The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

Samuel Joseph May

Samuel Joseph May (1797-1871) had been the pastor of the Unitarian church in Syracuse since 1845; a reformer, he sought to purify Christianity through a return to the words of Jesus. Though he believed that reform could best be accomplished by working outside the political system, May was able to work with the political abolitionists of New York State and be a moderating influence between the antislavery movement's contending factions. He was, as well, a valuable co-laborer of New York's woman's rights activists through the 1850s. A former principal of a normal school and a school committee member in Syracuse, he spoke with authority when, allied with SBA, he urged the New York State Teachers' Association to support racial equality in the schools and equal pay for teachers.