Prince Madoc plaque
To the Editor:
I am writing to express my disappointment with your newspaper’s lack of coverage concerning the removal of the Prince Madoc plaque from the shore at Ft. Morgan on Mobile Bay. After hurricane Frederick in 1979 the Alabama State Parks Department determined that the only history that should be presented at this historical spot should be that of military history. The plaque was in an old storage shed until the Alabama Welsh Association started a drive to get it posted again more than 2 yrs. ago.
In an attempt to wash their hands of this matter the Alabama State Parks Department returned this plaque to the Mobile Chapter of the D.A.R. Which in itself is an insult & a backhanded slap of ingratitude in their faces & more seriously a dereliction of their duties to all state history, which is the job Alabama taxpayers hired them to do.
While I, myself am a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a Confederate reenactor & lifelong history buff of America’s military history I also realize that censoring one part of our history for another is not a solution & it certainly does not maintain all the rich history of Alabama for future generations.
In cooperation with the D.A.R. the group who had the plaque made & installed on Mobile Bay at Ft. Morgan in 1953 & AWA we hope to correct this gross neglect of this part of our states great history.
Not only do we have an online petition with near 3,000 signatures of Alabamians but, those of Welsh Americans & native Welshmen as well. Plus major news coverage of this slight of Welsh history in many publications in Wales, across America & the world. Its sad that apart of this states history cannot get the same coverage here at home where it should matter the most.
The legend of Prince Madoc of Wales is history to many with other connections at various stone fortified locations in Alabama & America & among native Americans & early explorers whom all reported encounters with Indians who claimed to have had contact with white moon eyed people who called themselves Welsh. Explorers contact with Indians they reported spoke a language that closely resembled Welsh. All of this cannot be written off as " legend " but, are facts waiting for closer examination.
At any rate, Alabama has at least a partial claim to being the spot where America was first discovered by Europeans, our own Plymouth Rock. We should claim it as such & make national & international efforts to attract as many visitors as possible. Mobile should have the largest St. David’s Day Parade ( Patron saint of Wales ) every March 1st than any other city in America with this claim to fame.
Last year we had a bill in the Alabama legislature to restore this plaque to its original spot. It passed the state legislature but, died in the state senate. This year this bill has once again passed in the legislature but is once again stalled in the senate. We encourage all Alabama citizens to contact their state reps & senators, especially Lowell Barron & request this bill be allowed to be voted on by the senate so that one more piece of Alabama’s diverse history is restored.
Billy E. Price
Ashville, Al.