Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MAY, John, patriot, born in Pomfret, Connecticut, 24 November, 1748; died there, 16 July, 1812. He was a wealthy merchant of Boston, and was one of the party that threw the tea overboard. He was colonel of the 1st regiment of Boston militia, and rendered important services under the Count de Rochambeau in Rhode Island. He commanded his regiment during the Shays rebellion in 1786-'7, made two horseback journeys to the "Ohio country" in 1788-'9, bought large tracts of land there, and built the first frame house on the present site of Marietta. He was one of the selectmen of Boston, for many years fire-warden, and exercised much influence in municipal affairs.--His son, Frederick, physician, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 16 November, 1773; died in Washington, D. C., 23 January, 1847, was graduated at Harvard in 1792, and studied medicine under Dr. John Warren, of Boston. He removed to Washington, D. C., in 1795, and was the family physician of Washington and of many other eminent persons in that neighborhood. He was professor of obstetrics in Columbian college in 1823-'39, and at the time of his death was president of the medical society of the District of Columbia and of the Washington medical association.--His son, Henry, congressman, born in Washington, D. C., 13 February, 1816; died in Baltimore, Maryland, 25 September, 1866, received a classical education, subsequently studied law under General Walter Jones, and rose to a high rank at the Washington bar. Among the important eases in which he appeared was the trial of John, Charles, and George Gardner for forging Mexican mine-claims, in which he was employed for the government by Daniel Webster, then secretary of state. Mr. May removed to Baltimore in 1850, was elected to congress as a Democrat in 1854, and was reelected in 1860. Although he was a Union man, he advocated compromise measures on the prospect of civil war, and in 1861, with the sanction of President Lincoln, left his seat in congress and visited Richmond to confer with the Confederate authorities on peace measures. During his absence an effort was made to expel him on the charge of disloyalty, and on his return he was for several weeks imprisoned in Fort Lafayette. He was subsequently released on parole, and completed his term in the house of representatives. -Another son, Charles Augustus, soldier, born in Washington, I). C., 9 August, 1817; died in New York city, 24 December, 1864, entered the army in 1836 as 2d lieutenant in the 2d dragoons, did efficient service in the Seminole war, and captured and brought to the camp as a prisoner, King Philip, the principal chief of that nation. He was promoted captain in 1846, and served under General Zachary Taylor as his chief of cavalry throughout the Mexican war, commanding the cavalry at the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Pahna, Monterey, and Buena Vista. In the second-named engagement he turned the fortunes of the day by charging a battery that was intrenched and protected by an earthen breastwork that commanded the only road through the almost impenetrable chaparral on either side, and captured General La Vega, who commanded the battery. For his services and for gallantry, he was brevetted major for Palo Alto, lieutenant-colonel for Resaca de la Palma, and colonel for Buena Vista.. He resigned in 1860, removed to New York city, and became vice-president of the Eighth avenue railroad.
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