Click the images below for bigger versions:
J. W. Lescher
Autograph Letter Signed, Theological Seminary, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania to Mr. Wm. Lescher, Easton, Pennsylvania

folio, 3 ½ pages, paper a bit tanned, some minor staining, postal markings on integral address leaf, inscribed neatly in ink, very good condition.

$ 85.00 | Contact Us >
Lescher describes his trip through Pennsylvania and Ohio

"Beloved Brother in the Lord,

We have returned safe & sound to Mercersburg last Tuesday - evening but I was very much pleased with our trip; and enjoyed myself very well. If I mistake not, I have informed you before, in what way, we intended to travel; (viz. with Buggy & horse) it is the most pleasant way of traveling, & also the cheapest to see the country. We started from here a few days after the close of the Session. The first three days we had very bad traveling, it rained nearly all the time, but after we got over the Allegheny mountains once, we had but very little unpleasant weather, until on our return on the same mountain, it rained again & thence on till we were at home. So much concerning the weather. I will endeavor to say a little about the country, crops, improvements, & people &c. The appearance of land between here & Pittsburg is very uneven and mountainous, but generally of a rich & fertile nature, especially the valleys, which are also in a high state of cultivation. If you refer to "Mitchell's travelling Map of the United States" (I think you have one) you will be able to trace our travel. I will give you the names of some of the principal towns on the road or pike we went. The first, after leaving Mercersburg, was McConnellstown, then Bedford, then Stoystown, then Laughlinstown, then Youngstown, and then Greensburg and on to Pittsburg where we stayed from Friday morning to Monday morning, which gave us a fine opportunity to see all the important things of the place. In the manufacturing line, the Glass-works were the most interesting to me. It is really a specimen of human ingenuity. The public buildings are splendid especially the courthouse. To give you a description of the architect of these buildings would take up to much space or I should do it. There are things worthy of remark at some of the other above mentioned towns, but I must pass over and mention of the towns. After we left Pittsburg the next important town was Steubenville on the Ohio river. When we came to the river it was eleven o'clock at night and consequently we could not cross, what to do we knew not, there was no public nor private house within several miles except a small house where the ferry man lives in; so we concluded to try to get lodging with him. You may think that we were hungry as we hadn't eat since breakfast, no supper that night though. I however went up to the cabin and commenced to hallo, after a little, he answered and said he was sick, & that he couldn't ferry us that night - so I ask him for lodging & horsefeed he said we could have horse feed for our horse, but he had no bed good. We unhitched and feed, and then ask again for a bed, or the floor, he said we have an empty bed yet upstairs, but our girls sleep up there", I told him we would not hurt his girls, however, if he was afraid we would be satisfied to sleep on the floor if would permit us. He did, so we spread our Buffalo robe on the floor and took or veleses for pillows, put over our overcoats and squatted ourselves, but to sleep we could not, our bed was hard indeed. This was all done in the dark, we could not see whether the people were white or black. Adventures enough. In the morning at four o'clock he ferried us over to the town S. That night I caught cold enough to last our whole journey, however that night's lodging made an excellent subject to jest on our way &c. I will now mention a few of the Ohio towns, after leaving Steubenville, New Philadelphia, Bolivar, Massillon, Canton & Wooster this is my favorite place. Then on our home road to N. Phil again then to Cadiz a beautiful situation, thence Wheeling on to the national road, then Washington, Brownsville, Uniontown, Smithfield, Cumberland in Hancock & Hagerstown, the three last towns mentioned are in Maryland state. When we got into the state of Ohio at first I wished myself to Pa again, but the second day's travel all was changed, we at once came into the land that flows with Milk & Honey. We were through six or seven counties; & in Wayne, Stark & Tuscarawas counties there is as much land as in any of our counties, & land better, & improvements display much more taste than with us eastern people. This land can be compared with Northampton Co. called Irish Settlement. I never saw better wheat crops than I did in Ohio, it can't be beat, wheat & corn are the principal crops raised there: Markets are very good. Farmers find ready sale for their produce. Wheat was worth from 87 ½ to 100 and corn 35 to 40 at that time. Bacon from 2 to 4 cents per lb, veal 2 to 3, eggs 3 to 4 cents per dozen. There is cheap living, and good wages for Mechanics from $ 1 to $ 2 it is good for carpenters, brick-masons & plasterers, they get still higher wages at some places, in fact a real good mechanic can get almost any wages he asks.

The eastern people generally suppose the West to be wild and uncivilized, but oh! What a mistaken notion. The people are very enterprising & affectionate. We were received with the greatest courtesy.... I wonder that Father couldn't suit himself at the time he was in the west. I believe that an industrious young man could do exceedingly well, for instance any of my Brothers or Brotherinlaws. ... If any body inquires how I like the west tell them well enough to spend my days there.

I spent a week with Revd D. Kemmerer near Massilon in a village called Brookfield, a Mr. Krailing lives there that knows Father & Mother well, ... I spent a few with Mr. Wilhelm at Wooster, he is a coachmaker and doing good business..."