Dr. Robert Everett (1797-1875), was born of a Scottish-English father, Lewis Everett, and a Welsh mother, Jane, on January 2, 1797 in Cronant, Flintshire. He was a man of scholarly attainments, piety, and conscientious devotion to duty. Everett was an earnest reformer and a leader in every good cause, and was considered an extremist by many.
Dr. Everett was an abolitionist from the time he arrived in Utica in 1823. The Everetts’ wagon driver was either a slave or a former slave and had told them much about slavery. At the time, New York State was still a slave state. Abolition of slavery was not a state law until 1827.
In 1823, Everett was “called” to the ministry at Bethesda Welsh Congregational Church in Utica where he preached his first sermon on July 23, embarking on a career of four sermons a week as well as revivals, prayer meetings and temperance meetings. Everett also served as minister of Second Presbyterian Society of Utica on the southwest corner of Bleecker and Charlotte in 1832.
Wanting to work with Welsh-speaking Congregationalists, Dr. Everett took on the ministry at Capel Ucha in Steuben, and Penymynydd near Steuben. Capel Uchaf was founded in 1805, and a building erected in 1820 with a capacity for 500-600 parishioners. Capel Ucha no longer stands, however, there is a monument in Capel Uchaf Cemetery marking its location.
The Everett’s home is known to have served on occasion as a station of the underground railroad’ and aided by Everett, the fugitive slave found his way to the next station in his flight toward that goal.
Everett, with his son John Robert’s help, published the Cenhadwr (missionary or messenger), a monthly publication. The magazine was first published in 1840 by the Oneida County Church Conference. The church finally declared that it was the property of Everett. The magazine suffered because of its’ abolitionist views and was last offered in 1901.
In 1853, Dr. Everett also published the Welsh edition of Harriet Beecher Stow’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Or Life Among the Lower Class”, (Caban f’ewythr Twm, cyfieithiad).
His daughter Elizabeth attended Rev. H. G. Kellogg's Ladies Seminary in Clinton, run by abolitionists. His son, John Robert, was a graduate of Oneida Institute who lectured on abolitionism and temperance. He helped John Brown and the anti-slavery factions in Kansas, where he moved with his family during the Free Soil movement.