PRINCE MADOC arrives in the New World
In the year 1170, the dashing Prince of Wales named Prince Madoc sailed the seas to a New World. One of the younger children of the King, he was certain not to ascend the throne, so he left his native country and went to make his fortune abroad.
Prince Madoc landed on a dazzling beach, the sand white as snow, sparkling in the sun, the sea blue as the sky and clear. Great turtles roamed the shore. Seabirds flew about. A wealth of shells lay on the beach. Madoc had brought with him several brothers and his sister. They moved inland and found good harbor for their ships; they desired to make a colony upon the land. It is said that Prince Madoc sailed back home for provisons twice more then they made their way into the interior of the continent, following the waterways. Eventually Prince Madoc and his party settled with the Mandan Indians.
Many believe that Madoc was the first European to land on the American shores. It is said there are ruins of a Welsh-type fort near Mentone, AL; John Sevier claimed to have found it in 1782. When Elizabeth I, Queen of England, heard of Madoc's adventures; she was inspired to send expeditions to America. Pioneer heroes John Sevier and Daniel Boone spoke of meeting blue-eyed Welsh-speaking Indians; those stories were told to Thomas Jefferson who was inspired to send Lewis and Clark west on their explorations. And one of the Mandan legends of origin says they came from Madoc.
NOTES4U: Today we call the beach Gulf Shores where Madoc may have landed. It is in Alabama. It is a wonderful place to visit. You may go there today! Or certainly for vacation. I was told by an elderly friend that the giant turtles roamed the beach when he was a boy; that he and his friends rode them! I have seen just one of the giants there myself. Sandpipers and sea gulls still fly about, dipping and diving at fish. Shells are there for you to discover -- scallops, starfish, periwinkle, delicate sand dollars and more. The sand still sparkles like sugar; the sea still blue as the sky; the porpoise still frolic in the waves. And you can too!
Illustrations and stories by Carol Middleton 1998, 1999,
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