The house at 960 Main St in Leicester, MA, was the home of radical abolitionist Samuel May Jr. (1810-1899)from his marriage in 1835 until his death. General agent of the Massachusettes Anti-Slavery Society for eighteen years and a member of the Boston Vigilance Committee of 1850-61, May was one of the most active fugitive assistants in that city. Committee records document twenty-seven separate instances of his aid to fugitives in those years, and other accounts establish his role in other cases not mentioned in those records. May arranged for the escape of famed fugitives William and Ellen Craft to England and accompanied them on one leg of their journey, and he was directly involved in the Anthony Burns episode of May and June 1854. His assistance to fugitives included advancing rent money and buying clothing and groceries, arranging their movement to Canada and paying their fares, and sending funds to fugitives in both the U.S. and Canada to contribute to their support. Some evidence indicates that his Leicester home also sheltered fugitives. May fought for abolitionism until the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery and remained active in the fight for racial equality afterwards.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: Becker College, 960 Main Street, Leicester, 01609
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Gerald Tuori
Location Type: Site
People/Organizations Associated with the site: Boston Vigilance Committee,Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society
Freedom Seekers: Anthony Burns,William and Ellen Craft
UGRR Operatives: Samuel May