Analytical results for Pb-concentrations and isotopic ratios from ca. 150 samples of soil A horizon and ca. 145 samples of soil C horizon collected along a 4000-km east–west transect across the USA are presented. Lead concentrations along the transect show: (1) generally higher values in the soil A-horizon than the C-horizon (median 21 vs. 16.5 mg/kg), (2) an increase in the median value of the soil A-horizon for central to eastern USA (Missouri to Maryland) when compared to the western USA (California to Kansas) (median 26 vs. 20 mg/kg) and (3) a higher A/C ratio for the central to eastern USA (1.35 vs. 1.14). Lead isotopes show a distinct trend across the USA, with the highest 206Pb/207Pb ratios occurring in the centre (Missouri, median A-horizon: 1.245; C-horizon: 1.251) and the lowest at both coasts (e.g., California, median A-horizon: 1.195; C-horizon: 1.216). The soil C-horizon samples show generally higher 206Pb/207Pb ratios than the A-horizon (median C-horizon: 1.224; A-horizon: 1.219). The 206Pb/207Pb-isotope ratios in the soil A horizon show a correlation with the total feldspar content for the same 2500-km portion of the transect from east-central Colorado to the Atlantic coast that shows steadily increasing precipitation. No such correlation exists in the soil C horizon. The data demonstrate the importance of climate and weathering on both Pb-concentration and 206Pb/207Pb-isotope ratios in soil samples and natural shifts thereof in the soil profile during soil-forming processes.