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Collection Number: 04139

Collection Title: James Lee Love Papers, 1880-1954

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 3.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1900 items)
Abstract James Lee Love was an educator and textile company executive of Burlington, N.C. The collection consists of correspondence and other papers related to Love's association with the University of North Carolina, the North Carolina textile industry, including the Gastonia Cotton Manufacturing Company and Burlington Mills, and many philanthropies. Correspondents include Alexander Boyd Andrews, Graham Hudson Anthony, Thomas Barbour, Thomas Hart Benton, Albert Coates, James Bryant Conant, Frank Porter Graham, J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Paul H. Hanus, Archibald Henderson, Thomas Felix Henderson, Robert Burton House, Walter Lippman, James Spencer Love, William DeBerniere McNider, Rabbi Stephen Wise, and Samuel Bryant Turrentine. Also included are papers of James Lee Love's father, Robert Calvin Grier Love, and son, James Spencer Love, both textile executives; detailed memoirs of J. L. Love's childhood in Gaston County, N.C., and of his academic career at the University of North Carolina and Harvard, especially his connection with the Lawrence Scientific School; and a framed oil portrait of him by Phillip H. Giddens. An addition to the collection consists mainly of correspondence between J. L. Love and his first wife, June Spencer Love (died 1920) and their children, including Cornelia (born 1892) and James Spencer, concerning family, career, and academic matters. These letters date mostly from the summers of 1892, 1893 and 1911. Other letters are from various family members, particularly Cornelia P. Spencer and Laura Battle Phillips. Also included are volumes and pictures.
Creator Love, James Lee, 1860-1950.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the James Lee Love Papers, #4139, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Cornelia Spencer Love of High Point and Chapel Hill, N.C., November 1977 and October 1982; transferred from the James Spencer Love Papers, #4240, November 1981 and August 1982; transferred from Cornelia Spencer Phillips Papers, #683, June 1982.
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

James Lee Love (1860-1950) was an educator and textile company executive, of Burlington, N.C. Love was born in Gaston County, N.C., the oldest child of Robert Calvin Grier Love (1841-1907) and his wife Susan Elizabeth Rhyne Love. He was educated at the University of North Carolina and Johns Hopkins University. He married Julia "June" Spencer, daughter of James and Cornelia Phillips Spencer in 1885. He taught at the University of North Carolina from 1885 to 1889 when he joined the faculty at Harvard University. He taught mathematics at Harvard until 1911, also serving as assistant dean and later dean of the Lawrence Scientific School and director of the Harvard Summer School.

In 1909 James Lee Love became treasurer of the Gastonia (N.C.) Cotton Manufacturing Company, founded by his father in 1887, and in 1923 joined his son James Spencer Lover (1897-1962) in establishing Burlington Mills Corporation with which he was associated until 1935.

James Lee and June Spencer Love had two children: Cornelia Spencer Love (born 1892) and James Spencer Love. June Spencer Love died in 1920 and in 1923 James Lee Love married Mary Elizabeth Satterfield of Henderson, Ky., by whom he had two children: Mary Elizabeth and Jean Lee. He died in Burlington, N.C.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence and other papers related to Love's association with the University of North Carolina, the North Carolina textile industry, including the Gastonia Cotton Manufacturing Company and Burlington Mills, and many philanthropies.

University of North Carolina material includes correspondence with Frank Porter Graham, J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Archibald Henderson, Robert B. House, T. F. Hickerson, William DeBerniere McNider, and alumni secretary Mayron "Spike" Saunders, and files related to the University library, Cornelia Phillips Spencer Fund and the Old Students Club, and the University Press which in 1949 published Tis Sixty Years Since, a memoir of his student days by Love.

Material related to the North Carolina textile industry including Burlington Mills and Gastonia Cotton Manufacturing Company files; two letters, 1880 and 1884, to James Lee Love from his father Robert Calvin Grier Love, founder of the Gastonia Cotton Manufacturing Company; a few papers related to Robert Calvin Grier Love's estate; and a memoir of Daniel Efrid Rhyne (born 1852), co-founder of the company, written by James Lee Love in 1946.

The James Spencer Love file includes letters about Burlington Mills and the textile industry, state and national politics, personal and family affairs, government commissions on which James Spencer Love served, and copies of James Spencer Love's correspondence wtih Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Frank Porter Graham, and others.

There are other files of family correspondence and Love genealogy; a memoir of Cornelia Phillips Sencer written by James Lee Love in 1949; and files related to James Lee Love's philanthropic interests including several North Carolina Presbyterian chruches and a park built by Love in Gastonia, N.C., in memory of his parents.

Among the James Lee Love-Miscellaneous file are letters from Rabbi Stephen Wise, Samuel B. Turrentine, Alexander Boyd Andrews, Thomas Hart Benton, Albert Coates, Walter Lippman, Graham Hudson Anthony, and others.

Also included are detailed memoirs of J. L. Love's childhood in Gaston County, N.C., and of his academic career at the University of North Carolina and Harvard, especially his connection with the Lawrence Scientific School; and a framed oil portrait of him by Phillip H. Giddens. An addition to the collection consists mainly of correspondence between J. L. Love and his first wife, June Spencer Love (died 1920) and their children, including Cornelia (born 1892) and James Spencer, concerning family, career, and academic matters. These letters date mostly from the summers of 1892, 1893 and 1911. Other letters are from various family members, particularly Cornelia P. Spencer and Laura Battle Phillips. Also included are volumes and pictures.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Subject Files

Arrangement: alphabetical by subject or last name of correspondent.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 1a

Folder 1

Alumni: Class of 1884, lists #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 1

Folder 2

Burlington Mills Directors #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 2

Folder 3

Cambridge, Mass., Cemetary #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 3

Folder 4

Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 4

Folder 5

Chapel Hill Weekly #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 5

Folder 6

Edgeworth Seminary #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 6

Folder 7

Gastonia Cotton Manufacturing Company #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 7

Folder 8

Gastonia Park #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 8

Folder 9

Gifts #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 9

Folder 10

Goshen Church, Gaston County, N.C. #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 10

Folder 11

Graham, Frank Porter #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 11

Folder 12

Hamilton, J. G. de Roulhac #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 12

Folder 13

Harvard Alumni Bulletin #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 13

Folder 14

Harvard: Thomas Barbour #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 14

Folder 15

Harvard: James B. Conant #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 15

Folder 16

Harvard faculty and officers #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 16

Folder 17

Harvard: Paul H. Hanus #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 17

Folder 18

Harvard: Frederic V. Hunt and Gordon B Fair #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 18

Folder 19

Harvard: Lawrence Scientific School students #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 19

Folder 20

Harvard Library #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 20

Folder 21

Harvard University Press #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 21

Folder 22

Harvard Club of North Carolina #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 22

Folder 23

Henderson, Archibald #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 23

Folder 24

Hickerson, T. F. #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 24

Folder 25

House, Robert B. #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 25

Folder 26-27

Folder 26

Folder 27

Love, James Lee, miscellaneous #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 26-27

Folder 28

Love, James Spencer #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 28

Folder 29

Love, John F., family #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 29

Folder 30

Love, Robert Calvin Grier and Susan #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 30

Folder 31

Love genealogy #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 31

Folder 32

McNider, William DeBerniere #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 32

Folder 33

Rhyne, Moses, family #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 33

Folder 34

Saunders, J. Mayron "Spike" and other Alumni Office staff #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 34

Folder 35

"Spencer, Mrs. Cornelia Phillips," by James Lee Love #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 35

Folder 36-38

Folder 36

Folder 37

Folder 38

Cornelia Phillips Spencer Fund/Old Students Club #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 36-38

Folder 39a-39b

Tis Sixty Years Since #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 39a-39b

Folder 40

University of North Carolina Library #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 40

Folder 41

University of North Carolina Press #04139, Series: "1. Subject Files" Folder 41

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Volumes, 1920-1945.

12 items.
Folder 65

Volume 1: Diary, James Lee Love, 1937 #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 65

Includes brief daily entries including routine descriptions of travel and daily activities during trips to Palm Beach and Daytona Beach, Fla., and occasional comments on Burlington Mills financial affairs.

Folder 66

Volume 2: Diary, James Lee Love, 1939-1940 #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 66

Includes detailed daily entries which consist primarily of analytical comments on clippings pasted in the volume dealing with world affairs, religions and the state of the church, education, race relations, and individuals with whom Love had been associated including James Spencer Love, Porter Sargent, William Fogg Osgood, A. M. Scales, and Charles Hughes Johnson. There is also much introspective autobiographical material dealing with his parents, childhood in Gaston County, N.C., education at the University of North Carolina, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard, a number of Presbyterian ministers including Robert Z. Johnson, Robert Hall Morrison, and Robert Calvin Grier, and that pattern and meaning of his life.

Folder 67

Volume 3: Recollections, James Lee Love #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 67

Includes information on James Lee Love's grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives; his father's Confederate service; detailed descriptions of social events including corn-shucking, house-raising, log-rolling, and quilting; household chores and hobbies including spinning, shearing sheep, soapmaking, guns and hunting, the farm and farm animals, his religious education, and reading habits.

Folder 68

Volume 4: Recollections, James Lee Love #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 68

Discusses James Lee Love's family house and furnishings at Fairview, N.C.; transportation; early schools he attended; the family move to Woodlawn (later Mount Holly), N.C., where Love attended Kings Mountain High School; his father's cotton gin and a nearby blacksmith and shoemaker; trips to Charlotte, N.C., to sell cotton and buy merchandise for his father's store; his choice of a career and educational plans; and the school at Woodlawn including three memorable teachers.

Folder 69

Volume 5: Recollections, James Lee Love #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 69

Describes the Woodlawn, N.C., school and Kings Mountain High School. There are also descriptions of the early days of Belmont Abbey, Goshen Presbyterian Church, revivals and camp meetings, and pottery making in Kings Mountain. The latter half of the volume deals with his entry at the University of North Carolina in 1880, the Di and Phi societies, the faculty, and dormitory life.

Folder 70

Volume 6: Recollections, James Lee Love #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 70

Describes James Lee Love's time at the University of North Carolina, 1882-1884, including his work as assistant to Dr. Mangum, 1883-1884. There is much information about his courtship of Julia "June" Spencer, whom he married in 1885. He describes his classmates, especially W. G. Randolph and Samuel B. Turrentine; his mother-in-law Cornelia Phillips Spencer; a scandal at Kings Mountain High School which percipitated his family's return to Gastonia, N.C.; his year of study at Johns Hopkins University including lectures by William Thompson, Lord Kelvin; teaching at the University of North Carolina, 1885-1889; creation of the University Library in 1888; his dismissal in 1889; and his year of graduate work at Harvard University, 1889-1890.

Folder 71

Volume 7: Recollections, James Lee Love #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 71

Continues to describe James Lee Love's dismissal from the University of North Carolina, the retirement of Kemp Plummer Battle, Charles and Laura Phillips, and his family's friendship of Sarah Welling of Warwick, N.Y. THe remainder of the volume covers his years at Harvard University, including the birth and childhood of his two children, his work with the Lawrence Scientific School and Harvard summer school, and trips to Europe in summers of 1897 and 1899. A few pages added in 1949 cover the closing of the Lawrence Scientific School and his own dismissal from Harvard.

Folder 72

Volume 8: "Notes to accompany volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of Recollections [volumes 3-7]," 1939 #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 72

Includes clippings, a history of pre-Civil War cotton mills in Gaston County, N.C., with which his family was associated, and additional information on the Love family, especially Andrew Love.

Folder 73

Volume 9: "Harvard as I Remember, 1889-1911," typed copy #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 73

Discusses the evolution of the mathematics department of which he was a member, the rise and fall of the Lawrence Scientific School under the leadership of Nathaniel S. Shaler, and the Harvard summer school, including the 1900 session for Cuban teachers. There is also material on Harvard athletics, especially football, the election of A. Lawrence Lowell as president in 1909, and Harvard faculty with whom he worked, especially president Charles Eliot, Paul H. Hanus, Albert Bushnell Hart, Dudley A. Sargent, LeBaron Briggs, and William E. Byerly. Included also are copies of his correspondence with Harvard officers, especially Eliot, during his years on the faculty, and information on Harvard taken from other sources. This discussion is interrupted by reflections on a desireable education program, his own education, Dr. James Phillips, and the evolution and value of a Ph.D. degree.

Folder 74

Volume 10: "Some Early School Houses in Gaston County [N.C.]," James Lee Love, 1945 #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 74

Brief account of the location, buildings, teachers, and coursework of the seven schools James Lee Love attended in Gaston County, N.C., between 1866 and 1880.

Folder 75

Volume 11: "Cullings from old University of North Carolina Catalogues, Personal Notes," James Lee Love, undated #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 75

Notes on faculty, enrollment, courses, costs, and other subjects taken from University of North Carolina catalogues, 1875-1884. There are also two writings, possibly addresses, related Chapel Hill, N.C., and college education, respectively.

Folder 76

Volume 12: "Recollections of Robert Calvin Grier Love by his oldest son James Lee Love in 1942." #04139, Series: "2. Volumes, 1920-1945." Folder 76

Discusses the parents of Robert Calvin Grier Love and his wife Susan Rhyne, their neighbors and social life in Fairview, N.C., and their move in 1871 to Woodlawn, N.C., where Love farmed and managed a general store. There is also discussion of Robert Calvin Grier Love's personality and personal habits, his return from Woodlawn to Gastonia, N.C., in 1883, and his pioneering work in the textile industry in Gaston County, N.C., along with J. D. Moore, George A. Gray, D. E. Rhyne, and J. A. Abernathy. There is also an account of the joint ventures of Robert Calvin Grier Love and his son John in textiles, banking and real estate and the collapse of the family fortunes following the Panic of 1904-1905.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of November 1981

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of June 1982

About 80 items.

Mostly letters from Cornelia Spencer Love to her parents James Lee and Julia Spencer Love concerning her work in the library at the University of North Carolina, and events and acquaintances in Chapel Hill, N.C., 1917-1918. There are also a few letters from James Spencer Love.

Folder 42-44

Folder 42

Folder 43

Folder 44

Correspondence: 1917-1918 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of June 1982" Folder 42-44

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of October 1982

Chiefly correspondence between James Lee Love and his wife, June Spencer Love, and their children, Cornelia and James, concerning family, career, and academic matters. These letters bulk around the summers of 1892-1893 and 1911. Other letters are from various family members, particularly Cornelia P. Spencer and Laura Battle Phillips, and friends. Also included are an account book of James Lee and June Love, an address book, a penmanship book and a notebook, and pictures of Julia and May Jones

Folder 45

1875-1883 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 45

Folder 46-53

Folder 46

Folder 47

Folder 48

Folder 49

Folder 50

Folder 51

Folder 52

Folder 53

1892-1893 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 46-53

Folder 54

1901-1907 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 54

Folder 55

1908-1910 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 55

Folder 56-58

Folder 56

Folder 57

Folder 58

1911 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 56-58

Folder 59

1913-1914 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 59

Folder 60

1915 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 60

Folder 61-62

Folder 61

Folder 62

1916 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 61-62

Folder 63

1917 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 63

Folder 64

1919-1920 and undated #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 64

Folder 81

Volume 16: Penmanship booklet, undated #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 81

Possibly used at the University of North Carolina.

Volume 17: Address book, Julia Spencer, Heidelberg, (Germany?), undated #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 81

Volume 18: Account book of June and James Lee Love, 1885-1887 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 81

Volume 19: Booklet of miscellaneous notes, circa 1892 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" Folder 81

Image P-4139/1

Jones, Julia, cabinet card, circa 1870-1890 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" P-4139/1

Photographer: M. Nestler, Vevey (France?)

Image P-4139/2

Jones, May, cabinet card, circa 1870-1890 #04139, Subseries: "Addition of October 1982" P-4139/2

Photographer: F. H. Rice, Worchester, Mass.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Photographs (PF-4139/1).

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, November 2009

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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