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

By Margaret Hope Bacon

Biography of well-known black abolitionist and balloting rights suggest, Robert Purvis.

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Extra resources for But One Race: The Life of Robert Purvis

Example text

But whether I speak to them my feelings as they exist in my inmost soul or not, the friends of the colored American will be remembered. Yes, Sir, their exertions and memories will be cherished, when pyramids and monuments shall crumble. 44 From that moment until 1870, when the American Anti-slavery Society was finally dissolved, Purvis worked tirelessly for its goals, serving at first as a member of the board of managers (1833–1840); vice president (1841–1865), and member of the executive committee (1865–1870).

In March 1835, George Thompson (1804–1878), the famous British abolitionist was a guest as well as George Benson, William Lloyd Garrison’s brother-in-law. 8 Conversation at that table swirled often around the issue of colonization and the machinations of the American Colonization Society, now beginning to make an impact on the national debate on slavery. James Forten, Robert’s father-in-law, was no stranger to the colonization movement. As a sailmaker, he had met a black shipowner, Paul Cuffe, from Westport, Massachusetts, whose ships traded up and down the 32 But One Race coast.

28 24 But One Race Miller was interested in the abolition of slavery, and in reform movements within the black community. He attended the 1831 Annual Convention of Free People of Color in Philadelphia, and his church, Asbury, was the site of the fourth annual meeting in 1834. Nevertheless, Robert Purvis never mentioned him in his correspondence. One can only conjecture that he may have resented this replacement of his beloved father. 29 In 1833, Harriet Judah Miller and William Miller, together with Robert and Joseph Purvis of Philadelphia, sued the heirs of Burridge Purvis, John and another Robert Purvis, for some property in Columbia, South Carolina still owing William Purvis’s estate; they again employed Henry and Thomas Grimké of Charleston as their lawyers.

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