Samuel J. May, A Discourse on Slavery in
the United States, Delivered in Brooklyn,
July 3, 1831
Samuel May, a Unitarian minister from Brooklyn, Connecticut, a short distance from the village of Canterbury, was an outspoken local anti-slavery activist and one of the few local leaders who offered their support to Prudence Crandall and her school. Using the customary Fourth of July oratory to denounce slavery, May begins his sermon by proclaiming that "I hope I am not wanting in patriotism, if I may be unable to join the approaching celebration, without some feeling of deep shame for my country."
May does not aim his rhetorical darts solely at the slave system of the American South; he has harsh words to say about Northern racism as well:
We are shamefully indifferent to the injuries inflicted upon our colored brethren. We are prejudiced against them. This is evident enough from our treatment of the blacks, who reside among us. It is true we call these free, but we do not suffer them to enjoy equal privileges with ourselves. We judge them not entitled to the same.