May, Samuel Joseph

May, Samuel Joseph an eminent Unitarian minister and philanthropist, was born in Boston, Mass., in 1797. He graduated at Harvard College in 1817; and, after preaching several years as a Unitarian minister at Brooklyn, Conn., became general agent of the Massachusetts Anti-slavery Society. Afterwards he assumed a pastorate at South Scituate, Mass.; from 1842 to 1845 was principal of the Lexington Normal school; and finally, in 1845, settled in the Unitarian ministry at Syracuse, New York. There the remainder of his life was passed, and he was identified with every movement for the moral, intellectual, and social improvement of the people, and came to be regarded as the leading spirit in every measure of benevolence. In all matters of education he was very active, and to him, as much as to any man in Syracuse, it is due that its public schools are so successful and maintain so high a character. He resigned the pastorate July 1, 1871. Mr. May devoted his energies especially to the antislavery cause for many years. He was one of the first members of the New England Society in 1832, and a member of the Philadelphia Convention of 1833 which formed the Anti- slavery Society. He was author of Recollections of Amer. Anti-slavery (1869). See Drake, Dict. Amer. Biog. s.v.; New Amer. Cyclop. 1871, p. 495.

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