Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William W. May family letters

Abstract

The William W. May family letters (dated 1849-1886, undated; 0.45 cubic feet; 1 box) comprise letters and papers that document the lives of the members of the May family of Indiana and New York in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William W. May family letters
Date
1849-1886, undated (inclusive)
Creator
May, William W.
Extent
0.45 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Families.
Education
Travel.
Man-woman relationships -- United States -- 19th century
Frontier and pioneer life.
Religion
Marriage
Children
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by subject. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.1100: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William W. May family letters, 1849-1886, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
William W. May (1829-1885) was born in Washington County, Indiana to James G. May (1805-1889) and Nancy Armstrong (1811-1889). He was the oldest of five children; his siblings were Mariah (b. 1835), Mary C. (b. 1837), Benneni A. (1840-1923), and Gertrude (b. 1846). James G. May was a professor, but also worked as a superintendent, lawyer, and newspaper editor. In 1851, William W. May married Moriah Susanna Keithley (1826-1904) and together they had four children – Suda (1852-1882), William John (1857-1916), James William (1857-1937), and Benoni A. (1861-1946). William W. followed in his father's footsteps and worked as an educator as well.
American Letters collector Wade Hall (1934-2015) was a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Starting in 1962, he lived in Louisville, where he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He held degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall was the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher's Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.
Scope and Content
The William W. May family letters (dated 1849-1886, undated; 0.45 cubic feet; 1 box) comprise letters and papers that document the lives of the members of the May family of Indiana and New York in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The letters are primarily sent between the immediate members of the May family, discussing education, teaching and attending classes, travel, finances, religion, getting married, having children, visiting with relatives and friends, and personal health. Letters from relatives and friends discuss employment, travel, life in frontier towns, romance, advice for finding suitors, discovery of new relatives, and marriage difficulties. The papers include a poem, an essay on the history of a graduating class, and school notes.
The William W. May family letters collection is part of the Wade Hall Collection of American letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Letters to Benoni A. May, 1884-1885

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Letters to Jim W. May, 1876-1883, undated

  • Box 1, folder 2
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Andie to Suda May, 1870-1871

  • Box 1, folder 3
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Belle to Suda May, 1873-1886

  • Box 1, folder 4
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Family to Suda May, 1876-1878, undated

  • Box 1, folder 5
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Jim W. May to Suda May, 1876-1879, undated

  • Box 1, folder 6
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Letters to Suda May, 1876-1879

  • Box 1, folder 7
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Jim W. May to Susanna M. May, 1878, undated

  • Box 1, folder 8
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Letters to Susanna M. May, 1869, 1879, undated

  • Box 1, folder 9
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Family to William W. May, 1859, 1878-1885, undated

  • Box 1, folder 10
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Letters to William W. May, 1865, 1874-1879, undated

  • Box 1, folder 11
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Benoni A. May to family, 1877-1885

  • Box 1, folder 12
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Jim W. May to family, 1878-1880, undated

  • Box 1, folder 13
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Suda May to family, 1878-1879

  • Box 1, folder 14
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May family letters, 1865-1883, undated

  • Box 1, folder 15
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James and Jane Keithly to family, 1849, 1852, undated

  • Box 1, folder 16
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May family papers, 1860, undated

  • Box 1, folder 17
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R.W. May to "Sir", 1849

  • Box WH-166, folder 13
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R.W. May to William W. May, 1850 April 8

  • Box WH-166, folder 14
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William W. May to his wife, Moriah Susanna (Armstrong) May, 1859 October, December

  • Box WH-166, folder 15
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George May to his nephew, 1857 April 29

  • Box WH-166, folder 16
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To William W. May, 1860-1869

  • Box WH-166, folder 17
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William W. May school and book publisher invoices, 1862-1866

  • Box WH-166, folder 18
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Family letters, 1874, 1877-1879

  • Box WH-166, folder 19
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William W. May invoices, 1877-1878

  • Box WH-166, folder 20
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Family letters, 1882-1884

  • Box WH-166, folder 21
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Family letters, undated

  • Box WH-166, folder 22
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Thy Rod and Thy Staff clipping / Suda May geography notes, undated

  • Box WH-166, folder 23
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If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.

UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Schedule an appointment here.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

Requests

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.