Braddock and Cumberland Road Series

Dr. John Kennedy Lacock (1871-1933) born in Amityville in southwestern Pennsylvania was a noted professor at Harvard University and a public lecturer on American history topics. He was especially well versed in his knowledge of British General Braddock’s ill-fated Monongahela campaign against the French at Fort Duquesne in 1755. This expedition ended in failure and the death of Braddock after days of hacking its way through virgin wilderness and constructing what became known as the Braddock Road only to be ambushed by French and Indians and his army scattered just a few miles short of Fort Duquesne. During the retreat Braddock succumbed to wounds received on the field of battle and was buried in the middle of the road near today’s Chalk Hill. Early in the 19th century as the Braddock Road was being widened and re-opened for commerce, Braddock’s grave was discovered and a monument to his memory placed at the present day side of the road. Braddock’s remains were returned to England for interment in London’s Westminster Abbey.

In 1908 and 1909 Dr. Lacock and a group of friends and associates explored western Maryland and southwestern Pennsylvania rediscovering and documenting the exact route followed by Braddock and his army in 1755. For the treks Lacock hired Ernest K. Weller of Washington, Pennsylvania to photograph the explorations each day. From Weller’s photographs a series of both black and white and colored postcards were produced and offered for sale as a set of 60. The postcards proved unpopular or of little interest to the general public and many of the sets were ultimately destroyed. Finding a complete set today in original packaging is very difficult.

The set traces the expedition in order from its start in Cumberland, Maryland to Braddock’s Field near McKeesport. I originally was able to purchase 35 of the 60 from a postcard dealer in Pittsburgh and ultimately after years of effort succeeded in assembling a full set of the colored postcards and perhaps 8-9 of the black and white images. For a long time I did not have No. 1 assuming it to be a Cumberland view and confining my search to Cumberland in dealers’ stock boxes. The search ended successfully when I finally discovered that Postcard No. 1 was a reproduced painting of Gen. Braddock prior to the expedition with the remaining 59 being scenic views in order of the route.

The original set of 60 was manufactured by Hugh Leighton of Portland, Maine and labeled The Braddock Road. Locations details on the image side of each postcard are in either white or black lettering depending upon the background color. The Braddock Road set was followed by a second and smaller set of 20 labeled as The Cumberland Road tracing the westward route from Brownsville on the Monongahela to Washington, Pa. These carry Leighton numbers beginning with the prefix L and have a different and harder surface texture. Details are printed in very small red lettering on the fronts and are often difficult to read without magnification especially if there is wear to the postcard.


1General Edward Braddock, London, England
2Fort Cumberland, Cumberland, Maryland
3Cresaptown and Cumberland Roads, near Cumberland, Md.
4Mount Nebo, near Cumberland, Md.
5Summit of Wills Mountain, near Cumberland, Md.
6Sandy Gap, near Cumberland, Md.
7Braddock Run, in Allegany Grove, Maryland
8"The Narrows", near Cumberland, Md.
9Braddock Spring, near the Six Mile House, east of Clarysville, Md.
10Braddock Run on the Labor farm, East of Clarysville, Md.
11Layman's Orchard, near Frostburg, Md
12Braddock Park, Frostburg, Md.
13Big Savage Mountain, eastern slope, near Frostburg, Md
14Near summit of Big Savage Mountain, near Frostburg, Md.
15St. John Rock, Big Savage Mountain, near Frostburg, Md.
16Camp on Henry Blocher farm, Little Savage Mt., west of Frostburg, Md.
17"Little Meadows", 20 miles west from Cumberland, Md.
18Negro Mountain on National Road, west of Grantsville, Md.
19Braddock Road near Spiker Run, near Grantsville, Md.
20Braddock Road near Puzzley Run, near Grantsville, Md.
21Keyser Ridge, near Oakton, Md.
22Bear Camp, Oakton, Md.
23Old Stone House on Winding Ridge, near Addison, Pa.
24Near North Branch, Braddock Run, Somerfield, Pa.
25Forks of Braddock Run, near Somerfield, Pa.
26Fourth Fording of Braddock Run, near Somerfield, Pa.
27Great Crossings (Youghiogheny), Somerfield, Pa.
28Wolf Hill or Turkey Garden Hill, near Somerfield, Pa.
29River Hill, near Somerfield, Pa.
30Camp of "The Twelve Springs", 4 miles east of Farmington, Pa.
31Old Road House, near Farmington, Pa.
32Great Meadows and Fort Necessity, near Farmington, Pa.
33Tablet at Fort Necessity, near Farmington, Pa.
34Braddock's Grave
35Tablet at Braddock's Grave
36Braddock Road east of Braddock's Grave, near Chalk Hill, Pa.
37Nemacolin's Wigwam, near Chalk Hill, Pa.
38Half King's Rocks, near Jumonville, Pa.
39Washington Spring, near Jumonville, Pa.
40Tablet at Jumonville, Pa.
41Dunbar's Knob, Jumonville, Pa.
42Laurel Ridge, beyond Jumonville, Pa.
43Laurel Ridge, near Mt. Braddock, Pa.
44Christopher Gist's Plantation, Mt. Braddock, Pa.
45Robinson's Falls, near New Haven, Pa.
46Stewart's Crossing (Youghiogheny), Connellsville, Pa.
47"The Narrows", north of Connellsville, Pa.
48Fording of Jacob's Creek, Bridgeport, Pa.
49Union Springs, Mount Pleasant, Pa.
50Braddock's Lane, near Hunkers, Pa.
51Fording of the Great Sewickley, Hunkers, Pa.
52Oak Tree and Spring on the Knappenberger farm, near Madison, Pa.
53Falls on the John Fox farm, near Herminie, Pa.
54Byerly's School House, near Circleville, Pa.
55Long Run Church, Circleville, Pa.
56Braddock's Road and White Oak Level Road, near McKeesport, Pa.
57Bridge over Long Run, near Samson's Old Mill, near Mckeesport, Pa.
58Braddock Spring, McKeesport, Pa.
59Queen Aliquippa's Rocks, McKeesport, Pa.
60Braddock's Field, Braddock, Pa.
61Iron Bridge, Brownsville, Pa.
62Wooden Covered Bridge over the Monongahela River, Brownsville, Pa.
63View of the Monongahela, 1 mile West of Brownsville, Pa.
64The Cumberland Road. 1 1-2 miles West of Brownsville, Pa.
65Malden. 2 1-2 miles West of Brownsville, Pa.
66Main Street, Centerville, Pa.
67State Toll House, Near Beallsville, Pa.
68Main Street, Beallsville, Pa.
69National Hotel, Beallsville, Pa.
70Concrete Bridge. 1 1-2 miles West of Beallsville, Pa.
71Main Street, Scenery Hill (Hillsboro), Pa.
72Central Hotel, Scenery Hill, Pa.
73Millers Old Tavern Stand. 1 1-2 miles West of Scenery Hill, Pa.
74The Cumberland Road, Near Odell, 3 miles West of Scenery Hill, Pa.
75Cumberland Road, looking East at Glyde, 7 miles East of Washington, Pa.
76Cumberland Road at South Strabane, 6 miles East of Washington, Pa.
77An Old Stage Coach
78The Cumberland Road at Laboratory, 2 miles East of Washington, Pa.
79Cumberland Road, 1 1/2 miles East of Washington, Pa.
80Maiden Street, Washington, Pa.