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Author: Love, Cornelia Spencer, interviewee
Interview conducted by Kessler, Lee
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Mike Millner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2008
Size of electronic edition: 168 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2008.
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Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2008-00-00, Wanda Gunther and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2006-05-01, Mike Millner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of sound recording: Oral History Interview with Cornelia Spencer Love, January 26, 1975. Interview G-0032. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series G. Southern Women. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0032)
Author: Cornelia Spencer Love
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Cornelia Spencer Love, January 26, 1975. Interview G-0032. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series G. Southern Women. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0032)
Author: Cornelia Spencer Love
Description: 182 Mb
Description: 47 p.
Note: Interview conducted on January 26, 1975, by Lee Kessler; recorded in High Point, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Joe Jaros.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series G. Southern Women, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with Cornelia Spencer Love, January 26, 1975.
Interview G-0032. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Love, Cornelia Spencer, interviewee


Interview Participants

    CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE, interviewee
    LEE KESSLER, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
When I first came South to live, in 1917, [unknown] I found [unknown] that anybody who was anybody in Greensboro or Wilmington or Raleigh knew the principal families. Suppose that you said, "I came from Goldsboro," you would suppose that you would know who the people were, who they had married and could start this conversation. It's a game, I learned to play it a little bit, but not very much.
LEE KESSLER:
O.K., Miss Love, you mentioned that you were born and raised in New England. When did you come to North Carolina for the first time? Did you come to visit?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, I came three or four times, I really couldn't tell you how many. I came twice to Gastonia with my family to visit my Grandpa and Grandma Love and in 1909, I had a wonderful trip to Chapel Hill. My father graduated from the University in '84 and came to his twenty-fifth reunion. Dr. Battle and his wife were still living in the old Battle home, they were good friends of my family. We were not only invited to stay at their house, but Dr. Battle's grandson, Kemp Davis Battle, was in the class of 1909 with Frank Graham and other since very prominent graduates. And he invited me to attend . . . do you want to hear all of this?
LEE KESSLER:
I have heard mostly about your grandmother and I know a good deal about Kemp Battle. Is there anything that you want to . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
I think that this is historically interesting, because in those days, the commencement balls were very important, they were great social events and here was I, a little Yankee girl, just seventeen, knowing how to dance and

Page 2
loving it and so forth, but not knowing anybody at all, came to Chapel Hill. Kemp Davis, that was what he was called, made up my card. There were five dances in two days. An afternoon, an evening and the next day, a late morning, an afternoon and then a ballroom that lasted until the sun came in the window. He had asked other girls, he took me to one of the five dances. He probably had his special girl, although he wasn't engaged at the time, he didn't marry for some time, and he asked his best friends to take me to the other dances. They made out the cards, they gave me a bunch of ballroom cards with the dances numbered, one, two, three. They started off with a "lead" dance, then a "break" and a "general". For the lead, your partner found you, he knew where to come. So, for the lead, you went out with your partner and had sort of a grand march and then broke up for other dancing. For the break, people could break in on you, it was the only dance that they could, which made it very nice for the boy with his girl, who didn't want to be broken in on all the time. Which is what happened later on and really in a sense broke up the dances. I just watched it happen, but that's another story. Then for the general, you just danced with your partner, but you didn't break. And I just had the time of my life, I enjoyed it thoroughly. The dances were held in the Commons, on the edge of the . . . well, about where Phillips Hall is now. They were just off the campus, because you couldn't have dancing, well, you couldn't have a ballroom right on the campus in those days.
LEE KESSLER:
Oh, was it not allowed?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Listen, my dear, you don't know anything! [laughter] In those days, the Methodists and the Baptists were strong in the land. They totally

Page 3
disapproved of dancing. Girls weren't supposed to do it, and they were always pointing out the wicked University. Particularly in the legislature, when the University was wanting money, and you had to fight against that sort of thing.
LEE KESSLER:
It's sort of like Jesse Helms and his talk about Chapel Hill now.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
The Presbyterians were just as bad. My mother was a Presbyterian. She thoroughly approved of my dancing and so forth and so on. My brother and I went to dancing school, but she never danced a step in her life and she felt that she was too old to learn. So, yes, it was greatly disapproved in the state. But it went on in spite of it. The University was criticized. Oh . . . you wanted to know about my coming down. I don't think that I came between 1909 and 1917. I was at the New York State Library School for a two year's course. Library schools were very popular, young women didn't seem to know about going to get special training for the profession and they don't seem to know now. Anybody who went to a school, particularly that one in Albany, which was the best in the country, it was founded by John Dewey of the Dewey Decimal Classification System fame . . . they were known to be the best librarians in the country. L.R. Wilson, who is still living . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
Is he? I didn't know that.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes, very forward and advanced, he wrote up to the New York Library School asking for a cataloger. And the head of my school knew that I had southern affiliations and so he offered it to me. And my mother thought that it was wonderful for me to go back to Chapel Hill, otherwise, she wouldn't have wanted me to go so far off. So, I came down in the fall of 1917.

Page 4
LEE KESSLER:
But you did not pursue a job in any other location?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No. I had two or three other offers. I might have gone to the Hispanic Society in New York City, which sounded very interesting, because I had had two years of Spanish. They offered me a job.
LEE KESSLER:
Now, your grandmother, Cornelia Phillips Spencer, she lived in your household for many years, did she not?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
She came up in 1893 or '94.
LEE KESSLER:
So, you must have been just a baby at the time?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes, but she died in 1908 and I was sixteen. I have many, many associations with her.
LEE KESSLER:
You were very close to her?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Oh, a great, great deal.
LEE KESSLER:
One thing that I was really interested in, I've read some of her papers and she was very determined that women should have an education. What sort of an influence did she have on your ideas of what you wanted to become? Did she encourage you to pursue a career?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
My dear, I never had any trouble at all. I lived there in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There was no question that I would not go to Radcliffe College. No question that I couldn't do anything I wanted to do. There were no difficulties. In all this talk about women's lib . . . for me, no.
LEE KESSLER:
It was always assumed that you would have some kind of training that would be of a professional [nature] . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, I would go to college. That's one reason that my parents stayed there in Cambridge, because my father had the offer of the presidency of Tulane when I was younger. They turned it down because they knew that the

Page 5
southern schools couldn't prepare my brother and me. We had excellent schools in Cambridge. Much better than they have now.
LEE KESSLER:
Did you attend public schools?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Oh, yes.
LEE KESSLER:
Did you have any outside schooling, any tutoring in any special areas?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
I was taught by my mother and grandmother at home to read and write, geography, and figures, until I was seven. Then I went to the Peabody Grammar School and then to the Cambridge Latin School. In those days, my dear, we had these New England Normal School graduates, New England spinsters. There was no such thing as a married woman teaching. Women did not work after they were married. If they were engaged, they waited and stayed engaged for two or three or four years until their husbands had enough money to set up house keeping. But women married did not work. These New England spinsters were some of the best teachers I ever had in my life. They were thorough. We learned Latin, we learned the French idioms. We didn't learn a thing about the pronunciation, they hadn't been to France and there was just no attempt to teach you how to pronounce it, but you got the fundamentals. With no trouble. I don't remember any discipline trouble. Of course, we had . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
Were you in an all girls classroom?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, they were public schools. There were Irish boys and two or three blacks. I remember one time, Francis Hazel and I skipped the eighth grade in grammar school and Francis Hazel was a rather dignified black boy, I can remember what he looked like right now.

Page 6
LEE KESSLER:
I would like to hear more about what your grandmother did with you. Did she spend many hours a day with you? Was she the one who taught you how to read?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
I couldn't tell you that. Either she or my mother taught me how to read, but you know, I was four or five or six years old. I'll just tell you what I do remember. The things that I remember were the greatest delight, were these sessions where she read aloud to me. She started with Cooper, all of Scott, All of Dickens and some other things and we just took them in turn. I never sat there doing nothing, she taught me how to sew, to embroider and insisted that I be employed while she was reading.
LEE KESSLER:
I know that she was a great seamstress herself.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Oh, yes. She did very delicate, beautiful work. She made all my summer clothes, little calico and gingham dresses, with little guimpes, and ruching, and I don't know what all. And of course, as she worked with me, she might explain if necessary.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, was she also close to your brother? How many years younger was he than you?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Four years. Well, in a sense, of course. My mother would go out and leave Grandma to take charge of this little boy, although we always had this good Irish maid in the house, in the kitchen. He didn't attend those sessions. You know, four years is a big gap. Especially when I was seven, eight, nine or ten. He didn't have nearly as much of that sort of contact with her.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, then, his activities were mostly outside the home?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Oh, yes.

Page 7
LEE KESSLER:
Did he also attend public school?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Surely, yes. He and I agreed, not so very many years before his death, that the best teacher we had ever had, and he had been through college, was a Miss Jenny Spring in the Cambridge Latin School, who taught us Latin. She was so vivacious and witty and just full of life. But all those teachers were good. They knew how to control a classroom with a look or a glance. If any big boys should be obstreperous — and frankly, I just can't remember any incidence — she would send him to the principal. That was the worst punishment that he could have. [laughter] Yes, we had the same teachers up through high school.
LEE KESSLER:
Now, you mentioned that you both went to dancing school.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes.
LEE KESSLER:
Did you also both take music lessons?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
When I was ten, my mother wanted me to start piano lessons, so she wrote to my Grandpa love and told him of that and that we didn't have a piano. And he wrote back and said that he would give me a piano if I would learn to make biscuits and sew a button on my brother's trousers. So, I had to send him a symbolic button sewed on and he gave my mother carte blanche to get any piano she wanted. She got a nice one, but she didn't get a Steinway. My brother was very, very gifted in a musical way. He had true pitch. You could strike any note and he could tell you what it was. If he heard a tune, he could play it with accompaniment. And the only lessons that he ever had were given to him by me. Now what I could teach him was to read music. We had lessons, one or two a week and got our pocket money in that way. He got ten cents a lesson and I got twenty-five cents. Sometimes, they were free for alls,

Page 8
as you could imagine, you can have scraps, you know. [laughter]
LEE KESSLER:
Yes.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
But my mother would intercede and the lessons proceeded. And from me, he did learn to read music, but then he went on and his playing was always a delight to us. He would sit down at the piano after dinner, you know, and play. He loved things like the "Desert Song," and Sigmund Romberg and the Showboat, the popular things, that sort of music. He knew it all, he bought it all, he could play it.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, were you somewhat of a tomboy, did you have a lot of outside activities that . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, you wouldn't call me a tomboy. But, we had an awfully good time. I have been made so infuriated by this book, which I wouldn't think of reading, but you have seen it advertised, it has just come out, The Good Old Days, They were Dreadful.
LEE KESSLER:
. . . "they were terrible."
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
They Were Terrible. My dear, they were not. We did not have a lot of the discoveries, the cars and so forth and so on. We had great open spaces where you could play. There were vacant lots right near my house. Two of my best friends, we would get together in a little group after school and play "prisoner's base" or "hide-and-seek" or that sort of thing. We all had bicycles. You could ride anywhere you wanted with no fear of anybody running over you. Of course, there were cars, but there weren't an enormous number of them. In winter we had snow, sleds and skates.
LEE KESSLER:
Did your parents ever try to keep you from doing something because it wasn't "ladylike?"

Page 9
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No. [laughter] You can't get anything out of me like that sort of thing. You see, I had my childhood in the '90s. It was a college circle, you see. Of course, you must realize that everybody was educated and modern in that sense. But there weren't any restrictions of that sort. My mother was a very good Presbyterian, she didn't let me sew on Sunday, or play games. There was a "Biblical Authors" and we could play that.
LEE KESSLER:
I believe that I've seen a game similar to that.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
You spoke about a tomboy. Well, I was no tomboy, but next to this Peabody Grammar School, there was a great big vacant lot and a Miss McCarthy rented it and had a playground there and charged a small amount to any children that wanted to come and play there after school was out. I learned to play tennis and volleyball. She had swings and other things for smaller children. And then, when I was nineteen and twenty, I was sub-counselor at this camp in Maine where I had a chance to play more tennis and ride horses.
LEE KESSLER:
What kind of a camp was it?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, it was one of a series of very, very fine camps which I suppose they still have in Maine. This Cobb family owned four camps on this Moosehead Lake, it's just over the line from New Hampshire. There were two boys camps and two girls camps. They weren't even by each other. You had to get in your boat or get in a wagon to go from one to the other, but they owned them all. And I was at the younger girls camp. I was in the tent with the head of the camp, a Miss Barbour, who was a school teacher and she was just a very, very able fine person. She knew how to carry it on. And I just helped her and filled in. And we had boating and swimming and camping, hiking . . . I don't know where to branch off, you know. My brother went to the boys camp,

Page 10
Winona, up the lake, we would get together two or three times during a month and have a picnic or something like that.
And the girls looked up to me because I was Spencer Love's sister. [laughter] You know, the little girls. Anybody that knew a boy . . . my dear, the attitude of women toward men and boys and girls is just the same through all the years and this women's lib may improve a lot of things for women, and I hope it does, but you are not going to change the way that women look up to men. They don't want to be superior to them, they want the man to be at least their equal intellectually.
LEE KESSLER:
So, you have always been Spencer Love's sister?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, oh no. This was from the little girls.
LEE KESSLER:
When your grandmother was living with you, did she tell you a lot of stories about Chapel Hill?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes. Well, she and my mother. You see, my mother lived there from the time that she was four years old. Her father died of spinal meningitis when she was just a little girl, at the outbreak of the Civil War. And her mother, who was beginning to be deaf, and later on was very deaf, picked up her little daughter and brought her back to her father, James Phillips, in Chapel Hill. And life just seemed almost over, here was the war and all the sadness and my grandmother and James Monroe Spencer, it was a very devoted marriage. She was rather late in life getting married.
LEE KESSLER:
She was close to thirty, was she not?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
I think she was. She was a little older, he was a student that came up from Alabama. And from all I can gather, he was a very, very fine person. His nickname was Magnus and she was just desolated. If you have ever read . . . I think that it's in Mrs. Chamberlin's Old Days in Chapel Hill, from my

Page 11
grandmother's diary right at the time of his death, I can't read it now without weeping.
LEE KESSLER:
She seemed very devoted to him.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
She was just . . . life was over. I don't mean that she ever said anything like that, but imagine coming back with the Civil War breaking out and the University closing.
LEE KESSLER:
I know that she always remembered the anniversary of their marriage.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes. I ought to elaborate on . . . since I brought in women's lib and this may surprise you, she was so keen for women's education and she did a great deal to bring it about. Otherwise, that dormitory wouldn't have been named for her at Greensboro and the one at Chapel Hill. She knew the leaders, the McIvers, Vances, the Venables and so on, Well, Venable, he was later. But she knew those men that started the women's education. She wrote letters. That was her power, the power of her pen. And she would to this and that person and she would write in the newspapers. She had this column in the Presbyterian Standard for young girls. So, in that way, she did wield a lot of power. But she did not believe that women should have the vote. Of course, nowdays, I guess that she would accept it. Well, I guess that her reasons have been justified.
LEE KESSLER:
What were her reasons?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
That women would vote more or less as their husbands did, that they wouldn't strike out on any new paths, they would just double their husband's vote. She felt that they had their mission in life, that they had lots of influence but that they did not exert it by the vote. I have been terribly disappointed myself. Look at the women who have gone into public life, they are

Page 12
quite able to do it, but . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
Well, you don't think that women have significantly changed the course of American politics?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, do you? You study history. No, I think that if they all band together, the best women with the best ideas, they could do a great deal. Now you have got me off on another tangent about women. Women don't like each other very much, they don't stick up for each other. I once said to my sister-in-law, Martha, Ayers, "Do you like Barbara Walters?" "No, I don't." We don't like each other, we're critical. We've got devoted friends, but on the whole would prefer a man boss to a woman.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, let's get back to your attitude toward women a little later. I do want to ask you some more questions about when you first came to Chapel Hill and slightly before. When did you decide to become a librarian? Why that and not something else?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, that's quite a story. I've always loved books. I was soaked in them. My mother and grandmother had a great many and my grandmother was devoted to English literature and history. So, you might say that I was soaked in it and I loved books. I read all the time. I didn't know that there was such a profession as being a librarian, so I was going to be a secretary. I took a summer course in shorthand and stenography between my junior and senior years, preparing to be a secretary. Then, I asked for some work at the Radcliffe office, they had jobs just as colleges do nowdays. And I had free Saturdays and so forth, so they assigned me to work at this Episcopal Theological Seminary Library there in Cambridge, which is right across from Radcliffe and our church. I suppose that it is the most outstanding Episcopal school in

Page 13
the country, it is a very distinguished one. Of course, it is very small, I don't suppose that they ever have more than fifty students altogether. So, it had a staff of two, a head librarian and an assistant. The head librarian was one of the most remarkable and fascinating women I have ever known.
LEE KESSLER:
What was her name?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Now, you may think that I am down on women, but I have known some of the finest women in the world. Edith Fuller. She was a niece of Margaret Fuller. You've heard of Margaret Fuller?
LEE KESSLER:
Yes.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
There are so many people who are bywords to me that the younger generation knows nothing about.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, I'm sort of half ignorant. Some names I know and some I don't.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, Margaret Fuller, of course, was a blue-stocking, a writer and famous in her time. This Edith Fuller was a homely little woman with a screw of grey hair here at the back of her neck. She wasn't in the least good looking. She had the sweetest smile, and she was a very, very kind person. She trained me to come in there at that time, taught me how to catalog books. I did know how to type, I had gotten that at Simmons, the touch system. If I had stayed working with her for some years, I wouldn't have needed to go to library school, you know you can really learn more from somebody telling you. And at the end of my college course, her assistant librarian was retiring, she was an old lady. And so, she offered me the job of being assistant librarian. There were the two of us and I would sit in the outer office and not only catalog books, but file cards and do a lot of

Page 14
little jobs which taught me so much. I got fifty dollars a month, which was plenty. I lived at home that last year, that year I was working. But Miss Fuller taught in this New York State Library School for one quarter every year. She gave advanced cataloging. So, through her, I heard about the New York State Library School and . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
And that's how you decided to go there?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
. . . . which was such a good one. It was in this great big building in Albany, right across from the capitol with an education building built especially for the school. Great big rooms, wonderful accommodations. So then, I said, "I'm going to save up my money and go to the New York State Library School after this one year." That's how I heard about it.
LEE KESSLER:
So, you put yourself through library school?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes. Oh, yes.
LEE KESSLER:
Now, when you were at the New York State Library School and when you heard about the job at Chapel Hill, were you very excited?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, I suppose I was.
LEE KESSLER:
Had it been in your mind to return to Chapel Hill?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, oh, no.
LEE KESSLER:
That was not something that you had thought of?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
It was something that just happened to come up because Dr. Wilson wrote for [a librarian] . . . you didn't apply for jobs. They wrote into that school. There weren't enough graduates to fill all the positions. They were clamoring for them. I think that they still are for men. Men don't seem to realize it. Well, say in my class, there were perhaps forty and maybe twelve of them were men. They all got excellent jobs. They wanted men and women in the library

Page 15
profession. And I just loved it because there were young people from not only all over the United States who loved books, but from abroad. There were three Scandinavians. There was Odine Domaas, who spoke excellent English. I said," Odine, how did you learn such good English?" "Oh, they just teach it in our public schools in Norway."
LEE KESSLER:
When you came to Chapel Hill, where did you stay?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, my mother still knew people living in Chapel Hill, of course. And she wrote to Miss Mary Manning, Louise Venable's aunt, knowing that she took lodgers. So, I stayed with her for a year. But then, I heard about Mrs. Kluttz, Mrs. A.A. Kluttz, who lived and owned the big house where Mrs. Coenen lives now. It's right across from the president's house.
You know, the little stone office . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
Oh, yes.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
That was my Great Uncle Sam's office.
LEE KESSLER:
Sam Phillips' office?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes, Sam Phillips. Well, this is of course, is just coincidence, that the Kluttz's owned that house. I could really write a chapter about the Kluttzes, because they were characters, both of them. He was always called "Doctor", although he just took one year at the medical school. His wife always called him "Doc." I don't want to get off on that, I could tell you lots of cute anecdotes and stories about him, but . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
Well, maybe we'll have time.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
It would be getting away from the . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
So, when you were a teenager then, you didn't have a career in mind for yourself, you just knew that you were going to college?

Page 16
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, I just knew that I was going to college.
LEE KESSLER:
Also, when you were a young woman, did you hope to get married sometime?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No. Listen, the young girls of that period . . . I don't know how to put it . . . you didn't go with boys the way the girls do now. Now, when I was a little girl, I played with Gilbert Francke and Hugo Francke, Joe Winlock, little kids. But when they struck the age of about eleven, they had the boys, that whole college set, they had nothing to do with girls until they were about fourteen or fifteen. High school. And that was all right with me. The social life was so completely different.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
[unknown] But you might simply say that before I reached college age, I didn't go with boys. We didn't. And I think that it was a good thing for the boys. They got to play together, they had their own masculine interests you know, I'm not saying that they didn't cock an eye at the girls. For instance, my brother knew Estlin Cummings,1 and his sister . . . they played together when they were kids. They lived quite near us. In fact, my nephew, Martin, my brother's second son, has recently been digging in some files of the attic of their Greensboro home, my brother kept all of his correspondence, and he found a file of letters that Estlin Cummings wrote to Spencer one summer. I think that it was 1911, oh when they were . . . well, he was two or three years older than my brother, I would say that they were eleven or thirteen, something like that. Well, there is this little group . . . when I

Page 17
say "gang", I just mean a group . . . but there was a group of children that would get together and play, boys and girls there in our neighborhood. Estlin was one, Esther Cushman was one and they would more or less play together. And I remember that once or twice, the boys would make lists of the girls, listing them in the order in which they liked them. I've always remembered this because Esther Cushman, whom I still correspond with, I just got a letter from her the other day . . . she always headed the list. They had that sort of playing together. I remember my brother . . . I'm trying to think about boys and girls together in those teen ages . . . my brother liked to do math with a certain girl, I've forgotten her name. I think that what I've told you is just true, they did not have dates and go together. Of course, dancing school . . . I could tell you a chapter about dancing school, because it was so completely different from life nowdays. We had this very elegant, very charming Miss Grace Hill, who came over from Boston and had dancing classes in this school that had a great big assembly hall that had a big floor. She held classes for different ages and I went to that and boys were dragged to that. It was more for the ages of eleven, twelve, thirteen. They were still wearing the knee britches, you know.
LEE KESSLER:
Short pants?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, knickers.
LEE KESSLER:
Buckled at the knees?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes. The little pants that they wore when they were little boys. And why on earth they had to put these long pants on these little kids in America, I just don't know. Why can't they have the short pants which they have in Europe?

Page 18
LEE KESSLER:
I just always figured that a child's legs would get cold.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, look at the girls. They are naked all the way up to the little tight things they wear around the middle. Well, as I say, the boys came to dancing school because their parents made them and we danced together then. But that didn't extend . . . well, I would say that all of that was before puberty. We were still kids.
LEE KESSLER:
When Spencer was a teenager, was he an ambitious, a go-getter? Did he have a lot of after-school jobs?
LEE KESSLER:
Well, I wouldn't say that at all. There wasn't anything apprarent to me as he was growing up that he was anything more than a bright little boy. Now, my mother taught him, as she had taught me, when he was little and she once said that he was the brightest little boy that she had ever taught except for one of the Winstons. She had had a little school when she was living in Chapel Hill, when she was about eighteen or nineteen. Well, of course, you could just discount that as parental . . . [laughter] We were very congenial, we did things together at times. I remember one summer — well, he had to be fourteen or fifteen, you know, before we really became companions. We would get on at home and enjoy the same things and occasionally we would go to a show in Boston at Keith's Orpheum. I remember going one afternoon with him and there were a pair of comedians in straw hats who came out and sang, "When you Wore a Tulip and I Wore A Red, Red Rose." That was the first time that we had heard it. So, years later, I would say to Spencer when he was at the piano, "Please play ‘When You Wore a Tulip . . . .’". We had that sort of thing together in common.
LEE KESSLER:
What kinds of things would Spencer do when . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Oh, you are trying to find out about his brain. He was just a

Page 19
bright little boy. Now, he could absorb very quickly. His teacher, when he was in the first grade, he had a little stool because he was little . . . . no, he went to school when he was five. The Cambridge Schools admitted you to the first grade when you were five, which I think they ought to do now. I think that the kids are old enough to learn. But he was short and they had this little stool for him to put his feet on. And his teacher, Miss Pullen, used to complain that Spencer would wiggle that little stool and was always looking out the window. But he was absorbing everything.
LEE KESSLER:
Was he successful in school?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, he skipped grades.
LEE KESSLER:
How many grades were there?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, there were nine grades in the grammar school. There were five in the high school. You didn't skip grades in high school. The Cambridge Latin School had five grades and you had Latin every year. And I don't begrudge one minute of that Latin, it stood me in good stead. He entered Harvard and would have graduated in the class of 1917, when he would have been . . . oh, he was kept out a year between high school and college because he would have been sixteen and so young. They sent him to manual training school, he went there for a year.
LEE KESSLER:
What was he trained in when he was there?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, I know that he could print beautifully. You know, there's a lot that I don't know about him during those years, because I had my set of friends and he had his. I know that he went up to Squam Lake in Maine one summer and had some practical outdoor work, but just what he had besides that printing, I don't know.

Page 20
LEE KESSLER:
But he would have entered college at sixteen, then?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes. But as it was, he entered in 1913, when he was seventeen. But on his own initiative . . . I didn't really realize that he was doing it, you see, I was in college, too. I graduated in '14, but we overlapped a couple of years, but he took extra courses so that he had enough credits to graduate in 1916.2
LEE KESSLER:
And that would have been in three years?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Three years.
LEE KESSLER:
What did he major in as an undergraduate?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
He didn't. We didn't have to major then.
LEE KESSLER:
What kinds of things did he take?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
I just don't know. I think the usual things. I wish I did know what he had in college. But he wanted to graduate with his class and so, that fourth year, the Harvard Business School had just opened up and he took one year in that, which he didn't quite finish, because the war came along. So, he went to Camp Dix and then went overseas.
LEE KESSLER:
Did he still show an interest in music?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Oh, I'll tell you how I first realized that he was something unusual. He had finished at Camp Dix and was a 1st Lieutenant and was waiting to be sent overseas. . . now, this is a very rough story, because I don't know details at all . . . but a friend of his, who had to be away for awhile asked him to do the work that he had been doing, just temporarily, for a few weeks. The work that he asked him to do was in the Quartermaster's Department, the planning and administration, that sort of thing. Well, my brother proved to be so good at that, he was kept in that and was sent overseas, was made a

Page 21
captain almost right off. He was made a major before he was twenty-one years old, in that sort of work. He never did combat, he was always with the planning . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
So, he was always an administrator?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Then, I realized that he must have some extraordinary talent and ability for the Army to have recognized that and kept him doing this and that and the other thing.
LEE KESSLER:
Now, you came to Chapel Hill in 1917?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
I did.
LEE KESSLER:
This must have been around the time of the suffrage movement. Were you involved in that?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, I was tainted by my grandmother's thinking. The people who were in it at all . . . of course, there were the great leaders, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and two or three more and Mrs. Pankhurst. They sort of made themselves ridiculous.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, were you interested in politics at all?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No. There wasn't any special politics to see. I mean, people didn't involve themselves whole-heartedly.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, now when you came to Chapel Hill, I know that you mentioned in your letter that you met Hope Summerell Chamberlain. Did you meet her as soon as you came here?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, she was living in Raleigh and due to the family friendship between the Mitchells and the Phillipses, she knew about my being in Chapel Hill and invited me over to her home. She had a beautiful home on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh. It's the one that goes by State College. So, I went

Page 22
over there and spent the night with her two or three times. And then her daughter, Mary Mitchell, had stopped by to see us in Cambridge when I was much younger. That's another story, don't get me started on that, because it is a most interesting one. But no, I just knew her until she finally retired to Chapel Hill and built a nice house and I would go over every Monday afternoon, when my cleaning woman came and I wanted to get out of the house, and I would spend that afternoon with Mrs. Chamberlain. Sometimes I would read to her, she was very blind by that time. I mean, she could see to get around, but she couldn't read. She taught herself Braille when she was well into her seventies. We read things like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. I would read them to her or then, sometimes, we would just talk. You know, you can't picture these days talk among women that isn't trash and foolishness, can you? Maybe some of your friends . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
Now, she didn't write the book about your grandmother's life until when, 1926?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
'26, yes.
LEE KESSLER:
Did she come to you for help on that? Did you work with her at all?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
What I did was to tell her about this little trunk full of my grandmother's papers. When my mother died in 1920, my father closed up our home, disposed of all our possessions and put my grandmother's diaries and things in a little old tiny trunk, which was stored at my brother's. They lived then at Gastonia, they had just started building . . . it was up in his attic. And he sent that little trunk to Mrs. Chamberlain and there she

Page 23
got a great deal of her source material. And of course, she went to the library too, they had collected it.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, were you anxious for her to write about your grandmother?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, I was very much pleased. I think that she did a beautiful job. I made the index for that volume. Indexing was one of the smaller courses that we had at the library school. Do you know how to make an index?
LEE KESSLER:
No.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, you can learn it in two or three weeks. I mean, there were lots of little things like that. I wish that more girls would go to library school. I've got a niece, I think that she would enjoy it thoroughly. But you can't interest them.
LEE KESSLER:
Which niece is this?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Cornelia Love.
LEE KESSLER:
Is this the one that is named for you?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes. About Mrs. Chamberlain, she was an artist, too, you know. She illustrated. And then she wrote that book about . . . This Was Home, about Salisbury.
LEE KESSLER:
I'm not familiar with that at all. That's another . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes, that's another book she wrote.
LEE KESSLER:
When did you meet Charlotte Hawkins Brown?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, my father knew her and my brother knew her and they helped, you know, she was a remarkably dynamic woman. She made friends and in that way was able to start that school. She would go up to New England, around Boston, every year and come back these gifts for the school. I don't know what you know about the school.

Page 24
LEE KESSLER:
Very little, just that . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
It has gone out of business, to my great, great sorrow. But she started it with Alice . . . do you know who Alice Freeman Palmer was?
LEE KESSLER:
No, you'll have to tell me more.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, she later became the president of Wellesley, a brilliant dynamic, outgoing, sweet woman. Herbert Palmer later married her, this professor of English and an outstanding, wonderful person at Harvard. Alice Freeman Palmer. She used to say that one time she had to cross the Common, that of course, would be in Boston, she had to cross it everyday and she would notice this black woman who was pushing a baby carriage, a white baby carriage and also studying in a book. And one day, she stopped her and it was a Latin book and it was Charlotte Hawkins Brown.
LEE KESSLER:
That's how they met, then.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
That's how they met.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, you met Mrs. Brown then, because your father knew her?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
I guess that I just went over to the school.3 There isn't any one dynamic meeting of any sort, I just got to know her and then they asked me to be a trustee. And Mr. Wharton, who was the head of the trustees, the father of the Charles Wharton who is now a lawyer in Greensboro. His father was a much more . . . I hate to keep using the word, "dynamic", but by that, I mean people who get things done. They have got their inspiration and they know how to go about doing it. And I think that because the son was not dynamic, they came along there in those early sixties with the school failing, because it never had anything like enough endowment. They lived

Page 25
largely on the fees of the scholars. Of course, they owned their buildings, and so forth and so on. But at that time, there was such a sympathy for the blacks that if they had known where to go and how to go about it, they could have gotten a good endowment for that school. That had this black principal at that time, Harold Brag. He was smart and intelligent, but he didn't have the get up and go. He came from Ohio, he didn't have the background to know where to go And so, the school just didn't have enough money to carry on. It's partly that and also that they had a fire in one of the dormotories and it was not insured. Now, that shows you how lax they had become.
LEE KESSLER:
They must have been really short on funds.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
They still own, so far as I know, this very valuable land at Sedalia, just right before you get to Greensboro, but in Charlotte Hawkins Brown's day, when I came to know her. . . I guess that it was in the 50's, and I would go over there and visit and it was the only private school for blacks in the United States. And it was a very good one. She believed in teaching those children manners as well as intellectual subjects. I would get my car, park and one or two of the young folks, they were high school age, would come up and help me up the steps and speak to me sweetly and I would have dinner with them. Good food, simple and plain but good. I would meet some of the teachers. I was especially interested in the library and tried to help them in that, because they didn't have nearly enough books.
LEE KESSLER:
Did you try to get books for them?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes, I did. They didn't know how to advertise, how to promote

Page 26
themselves. There would be people living in Greensboro or Chapel Hill who never heard of the school. Well, of course, they didn't have the staff. It takes people with know-how to promote. Charlotte Hawkins Brown's niece married Duke Ellington . . . no, not Duke Ellington, that singer, a black singer with a beautiful voice, I can't think of his name.4 Anyway, he came down one time and gave them a concert, but that wasn't advertised. They just didn't know how to promote themselves. But they did have for awhile, a good school. The teacher of French was from Martinique, a courtly black man and he spoke, I guess, excellent French. They had a good staff.
LEE KESSLER:
Now, you were associated with the Palmer Institute for . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
I was a trustee.
LEE KESSLER:
For how long?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, I couldn't tell you. At least ten years, maybe longer. After Charlotte Hawkins Brown's death, Wilhelmina Crossin, whom she had selected, she was a black woman from the North, she came down at Charlotte Hawkins Brown's invitation and took over the school and really ran it very well for four or five years. And then she gave it up. I guess that she felt that she was a little too old. She was given the job of writing a life of Charlotte Hawkins Brown after she had retired. She was living in Greensboro, and she appealed to me for some help. She didn't know how to start a thing like that. Well, I said, "You come over and have lunch with me and I'll get Phillips Russell, my cousin." So, I had the two of them to lunch. You know, I could smile at myself, because how some of those southerners could be shocked at my getting the luncheon for this black woman. Well, you know, I thought nothing of it. And Phillips Russell did talk to her and tried to help her, but she never

Page 27
really got off to a start with that. But she did administer the school well. Then they got this Harold Brag, as I said, from Ohio. He was good in some ways. He was a nice person. He was quite a young man. He's now at Bennett College, I believe. But it just collapsed.
LEE KESSLER:
Were you involved in any other enterprises to help black people before your association with Sedalia?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, I've always been very, very fond of them. I've known some charmers. And I still do, with Adolphus Clark, who looks after my house when I'm not there. He was on the library staff for many years. He is now eighty-five years old. But he is driving his Buick and when I would go off on trips, I would write him to meet me at the airport and there would be faithful Clark, as we called him. Dr. Wilson said, "We'll call you Clark." He was there in 1923 and he worked on the staff from then on. He was in the First World War in France and could tell you all about his experiences there. He was an uneducated man, he could read and write and all that, but . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
What did he do in the library?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
A person of the greatest character. Well, he was janitor for a good many years and then they put him in charge of the mail room and made him a member of the staff, which meant that he had privileges, retirement and all that sort of thing. Just a man of sterling character, a pillar of his church, taught Sunday School and was interested in collecting money for a home for black teachers out in the country.
LEE KESSLER:
Was he part of the Roberson Street Church?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, he knew about it . . .but no, it was a church in the country. It wasn't one of the Chapel Hill ones. Well, when I came back

Page 28
after having been abroad in 1960, he met me and I asked what he was doing and what was the news. Well, he was terribly cast down because some . . .he never told me who, and it didn't matter anyway . . . some white man had promised them money for a pool at Roberson Street Center and then, that was just at the time that blacks were beginning to show some spirit and make people mad and . . . you were a little girl in 1960.
LEE KESSLER:
I was thirteen.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes, well. I have passed through so many phases in our country during the last fifty or sixty or seventy years. Each one had its character, but at this time, the blacks were beginning to show a little muscle and this white man had been made mad by something they did and so, he had withdrawn his offer of the pool. Well, it made me mad, too. Please don't . . . I'm not telling you this in any spirit of bragging, I'm showing my interest in the blacks. Now, I have never been a person of wealth, but I had a certain number of stocks and I could sell them and live on what I had left. Well, I said, "Clark, I'm going to give you the swimming pool." It was to be the first one in town, they didn't have a white one then. Well, I guess that if the two of us had realized what it entailed, we might not have done it. Because, there were so many rules and laws and regulations, you know. You can't just go out and dig a hole and put water in it, you've got to conform. But we had lots of help. I've forgotten his name [cornwall] . . . over at Chapel Hill. He's died . . . well, you wouldn't know him, anyway. Some man high up in the Athletic Department helped him a lot with advice and rules and told him what to do. And I sold stock and eventually we had a pool. It took

Page 29
at least a year to get it going. But Clark managed the whole thing. He had committees. His wife was another wonderful person. She taught school and I could tell you a chapter about her.
LEE KESSLER:
What was her name?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, Mrs. Clark . . . Ethel. Ethel Clark. She taught a school out in the country and she took just such an interest in those young children. She came to me once about this family. They would have a child after child, one every year. They didn't even have enough shoes to go around. Well, to make one story short, I paid for Ethel to have Mrs. . . . I've forgotten her name, to have her fitted with a diaphragm. If you know what I'm talking about . . .
LEE KESSLER:
Yes.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
She was that sort of a person. Now, she wasn't terribly well educated. She would write me a letter with nice writing, but maybe mis-spell some letters, that's what they meant in those days when they said that the blacks did not have as good an education as the whites. They just didn't. She was a thoroughly good woman. She organized some of the black women and they planted around the pool with shrubs and flowers and it was a community project. Clark would open up a little booth in the building we had there. Well, of course, it is still there, the dressing rooms and there was a little place for refreshments and he would sell cold drinks and crackers. He didn't want to make a cent out of it, it was all for the children.
LEE KESSLER:
It was just for . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
He had retired by that time, he was in his seventies.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, I looked on the vita that you sent me and I brought this by the way, and. . . .

Page 30
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
So, I have always taken an interest in the Roberson Street Center. Now, this Lucille Caldwell was the head of it. You wouldn't know her, because when the war came along, she was sent overseas in the YMCA and . . . [discussion follows about returned vita] Yes, I tried to help Roberson Street with a floor one time and lights outdoors and so forth and so on. Now, I tried sometimes, as I did with Palmer, to no avail, to get them to help themselves. If somebody had organized the Friends of Roberson Street. . . .all you need to do in Chapel Hill, certainly in those days, was to have a little article in the paper, "The school needs this." Say that it needs a piano or something less ambitious. Just as you have Friends of the Library, you could have Friends of Roberson Street Center. And people would have loved to band together and help them get these various pieces of equipment. But no one ever did anything about it. You might say that they didn't have the time and they didn't have the know-how. Now, I believe they do get enough money from the town, but back then in the 60's, I didn't even know that the town hadn't bought that land that they were on. You know Roberson Street?
LEE KESSLER:
Yes, I know where it is.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, something that I'd written or said made D.D. Carroll . . . now, you wouldn't know who he was, because he is dead now. He was the first head of the Business School. One of the buildings is named for him.
LEE KESSLER:
Carroll Hall.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes, Dudley Carroll. And he was a Quaker, for whom I have the greatest respect. Well, he came to see me. I've forgotten what made him think that he ought to tell me, and I was delighted that he did. He said, "Well, the town owns that land . . . .
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

Page 31
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
. . . going back to the early days of people and places. I wish that you could have seen Chapel Hill then, it was a pretty little village. And during the last ten years, I would have had time to write some of it down, but it gave me pause. It would have taken a lot of time and trouble. Who is going to read it, who is going to publish it, who is going to do anything with it? How very few people care anything about it. I put in a lot of time and trouble.
LEE KESSLER:
Miss Love, you mentioned D.D. Carroll.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Oh, yes. I wanted to finish that. The Quakers had bought land and given it to the blacks so that they could have their own playground and center. The land had been right behind that place where Franklin Street divides.
LEE KESSLER:
That would be near the Church?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, anyway, they had realized that that wasn't a good place, and the Quakers had sold that. And they had bought the land that they now have had at Robeson Street and then gave it to the town. And so, the town had never made any effort to have any place for them, but now, I think that they do support it. Do you know Hank Anderson, he runs the Recreation Dept.
LEE KESSLER:
No, I don't. It's a familiar name, though. In your vita, you mentioned that you were part of the American Association of University Women. How long were you in that organization?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, from the beginning. Mrs. Chase, the wife of Presedent Harry Woodburn Chase, started it, did whatever writing was necessary to have a chapter in Chapel Hill. Now, that would have been . . . well, sometime

Page 32
in the twenties, I can't get any closer than that. Maybe about '25 . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
Well, what were some of the aims of the Association at that time? Was it more or less social work or . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
You belong to it, don't you, or you know about it?
LEE KESSLER:
No, because I'm not really a faculty member.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, AAUW, the American Association of University Women is . . . . for * (below
LEE KESSLER:
Does that include students, did it at the time?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Any woman who has graduated from a college that is accepted can belong.
LEE KESSLER:
I didn't realize that.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Of course, it has to be an accepted college, have certain standards. But it is all over the United States and is a very powerful organization. You have meetings, you can have any sort of programs that the chapter wants to have. You can have a bridge-playing group, you can have play reading, you can meet to discuss books. We had to give so much, well, let's say that the dues were three dollars a year . . . as they were way back there . . . well, we would send one dollar to the headquarters in Washington and keep the other two. And we also contributed to scholarship funds, we gave scholarships to women and we would do different things to raise money for that. When I was there, the second year, we had Gertrude Stein . . . now that's another story.
LEE KESSLER:
When you were president? She came to speak? Was that your idea?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No.

Page 33
LEE KESSLER:
How did the organization decide to . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, that's another story. You want me to go off on a tangent?
LEE KESSLER:
Well, please tell me.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
We were terribly hard up in the 30's. Nobody had any money, everybody's salary had been cut way back and we didn't know how werwere going to raise our share to contribute. Agatha Adams, a brilliant and charming woman of the many I have known who was wife of a Spanish professor . . . one of the faculty members. She told me that she had heard from a friend in Virginia that Gertude Stein would be in Virginia . . . I've forgotten what city . . . giving a talk at a certain time. And she suggested that we get in touch and see if we couldn't get her to come on to Chapel Hill and give us a talk. And to make a long story short, that's what we did. And she and Alice B. Toklas came and stayed in the Inn and had two rooms and . . . there are several little anecdotes that I could tell about that. But that would branch off. But Susan Akers, the treasurer, and I went to call on them. It came to my lot to talk to Alice B. Toklas and not Gertrude Stein. Gertrude was rather short and rather squat. She didn't look fat, just squat and wore a rather pretty embroidered jacket, a sweater jacket and a plain dark skirt. And there were various stipulations. She wouldn't talk before an audience of more than . . . I've forgotten whether it was two hundred or three hundred. So, we had it in Gerrard. And although that was the Depression, we could have sold any number of tickets. People from Duke, you know, and all around came, but we were limited to the amount.
LEE KESSLER:
How much did you charge?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Oh, I've forgotten. Two dollars may be perhaps less. That's the sort of thing you don't remember. We made enough that was more than enough to give our share to the scholarship fund.

Page 34
that we owed. But there in Gerrard Hall. She didn't go up on the platform, she stood down in front of it with the lectern above.
LEE KESSLER:
Was that one of the other stipulations?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No. She just chose to do that. Although we hung on every word, I couldn't tell you one thing that she said. But I do know this, she hadn't been talking much more than half an hour, certainly no more than three-quarters, if that much and . . . do you know Gerrard Hall?
LEE KESSLER:
Yes, it's . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
It's got this gallery that goes around. And some one person in one of the galleries got up and went out. Miss Stein looked up, And very shortly after that, she brought her talk to an end. But then they adjourned to Graham Memorial and sat on the floor, the way that students still do and asked her questions. I didn't go over there, to the student thing, but I'm sure that she enjoyed that.
[text deleted]

Page 35
LEE KESSLER:
Well, I have a question about Frank Graham myself, and it's kind of long and involved and this is one of the reasons that I was excited

Page 36
about coming to visit you. I was doing a paper last term on a woman who lived in Hillsborough name Mary Ruffin Smith. Are you familiar with her at all?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No. Ruffin . . . I've heard about them, but that's all. I don't know anything about them.
LEE KESSLER:
O.K. Well, she was born and raised in Hillsborough and she died in 1881, she left a great deal of land to the University.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Now, what's her full name?
LEE KESSLER:
Mary Ruffin Smith. She never married.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, you know, there were two Smith Halls. One was left by a woman, it may have been here.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, there was another Mary Smith, it's not the same one.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Not the same one. Well, you know the Smith building?
LEE KESSLER:
Yes. Well, this is kind of tied in with that. In 1938, I believe it was, there was a young black woman named Pauli Murray who applied to the University of North Carolina. She wanted to come to law school. And the thing is, she was the great-grandchild of Mary Ruffin Smith's brother and she was kin to the white families in the area and in essence, it was her family's heritage that was left to the University. And she was not admitted. Do you remember hearing anything about that?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, I'm sorry. I don't remember. I think that probably it happened before I . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
No, it happened in 1938 and the reason that I was curious was because she wrote to the Tar Heel.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
I'm sorry, I don't.
LEE KESSLER:
I am too. Now, did you work with Louis Round Wilson for many years?

Page 37
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, I was under him, of course, he was the head librarian. When I went there, what is now the music building was the Carnegie Library, which Dr. Wilson . . . well, it was through his efforts that the building was built. We stayed in there until '29, when the present library was built. Of course, I couldn't say that I saw a lot of him. I didn't. A Miss Nan Strudwick was my immediate boss in the library. I don't necessarily see that I should go into all that. I went there as a cataloger and before too long, he asked me, but he really told me, to take the order department. When I went there, there were very few on the staff. Miss Strudwick and Alma Stone in charge of periodicals and student assistants, boys, that was it. He was enlarging the staff and so, he gave me the order department and got more catalogers. So, he started me off on that. He didn't ever interfer in anything. You would go to him for something very important, perhaps, but he was a very busy man. He organized so many things besides the library. And then, in '36, I guess it was, he was called to Chicago to head that brand new graduate school and he couldn't afford to turn it down. They offered him not only a good salary, but a good retirement and he had a daughter who was mentally off, you know, and so he was glad to have that chance. And then he came back and lived in Chapel Hill, but he had no more administration of the library.
LEE KESSLER:
I know that I am skipping around a bit and I think that I am probably tiring you out, so let me just ask you a couple of more questions.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, you go right ahead, it diverts me and is very interesting.
LEE KESSLER:
Now, when did Miss Berry . . . Martha Berry . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Harriet Berry. Martha Berry is another lady from Georgia.
LEE KESSLER:
Oh, I'm getting them mixed up.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, she was just a good friend of mine. You meet somebody

Page 38
and they introduce you to Harriet Berry. It was soon after I came to Chapel Hill. I became very close to the Mangums, Charles Mangum and his wife, who was later head of the medical school and I met her and the Browns, charming people.
LEE KESSLER:
What did Miss Berry do? I'm sorry, I just don't know.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, there's no reason why you should. She was one of those very brilliant smart women, full of brains and way ahead of her times. She put her brother through college and medical school to show what she could do. She was secretary to Dr. Pratt, who was head of the geological survey and from that, she got interested in the good roads program, which was in the early 20's. Just beginning to be talked about. North Carolina had these old dirt roads and very few good ones. And as an offshoot from the Geological Department, of course with Dr. Pratt's consent, she devoted herself to going all over the state in her green Franklin, talking to people, prominent people and anybody she could talk to, about the need for good roads in North Carolina. And getting five dollar contributions. You paid your five dollars for the good road program. And that had a great deal to do with the legislature in 1922 voting quite a sizeable bond to raise money for the first good roads in the state. Cam Morrison was the governor and he was very scared. He was fearful of it, he thought that he was overstepping himself, but later on, when it was proven to be such a fine thing, he was very proud to claim responsibility. And in '28 . . . now, Harriet did a lot of politiking, she was very much interested in it and she and Cam Morrison were delegates to the Democratic convention which nominated Al Smith. Who would have been a wonderful president. Well, she told me that she was sitting in the convention hall, you know. I suppose that the delegates from the same state were sitting together and you

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know how they march around and carry on and "Cam", as we used to call him, said, "Come here Miss Hattie . . . " she hated to be called "Hattie." "You march with me, I'm the father of the good roads and you are the mother." And so, with a grin in the corner of her teeth, she got up and marched around with Cam and that was the beginning of the good roads and she had a great deal to do with it. She has had some credit given to her, but I don't think that people realize . . . that's the sort of thing that women can do. Now, I'm not saying that they ought to do their work in devious ways by any means, but you see one person, look at Ralph Nader, who can change the history of a whole country. You've got to have the idea and the push and ability. She had beautiful eyes, Harriet did. Great big hazel eyes.
LEE KESSLER:
When your brother came down to North Carolina and was starting Burlington Industries, did you see him often, were you always very close with him?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Oh, very, very close. Well, I would see him on my vacation.
LEE KESSLER:
Did he tell you a lot about the business, about what he was doing?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, when you are on vacation, you don't talk about your business. I thought of so many things in more recent years that I wished I had talked to him about. I would spend practically every Christmas with him down in Palm Beach, but you were with a bunch of friends, you were playing in the pool, having dinner. There is never a time to sit down and just talk.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, some people always talk about business, no matter what they are doing. Your brother was not like that, then?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No. He enjoyed relaxing with his friends. He liked jokes, foolishness. If you want to ask any special questions, I might . . . for of course, I knew what was going on.

Page 40
LEE KESSLER:
Well, I notice that you mentioned when you were talking a bout the Roberson Street Center, that you sold some stocks to pay for it. Did you have much involvement in the business, did you just own . . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, I had no business sense at all. I just gave the stocks to the . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
Had you bought the stocks or did your brother give them to you?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
My father left them to me. I gave two enormous gifts, large for me, that was one and then I gave one to the Chapel Hill Public library. I just give them the stocks, you see, and they can sell it. If I had sold it, I would have had to pay a big tax, but since it was a gift from me, they don't have to.
LEE KESSLER:
Also, I believe that you had visited with a convict, John Gould?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes.
LEE KESSLER:
How did you happen to get interested in that?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, I really have dipped in a lot of things. I've had a very full, fulfilling and happy life on the whole. My brother's death was the one thing . . . I've never been the same since, because he meant so much to me and I think that I did to him. I would see him when he was in trouble and he would sometimes ask my advice on certain things and sometimes take it. And being four years younger and in the best of health, he was a man who never ate to excess, he didn't care much about drinking, he didn't smoke. Being the head of that big company, he had to have himself carefully watched and yet, a heart attack and the end.
LEE KESSLER:
From what I've read of him, he seemed very vital and a healthy man.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Of course, if he had had to go through what I have . . . well, I'm glad that he didn't. Oh, there was something else that we started to talk

Page 41
LEE KESSLER:
I was talking about John Gould.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Oh, yes. I was talking about my different pieces of this and that. I've always welcomed . . . I'll go back to John Gould, but for instance, when I was in library school in 1915-16, we were given a month's practice work in some library. And to a certain extent, we could choose what sort of work we wanted and the type of library. And I said that I wanted to work in an East Side library in New York City. And it was way down near Tompkins Square and it was perfectly fascinating. These little immigrant children just crowding in, you know, and so eager to learn. And yet, at the same time, you could walk back and forth in New York City without any fear of anybody slugging you and all that sort of thing. I just mentioned that to show that I have sought adventure in my small limited way and I thoroughly enjoyed that.
LEE KESSLER:
How long were you working there?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, it was a month's practice work, you see. The library just took us in as apprentices and taught us what we could learn. We just did our jobs, filing or putting books away, that sort of thing. But to show you the times, the Chatham Square branch was quite near, Eraestine Rose was the librarian there, an outstanding brilliant woman. And one time, this good friend of mine in the school was working for Chatham Square branch and Ernestine Rose asked her and me to go to a settlement school one night where they were putting on a play which had never been acted before. It was "Petroushka" by Stravinsky and there were some settlement young folks who put it on. It was an experience. John Gould . . . that was through Mrs. Chamberlain. He was a

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man in his early forties, nice looking, very bright mind. He had been in prison several times. He wasn't from North Carolina, he was from the Middle West, but he happened to be caught the last time in North Carolina. Bank robbery was his specialty. Well, I might say first that he had learned to do beautiful leather work, he made pocket books and belts and he also learned how to be a barber. You could send off and get materials and he had several pocketbooks and he wanted to sell them. And he realized that if you applied to somebody that had a benevolent side to their character they could help you. And he happened to see in some paper that Mrs. Hope Summerell Chamberlain had had something to do with the starting of Samarkand. Does that mean anything to you?
LEE KESSLER:
No.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, that's the first place that was ever started in North Carolina for fallen women. Unmarried girls with babies, that sort of thing. I don't know how many there are now, I think that it still goes on. But Mrs. Chamberlain was a club woman with lots of friends and she had got her clubs to work and had started Samarkand, this place where the girls could go and have their babies. And so, he realized that she was an outgoing person who felt for things like that. So, he wrote her a letter and they got into correspondence and that had been going on for I don't know how long and then she told me about it. And I offered to take her out to see John. There were visiting hours at certain days and times. So, I took her out two or three times and then I went a few times by myself. It's a little low wooden building, a prison camp, very plain, two or three miles this side of Hillsborough, out in the country. And those men mostly worked on the roads, whether they were in good condition

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to do it or not. John really wasn't strong enough, but that's what he did. And I would send him books. And once he sent me an ad for this pair of Florsheim Shoes, he had seen in a magazine . . . with the money and said, "Please get me that pair of shoes." We had little things like that. And then he gave me a beautiful tooled wallet pocket book with my initials on it and then a large one that I ordered and paid for. Out of alligator, it was very nice.
LEE KESSLER:
Now, when he told you about conditions in the prisons, did you want to do anything?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
No, I couldn't do anything about it.
LEE KESSLER:
Did you visit with him many times?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, I don't suppose that I saw him more than ten times at the utmost. I might go three or four times a year. But when he got out, I think that was after Mrs. Chamberlain's death, he had a girl friend . . . listen, what I don't know about women! He could have married a dozen times. He was rather attractive, I mean, he was nice, nothing special about his looks one way or the other. But there was this woman who was crazy about him, they were going to get married when he came out, but then she found somebody else. But it happened that he was in Durham and I invited him over to a ball game. It was in the fall, when the Carolina and Duke freshmen had a game, something like that. I know that we went to that and then I took him to the Ranch House and I think it was the most awful steak that I ever paid five dollars for. They don't know anything about cooking, they pour on that wine . . . anyway, we had a very pleasant time and then he went up to Falls Church, Virginia and got a job as a barber, which he . . . as I say, he was very bright. We didn't talk about his

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life of crime at all. I never asked him any questions and we didn't go into that. I realized that he had plenty of sense to go straight, to realize that he had no future in that sort of thing and that he did have plenty of sense to get a good job. One thing I did advise him, knowing that he had some sort of "It." I said, "Now, John, don't marry the first woman that comes along. Look around and be sure you select somebody that is suitable, that you like." Well, I heard from him just two or three times and then the letters stopped. But very soon after he got there, one of the letters said that I was right, but he had married somebody and regretted it. I don't think that I heard from him after that. I wrote to him two or three time at that address, because I was interested in his story and what had become of him, but I've never known. So, it just ended like that.
LEE KESSLER:
Did you yourself ever come close to marrying?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, now, let's not go into my . . . [laughter] Well, we'll skip that topic. Oh, I was engaged when I was in library school, yes, but that didn't go anywhere. I had my beau, but let's skip that.
LEE KESSLER:
I guess that that's the kind of thing that as a very typical woman, I'm always interested in.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, everything that I'm saying is going into that thing.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, this is true.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
All that I'm willing to say for your benefit, I never really met but one man that I would have been happy with. And that just didn't come off and I have been perfectly happy in my single life. I have known a lot of men. I enjoy their company. I have especially known young men, I've had young cousins, Frank Overcarsh entered Carolina in '39, the son of a first cousin of

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mine. A very bright, very interesting. He loved to read. We just sort of took to each other. And at that time, my two half-sisters were in St. Mary's at Salem, they were fifteen or sixteen, and I was so glad to know boys in college, freshmen. And so, several times, I would have the girls visiting together over at my little house for picnics and sings. I had a shuffleboard; the boys took Libby and Jean to their dances.
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE B] [unknown]
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Another young cousin was Edgar Love III, . . . who graduated in '52. Both those boys were brilliant. They were determined to make Phi Beta Kappa and they did. They had to give up a lot of outside activities.
LEE KESSLER:
Now, were they cousins on your father's side?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
On my father's side, both of them, yes. And when Edgar graduated in '52, he was given a Fulbright. And he had to take it at Leeds, Oxford and Cambridge were too full, you know, they couldn't take all of them. But when he finished that year, he met me at Southampton with a rented car and the two of us tootled all over Great Britain together. He was a tall, charming, bright . . . .he is now a lawyer with a wife and three children, member of a law firm in Charlotte. I see him quite often.
LEE KESSLER:
What is his last name?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Love.
LEE KESSLER:
Love also. I was talking with Ms. Hall the other day and she was mentioning that one of the history professors at UNC, E.P. Douglas, has written to Burlington and also to Spencer's widow and he wants to do a history . . .
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, Martha is just not interested and I don't think that he can do it without her cooperation. There are reasons why. I think that's been dropped.
LEE KESSLER:
You would actually be interested in seeing something done on your brother?

Page 46
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, it should have been done right off. He has been dead now for thirteen years. I don't think that it ever will be. I don't know whether you saw this brochure . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
Is this the Burlington Industries booklet . . .yes, I have seen that. It's a very nice booklet.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Holt McPherson, who is the retired editor of the Enterprise here at High Point, he was a close friend of my brother's, he is very anxious for a life to be written. He has talked to Martha about it and bought people who might want to do it and he wanted to stress my brother's humanity and the many, many things that he did. You might say he was an up businessman. He had this brilliant organizing mind. He built up that Burlington Industries, added to it and added to it. He enjoyed doing it, it was a game. Of course he enjoyed making a lot of money and being able to do what he wanted to, but that was only a part of it. It was the challenge. And the amount of good that he did, I had no conception of it. After his death, I went down to Florida with Martha to help with the mail that came pouring in. I would help organize it. Letter after letter after letter, from people that he had helped, writing to her about it. One was this black minister who just sounded as if he was lost without him. I think that he had given a good deal to his church He just reached out to people.
LEE KESSLER:
He was really a philanthropist?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes.
LEE KESSLER:
One other tthing, my husband is in labor history. There are a lot of things that I have been sort of interested in. I gather that your brother was very opposed to unions. Was this a sentiment that you shared with him?

Page 47
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, my dear, there are unions and there are unions. We needed unions way back there. The people, well, you know how they slaved, the children and the women. The people were paid nothing. We needed unions badly and they came in but later they took over. Look at old John up there . . . .
LEE KESSLER:
John Lewis?
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Yes, with a huge salary and a Cadillac and houses and all that sort of thing. They got too big for their britches. Burlington didn't need them. It did for its workers . . . it sold those little mill houses which the companies used to own. They tried to give them good adequate wages. They could share the profits. But in the later years, [unknown] a union would move in and you would have trouble. If you got a union in a mill, it has got to do something for all these workers who are paying two or three dollars, whatever it is a year. So, they stir up trouble and strikes and all that sort of thing.
LEE KESSLER:
Well, I know that it is getting dark and I would like to get home and I've taken up a great deal of your time.
CORNELIA SPENCER LOVE:
Well, it has been diverting for me.
END OF INTERVIEW
E.E. Cummings,
2. He took courses which enabled him to graduate in three years. His grades were good but he was not interested interested in "grading" for high marks, to his mother's disappointment.
3. Palmer Institute at Sedalia.
4. The singer was Nat King Cole.