About this Collection
William Lewis Sachtleben was an American long-distance cyclist who rode across Asia from Istanbul to Peking in 1891 to 1892 with Thomas Gaskell Allen Jr., his classmate from Washington University. This was part of a longer journey that began the day after they had graduated from college, when they travelled to New York and on to Liverpool; in all they travelled 15,044 miles by bicycle, “the longest continuous land journey ever made around the world” as reported in their book Across Asia on a Bicycle (1895). They spent the winter of 1891 in Athens from January 3 to early April, after which they took a steamer to Istanbul. Sachtleben documented their travels with photographs and diaries, the latter of which he numbered sequentially. Two of the diaries are in the Sachtleben collection. Notebook No. 7 records his stay in Athens from January 3 to February 5, 1891, and Notebook No. 10 records a portion of his journey in Turkey, from April 12 to May 9, 1891.