William L. May

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
William L. May
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 3rd district
In office
December 1, 1834 – March 3, 1839
Preceded byJoseph Duncan
Succeeded byJohn T. Stuart
Personal details
DiedSeptember 29, 1849(1849-09-29) (aged 55–56)
Sacramento, California
Political partyDemocratic

William L. May (c. 1793 – September 29, 1849) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois.

Born in Kentucky, May attended the common schools. He moved to Edwardsville, Illinois, and afterward to Jacksonville. He was appointed Justice of the Peace in Madison County on December 10, 1817 and served as captain of militia in 1822.

May was elected Justice of the Peace in Morgan County on August 6, 1827, and resigned August 29, 1829. He served as member of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1828. May then moved to Springfield, having been appointed by President Andrew Jackson as receiver of public monies for the United States Land Office in that city. He studied law, was admitted to the bar and practiced. Other previous jobs have involved operating a ferry across the Illinois River at Peoria and organizing the Peoria Bridge Co.

May was elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-third Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Joseph Duncan. He was reelected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-fourth Congress and elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-fifth Congress and served from December 1, 1834 to March 3, 1839.

May served as chairman of the Committee on Private Land Claims (Twenty-fifth Congress). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1838 to the Twenty-sixth Congress. May continued the practice of law after he moved to Peoria. After having been elected as mayor of Springfield in May 1841, he went to California during the gold rush.

He died in Sacramento, California on September 29, 1849.


  • United States Congress. "William L. May (id: M000277)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Joseph Duncan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
John T. Stuart

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.