This collection (59 items) is made up of correspondence, legal documents, and other items related to Michigan lawyer and politician Charles S. May.
The Correspondence series (47 items) largely consists of incoming and outgoing letters related to Charles S. May, including correspondence between May and George Willard of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, Michigan. Writing to Willard in 1855 and 1856, May discussed his work for the Detroit Tribune and politics; Willard also discussed political issues, such as the presidential election of 1856. Two items pertain to May's service with the 2nd Michigan Infantry Regiment in 1861: a letter that May wrote to his wife about his experiences just before the First Battle of Bull Run, including a description of being attacked by enemy fire (July 20, 1861), and a doctor's letter to Captain Dwight May about Charles's affliction with "nervous exhaustion" and other ailments that together rendered him unfit for duty (September 12, 1861).
After the war, Charles S. May wrote to George Willard about his legal career in Kalamazoo, state politics, and his failed political ambitions. He received two letters from United States Representatives William L. Stoughton (April 25, 1870) and Allen Potter (December 15, 1876); Potter discussed the disputed presidential election of 1876. Samuel May of Leicester, Massachusetts, wrote 10 letters to May from 1874-1883, requesting information about May family history and sharing his admiration for Charles's speaking talents. A group of items from the 1890s and early 1900s includes a letter that Charles May received from the Grand Army of the Republic soliciting donations for an exhibition (February 12, 1892).
Legal Documents (8 items) include two sets of undated notes about legal cases, court documents regarding Charles S. May's legal career, a certificate of copyright for May's Wat Tyler: An Historical Tragedy in Five Acts (February 24, 1879), and Civil War pension documents for Eliza E. May (October 12, 1901) and George W. Clark (January 19, 1904).
The Speeches and Printed Items series (4 items) contains undated notes from a lecture about Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton and a printed edition of a speech that Charles S. May delivered during the dedication ceremonies for a library in Leicester, Massachusetts, on July 8, 1896. Several testimonials regarding May's orations are enclosed with the speech notes. The series also includes a group of testimonials and advertisements concerning Charles S. May's speaking engagements and a small broadside advertisement for May's lecture about Patrick Henry, delivered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on February 3, 1876.