From conception to completion, this book took five years. I shudder to imagine how long it might have required, or whether it could have been undertaken at all, without the generous help of many people whose knowledge of coal far exceeds mine.
First and foremost among these is E. B. (Ted) Leisenring Jr. It was Ted who originally suggested the book and directed me to the awesome trove of company and family records at the Hagley Library in Wilmington, Delaware. (As chairman of Westmoreland Coal, Ted had donated these papers to the Hagley and was eager to see someone put them to use. ) Once the project was under way, Ted made himself available for countless hours of interviews, phone calls, and lunches, accompanied me on several trips, and introduced me to many useful people. Although Ted is one of the principal characters in this story and provided financial support for the endeavor, I can personally attest that his sole interest in this venture was intellectual. He neither sought nor received any control over the final manuscript, and readers should understand that any views expressed in this book are mine alone.
The papers of the Leisenring family’s various coal companies on file at the Hagley Library, wonderful as they are, would have overwhelmed a solitary researcher like me had not an expert archivist first sifted through them and organized them. I am therefore immensely grateful to Christopher T. Baer, curator of the Hagley’s Westmoreland collection, who organized the papers in 1984 and whose manuscript “Guide to the History of Penn Virginia Corporation and the Westmoreland Coal Company” provided a