Edward Ralph May

Then, sir, let us prove our superiority by assisting, or rather our magnamity by allowing, the negro to rise above his present, degraded sphere. We already allow him the privilege of supporting our government by paying his taxes with the rest. Gentlemen see no danger in that. Then let us grant him the right to vote, and thus participate in the government which he assists to support

Edward Ralph May (May 10, 1819 – August 2, 1852) was a lawyer and politician from Hatford and the only delegate to the Indiana Constitutional Convention of 1850 to cast a vote in favor of permitting African American suffrage.

A graduate of Amherst College at age 14, he transferred to Yale and graduated in 1838. After teaching school and practicing law in Norwich, Connecticut, he moved in 1843 to Angola, Indiana, a newly founded town in Steuben County with a reputation for anti-slavery sympathies.  He was the county's prosecuting attorney for two years (1847–1848).  A Democrat, May was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1849 and in 1850 as the joint representative for Steuben and DeKalb counties.] Under the law adopted for calling the Constitutional Convention of 1850, May's election to the legislature in 1850 automatically made him a delegate to the convention.


May returned to Angola and married Nancy C. Orton in 1851. He did not seek re-election to the legislature. In 1852, May and his wife moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota, where both of them died, apparently of cholera.