Robert Purvis
(1810-1898)

Died aged c. 88

Robert Purvis (August 4, 1810 – April 15, 1898) was an American abolitionist in the United States. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and was likely educated at Amherst Academy, a secondary school in Amherst, Massachusetts. He spent 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 Britain 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 British father after his death in 1826. Purvis's parents had lived in common law marriage, prevented from marrying because his 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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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Robert Purvis (1810-1898). An abolitionist, Purvis fought for the rights of Blacks through his lecturing, writing, and activity in antislavery societies. As an agent for the Underground Railroad, he built a secret area here at his house to hide slaves.

1601 Mt. Vernon St., Philadelphia, PA, United States where they was