But One Race: The Life of Robert Purvis by Margaret Hope Bacon

By Margaret Hope Bacon

Biography of recognized black abolitionist and vote casting rights recommend, Robert Purvis.

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Both James Forten and Robert Purvis gave generously, and the Liberator was first published in January 1831. Garrison demanded in the publication the immediate and complete abolition of slavery. The two men also contributed to Garrison’s expenses as he traveled about the country organizing antislavery societies. The New England Anti-Slavery Society was the first. In 1832, when Garrison issued a pamphlet, “Thoughts on Colonization,” refuting the arguments of the American Colonization Society, both Forten and Purvis solicited subscriptions for copies and ordered many for their own use.

He shared many of James’ viewpoints, was an articulate spokesman, and an accomplished writer. The two became close friends and colleagues, Forten feeling for Robert some of the warmth that he felt for his own sons. On August 4, 1831, Robert became twenty-one and a few weeks later, on September 13, Robert and Harriet were married in an elaborate ceremony at the Forten home. The Right Reverend Bishop Henry Onderdonk of the Episcopal Church of New York officiated, since the Reverend J. M. Douglass, the minister of St.

He was buried the next day after a funeral service at the Second Presbyterian Church. His death was mentioned in Poulson’s Daily Advertiser of October 4, The Charleston City Gazette, and The Columbia Telescope of October 17, 1826. The latter recorded “Died in Philadelphia on the 3rd inst. Mr. 19 William Purvis’s will was probated on October 18, 1826, and Harriet learned of its generous terms. Though she was doubtless relieved to 22 But One Race be so well taken care of, and to know that the futures of her sons were assured, still, for her and for the boys, the death of their father was a bitter blow.

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