Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Rev. Joseph May and John Hancock Seal Newburyport Massachusetts

Joseph May, the son of the Rev. Samuel Joseph May and Lucretia Flagg Coffin, was born in Boston on January 21, 1836. Lucretia was daughter of Peter Coffin and Anne Martin. Peter Coffin Son of Peter Coffin and Lucretia Flagg.

Other Children of Rev Samuel and Lucretia: John Edward May, George Emerson May, and Charlotte Coffin May m. Alfred Wilkinson.
Rev Samuel May was son of Joseph May (1760- 1841) and Dorothy Sewall (1758-1825)
Joseph May son of Samuel May (1723-1794) Abigail Williams (1732-1811)
Dorothy Sewall was daughter of Samuel Sewall (1711-1743) son of Joseph Sewall (1695-1769) and Elizabeth Walley (1685-1756) and Elizabeth Quincy (1727-1791) daughter to Edmund Quincy (1703-1788) and Elizabeth Wendell (1704-1769)

Elizabeth Wendell Quincy (1704-1769) wife of Edmund Quincy Mother of Elizabeth Quincy, Henry Quincy, Edmund Quincy V, Elizabeth (Quincy) Sewall, Jacob Quincy, Esther (Quincy) Sewall and Dorothy (Quincy) Hancock Scott. First Photo 1720 circa from Child Life in Colonial Days, by Alice Morse Earle Project Gutenberg.

"Dorothy Q." "Thirteen Summers," 1720 circa. On the back of the portrait is written this inscription: "It pleased God to take Out of Life my Honor'd and dearly Belov'd Mother, Mrs Elizabeth Wendell, daughter to Honble Edmund Quincy, Esq. March, 1746, aged 39 Years." Her brother Edmund Quincy married her husband's sister Elizabeth (thus the two Elizabeth's exchanged surnames), and Dorothy Q. married Edward Jackson. From Child Life in Colonial Days, by Alice Morse Earle Project Gutenberg

{Justice} Edmund Quincy (1703 - 1788) husband of Elizabeth Wendell. Children: Edmund Quincy According to Prof. Edward Elbridge Salisbury, Family Memorials, page 317, Edmund married Ann Husk  According to Massachusetts Historical Society: Pride of Quincy's, Nine Generations of the Quincy Family, Edmund was "of Boston and Shoron; business man and land developer; married thrice and had issue by each marriage." Henry Quincy married 1st Mary Salter and 2nd Eunice Newell. Abraham Quincy drowned in ship swept up Germantown. Elizabeth Quincy married Samuel Sewall, grandson of {Judge} Samuel SewallKatharine Quincy unmarried. Jacob Quincy who married Elizabeth Williams. Sarah Quincy who married {General} William Greenleaf. Esther Quincy married Jonathan Sewall, the last attorney general of the Province of Massachusetts before the American Revolution. Dorothy Quincy who married first to John Hancock, a signer of the American Declaration of Independence and secondly to {Capt} James Scott. Taken from Quincy Genealogy

A portrait of Abigail Williams May (1733-1811), by an unknown artist, painted in about 1780. Abigail Williams May had family ties to Portland. Photo from Maine Memory Network

Samuel Joseph May, at age of 50, about 1847--early supporter of Garrison, and senior colleague and confidant. From The Liberator Files Photo Collection 

Samuel Joseph May.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, September 12th, 1797.
Died in Syracuse, New York, July 1st, 1871 From

Harvard University Library

Joseph May received an AB from Harvard 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, N.Y., on September 14, 1865, and served this church until September 1867. 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 25 years. After his retirement, he became pastor emeritus until his death on January 19, 1918. In 1886 he helped establish a community center for boys in Philadelphia known as the Evening Home and Library Association. He was a strong supporter of education for African Americans throughout his life. Jefferson Medical College LLD degree in 1887, and  DD degree from Meadville Theological School in 1914.
For more information, see Heralds of a Liberal Faith, ed. by Samuel A. Eliot. Boston: American Unitarian Association, 1910. Vol. 4, p. 186-189. [Cabinet card photo (credit: F. Gutekunst Co., Philadelphia)] Andover-Harvard Theological Library
He published a volume on The Miracles and Myths of the New Testament, two volumes of The Life and Letters of Samuel Longfellow, brother of the poet, as well as a number of pamphlet sermons.

 Older photo of Joseph May (1836-1918) from Harvard Square Library Collection

Joseph married Harriet Charles Johnson (1833-1881) daughter of Philip Carrigan Johnson (1795-1859) and Mary Kimball Chandler (1796-1855)
and 2nd Elizabeth Justice (1848 - 1935)  daughter of Warner Justice (1808-1862) and Huldah Thorn (1811-1888)

Eastman Johnson, famous genre and portrait painter was brother of Harriet. Eastman was Co-Founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, with his name inscribed at its entrance. Best known for his genre paintings, paintings of scenes from everyday life, and his portraits both of everyday people, he also painted portraits of prominent Americans such as Abraham Lincoln, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His later works often show the influence of the 17th century Dutch masters whom he studied while living in The Hague, and he was even known as The American Rembrandt in his day.
Below is Commodore Philip Carrigan Johnson - (father of Vice Admiral Alfred Wilkinson Johnson) was followed by his beloved sisters Harriet, Judith, Mary, Sarah, Nell and his brother Reuben. Eastman grew up in Fryeburg and Augusta, where the family lived at Pleasant Street and later at 61 Winthrop Street.

Looking for any information on John Hancock Seal please post or e-mail me. Thanks

Also noted in Ballou's Monthly Magazine, Volume 55 by George Bancroft Griffith "New England Relics" page 474 1882
At a meeting of the members of the First Unitarian Congregational Society of Philadelphia, held on Wednesday evening, Dec. 8th, 1875, for the purpose of considering the subject of choosing a pastor, it was decided to invite the Rev. Joseph May, of Newburyport, Mass. The Chairman of the Trustees was instructed to notify him of his election, and to ask his acceptance of the position. The invitation and acceptance were communicated in the following correspondence:
Mv Dear Sir:
At a meeting of our Unitarian Society on Wednesday (yesterday) evening for the purpose of deciding whom we would invite to become the settled pastor of the Society, the choice, after an informal ballot, fell, on a regular vote, by a large majority, on you. The Chairman of the Trustees was thereupon instructed by vote to inform you of the action of the Society, and to invite you to become its settled pastor, at an annual salary of four thousand dollars. On behalf of the Society, I therefore give you this " call," and I will only add, that
in doing so, I have personally great satisfaction.
Very respectfully yours, Henry Winsor

Chairman of Trustees. Rev. Joseph May, Newburyport.
Dec. 16th, 1875. Henry Winsor, Esq.,
Chairman of Trustees, Unitarian Church, Philadelphia.
Dear Sir:
I now respectfully inform you that I accept, with high appreciation of the honor done me by their choice, the invitation of your Society to become their minister.

I do so with unfeigned diffidence also, and under a sense, almost oppressive, of the responsibilities I incur. I am, indeed, upborne by the cordiality with which I am invited to the service, and by my assurance of the many encouragements which will certainly attend my efforts. But I feel deeply that I need abundantly the blessing of God upon me in accepting such a trust, and that only by His help, for which I pray, can I hope to be equal to my task.

May I, as I proceed, inherit some portion of the spirit of your late pastor—honored and beloved by me, as by yourselves—whose relation to you can only in form be severed, and whose affectionate welcome of me as his successor renders the prospect of taking up the responsibility he has well earned the right to lay down, so peculiarly inviting.

With earnest prayers that I may be enabled to attain to even a degree of that which your people doubtless hope for in me, and that the best interests of the Church may be prospered in our united hands, I remain, with most agreeable personal anticipations.

Faithfully yours, Joseph May.


Accordingly invitations were sent only to the two Societies over which our pastor-elect had previously been settled---the Unitarian Society in Yonkers, N. Y., and the Society in Newburyport, Mass.; also to the Unitarian Societies in Wilmington, Del., and in Baltimore, asking them to be represented by pastor and delegates, and to the pastor and members of the Society in Germantown, which we consider the child of our church.

At the hour appointed the church was filled with an eager and deeply interested audience. The edifice was beautifully decorated under the supervision of some of the ladies of the Society. Festoons of laurel, evergreen and smilax were hung from the ceiling along the front of the Pulpit. The pillars on either side were arrayed in ascending terraces with ferns and flowers, while in front, covering the communion table and all the approaches to it, were arranged growing tropical plants, amid a profusion of other natural flowers.

The music was excellent,—the organ under the charge of the organist, Mr. William H. Dutton, being accompanied by a piano, a violoncello, and the regular quartet choir of the church, increased for this occasion by an additional quartet from the Cathedral and other churches.

The services continued until ten o'clock, after which the guests of the Society, with the Trustees and their families, attended a reception given by Dr. and Mrs. Furness at their residence.


On the following evening Mr. and Mrs. May received their friends at the house of Mr. James T. Furness, No. 1420 Pine Street—Mr. and Mrs. Furness having kindly placed their parlors at the disposal of the Trustees. Invitations were sent to all who are members, or who have been accustomed to worship with the Society—extending to them a cordial invitation to come. Essex-County Conference of Liberal Christian Churches. Organized Dec. 11, 1866, at Salem, Mass. Officer-Vice President.

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