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Recruitment of Labourers and Emigration to USA

Does anyone have any knowledge of recruitment of labourers/miners to work in Aberdare in the 1850s and emigration to USA in the 1860s?

Of 4 DEAN boys from Somerset who migrated to Wales, two featured in Aberdare:

Eli DANE [sic] Labourer Coalworks, married Mary HOWELLS, daughter of William, Foreman of Copperworks, at Carmel Chapel, Aberdare on 19th June 1858. Their first son William was born 13th May 1859, Eli a Labourer at the Coalworks; 30th March 1861 for birth of Thomas Henry, Eli was in Abergwawr, then a Labourer at the Ironworks; for daughter Elizabeth born 1863 Eli was recorded Coal Miner at Commerce Place. Presumably after the American Civil War, Eli emigrated to USA with wife and 2 small sons, their infant daughter having died in January 1864. In 1870 the family were recorded in Woodside Township, Sangamon Co., Illinois [Springfield Post Office] but in 1881 Eli was back in Somerset, wife Mary having died in a fire in USA and an infant son having succumbed to Spotted Fever. Two sons remained in USA and settled finally at Terre Haute, Vigo Co., Indiana, working at the Highland Iron & Steel Co.

Simeon DEAN surfaced on 16 November 1862 at the High Street Baptists Chapel in Merthyr Tydfil District as a Coal Labourer aged 20 of Mary Street, Aberdare, upon marriage to Hannah BURROWS, also of Mary Street, daughter of Robert. They raised their family initially at Club Street before removing to Gadlys Street, where they remained for the rest of their lives. Tragically, they lost a son John in an accident at Nantmelyn Colliery in 1895.

I'd love to know what influenced these lads from Somerset to make these life-changing decisions: according to his 1870 US Census return Eli could neither read nor write ...