Fall in Love at the American Heritage Center


Disclosing feelings of love to another can be presented in many ways. These letters of love come written from the hands of those who offered their sentiments on paper.

A letter from Louis B. Schwartz to his wife, Berta dated December 4, 1944.
Louis B. Schwartz papers, Box 53, Folder “Love Letters,” Collection #8272.

Louis B. Schwartz (1913-2003) was an attorney and law professor known for his work on penal code reform and anti-trust laws. He served as an attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1935-1939, with the U.S. Department of Justice’s general crimes and special projects section from 1939 to 1946, and served two years in the Navy during this time. Schwartz also taught as a visiting professor at Harvard, Columbia, Cambridge, and the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies at London University. He was a member of the Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights through Law, served as director of the National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Law from 1968-1971. Enjoy sweet sentiments in each letter to his wife.

Morris Bien (1859-1932) was an engineer and government attorney specializing in right of way and irrigation law. From 1879-1893 Bien did topographic field work and mapping for the United States Geological Survey, he was in charge of right of way on public lands 1893-1902, and from 1902-1924 was legal counsel and later assistant director and assistant commissioner of the Reclamation Service. Bien drafted a state irrigation code in 1904 which became the basis for irrigation laws in several Western states. The collection includes love letters between Bien and his future wife, Lilla V. Hart (1884-1886); handwritten reminiscences dictated by Bien to his wife, ca. 1932 (typed transcription available). Review this collection to appreciate the gentle affections of love in the 1800’s.

Mary Jane Irving was a child actress between 1917 and 1926, beginning her film career at the age of two. She worked for Cecil B. DeMille in Patriotism in 1918 and The Godless Girl in 1928. She appeared in 58 films between 1917 and 1938. Her popularity continued until about 1926, but as she entered her teenage years, roles became less frequent. Irving married screenwriter Robert Carson in 1938. Her papers contain love letters from Carson through several decades. “How do I love thee? Let me count the Ways.”

Love does not increase or decrease in response to the world around it. Real love is a steadfast promise that repeats itself endlessly through life and beyond death.

Post submitted by Archives Specialist Vicki Glantz, American Heritage Center Reference Department.


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