This collection is made up of 7 letters that Elias D. Leach wrote to his family about his medical studies with a physician in West Greenville, Pennsylvania, and at Western Reserve College in Cleveland, Ohio, during the 1840s. Leach wrote about local and national politics, his medical education, and his financial difficulties, among other topics.
Leach wrote 6 letters to his brother, Jacob B. Leach of Austintown, Ohio, from August 31, 1842-December 23, 1844, and 1 letter to Jacob and to S. F. Leach, also of Austintown, on January 8, 1848. In his 3 letters from West Greenville, Pennsylvania (now Greenville), Leach described the town's daily, religious, and political life (August 31, 1842-July 25, 1844). He commented extensively on political issues, such as local elections, the presidential election of 1844, and local religious activities (often related to Methodists). Leach also discussed Dr. Henry Cossitt's return from a trip to eastern Pennsylvania and New York, where Cossitt had acquired medicines, had sold a horse to Martin Van Buren, and had witnessed the spread of Millerism.
From November 15, 1844, to December 12, 1844, and on January 8, 1848, Leach wrote about his medical studies at Western Reserve College in Cleveland, Ohio (now Case Western Reserve University). He mentioned the city's frequent fires and discussed his efforts to find lodgings and his difficulties paying tuition. He also described his medical studies, the size of his class, and his participation in a medical debating society.