Robert Purvis Photo

Robert Purvis

Born: Aug 4, 1810

Death: Apr 15, 1898

Birthplace: Charleston

Nationality: United States

Robert Purvis

Date of Birth : Aug 4, 1810
Date of Death : Apr 15, 1898
Birth Place : Charleston

Robert Purvis was an American abolitionist in the United States. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and was educated at Amherst College in Massachusetts, but lived most of his life in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania. In 1833 he helped found the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Library Company of Colored People. From 1845-1850 he served as president of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society and also traveled to England to gain support for the movement. Of mixed race, Purvis and his brothers were three-quarters European by ancestry and inherited considerable wealth from their native English father after his death in 1826. Purvis's parents had lived in common law marriage, preventing them from marrying because their mother was a free woman of color, of Moroccan and Jewish descent. The sons chose to identify with the black community and used their education and wealth to support abolition of slavery and anti-slavery activities, as well as projects in education to help the advance of African Americans.

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