Papers of the May and Goddard families, 1766-1912

About this Collection

May family.
Account books.Diaries.
Collection Title
Papers of the May and Goddard families, 1766-1912
.83 linear feet. (2 file boxes) plus 2 oversize volumes.
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
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Child, Lydia Maria
May, Abby W. (Abby Williams)
Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary
Agassiz, Louis
Alcott, Louisa May
Blackwell, Antoinette Louisa Brown
Brackett, Anna C. (Anna Callender)
Brooks, Phillips
Chadwick, John White
Cheney, Ednah Dow
More ...

Content Notes

This collection includes correspondence, diaries, financial papers, photographs, and other documents of the two families and their relations. The bulk of the collection is Abigail's papers, including letters from prominent abolitionists, suffragists, and authors, and the papers of Samuel and Mehetable Goddard, with letters they wrote home during their residence in England from 1818 to 1827. Other persons represented are Frederick May, his daughter Eleanor, Abigail May (1775-1800), Samuel J. May (1797-1871), Samuel May of Leicester, Massachusetts, Louisa May Alcott, Ednah Dow Cheney, Lydia Maria Child, Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, and Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.
  • Materials in English.
  • are available on microfilm (M-36, and M-67, 2 reels, 35 mm.), at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

Biographical Notes

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 information see Notable American Women (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). They had one daughter, Eleanor Goddard May (1853-1923).