Moriz and Lester Bernstein correspondence 1897-1900
S. J. Bernstein was born c. 1854 in Germany, and moved to the United States with his wife, Marie, sometime before 1876. The couple had several children: Moriz (b. ca. 1876), Ralph (b. ca. 1877), Julius (b. 1880), Lester, and Walter. In December 1897, Moriz and Lester left their family in Philadelphia and embarked for Central America to do construction and surveying work for the Nicaragua Canal Commission. While in Central America, Moriz took charge of a small work crew under Dr. C. W. Hayes, and operated a drill to take geological borings of the terrain. Lester became a member of a small group charged with surveying the San Juan River around Lake Nicaragua. Lester returned to the United States in December 1898, while Moriz remained in Central America until at least August 1900.