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Reverend Samuel J. May

(1797–1871) Due to his close friendship with William Lloyd Garrison, Rev. Samuel became an active member of the abolitionist movement, helping to establish the New England Anti-Slavery Society, the American Anti-Slavery Society, and the New England Non-Resistance Society. In 1845, Samuel became the pastor of the Unitarian Church of the Messiah in Syracuse, NY, continuing to fight against the Fugitive Slave Act while aiding escaped enslaved people along the Underground Railroad.

Samuel was also an advocate for women's rights and suffrage. Two years before the first womans rights convention, the Reverend preached a sermon entitled, "The Rights and Condition of Women," which supported equality for women in all aspects of life, including the right to vote. His sermon was later published as the Woman's Rights Tract number one in Syracuse by Lathrop's Print in 1845.

In 1869, Samuel attended the founding meeting of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association, held in Saratoga, NY. When asked to assume a role as an officer of the new organization he declined, believing that those positions should be held only by women.


Oakwood Cemetery

Section 17, Plot 1

940 Comstock Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210

Onondaga County

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