhibition waterline model of Mimosa. It was made by Tony Fancy (Trade Wind Models, Poole, Dorset) with sponsorship from the Liverpool Culture Company.

It was presented to the museum by the Merseyside Welsh Heritage Society and unveiled during a special event on 27 September 2008. This important donation enabled us to represent the history of Mimosa for the first time in the museum, and will ensure that this significant event continues to be remembered.

  1. Tony Mac says:

    It was a story on ships that if you sank near the cape and was able to reach land a place of safety near by was a village of Welsh people also a safe stay for whalers.

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