Samuel J. May

Principal of the Normal School at Lexington, MA

Later it Became Framingham State College

August 1842 - September 1844

An abolitionist and South Scituate (MA) Unitarian minister, Samuel May, was selected by the Massachusetts Board of Education to replace the ailing Cyrus Peirce as Principal of the Normal School at Lexington.  Born in Boston, he attended Harvard and graduated in 1817.  He subsequently became a teacher and pastor in Connecticut and Massachusetts churches, before taking over as principal. A doubling of enrollment during May's tenure led to the relocation of the school to West Newton and the hiring of new faculty. May departed the Normal School upon the return of Peirce as principal, and relocated to Syracuse, NY. There he worked in a Unitarian church and continued to work for the abolitionist cause. He was also a staunch advocate for women's rights, education reform, Native American rights, and the temperance movement. [This material was adapted from] The photo below was taken during his role at the Normal School.