EXTENT: 20 volumes (22 cm. or smaller; in 2 containers)
ORGANIZATION: Two series: I. Massachusetts Register volumes (used as diaries), 1816-1841, with ownership inscriptions to 1899; II. Volumes from the May family library, 1760-1852.
BIOGRAPHY: John May came to America in 1640 and settled in Roxbury, Mass. One of his descendants was Samuel May (1723-1794), whose numerous children by his second wife Abigail Williams may included Col. Jos. May (1760-1841). Joseph May married Dorothy Sewall in 1784. Their thirteen children included Samuel Joseph May (1797-1871) and Abigail May, who became Mrs. Amos Bronson Alcott (1800-1877). Unitarian Minister and abolitionist Samuel Joseph May married Lucretia Flagg Coffin in 1825. Their five children included John Edward May (born 1829) and Joseph (born 1836).
SCOPE AND CONTENT: Collection consists of issues of The Massachusetts Register and United States Calendar for 1816, 1817, 1824-1828, 1835-1837, and 1841, and of eight printed volumes from the May family library (imprints dated 1760-1852). All but the 1841 issue of The Massachusetts Register were owned and used as a diary by Joseph’s son Samuel Joseph, includes an entry referring to Joseph’s burial. The 1824 and 1825 issues include dated (1899) inscriptions showing passing of ownership of the volume to John E. May. The eight May library volumes bear inscriptions reflecting ownership by Samuel May (1723-1794), his son Joseph, Joseph’s son Samuel Joseph, and Samuel Joseph’s sons Joseph and John Edward. One of Samuel Joseph’s books (The Chinese Classical Work Commonly Called the Four Books; 1828) also bears the signature of A. Bronson Alcott on the title page.
SOURCE OF ACQUISITION: Purchased, 1991 or 1992 (?)
1 SERIES I. MASSACHUSETTS REGISTER VOLUMES (USED AS
SECONDARY SOURCE BASED ON USE OF MATERIAL: Keyes, Alice Reynolds. Soldiers’ Aid Society, 1861-1865, Concord, Massachusetts [typescript] (1907).
PROCESSED BY: LPW; finding aid prepared 07/20/97. Prepared for the Internet by Peter K. Steinberg, 12/17/2005.
DIARIES), 1816-1841, WITH OWERSHIP INSCRIPTIONS TO
All but the 1841 issue owned and used as diaries by Col. Joseph May.
1841 issue, owned and used as diary by Joseph’s son Samuel Joseph,
includes entry referring to Joseph’s burial. 1824 and 1825 issues include
dated (1899) inscriptions showing passing of ownership to John E. May.
2 SERIES II. VOLUMES FROM THE MAY FAMILY LIBRARY,
Blacklock, Rev., “and other Scotch Gentlemen”. A Collection of Original
(Edinburgh: Printed for A Donaldson, 1760)
Inscribed: Jos. May, 1817. Also: Saml. May.
The Chinese Classical Work Commonly Called the Four Books
Translated…by the late Rev. Donald Collie
([S.I.: Printed at the
Mission Press, 1828])
Inscribed: Saml. J. May. Also, on t.p
.: A Bronson Alcott
Crabbe, G. The Borough: A Poem
…(Philadelphia: Bradford and Innskeep,
Inscribed: Jos. May.
The Effusions of Friendship and Fancy…In Two Volumes. Volume I
(London: Printed for J. Beckett and P.A. De Hundt
Inscribed: Samuel J. May
Locke, John. Locke’s Essay for the Understanding of St. Paul’s
Boston: Wells and Lilly, 1820).
[Mitchell, Donald G.] Dream Life: A Table of the Seasons…(
Charles Scribner, 1852).
Inscribed: Joseph May’s. Also: John E. May
Seneca. Seneca’s Morals. By Way of Abstract. To Which is Added, A
Discourse Under the Title of and After-Thought. By Sir Roger
L’Estrange…Sixth American Edition (Philadelphia, Grigg & Elliot,
Inscribed: Joseph May, Syracuse, N.Y.
Whatley, Richard. Elements of Rhetoric…(
Cambridge: Brown, Shattuck,
Inscribed: Samuel J. May.
c2005 Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Mass.
Not to be reproduced in any form without permission of the Curator of Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library.
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Mounted 21st December 2005. rcwh.