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Finding Aid for the John Leslie Collection



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Access Restrictions

Open for research. This collection is stored at an off-site facility. Researchers interested in using this collection must contact Archives and Special Collections at least two business days in advance of their planned visit.

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Summary Information

University of Mississippi Libraries
Leslie, John, 1923-2012
John Leslie Collection
3.0 Linear feet (3 boxes)
Language of Materials
John Leslie served as the mayor of Oxford, Mississippi from 1973 until 1997. The John Leslie Collection contains correspondence, speeches, manuscripts, reports, photographs, and newspaper clippings.

Preferred Citation

John Leslie Collection (MUM01795), Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, The University of Mississippi

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Biographical Note

Born on 28 April 1923, John Leslie grew up in Durham, North Carolina. He participated in a naval program at the University of Mississippi during World War II before leaving to serve as a signalman in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theatre. He returned to Oxford, Mississippi after the war, completing a bachelor of science in pharmacy at the university by 1951. Leslie married Elizabeth Harvey of Tylertown, Mississippi.

John Leslie operated Leslie’s Drugstore from 1951 until 1989 and served at one time as president of the Mississippi Pharmaceutical Association. He became interested in politics after serving on the local hospital board, the Industrial Development Board, and the Oxford Planning Commission. Residents elected Leslie mayor of Oxford in 1973, and he held the office until 1997. Under Leslie’s leadership, the city revised its streets and parking around the Square, and the town swapped a small city hall building on Jackson Avenue for a larger, older federal building on the Square.

Leslie was named Oxford’s “Citizen of the Year” in 1994. President Jimmy Carter appointed him as an advisor to the National Community Development Board for which he served as vice-chair.

Leslie was a member of the First Baptist Church of Oxford and was active in the Rotary Club. He and his wife had three children: Ann Leslie Sutherland, Leigh Leslie Harrison, and A. Harvey Leslie.

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Scope and Content

The John Leslie Collection will be useful to researchers interested in Mississippi municipal government and the development of Oxford in the last quarter of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. It also includes information on the relationship between the city and the University of Mississippi.

Box 1 contains files arranged chronologically by year. The content includes a mix of largely professional correspondence, manuscripts, reports, speeches, and ephemera. Undated material follows in Boxes 1 and 2 with items arranged by subject or format. Photocopies of clippings organized chronologically appear in Box 2, while oversized items are in Box 3.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Mississippi Libraries June 2013

Access Restrictions

The John Leslie Collection is open for research.

Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.


No further additions are expected to this collection.

Acquisition Information

The Leslie family donated the collection in December 2012.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Leigh McWhite with the assistance of Tara Pawley and Philip Cunningham, April 2013. Finding aid created by Kathryn Michaelis, June 2013.

Alternative Formats

The photographs in this collection have been digitized.

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Related Materials

Related Materials at the University of Mississippi

Other material related to John Leslie in Special Collections:

Willie Morris Collection. John Leslie was friends with the University of Mississippi Writer-in-Residence Willie Morris, and the collection contains a number of letters by Leslie. Finding aid available online.

World War II Memories Collection. Collection of material generated by the University of Mississippi University Museums during a 2001 exhibit on World War II. Includes oral history essays and photographs from John Leslie on his experiences during the conflict. Finding aid available online.

Separated Materials

Original photographs are stored separately in Modern Political Archives Photographs Box 8, Folders 1 through 55. Photographs are stored at an off-site location; researchers must provide two business days' advance notice to view original photographs. However, researchers are strongly encouraged to use the digitized photographs rather than the originals.

One oversized map of Oxford is stored in Map Case Drawer 3, Folder 1.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • University of Mississippi


  • buttons (information artifacts)
  • clippings (information artifacts)
  • correspondence
  • manuscripts
  • photographs

Geographic Name(s)

  • Oxford (Miss.) -- History

Personal Name(s)

  • Leslie, John, 1923-2012


  • Local government -- Mississippi
  • Municipal government -- Mississippi

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Collection Inventory

 1-1 1973 

 1-2 1974 

 1-3 1975 

 1-4 1976 

 1-5 1977 

 1-6 1978 

 1-7 1979 

 1-8 1980 

 1-9 1981 

 1-10 1982 

 1-11 1983 

 1-12 1984 

 1-13 1985 

 1-14 1986 

 1-15 1987 

 1-16 1988 

 1-17 1989 

 1-18 1990 

 1-19 1991 

 1-20 1992 

 1-21 1993 

 1-22 1994 

 1-23 1995 

 1-24 1996 

 1-25 1997 

 1-26 1998 

 1-27 1999 

 1-29 2000 

 1-30 2002 

 1-31 2012, and undated correspondence 

 1-32 Typed manuscripts undated 

Scope and Content

Includes fact sheets, speech notes, reports, and other documents.

 1-33 Handwritten notes, undated 

 2-1 Accomplishments under Mayor Leslie 

 2-2 Corrected draft of Willie Morris’s Faulkner’s Mississippi 

 2-3 First Baptist Church of Oxford 

 2-4 Historic Preservation 

 2-5 Leslie Campaign Card 

 2-6 Leslie Name Cards 

 2-7 Leslie Pharmacy Diploma and Mississippi State Board of Health Certificate 

 2-8 Leslie Resume 

 2-9 Miscellaneous 

 2-10 North Mississippi Retardation Center 

 2-11 Oxford Pamphlets and Programs 

 2-12 Oxford Submission for Mississippi Municipal Association’s Livable Community Award 

 2-13 Oxford’s Twinned City: Aubigny-Sur-Nère, Cher, France 

 2-14 Oxford-University Research and Development Park 

 2-15 Pharmacy Class of 1951 (University of Mississippi) 

 2-16 Postcards and Pamphlets from Other Locales 

 2-17 University Publications and Promotions 

 Loose Binder “Three Rivers Planning and Development District: Regional Strategic Planning Visioning Conference.” 

 2-18 Clippings 1968 

 2-19 Clippings 1973 

 2-20 Clippings 1974 

 2-21 Clippings 1975 

 2-22 Clippings 1976 

 2-23 Clippings 1977 

 2-24 Clippings 1978 

 2-25 Clippings 1979 

 2-26 Clippings 1980 

 2-27 Clippings 1981 

 2-28 Clippings 1982 

 2-29 Clippings 1983 

 2-30 Clippings 1984 

 2-31 Clippings 1985 

 2-32 Clippings 1986 

 2-33 Clippings 1987 

 2-34 Clippings 1988 

 2-35 Clippings 1989 

 2-36 Clippings 1990 

 2-37 Clippings 1991 

 2-38 Clippings 1993 

 2-39 Clippings 1995 

 2-40 Clippings 1996 

 2-41 Clippings 1997 

 2-42 Clippings undated 

 3-1 Broadside. Oxford 4th of July (1979). 

 3-2 Broadside. Oxford 4th of July (1984). 

 3-3 Draft sign. “Oxford a Nice Place to Live.” 

 3-4 Fabric pennant. “Youth Goodwill Mission of the Republic of China 1986.” 

 3-5 Newsletter. Report (March/April 1985), re: University of Mississippi Medical Center. 

 3-6 Proclamation. Elizabeth Leslie declared honorary citizen of Auburn, Alabama (1973). 

 3-7 Proclamation. Twinned link of cities of Oxford and Aubigny-Sur-Nère (1989) 

 3-Small Box 1 Buttons 

Scope and Content

“Georgia, The Year of the Greek – 1978-79”; “National League of Cities 1979 Las Vegas”; “North Dakota The Great Way”; and [red crab].