May Alcott was born on July 26, 1840 in Concord, Massachusetts, the fourth daughter and last child of transcendentalist philosopher and educator Amos Bronson Alcott and his wife Abigail May Alcott. The family moved frequently but in 1857 they settled again in Concord in the Orchard House, now a museum to the Alcott family.
May (called "Abbie" in childhood) grew up in an unconventional environment of progressive ideals that included the abolition of slavery, rights for women, and utopian and vegetarian living. Her parents' close friends included such literary and reform giants as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Elizabeth Peabody, Margaret Fuller, and Lydia Maria Child. She was on
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