[13]:16–17 Harriet's daughter, Hattie became the first African American vice president of the organization. "[8]:14[9]:121 She was often hostess to visiting fellow activists and abolitionists, including William Lloyd Garrison, George Benson, and George Thompson. Elizabeth Blackwell was born on this day in 1821. The Female Antislavery Society continued to meet and in September 1866 the members discussed the status of the South. She was the daughter of James Forten, a sailmaker and abolitionist (1766-1842) and Charlotte Vandine Forten, a teacher (1785-1884). There were also laws that could be used against those assisting the runaways. She fought against segregation and for the right for blacks to vote after the Civil War. Robert Purvis moved to the Mount Vernon house and married the Quaker poet Tacie Townsend, a white woman from Byberry, circa 1878. DPLA links to a wide variety of different materials: many are in the public domain, while others are under rights restrictions but nonetheless publicly viewable. Purvis provided medical assistance to many slaves who had eit… Abolitionist and Suffragist Harriet Forten Purvis was an African-American abolitionist and suffragist who helped establish the first women’s abolitionist group for blacks and whites, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. Elizabeth Blackwell was born on this day in 1821. [7]:20 The girls were raised to be refined women. Genealogy for Harriet Davey Purvis (Forten) (1810 - 1875) family tree on Geni, with over 200 million profiles of ancestors and living relatives. Early life. [10]:68, Harriet's sister Sarah, who married Robert's brother Joseph Purvis, wrote articles and poems for the Liberator under pseudonyms. February 3, 2021. [3], Her father established a private school with Grace Douglass. To protect members and donors from possible reprisal from the slaves’ owners or agents, the acts and meetings of the Vigilant Committee were kept secret. When women were not permitted to join the American Anti-Slavery Society, Forten, one of PA's earliest suffragists, joined with more than a dozen other women to establish the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. Harriet Forten Purvis died June 11, 1875 from tuberculosis at the age of 65, and was buried at the Quaker Fair Hill Burial Ground. Genealogy profile for Harriet Davey Purvis. She fought against segregation and for the right for blacks to vote after the Civil War. [2] Their children were educated by private tutors and at Quaker schools. Its members purchased local produce and boycotted produce grown and harvested by slaves. To serve this purpose, in a meeting in 1839, Jacob C. White, who was then secretary, was given the role as the Committee’s sole agent responsible for collecting revenue from non-members. Nevada ratified the 19th Amendment on this day in 1920. 11,676 885. [7]:31, 97, She was married in her family's home on September 13, 1831 to a light-skinned African-American, Robert Purvis from South Carolina. The following day, a pro-slavery crowd set the Hall on fire and watched it burn to the ground. His mother Harriet Judah was therefore a free woman of color.Purvis's father was an English immigrant. The first and second generation of African American suffragists, of which Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Harriet Forten Purvis, and Sarah Parker Remond are a part, had strong ties to the abolitionist movement and believed in universal suffrage—voting rights without regard to race, gender, education, or economic status. Working with her husband, Robert Purvis, she formed the Vigilance Society, to protect escaped enslaved people from capture, even through race riots that occurred throughout the 1830s. It was already law, but Vermont showed its support by ratifying the 19th Amendment on this day in 1921. The convention then convened at teacher and abolitionist Sarah Pugh's school. Robert and Harriet also founded the Gilbert Ly With her mother and sisters, she formed the first biracial women's abolitionist group, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. Considerable expenses could be incurred when assisting the runaways. Executive summary:African-American abolitionist Abolitionist Harriet Forten Purvis was a founding member of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1833, and frequently lectured against segregation and for black and women's suffrage. With her mother and sisters, she formed the first biracial women's abolitionist group, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. Wells refused to march in the back. Not put off by the riot the previous year, Harriet served as a delegate at the 1838 and 1839 conventions. And her children would be subject to racial prejudice, even though the family lived a financially comfortable life. These Philadelphia women, among the first in the nation to form an interracial, women’s anti-slavery society, included Sarah Mapps Douglass, Charlotte Forten and her daughter Harriet Forten Purvis — free, middle-class African American activists and feminists — and Lucretia Mott, Angelina Grimké Weld, and her sister Sarah Moore Grimke, who were white Quaker feminists. Apr 30, 2018 Ratings: +146,651 / 3,637 / -2,720. The Fortens, the most well-known bla… With her mother and sisters, she formed the first biracial women's abolitionist group, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. As author Carol Faulkner states, they "believed that hypocrisy threatened the success of their crusade. These were dangerous times in central Philadelphia; the family moved to a farm in the rural community of 1843 or 1844. Harboring fugitive slaves, however, was an illegal and dangerous business. Harriet Forten Purvis was born on this day in 1810. February 8, 2021. February 7, 2021. Desegregating the Streetcars Harriet and Robert Purvis worked alongside Octavius Catto, a black man who was a leader of this campaign, to desegregate streetcars in Philadelphia. Purvis was able to hold off the mob long enough to escape without harm. Explore Pennsylvania: Robert Purvis Historical Marker, Black Women Writers of the 19th Century II, Mary Granville Pendarves Delany 1700-1788. Late Years In 1873, Robert and Harriet moved to a home in Mount Vernon, Philadelphia with Georgianna and Harriet, who were still at home. It also generated reactions among people who feared mixture of the races, or miscegenation, and were generally concerned about women's intervention in public affairs. The protests continued as the unjust treatment of African Americans by the trolley system became more visible to the public. [11]:17 Charlotte "drew personal comfort and intellectual delight" from her aunt. February 9, 2021. [13]:34–35,42, In 1873, Robert and Harriet moved to a Mount Vernon neighborhood with Georgianna and Harriet, who were still at home. In the decades that followed he and his wife Harriet would use their home to harbor slaves escaping to Canada along the Underground Railroad and Purvis would act as a tireless leader in the struggle not just for the rights of African Americans, but for the equal rights of all Americans, regardless of their race, nationality, or sex. [2] Harriet and Robert worked together on their shared interests, activism, and reform efforts. [6] The Forten women were active members and officers. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. On May 17, 1865, Catto, sat in a passenger car and refused to leave it. Harriet Forten-Purvis, the abolitionist movement. Hers was the most well-known black family in the city, who, according to William Lloyd Garrison, “have few superiors in refinement, in moral worth, in all that makes the human character worthy of admiration and praise.” Marriage and Family On September 13, 1831, Harriet Forten married Robert Purvis, a light-skinned African-American Robert Purvis, an abolitionist and anti-slavery lecturer from South Carolina. 17,180 886. [11]:12 Harriet hosted meetings of abolitionists in her house[2] and was a leader of the Female Vigilant Society,[1] which provided monies for transportation and clothing to the travelers. James Forten was a wealthy inventor, businessman and abolitionist who was born free. After the Thirteenth Amendment had been passed on January 31, 1865, Harriet Forten Purvis continued her efforts to improve the rights of African Americans. Free Produce Movement Harriet Forten Purvis became involved in the Free Produce Society. Underground Railroad After he founded the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee in 1837, Robert Purvis was called the father of the Underground Railroad. His activities outside the Committee were well known, and the exposure made him a target of an angry mob during the race riot of 1842. Slaves were hidden from authorities in their Byberry house through a trap door that was installed in the floor by Robert. "[10]:114, Harriet and Robert, called the father of the Underground Railroad for his founding of Philadelphia's Vigilance Committee,[3]:61 began a station in their home at 9th and Lombard Street in Philadelphia. [2] Her younger sisters were Sara and Margaretta, born in 1814 and 1815. Forten, born in 1766, was a powder boy and was taken prisoner from the Royal Lewis during the Revolutionary War. Robert and Harriet became involved with the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights League and American Equal Rights Association and served on the executive committee. This was done in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights League. Credit: Public Domain A daughter of one of Philadelphia's wealthiest African-American businessmen and civic leaders, Harriet Davy Forten worked side by side with her husband in the abolition movement and Underground Railroad after her marriage to Robert Purvis in 1832. Also nearby was the Friends' Library Company and Philosophical Society and Purvis Hall, which was built by Robert Purvis in 1846 and was a meeting location for anti-slavery meetings and other community activities. [2][7]:186 She died in Washington, D.C., where Robert worked as commissioner of Freedman’s Saving Bank,[14] and was buried in Germantown at the Quaker Fair Hill Burial Ground[2] at 9th and Cambria. [6] Robert Purvis helped his wife out of the carriage and angry people who looked on thought that they were an interracial couple promoting "amalgamation" of the races. In 1834, forty-four churches and other buildings owned by blacks were set on fire. Harriet Forten married Robert Purvis, a light-skinned Black abolitionist and anti-slavery lecturer from South Carolina.Early in their marriage, she had the couple's first child and while pregnant, attended the Women's Anti-Slavery Convention in New York in 1837 with two of her sisters. [4]:169 William Lloyd Garrison wrote of the family "who have few superiors in refinement, in moral worth, in all that makes the human character worthy of admiration and praise. Harriet Forten Purvis worked side by side with her husband in the abolitionist movement and Underground Railroad. The Purvises assisted about 9,000 runaway slaves along their journey to Canada. February 9, 2021. Endowed with a capacious and reflective mind, he is ever in search after truth; and, consequently, all reforms find in him an able and devoted advocate. Although Pennsylvania had passed Personal Liberty Laws which expanded the rights of fugitives and severe laws to punish slave-catchers, abolitionists could not depend upon the court system to deliver freedom to runaway slaves. Robert and Harriet became involved with the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights League and American Equal Rights Association,[2] and served on the executive committee. The household of Robert and Harriet Forten Purvis became a major haven for abolitionists and fugitive slaves alike. Byberry is a neighborhood in the far northeast section of Philadelphia, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Frank Johnson, a black band leader, wrote music for her poem The Grave of the Slave,[3] which was often played at anti-slavery events. Her brothers were James, William Deas, Robert Bridges, and Thomas. She hosted anti-slavery events at her home and with her husband Robert Purvis ran an Underground Railroad station. Such assistance could include food, clothing, shelter, transportation, medical attention, and legal fees. They attempted to disrupt escapes, reported those who sheltered runaways, kidnapped runaways to collect rewards, and sometimes, lashed out against those who assisted fugitives. [3] The first country's biracial abolitionist organization, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, was founded by Charlotte, her daughters,[3] and Lucretia Mott. [10]:67, 144, Not put off by the riot the previous year, Harriet attended the convention the following two years. Pro-slavery forces in the city rallied against blacks and whites who aided refugee slaves, which erupted in race riots and violence in the 1830s. Some people gossiped about the variation in their skin tone. [2], The Byberry Friends Meeting, a Quaker meeting house, was located across the street from the Purvis house. The Purvis children attended the Byberry Friend School. He attended Oberlin College and Wooster Medical College (Western Reserve). [6], She saw the need for anti-slavery legislation and means to affect greater equality for African Americans in greater clarity as a mother. [14], Harriet Forten Purvis (1810-1875), taken about 1874, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, "Women In The Abolition Movement: Historic Sites In Philadelphia", "Burlington County Women's Advisory Council Hosting Letters to Aunt Hattie Event", National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, The Railroad to Freedom: A Story of the Civil War, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Harriet_Forten_Purvis&oldid=1004189026, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Abolitionist, suffragette, Underground Railroad station owner, This page was last edited on 1 February 2021, at 13:18. Visit DPLA Harmful Language Statement. Born in South Carolina to a wealthy white father and mixed race mother, Robert Purvis (1810-1898) was one of the nineteenth century's leading black abolitionists and orators. The Vigilant Committee operated between 1837 and 1852 and made Philadelphia an important stop along the Underground Railroad. Inheriting a large fortune, he has had the means, as well as the will, to do good. Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society Harriet Purvis helped eighteen women establish the first women’s abolitionist group for blacks and whites, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society (PFASS) in December 1833 – with the aid of her mother Charlotte and her sisters Margaretta and Sarah. Harriet Forten Purvis, circa 1874. [2][1] The situation became dangerous in central Philadelphia and the family moved to a farm in rural Byberry, Philadelphia[15] in 1843[2] or 1844. Image: Robert Purvis A daguerreotype made in the 1840s. In 1855, William Wells Brown published a biography of Robert Purvis in which he wrote: There is no colored man in this country to whom the Anti-slavery cause is more indebted than to Mr. Purvis. The abolitionist movement is remembered in history along with names like Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. She pursued a public career with her husband’s wholehearted support. [12], Early in their marriage, Harriet had the couple's first child and Robert lectured against slavery across the country. [8]:14, Harriet read a wide range of literature, including novels, religious works, literary criticism, antislavery literature, and William Shakespeare. [3] Harriet's brother Robert was left a widower about 1840 and his daughter, Charlotte, lived with the Purvis's and received her education from a private tutor. [2] Robert moved to a house in Mount Vernon, Philadelphia. Harriet spoke for the right to vote for women and blacks and against segregation. Originally it was incorporated as the Township Pennsy She was often a delegate to the Free Produce Conventions and was a member of the Colored Free Produce Association. Its members purchased local produce and boycotted produce grown and picked by slaves. [7]:97 It was an activity that she continued even after some, like Garrison, question its effectiveness. Harriet Forten Purvis was born on this day in 1810. During the Civil War, he served as both a physician and nurse for the Union Army. Harriet Forten Purvis (1810 – June 11, 1875) was an African-American abolitionist and first generation suffragist. Harriet and her siblings attended the school and was also taught foreign languages and music by private tutors. Additional funds were sought from outside of the organization. Robert Purvis helped Harriet out of the carriage, angry people looking on obviously thought that they were an interracial couple. About Timeline Key Figures Collections Partners. Many abolitionists who visited Philadelphia stayed in the Forten house. [7]:96 Harriet co-chaired Philadelphia Women's Anti-Slavery Society fairs,[3] which between 1840 and 1861 raised $32,000 (equivalent to $983,424 in 2019). [2], Harriet was a member of the National Woman Suffrage Association and a friend of Susan B. Anthony[13]:34 and Lucretia Mott,[1] who also worked for the right to vote for blacks and women, against slavery, and for safe passage of refugee slaves. The Purvises had eight children, including son Charles Burleigh Purvis (1841-1926). Born into a well-to-do, free black family in Philadelphia in 1810, Harriet Forten Purvis was the second child of Charlotte Vandine Forten and James Forten, an entrepreneur. In 1838, the convention was held in Philadelphia. Following in her relatives’ footsteps, Charlotte became an anti-slavery activist, poet, and educator. At the same meeting during which White received his appointment, Robert Purvis was elected president of the Committee. Harriet was named for one of Bridge's daughters. Three of their sons died, one from meningitis and the others from tuberculosis. Harriet Forten Purvis. Harriet Forten Purvis - Overview Like many other women during the period of the civil war, Harriet Forten Purvis split her time between fighting against slavery and fighting for the right to vote. Food and transportation were essential costs, coupled with additional expenses such as clothing, shelter, and medicine. SOURCES Revolvy: Harriet Forten Purvis Wikipedia: Harriet Forten Purvis Robert Purvis, born August 4, 1810 Explore Pennsylvania: Robert Purvis Historical Marker. He was also the grandson of slaves.. His formative years were spent in Philadelphia, and he attended Anthony Benezet’s Quaker school for African American children. In response, a meeting was held to protest this treatment and to demand more respect and justice for African Americans. [13]:24 She spoke for the right to vote for women[11]:10 and blacks and against segregation. Harriet was named for one of Bridge's daughters. Raised by parents who were abolitionists themselves, it’s safe to say that it was in her blood to become one as well. [2][3] Forten, born in 1766, was a powder boy and was taken prisoner from the Royal Lewis during the Revolutionary War. Educated at Amherst College, Purvis quickly established himself in Philadelphia as a leader of the African-American community. [2][6] Black and white women participated as equals in the organization, which rare at the time. During the Civil War, he served as both a nurse and a physician for the Union Army. [7]:186, The family was beset by a series of illnesses. [15] He married the Quaker poet Tacie Townsend, a white woman from Byberry, about 1878. With her mother and sisters, she formed an integrated women’s abolitionist group, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, in 1833. In 1850, Harriet’s eight children ranged from one to eighteen years of age. [11]:12 Harriet and her husband founded the Gilbert Lyceum. The family suffered severely from a series of illnesses. February 3, 2021. February 7, 2021 . Born in Philadelphia in 1810, Harriet Forten Purvis was an African-American abolitionist and suffragist. Pro-slavery forces in the city rallied against blacks and whites who aided refugee slaves, which erupted in race riots and violence in the 1830s. He sat in the car all night and eventually attracted a crowd. The household of Robert and Harriet Forten Purvis became a major haven for abolitionists and fugitive slaves alike. Harriet Forten Purvis was born in Philadelphia in 1810, a member of the most powerful and affluent black family in the city. Unable to rent a hall in Philadelphia in 1839, the convention met at a riding stable. [2] Harriet was a member of the Black Female Literary Association, Edgeworth Literary Association, and Female Minervian Association. Harriet was a leader of the Female Vigilant Society, which provided monies for transportation and clothing to the travelers. Harriet Forten Purvis (1810-1875) was an African-American abolitionist and first generation suffragette. She hosted anti-slavery events at her home and with her husband Robert Purvis ran an Underground Railroad station. In 1864 Purvis served as a military nurse at Camp Barker, a contraband hospital in Washington, D.C. [7]:97 Harriet only bought produce and products that was not made or grown by slaves. With her mother and sisters, she formed the first biracial women's abolitionist group, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. The site was later the foundation of Freedmen's Hospital. [6] Harriet and her sister Margaretta Forten were key organizers of the Fifth National Women's Rights Convention in Philadelphia in 1854. [2] The hall was destroyed when it was set on fire by a group of people who were pro-slavery. [2] She was also said to have the ladylike demeanor and manners of a Southern belle. Her father was given a start in business by Robert Bridges, a white sailmaker. [2] In 1838, the convention was held in Philadelphia at the new Pennsylvania Hall,[2] which was built by the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. [6] Unable to rent a hall in Philadelphia in 1839, the convention met at a riding stables. [4]:172, They employed servants, including an English governess, which made it possible for Harriet to actively work on the causes important to her. Abolitionist Movement Harriet Forten Purvis worked side by side with her husband in the abolitionist movement and Underground Railroad. [5], James and Charlotte helped found and fund six abolitionist organizations. In one incident, trolley car conductors forcibly removed African American women and children from the cars. With her mother and sisters, she formed the first biracial women's abolitionist group, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society.She hosted anti-slavery events at her home and with her husband Robert Purvis ran an Underground Railroad station. James Forten was born free on September 2, 1766 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.His parents were Thomas and Sarah Forten. Many protests were held in order to bring attention to the movement. Robert and Harriet also founded the Gilbert Lyceum. Close Window. [15] Robert Purvis refused to pay the local school tax in 1853, since his children would not be afforded an education in the schools. Harriet was named after the daughter of Robert Bridges, a white associate of her father's who helped him launch a sailmaking business. [3] There was also a sister named Mary Isabella. Harriet also raised her niece, Charlotte Forten following the death of Charlotte’s mother. [9]:121 They lived near Robert and Harriet's family in Byberry. Also, not all northern citizens shared their anti-slavery beliefs. The following year, it was a biracial event. Harriet’s daughter, Hattie became the first African-American vice president of the organization. [8]:14 Charles Burleigh Purvis was a physician, medical school educator, and the first African American to run a civilian hospital. He attended Oberlin College in Ohio, wishing to pursue medical training, transferred to Wooster Medical College (later Western Reserve Medical School) in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating in 1865. Harriet Forten Purvis was an African-American abolitionist and suffragist who helped establish the first women’s abolitionist group for blacks and whites, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. Harriet Forten Purvis The daughter of leading African-American abolitionists James and Charlotte Forten, Harriet Forten Purvis was a powerful 19 th century voice for equal rights for all—including women. Harriet Forten Purvis (1810-1875) was an African-American abolitionist and first generation suffragette. The copyright status of items in DPLA's Black Women's Suffrage Collection varies. In 1838, the convention was held in Philadelphia at the newly built Pennsylvania Hall. Purvis, Lucretia Mott, and Sarah Pugh stayed true to their stance on free produce as a matter of principle. [2] She was a delegate at the 1838 and 1839 conventions. 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