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May family. Papers of the May and Goddard families, 1766-1912: A Finding Aid.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: A-134
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: May family
Title: Papers of the May and Goddard families, 1766-1912
Date(s): 1766-1912
Quantity: .83 linear feet (2 file boxes) plus 2 oversize volumes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Photographs, correspondence, diaries, financial papers, etc., of the May and Goddard families, of New England, including social reformer Abigail Williams May.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 580, 674, 731, 767
These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library in memory of Abigail Williams May by the descendants of her father and mother, Samuel and Mary (Goddard) May, via one of their great-grandsons, Robert Morse May, in April 1963, and in January, April, and June 1964.

Processing Information:

Reprocessed: September 1985
By: Anne Engelhart

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted, with the exception of Volumes 1 which is closed; use microfilm M-36 and Volume 2, which is closed; use microfilm M-67.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the May and Goddard families is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

May and Goddard family Papers, 1766-1912; item description, dates. A-134, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


This collection centers on two prominent New England families: the Mays and the Goddards. The daughter of Samuel (1776-1870) and Mary (Goddard) May (1787-1882), Abigail Williams May (1829-1888) was for thirty years a leader among Boston's social reformers, a cofounder of the New England Women's Club, and one of the first women to serve as a member of the Boston School Committee, to which she was elected in 1873. For further biographical information on Abigail Williams May, see Notable American Women, 1607-1950 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971). Her brother, Frederick Warren Goddard May (1821-1904), married Eleanor Swan Goddard (1829-1853), the daughter of Samuel (1787-1871) and Mehetable May (Dawes) Goddard (1796-1882). Frederick Warren Goddard May and Eleanor Swan Goddard had one daughter, Eleanor Goddard May (1853-1923). For further genealogical information, see #1 and #3.


This collection includes correspondence, diaries, financial papers, photographs, and other documents of the two families and their relations. The bulk of the collection are Abigail Williams May's papers, including letters from prominent abolitionists, suffragists, and authors, and the papers of Samuel Goddard and Mehetable May Dawes Goddard , with letters they wrote home during their residence in England from 1818 to 1827. Other persons represented are Frederick Warren Goddard May; Eleanor Goddard May; Abigail May (1775-1800), a second cousin once removed of Samuel May; Samuel J. May (1797-1871), a first cousin of Abigail Williams May; Samuel May of Leicester, Massachusetts; Louisa May Alcott; Ednah Dow Cheney; Lydia Maria Child; Lucy Stone; Julia Ward Howe; and Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Account books
Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Family records
Great Britain--Description and travel
New England--Social life and customs
New Englanders--Family relationships
Woman suffrage
Women social reformers
Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary, 1822-1907
Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873
Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888
Blackwell, Antoinette Louisa Brown, 1825-1921
Brackett, Anna C. (Anna Callender), 1836-1911
Brooks, Phillips, 1835-1893
Chadwick, John White, 1840-1904
Cheney, Ednah Dow Littlehale, 1824-1904
Child, Lydia Maria, 1802-1880
Clarke, James Freeman, 1810-1888
Cobbe, Frances Power, 1822-1904
Coolidge, Susan, 1835-1905
Corson, Juliet
Curtis, George William, 1824-1892
Dawes family
Emerson, Lidian Jackson, 1802-1892
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882
Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-1879
George, Henry, 1839-1897
Goddard family
Goddard, John, 1756-1829
Goddard, Mehetable May Dawes, 1796-1882
Goddard, Samuel, 1787-1871
Hale, Edward Everett, Sr., 1822-1909
Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell, 1788-1879
Harbert, Elizabeth Boynton, 1845-1925
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Jr., 1841-1935
Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910
Howe, S. G. (Samuel Gridley), 1801-1876
Jackson, Helen Hunt, 1830-1885
Kemble, Fanny, 1809-1893
Lewis, Dioclesian
Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice, 1820-1905
Long, John Davis, 1838-1915
May, Abby W. (Abby Williams), 1829-1888
May, Abigail, 1775-1800
May, Frederick Warren Goddard, 1821-1904
May, Samuel, 1810-1899
May, Samuel J. (Samuel Joseph), 1797-1871
Mitchell, Maria, 1818-1889
Moulton, Louise Chandler, 1835-1908
New England Hospital for Women and Children
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903
Parker, Theodore, 1810-1860
Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart, 1844-1911
Phillips, Wendell, 1811-1884
Quincy, Josiah, 1772-1864
Robinson, George D.
Royce, Josiah, 1855-1916
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902
Stone, Lucy, 1818-1893
Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915
Weld, Theodore Dwight, 1803-1892
Whitney, A. D. T. (Adeline Dutton Train), 1824-1906
Willard, Frances E. (Frances Elizabeth), 1839-1898
Zakrzewska, Marie E. (Marie Elizabeth), 1829-1902