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Robert Heysham Sayre diary

Identifier: SC MS 0336

Scope and Contents

One booklet measuring 18 x 8 cm bound in black textured leather with silver colored clasp with the word Souvenir stamped on it and gold edged pages. The leather binding is stamped in gold R. H. Sayre, Bethlehem.


Diary/appointment book 1860 January to December (instead of a day to day commentary, only interesting comments are noted by day such as a meeting between Robert Sayre and Asa Packer or railroad collisions as example). Daily Pocket Diary:

January 1 Sunday. Clear and very cold. At Pa’s. Attended church…. January 6 to 15 Blank January 18 Wed. Cloudy & cold. Left on noon train for Penn Haven. Up to Stony Creek with Eli Connor… I have a party now at work locating road between Penn Haven & White Haven. Commenced operations yesterday Martin Coryell principal asst. January 19 Thurs. Cloudy, appearance of snow… Heard of collision between the “King” and “Packer” train at Schreibers. Cars broken, two badly. January 21 Sat. Clear and Springlike. Went over to town back to office. Heard of another collision between the “Bushkill” and Packer’s train between Allentown and Catasauqua. Engineer of the Bushkill dismissed. A number of cars broken at cab of the Engine broken. Got track clear about 5 o’clock P.M. No empty coal cars up today. January 23 Mon. Clear and pleasant. Went to Mauch Chunk in the accommodation train. Over to see Mr. Packer in reference to sending some one to Harrisburg to attend to our interests there. Left at 12.40 P.M. as conductor on the Hazleton Co. Engine “Aceola” which I have him for a week, home during evening. January 24 Tues. Clear and pleasant. Went to Allentown by the accommodation train to meet A.W. Leisenring, A. Packer. A.W.L. went to Harrisburg. I came back with the mail train and went on to Easton, returned at noon, however during the afternoon. Mr. & Mrs. Cortright took tea with us. Home during eve. January 26 Thurs. Clear in morn. Cloudy in P.M. 2” snow. Left Harrisburg at 3 A.M. for Philadelphia at our office and Lehigh Coal & Nav. Co. office and E.A. Packer’s office…. January 28 Sat. Cloudy. Snow Squalls. Walked up to Stony Creek Locks. The Boy’s have got up to the Bridge with their line. Walked back to Penn Haven took the cars to M.C. (Mauch Chunk) dined at Pa’s, down home by the afternoon train, got my feet very wet, feel pretty stiff. At home during eve. 14880 tons coal this week, 5000+ January 30 Mon. Clear and cold in morn. Pleasant through day. Went to Easton in the morn about the Shops and Depot. Track obstructed through the cut by rocks. Went to Allentown by noon train thence down to Easton by Pull. Train over to the printing office to get up remonstrances against L & DWG RR (Lehigh & Delaware … R.R.) at home during evening. January 31 Tues. Clear and pleasant. Went to Philadelphia by morning train, called at L.C. & Nav. (Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co.) office, Mr. Cox offered me the situation of Sup’t & Eng, LC & Nav Co. which I declined, inded with J.S. Cox. Walked down to our office. Thence around to the Merchants Hotel with Judge Packer. Thence to the American. Snow during the eve. February 3 Fri. Left Harrisburg at 3AM for Johnstown. When I arrived about 11 AM Put up at the “Foster House” spent the Balance of the day with Mr. Fritz (John Fritz) & Morell at the Cambria Iron Works. Very much pleased with what I saw at Cambria, took breakfast this morn at Altman. Thermometer 15˚ below. Left Johnstown at 9PM for Philadelphia. February 4 Sat. Cold but more moderate than yesterday. Arrived at Philadelphia at 8.30 AM this morn. Called to see Uncle Jacob and at our office. Came home by afternoon train. Heard of runoff on our rail yesterday by Passenger car was badly damaged. No one hurt. David Eckert ass’t of our brakeman in stepping off Locomotive, fell through the bridge & was killed at Mauch Chunk. February 7 Tues. Clear and pleasant. At the office during morn Went to Mauch Chunk by the Noon train, thence to Eckley … stayed at night at John Leisenring’s with Mr. Leightners. February 10 Fri. High wind and cold all day. Left for home by the six o’clock train; found all well. At home & the office balance of the day and eve. Heard of the appointment of John Leisenring as Sup’t & Eng. L.C. & N. Co. (Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co.) February 11 Sat. Clear and rather pleasant. Went to Easton this morn to see Judge Porter. At the work in the cut etc. getting along slowly. Up by noon train. Met Mr. Packer at Beth and went on to Rockdale with him, returned by down train. Snow in the afternoon Over to town in the eve. 14,319 tons of coal this week. February 19 Sun. Clear and cold. Had Engines out to break the track. Two coal trains came through today. Wm Reid at my house. Spend the day and eve at home, about 1 foot of snow on the ground. February 24 Fri. Clear and pleasant. About the office during the morn. Afternoon went to Trenton to give my deposition in the case of Burroghs Raftsmen Vs. Lehigh Valley Railroad. Stayed all night at Cunninghams. February 25 Sat. Snow & Squalls, unpleasant. Left Trenton at 8 AM home to dinner. Went down in afternoon train to see Stearns. Went out as far as Bloomsburg with him, thence back to tea. February 29 Wed. Clear and pleasant. About the office during morn Went to White Haven in the afternoon arrived there about 6 o’clock found my corps there. Spent the eve as the office. Rain during night March 1 Thurs. Rained hard all the morn broke away after dinner Heavy shower toward evening Morning at the office. Afternoon walked up to Port Jenkins thence out the Plank Road about 2 miles, got wet. Spent an hour at John Crillins balance of the eve at the office March 2 Fri. Clear and windy Left in the Stage this morn for home. When I arrived about 2 PM found all men met. Fritz, Wolle, Rauch & Daniels at the Depot. Spent afternoon with them, eve over to town. March 5 Mon. Clear and Springlike. Went to Mauch Chunk on the Accomodation train – return in same train. Called at Pa’s, dined with Mr. Packer, called on John Leisenring. Mr. Packer came down and spent the night with me. Little Jennie quite sick high fever. March 6 Tues. Clear and pleasant. Jennie passed a restless night. Went over after Doctor after breakfast. At home all day. She was much better in the eve. Steamboat boiler exploded on the Delaware today opposite Easton killing 10 or 12 persons. March 9 Fri. Snowed about 3 in. last night. Clear through the day snow disappeared. Went to Reading with early train to attend examination of Witnesses in the Lightners Patent returned in the afternoon found the children better at home during eve. March 10 Sat. Cloudy & Blustering. About the office and home during the day & eve. Tonnage for the week 16700. March 12 Mon. Cloudy & rain. Went to Mauch Chunk in the morning train. Stopped at the Bridge, thence to Pa’s thence to Depot thence back to Pa’s to dinner. Down in the afternoon train. Mr. Packer came down. Eve over to town. March 15 Thur. Clear and pleasant. AM the office during the morn. Went to Mauch Chunk and back in the afternoon home during eve. Engine “Gazelle” went up today and set fire to the woods along the line. March 19 Mon. Cloudy and light rain in the Morn. Went to Easton in the morning train’s Central Engine off the track in the cut, put her on in 30 min. B.R. Lippincott & family left for California this morn, returned home to dinner at the office during the afternoon and eve. March 20 Tues. Cloudy in morn, balance of the day pleasant. Went to Mauch Chunk with the accommodation train. Examining maps etc of the Penn Haven & White Haven R.R. returned home by accommodation train home during eve. March 21 Wed. Cold & unpleasant. At the office during the morning and afternoon & eve. Coryell & Connor came down in the PM train with maps & Profiles of the R.R. busy fixing curves, grades etc, they took tea and spent the night at my house. March 22 Thur. Clear and cold. At the office during morn with Coryell & Connor. They left for Mauch Chunk by the train. At the office during afternoon, eve at home Rec’d mulberry trees & grape vines yesterday. Planted them today. March 23 Fri. Clear & cool. Left for the City this morn. Called at Wm. A. Porters office also at office of Mr. Fell, dined at the American, returned home by afternoon train. Mr. Fell settled the Lightner Patent yesterday. March 26 Mon. Cool & windy. About the office during morn, went up to Peter’s by noon train to settle damages from fire, effected a settlement for $30 and costs, returned home on coal train at home during evening. March 27 Tues. Clear and rather pleasant. Went to Mauch Chunk by Accommodation train, dined at the Hotel, took tea at Doct. Linderman, spent the eve with Judge Packer examining maps & profiles of the Penn Haven & White Haven RR. March 28 Wed. Clear and pleasant. Went down in morning train. Heard at Allentown of the explosion of the “Excelsior,” three or four men hurt but none seriously. Went on down to Easton to see the wreck, found the cylinder part of the Boiler blown away frame broken, front axle broken, the flues all torn out and a complete wreck, returning to dinner. At the office & home balance of day & eve. March 29 Thurs. Clear and rather pleasant. Went to South Easton this morn. At the shops, examining wreck of “Excelsior” I think the explosion occurred in consequence of defection, returned to dinner. Planting trees in the afternoon. The ice boat “Lady Franklin” built to run on the Upper Mississippi passed here today on a car for Prairie du Chein, at the office during eve with J.W. Murphy. March 31 Sat. Clear and warm, Atmosphere Smoky. Catawissa Engine run into ours this morn. At the office during morn. Went up to Coplay by noon train to see B. Levan in regard to filling up the trestling, returned by afternoon train home balance of the day, over to town in the eve. Heaviest week’s work of the Season 17,887 tons. April 2 Mon. Clear and cool. Went to Mauch Chunk by the Accommodation train, dined at Pa’s after dinner, R. Lickhart and myself drove into Mahoning Valley to settle right of way for RR. Settled with 3 farmers then drove to Henry Ames, where we remained all night. Quite cold in the evening. April 4 Wed. Clear and pleasant in morn, rain during afternoon. Left Mauch Chunk this morn for the Valley dined with C. Lippincott. Stayed all night at Clauss’s Tavern, find the farmers very well disposed toward the RR rained from about 4 o’clock through the evening. April 12 Thurs. Rain in the morn. Went to Easton in morn. At the office during afternoon home during evening. The Accommodation train ran into the rear end of the Bushkills train breaking a number of iron & lumber cars. Dismissed Wm. Kellogg Engineer of the Accommodation. April 16 Mon. Rail all day. Went to Mauch Chunk by the accommodation train. Called on John Leisinring at the office dined with Mr. Packer who left today for Charleston, S.C. Went down to Rock Dale with him back to Mauch Chunk made an appointment with Leisenring & D. Thomas to go to Fillmore & examine coal property. April 19 Thurs. Clear and pleasant. Went out in carriage to examine coal property and arrange to buy it, returned to Eckley to dinner thence to Mauch Chunk thence to the Gap on the Geneva thence home on the Catasauqua which met us at the Gap. April 30 Mon. Night & Mornings cool. Went to Mauch Chunk in the Morning and Easton in the afternoon, eve at home. 76 cattle cars passed over our road today containing about 1200 head of cattle. May 2 Wed. Cloudy & some rain. Went to Easton this morn thence home spent the afternoon with Stearns & Hillis making up passenger timetables. Went to Tamaqua in the afternoon train spent the evening at the Hotel. May 3 Thurs. Clear & pleasant warm. Walked down the line to examine location, found Connor & party about 2 miles from Tamaqua dine with them in the woods, spent the day with them and stayed all night at Seiberlings. May 4 Fri. Clear warm balmy Spring day. Walked up to Tamaqua. Took the stage to Summit Hill thence by cars (Switchback railway?) to Mauch Chunk thence home by afternoon train. May 5 Sat. Clear & warm. Went to Mauch Chunk in the early train to attend the election of officers of Penn Haven & White Haven RR was elected one of the directors, returned home by afternoon train, home during evening. May 7 Mon. Very hot. Thermometer 95˚ At the office & home during the day & eve. Mr. Packer returned from Charleston today. Very heavy thunder & vivid lightening this PM considerable rain. May 12 Sat. Cloudy & showery – At the office & home during the morning went to Mauch Chunk taking Mary (his wife) and the baby with me. Spent the eve at Pa’s. May 13 Sun. Clear & warm in the morning, heavy showers in the afternoon. Went to church AM & PM had little Frank christened in the afternoon, spent the eve at Pa’s. May 14 Mon. Showery all day. Up at the office in the morning also at John Leisenrings – executed mortgage for $8000 on coal property, returned home with Mary & the children in the afternoon. May 15 Tue. Clear & warm. Went to Freemansburg in the morn. Back to Allentown thence to Easton with the cattle train of 52 cars, home by pass train “E.A. Packer” left here after arrival of down pass train with cattle cars for Allentown ran into the “Penna” killed one man and threw the EctP off the track. May 16 Wed. Clear & pleasant. Went to Allentown on the accommodation train, thence back on the Pass train to Bethlehem where I remained all day, eve at home, Messrs Wolle & Rauch over to see me in regard to Rolling Mill. May 20 Sun. Clear & pleasant most of the day, rain during eve. Went to church in the morning. Attended funeral of C. Brodhead’s child in the afternoon. At home during eve. Kinsey & Kellogg puts the E.A. Packer on the track today. May 28 Mon. Clear & pleasant. Out at 5 am. New time table went into effect this morn do not approve of it down train in on time. Up train 3 or 4 min behind. Left at 9.20 for Harrisburg and arrived home at 5.30 PM, at the office a part of the eve balance at Hotel to see John Fritz. May 29 Tues. Clear and pleasant, warm. Spent the morn with Fritz, Wolle, Rauch & Co. examining location for Rolling Mill. At home to dinner. Afternoon went to Pottsville in Co. with Messrs. Johnston, Longstreth, Packer & Reed. Spent the eve at the Hotel in Co. with a number of Pottsville Gentlemen. May 31 Thurs. Left this morn for Tamaqua by carriage. Mr. P.W. Sheaffer accompanying us. Drove up the Valley of Mill Creek through St. Clair, New Castle on to Mahanoy Valley thence to Mahanoy City to dine. Thence to Tamaqua where we remained all night. Commenced raining about 3 PM. Showers all the night. June 1 Fri. Showery. Left Tamaqua about 7.30 am for Mahanoy Tunnel. Went into the Tunnel thence over the mountain, thence up to Catawissa Junction, thence down the road about 3 miles, thence back to Junction. Thence by afternoon tain to M.C. (Mahanoy City) thence home. At the office until 9 PM had an attack of hemorrhage about 10.30 P.M. June 2 Sat. Clear and pleasant. Wakened about 1 AM this morn bleeding from the throat. Sent for the Doc at 7 AM, remained in the house & quiet all day, taking turpentine to heal the broken nasal? Dr. says bleeding was from my lungs, will have to be careful. June 4 Mon. Cloudy & warm in morn, heavy shower in afternoon. East wind & rain during the eve. Will, Pa and Mr. Packer down to see me in the house all day, raised a very little blood today. Muster plaster on my throat and breast. All right in a day or two I hope. June 11 Mon. Clear and rather pleasant. Am feeling pretty well but Doctor objects to my going to work this week, about home all day. Kinsy & Shattuck up to see me, Mr. Packer down in the afternoon took tea with us. Will also took tea with us. June 12 Tues. Clear and warm. Mr. & Mrs. Packer took breakfast with us. Wills wife & Mrs. White down, received a pair of pigs from Atwood. June 13 Wed. Clear and pleasant. At home all day, am attending to all the correspondence and other business of the road though I am not allowed to go out of the yard. Mr. Cox returned from the City and communicated to me the fact of the Company granting me leave of absence for 4 months and agree to pay all expenses. June 15 Sat. Heavy shower in the morn. Cloudy until noon. Clear & pleasant in the afternoon at home all day. Mr. Thomas dined with me today. Mr. Jacob Salkeld & wife & G.W. Salkeld & wife and Doct Linderman & wife took tea with us. June 19 Tues. Showery and warm. Left for Philadelphia this morn. Doct Wilson & Will with me. Went to see Doct Jackson to consult him about my chest, be thinks no danger need be apprehended. Afternoon took ride with Randall, eve at the Hotel. June 20 Wed. Clear and pleasant – Left Philadelphia this morn at 9 AM for New York via Steamer “Delaware” had a very pleasant passage to the Cape. Will quite seasick it did not affect me. June 21 Thurs. Cool and cloudy. Arrived at New York about 9 AM. Will got quite sick. I did not mind it much. Called on E.A. Packer, thence to Doctor Clark’s did not find him in, thence to Central Park, thence to hotel where I remained during eve. June 22 Fri. Clear and pleasant. Went to see Doct Clark had my chest examined & pronounced sound but will require care to keep it so. Down to E.A. Packers office, thence to Johnstons office, thence to Hotel for baggage, thence to home. When I arrived about 4 o’clock PM found all well and very glad to see me. June 23 Sat. Clear and warm. Went over to Bethlehem in the omnibus. Went up by 4 o’clock train to Catasauqua & returned at 5.30 – Mr. Packer returned from Baltimore and took tea with me. June 25 Mon. Clear and pleasant. Went to Mauch Chunk today, the first time since June 1st, dinner at Pa’s. Went up to Mr. Packer’s office. After dinner down in the 3.20 PM train, feeling better. June 30 Sat. Clear and very hot – at home all day writing, etc preparing to leave on a pleasure tour on Monday next. July 1 Sun. Clear and pleasant. Went to church in the morning, at home the balance of the day. July 2 Mon. Clear and pleasant left home in the early train run off the track near South Easton by the turning over of a rail. No one hurt. Got into New York about 10.20. Met Wm Rust then went up to see the “Great Eastern” took boat at 6 o’clock PM for Albany. Mr. Thomas & Robert Packer with me. We are off on a tour and expect to be about 6 weeks. July 3 Tues. Clear and pleasant. Arrival in Albany about 4.30 this morn, got breakfast at the Delaware House took cars at 7.15 for Saratoga Springs when we arrived at 9.25 put up at Union Hall. Spent the balance of the day exploring the place etc. am not beeling first rate having taken a cold which troubles me somewhat. July 6 Fri. Clear and delightful. Hired a carriage this morn and drove to Saratoga Lake. Spent the morn on the Lake and returned to dinner. Mr. & Mrs. Packer and some of their friends arrived here tonight. Spent the eve with them at the United States. July 7 Sat. Clear & pleasant, warm. Went to the Depot this morn to see Mr. Packer off. Went up to Fort Edward in the afternoon to see Blast Furnace… Am feeling some better. Had letters from home today. July 9 Mon. Cloudy & showery. Spent the day in various amusements. Mr. Packer & friends arrived here tonight spent the eve with Them July 10 Tues. Clear and pleasant in through the day, rain nearly all the eve. Spent the day with Mr. & Mrs. Packer & friends they left this evening for New York. July 12 Thurs. Cloudy and rather cool…. Arrived at Montreal about 11 PM. July 13 Fri. Clear and pleasant. Rob Packer has Erisypelas (erysipelas). Called a Physician this morning. Took carriage and rode around the Mountain to the Big Bridge… at home with Rob the balance of the day. July 14 Sat. Clear and very pleasant. Spent the day walking about the city and at the Hotel with R. Packer who is still suffering with Erisypelas July 15 Sun. Clear and warm. Went to Christ Church Cathedral this morning, balance of the day and eve at the Hotel Rob’s face very much swollen this morn. Called in the Physician. Swelling very much reduced toward evening. July 18 Wed. Cloudy in morn. Rain in afternoon and eve. Hired a carriage drove down to the Rapid, thence across Suspension Bridge & up to (Niagara) falls on Canada side… after dinner went to the suspension bridge to see Blondin walk upon his rope. July 22 Sun. Cloudy & cool. Showers toward eve, passed into Lake Superior about 9 o’clock. The view at the Falls was magnificent. The Locks (Soo Locks?) are of noble dimensions being 75 x350 feet, there are two of them overcoming an elevation of 20 ft. I saw for the first time today the Indians in their Birch canoes taking fish at the Falls ? (St. Mary’s Falls) July 24 Tues. Cloudy and rain in the morn, pleasant in the afternoon. Spent part of the morn with the Sup’t of the Rail Road. After dinner took a ride down to the mouth of Chocolate to see a Furnace just erected was much pleased. July 25 Wed. Cloudy in morn. Rain during part of the afternoon & eve. Went to the Iron Mines this morn was surprised to see the immense quantities of ore. Aug. 1 Wed. Clear and rather pleasant. Left Detroit at &.30 AM via the Michigan Central RR for Chicago… Aug. 2 Thurs. Rain nearly all day. Walked about a little while in the Morn. After dinner find a horse & Waggon and drove all around the city. Left at 9.15 PM for Iowa City. Spent the night in sleeping car, my first experience. Aug. 9 Thurs. Clear and hot. Arrived in Philadelphia at 10 AM having passed the night on the train, called on Mr. Fell & left at 2.30 PM for home where I arrived in due time and found all very well and overjoyed to see me. I feel that God has been expecially kind to me and am greatful fot it. Aug. 11 Sat. Clear and pleasant. Went to Mauch Chunk this morn, took dinner at Pa’s called at Wills and at the offices. Spent an hour with C. L. White, found all very glad to see me, returned in afternoon train. Called on Mr. Fritz & Lady with Mary in the eve., also at Mr. Abbotts. Aug. 16 Thurs. Clear and pleasant. Over to Bethlehem this morn, called at Mr. Weiss’s and Sister Mary’s, after dinner Mary & myself with little Liz took the train for New Hampton (Northampton?) to meet Mr. Packer returned by evening train. Aug. 17 Fri. Clear and warm. Left home this morn for Mauch Chunk. Met Mr. Packer & Connor there and went with them to Bear Creek to examine the location of RR bridge, returned home by 3.20 PM train, confirmed the location of Bridge, etc. Aug. 18 Sat. Cloudy and heavy rain during evening, very warm through the day. Went to Philadelphia by morning train. Called at the office of Howard & Co. Beaver Meadow Co. and Lehigh Valley Co. dined at Restaurant with J.M. Hutchinson. Went to Gwynedd by the 2.30 PM train when I took tea and reached home by the evening train. Aug. 20 Mon. Cloudy & very warm. Mr. Packer came down in the early train and took breakfast with me. We went up on the 9 AM train to Catasauqua to settle right of way with the Bridge Co. dined at Becks, down to Easton about the shops etc, returned by 3.35 PM train, Will & his wife down, went over to town in the eve to see Republican meeting. Aug. 21 Tues. Showery and hot through the day, heavy rain during eve. Spent the day about home. Will went up this morn & Lizzy this PM Mr. Roberts spent part of the afternoon with me. G. T. Connor down to see me. Order’d tickets yesterday for R. Lockhart, R. Packer & myself for Europe by the Adriatic. Aug. 22 Wed. Cloudy and very hot. Went to Mauch Chunk this morn. Mary with me dined at Mr. Packer’s returned in the afternoon train at home during evening. Aug. 24 Fri. Sultry and warm. At home all the morn packing up etc. Uncle Dolph and Mary came up today. Parted from Mary & the children about half past twelve and Oh how hard it was to leave them. God grant that I may return to them in perfect health and find them all well. Left for New York. Aug. 25 Sat. Went up to boat with Pa, Anna, Mary Kath & Will & his wife are going to West Point. Left at eleven o’clock for the steamer Adriatic. I parted from Mr. Packer & Elisha. Sailed at 12.05. Warm and pleasant. Aug. 26 Sun. Hazy & foggy & warm. Sea pretty smooth, have not felt at all sick… Rob. Packer in bed all day. Aug. 27 Mon. Cloudy & warm all day, beautiful sunset, sea pretty smooth all day. Saw a number of sailing vessels this PM. Moonlight, ran 310 miles today. Lockhart somewhat indisposed. Packer still sticks to his berth. Aug. 31 Fri. Cloudy and unpleasant. With light rain not so bad as it was yesterday. Out on deck most of the day Packer in his berth can keep nothing on his stomach. The ship has considerable motion. Cold toward eve. The 58˚ saw one sail today, heavy wind all sails set time 2 h. 53 min Slow. Sept. 1 Sat. Rained considerable through the night. Clear this morn. Cool wind dead ahead. Packer up this morn but cannot eat. Saw a brig about 10 AM Spent part of the day on deck. Packer in bed after dinner have made several pleasant acquaintances. Saw several sails toward eve. Sept. 3 Mon. Clear and rather pleasant. Saw Scilly Islands about 10 AM, passed Lands End about noon & Falmouth Harbor…Smell of land brought Packer out. Took on fisherman for a Pilot. Sept. 4 Tues. Clear and pleasant. Got up about 5 AM. Ran up to Cowes, left on small steamer for Southampton & stopped at Radleys, hired a carriage and drove out to Stoneham via Fleming Arms, thence to Southampton… Sept. 6 Thurs. Cloudy & cool. Went to Railway Station. Saw their style of cars, locomotives etc. Left at 11.30 AM for London when we arrived at 2.30 PM (From September 6 to September 16 Sayre reports seeing the sights in London) Sept. 17 Mon. Rain all day. Left London this morn by L&GW. RR for Oxford, spent four hours in Oxford and then came on to Birmingham. Sept. 18 Tues. Cloudy & raw all day. Walked about Birmingham…visited the Car Shop of Mr. Wright & Son. Saw what we could of the city, not feeling well. Sept. 19 Wed. ….Left for Manchester. Sept. 20 Thurs. Rain last night. Called on our Banker, Mr. Stuart found no letter much disappointed…Visited Watts warehouse immense 100 x 200, 7 stories high – 220 men – also Sharp’s Atlas Locomotive Works, turn out 3 Loco. Monthly also large quantities of tools, 1600 men employed. Sept. 22 Sat. Rained in the night. Left Manchester at 9.45 passing through mining villages…Arrived at Lake Windermere. Weather quite cool. Sept. 25 Tues. Clear as the weather can be in this country – left Penwith at 9 AM arrived at Carlisle at 10 went to the Cathedral called on Miss Ann Heysham visited the castle with her walked around the town, dined with her and left at 3 PM for Glasgow. Sept. 28 Fri. Clear a little while in the morn, balance of the day cloudy & cool. Took carriage to Napiers Ship Yard where we saw government ship with 4 “ plates. Returned to Hotel and left for Edinburgh. (Sightseeing in Edinburgh for two days) Oct. 1 Mon. Cloudy & cold part of the day and part of it quite pleasant. Left Edinburgh at 7.30 AM for Melrose rode out to Abbottsford, spending night at Berwick. Oct. 2 Tues. Cloudy & cool. Out immediately after breakfast to see the town etc. the High Level Bridge of Cast Iron – a great work by Stephenson, visited a Rolling Mill, Foundry etc also a coal pit and coal shipping, saw nothing new or interesting … miserably smoky. Oct. 3 Wed. Clear and very windy. Left for York … on to Sheffield and shown through factory visited Rodgers Cutlery and left for London at 6 PM Oct. 8 Mon. Clear and rather pleasant though the weather is very cool. Left London at 11 am on our way to Paris … arrived at hotel about 11 PM (hired a guide and toured Paris until Oct. 15 left for Harve to return to Southampton to see arrival of “Adriatic.”) Oct. 16 Tues. Arrived Southampton and spent day writing to Mr. Packer, Pa and Anna … Oct. 17 Wed. Clear and pleasant. Left at 9 am for South Wales … at West bury noticed Iron Stack, hot blast and boilers on the ground … passed over one of Brunell’s bridges at Chepstone… Oct. 18 Thurs. Rain, wind, storm. Called at Mr. Lewellyns office, visited tin and iron works. Returned to Newport. Oct. 20 Sat. Clear and bright. At 7 am clouds fling about through the day. Walked out to the wharf this morn where I saw the first piece of anthracite coal. Spent the morn looking about Swansea, left at 11 am for Milford Haven, when we arrived at 2.30 PM. Spent an hour or two on the “Great Eastern.” Left at 7.30 PM for Waterford (Ireland) Oct. 23 Mon. Cloudy. Left in morn for Killarny. Spent 3 hours at Mallow? waiting for train, passed through rather a poor country plenty of bog. Arrived at Killarny about 5 o’clock in time to see the last heat of a race and a big Irish crowds with all manner of conveyances, all kings of gambling, lots of whiskey etc. Royal Victoria Hotel. Oct. 29 Mon. Cloudy and heavy rain in the morn. Clear and pleasant in the afternoon. Left Dublin for Chester. Crossed from Kingston to Holyhead. Packer & Lockhart very sick, stopped at Bangor to see the Menia Bridge drove over the suspension bridge dined at Bellvue Hotel very good. Went on to Chester. Oct. 31 Wed. Cloudy & Misty. Left Liverpool at 10.30 AM for Plymouth where we arrived at 12 PM, passing through Wolverhampton Tunnel 2 ¾ miles long Bath Bristol and Exeter. Nov. 1 Thurs. Clear and remarkably pleasant. Left Plymouth after exploring it at 10.30 for Penzance passed over a very crooked single track Road with a great number of high trestles upon it passed over the Saltash Viaduct and through a number of fine villages and part of the way a beautiful country. Nov. 7 Wed. Weather clear and moderate. About the town. Completing our arrangements, rec’d a letter from wife & daughter this morn, left Southampton at 5.30 PM for Cowes. Where we remained until 11.30 PM awaiting the arrival of the “Vanderbilt” Clear beautiful night, got on board about Midnight. Nov. 8 Thurs. A lovely day. Clear & warm. Left Cowes at 3 AM Coast ofEngland in sight all day. A great many vessels in sight. Packer sick today though the sea is not rough. Met Emile Doster on board also Commodore Stockton. Nov. 12 Mon. Like a May morning. Thermometer 65˚ pleasant through the morn rain in the afternoon and evening Headache continues. Eat very little today. Slept pretty well last night. Saw a school of Blackfish this morn. Nov. 15 Thurs. Rain Rain Rained hard all day long, stiff breeze blowing, sea running high and spray washing the deck constantly. Have not been able to be out much, very dull on board. Packer sick in bed, did not get an observation today, two vessels in sight this morn. Wind northeast. Nov. 17 Sat. Clear & pleasant. Sea smooth & calm. Saw several vessels this morn and a number of Black fish spouting. The passengers on deck enjoying the fine weather. Packer out today. Made 285 miles in the last 24 hours. Expect to get into New York tomorrow at 12 PM. Nov. 18 Sun. Cloudy & wet, heavy rain through the morning. Out at 5 AM. Saw Fire Island light about 6 AM Sea calm & smooth, considerable fog, got up to the wharf about 12.30 and to the Hotel about 2 PM, after dinner rode out to Central Park with young Edwards. Spent the eve at the Hotel. Nov. 19 Mon. Clear and pleasant. Spent the morn about the city, called on E.A. Packer & J.T. Johnston, left at 12 noon for home. Met Mr. & Mrs. Packer, Pa, Anna & Will with other friends at New Hampton & was rejoiced to see them. Arrived house at 4 PM found all well and overjoyed to see me. Nov. 21 Wed. Cloudy & snow in the morn. Went to Mauch Chunk dined with Frank took tea with H.L. White spent the night at Pa’s with Will & Lizzy found all well at Mauch Chunk & very glad to see me. Nov. 22 Thurs. Clear and pleasant. Called on John Leisenring at the office dined with Mr. Packer, returned home by the afternoon train. Mr. Abbott, Mr. Wilbur & their wives spent the eve with us. Nov. 26 Mon. Clear & cool. Walked down to the new furnace & rolling mill. At the office balance of the day. Mr. Stearns & Roberts up this eve to see about change in time tables. I spent the eve with them at Sun Hotel. Nov. 27 Tues. Rain, Rain, Rain. Left home at six AM for Trenton spent the morn with A.G. Rickey, dined at Mr. Lowthorps, returned home by evening train, run into rock near Glendon breaking the Pilot and otherwise injuring the Engine. Went back to S.E. (South Easton) & got another Engine arrived home at 10.30 PM Nov. 29 Thurs. Clear and cold. Walked down to the Bridge and new turntable. Thence up to the office attended church offered thanks for my safe return from sea. Left by 3.20 PM train for home. Passenger train on Beaver Meadow road ran into the river at Bear Creek drowning 4 passengers & Conductor. Nov. 30 Fri. Rain, At the office during the morning, afternoon went down to Easton, across to Phillipsburg and thence home. Had 16 cars off the track above Bethlehem, bad track, detained the Passenger train half an hour. Dec. 1 Sat. Cloudy & cold. Went up to wreck thence to Allentown on coal train and back to the wreck on gravel train, thence to office spent the eve at home. Dec. 3 Mon. Cloudy & cool. Went to Easton by early train hunting up testimony for our trial with Del(aware River) Raftmen, returned home by 4.o’clock train. Iron train broke through the flooring of Freemansburg bridge precipitating 11 loaded cars into the creek and killing the Conductor. Frank Weighan went to the wreck, got home at 11 PM. Dec. 4 Tues. About 6 in of snow today. Went down to Freemansburg at 7 AM and remained until 9 PM clearing away the wreck and repairing the damage to the bridge. Work went slow, snow interfered. Passengers walk around the break. Dec. 5 Wed. Cloudy & snow squalls. At Freemansburg all day got home at 9 PM, left the men at work, expect to pass the trains tonight. Dec. 6 Thurs. Cloudy – at the office during the morn, afternoon went to Easton returned by evening train. Pa down on his way to Philadelphia. Mr. Russel spent the night with us. Train running regularly today. Dec. 11 Tues. Variable snow squalls. Went to Philad’a by 6 AM train to attend board meeting. Stock dividend declared, returned by the 8 PM train. Dec. 12 Wed. Clear & cold. Went to Mauch Chunk dined at Pa’s found him quite unwell, returned by afternoon train, eve at home, daughter Mary up with me. Wills little one very sick. Dec. 13 Thurs. Clear & cold. At the office during the morn. Went to Easton by the afternoon train, over to Phillipsburg hunting up testimony, eve at the American Hotel with Mr. Rickey. Mr. Packer and Hutchinson came up from the City. Dec. 14 Fri. Clear and very cold. Met the Jury in our case at Bennetts Hotel. Showed them the situation of our bridge and RR in connection with the Central & Bel(videre) Del(aware) RR. Dined with them at Bennetts. Spent the afternoon hunting up evidence returned by the evening train. Collision between coal & cattle trains. Dec. 21 Fri. Clear and rather pleasant. Went to Mauch Chunk in the early train, found Will & Lizzy in deep distress for the loss of their little one. Went up on the hill and ordered the grave dug made necessary arrangements for the funeral and left for home by the afternoon train. Dec. 25 Tues. Clear and cold. At home & office during morn. Mary, myself & the children dined at Mr. Cox in the afternoon. I attended an exhibition, recitations etc of the school children eve at home. Dec. 31 Mon. Cloudy & cold, about 4 in of snow on the ground this morn. Left for Easton at 5.45 AM, spent part of the morn about the bridge taking measurements etc. went up by 10.45 am train to Belvidere attended Court all afternoon, had an attack of bleeding in the evening, not very serious.


Whitneys proposition for Wheels and Axles for 100 – 8 wheel coal cars…. Weight of Whitneys wheels. Mr. Longstreth elected President of L.V.R.R. Co. Feby 5th 1856 resigned May 13th 1856. Served about 3 months. List of Clergymen to pass at ½ fare Work on Section: Filling without change of curve 6967.3 yards; Filling if changed to 4˚ curve 5032.6 yds. Description of Swinburn’s Engines … Allentown Bridge broke down July 21st 1858. The Engine Lehigh left Bethlehem At 7.17 Bridge broke down at 7.36 distance from Bethlehem to Bridge 4.37 miles average rate of speed 13.8 miles per hour. S. “Adriatic” left Aug. 25th Lat. Long. Dist. Hungerford Bridge, 1440 feet. Center Span 600 ft. London Bridge 5 spans stone Southwark 3 spans Iron Blackfriars 9 spans Waterloo 9 spans stone Hungerford 1 span Westminster 7 spans cast iron Vauxhall 9 spans cast iron Pimlico 4 spans wrought iron Chelsea Suspension High Level Bridge at Newcastle, cast iron RR on top and wagon road beneath, 4 Arches Raft belonging to P.L. & A.F. Burroughs March 21st 1859 Claim made upon the Co. for following amount $501.65 Bridge over the Lackawaxen 125 ft span Bridge over the Delaware at Saw Mill Bill at Bennetts $9.41 Bill at Freemansburg $3.25 Bill at Philadelphia $1.50 ….. Travelling Expenses $6.25

Cash Account – January. (expense accounts for Dec. to May) Cash Account – March. (expenses for Jane Lynch Jan. 1 to Dec. 22 total $36.75) Cash Account – April. (expenses for) Mrs. C. White March 31 to Dec. 17 $70.00; Mrs. James By 12 weeks service to March 16th 1860 $18.00; Jane Carroll came to Service May 1st 1860 Left May 31 – settle in full Cast Account – May. Ned Emanuels came to work May 19th Saturday to Aug. 25 – full to date Cash Account – July. Mr. Jno Arnot & fee Elmira; Mrs. Farquhar; Hamilton A.R. Finlay; “Northern Whig” office Belfast; Please present compliments of C.S. Jaslyn Ireland; L.M. Teel wants the freight to Phila. Put the same as from Easton Cash Account – September. (shopping expenses in England and France for gifts?) Cash Account – October. (shopping expenses in England and France) Cash Account – November. (train schedule between Mauch Chunk & Easton)

Bills Payable. January - Josiah George $52.12; Dorothy Heysham, daughter of Giles & Ann Heysham of Lancaster died June 15th 1857 – aged 79 years; also of D.H. Milne daughter of Thom & Mary Milne of Manchester died Apr 23 1828 aged 27. March - Resolved That Judge Packer be authorized to adopt such measures as may be necessary to preserve the efficiency of the road during the absence of the Superintendent. April - Aug. 28 – 1857. Cooper & Hewitt $42.09 May - Henry Stahlnicker Expenses Philada $10.00; Lost time $7.50; by cash $5.00; Paid Dec. 21 $12.50 June - Rob Packer Bill at Saratoga, Lake George $2.00; Fare on Lake George to Ticonderoga $1.00 and dinner $.50; Fare on Lake Champlain $2.50 to Montreal $2.00; Physician $2.00; Medicine $.50; Mr. Shaw 8th above Chesnut (little drawing ? seal) August - May 11 Catasauqua scales weight of “Easton” Whole Weight, etc. George Stacy No. 143 Madison Street New York; Little Bopeep, Souvenir Keswick October – Trenton Iron June 1 113 bars 24 ft; 7 bars 22 ft; June 5 39 bars 24 ft; 1 bar 22 ft.; N.T. Roepper Esq. at W. Mallerlien & Co. 97 Hatton Garden London November – Pa’s coffee $8.96; Beaver Meadow Co. (craftsmen expenses); Bel Del (craftsmen expenses); Central RR (craftsmen expenses) December - Because as appears from schedule it is an almost unlimited deception? Case Sugar Loaf, Corncil Ridge, Mount Pleasant, Spring Mount, Beaver Meadow & coal train, New York & Lehigh, North Spring Mount, German; Lehigh & Susquehanna RR No. 1 Plane Length 4395, Elevation 406. No. 2 Plane Length 3931, Elevation 328; No. 3 Plane Length 5772, Elevation 268, Memoranda of the Strength of Materials used in Eng’s Const’n D. Van Nostrand Last Page – C.B. Robbins, Wm Kellogg, Jacob Allender, John Eschenbach, Henry Stahlnicker, James W. Wilson, James Donnelly, Solomon Butz, Daniel Stom, John W. Murphy, Sam’l Thomas, Delaware Mutual Insurance.


  • Creation: 1860


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Biographical / Historical

Robert Heysham Sayre was born in 1824 near Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pennsylvania on the Kent family farm. His parents were William Heysham and Elizabeth Kent Sayre. In 1828, the family moved to Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe), Pennsylvania where his father went to work as a lockmaster for the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. Robert became interested in engineering observing the operation of the canal locks. As a result he built the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railroad. He then joined the LC & N Railroad which transported coal in 1842 until 1852 when he was employed by Asa Packer for the Lehigh Valley Rail Road. In 1854, Robert was named chief engineer of the Lehigh Valley Rail Road. In 1858 he had built the home in Fountain Hill now known as the Sayre Mansion which is referred to in the diary as home. As noted in this 1860 diary Robert Sayre, he went to Cambria Iron Works to meet John Fritz and eventually enticed Fritz to the Bethlehem Iron Works, later to become Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Sayre also was an officer of Bethlehem Iron Works and served as one of the first Lehigh University trustees. He resided in the house in Fountain Hill until his death in 1907. It was Sayre and Fritz that saw the potential of the Bessemer blast furnace making of steel that made Bethlehem Steel’s fame as a producer of railway rails for the country’s booming railroad industry. The steel rails produced in Bethlehem were shipped around the Horn (South America) to supply the building of the eastward push of the transcontinential railroad over the Sierra Nevada mountains. At the time of this diary, Robert Sayre had been appointed chief engineer of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The daily notations in the diary indicate that he took this responsibility seriously.


1 volume (18 cm)

Language of Materials



A diary/appointment book of Robert H. Sayre, chief engineer of Lehigh Valley Railroad and a trustee of Lehigh University. The diary contains entries about the activities of a person responsible for the daily running of a railroad.


The diary is arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information

Booklet was donated to Special Collections by David Hart on October 8, 2012.

Related Materials

1990. Whelan, Frank and Metz, Lance. “The Diaries of Robert Heysham Sayre.” Bethlehem: Lehigh University -- Diaries of Robert H. Sayre in National Canal Museum -- Lehigh Valley Rail Road collections in Special Collections.

Robert Heysham Sayre Diary
Eleanor Nothelfer.
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