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bMS 438

May, Joseph, 1836-1918. Diary, 1872-1908: A Finding Aid.

Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University


Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: bMS 438
Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
Creator: May, Joseph, 1836-1918
Title: May, Joseph, 1836-1918. Diary, 1872-1908.
Date(s): 1872-1908
Quantity: 1 boxes
Abstract: Unitarian minister Joseph May's diary, including clippings, drawings, and notes, handwritten and typescript, in English and Italian, 1872-1909.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of John Edmonds, 2011.

Processing Information:

Processed by Joseph Florez, 2013.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph May, 1836-1918, the son of the reformer and abolitionist Reverend Samuel Joseph May and Lucretia Flag Coffin May, was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 21, 1836. He received an AB from Harvard University in 1857. After several years in Europe, he entered Harvard Divinity School and graduated in 1865. He was ordained by the First Unitarian Church in Yonkers, New York on September 14, 1865 and served this church until 1867. While in Yonkers, May married Harriet C. Johnson. They had four children, Lucretia, John, Sarah, and William. From July 1868 to December 1875, he served the First Religious Society of Newburyport, Massachusetts. In January 1876, he became minister of the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, which he served for twenty-five years. After his retirement, he became pastor emeritus until his death on January 19, 1918. His published works include "The Miracles and Myths of the New Testament" and "The Life and Letters of Samuel Longfellow".

Scope and Contents

This collection contains Joseph May's diary during his ministerial work in Newburyport, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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