May, William L.

Born: 1793-XX-XX Kentucky

Died: 1849-09-29 Sacramento, California

Sometime before 1817, May moved to Illinois, settling first in Edwardsville, then in Jacksonville, and ultimately in Springfield. He was a justice of the peace in Madison and Morgan counties, won election to the Illinois House of Representatives to represent Morgan County in 1828, and received appointment as receiver of the Land Office in Springfield. As a Jacksonian and then a Democrat, May served as a member of Congress from 1833-1839. He defeated John T. Stuart for reelection to his third term in 1836. On December 27, 1837, he married Caroline Rodney in Wilmington, Delaware. He lost his seat in Congress to Stephen A. Douglas in 1838. That same year, May formed a law partnership with Stephen T. Logan. In 1841, May became mayor of Springfield, a position which he held for one term. He also operated a ferry across the Illinois River at Peoria and organized the Peoria Bridge Company. He went to California during the gold rush and died there not long after his arrival.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1463; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Sangamon County (Chicago: Munsell, 1912), 1:357; History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), 91, 566.