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Robert Purvis

Robert Purvis (August 4, 1810 - April 15, 1898) was an African-American abolitionist. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina to a wealthy white father and a mulatto mother. After graduating from Amherst College in Massachusetts, he moved to Pensylvania. In 1833, he helped William Lloyd Garrison establish the American Anti-Slavery Society and signed its Declaration of Sentiments. In the same year, Purvis helped establish the Library Company of Colored People. In 1838, he drafted Appeal of Forty Thousand Citizens Threatened with Disfranchisement, which supported the repeal of a new state barring African-Americans from voting. As a supporter of the Underground Railroad, he served as chairman of the General Vigilance Committee from 1852 until 1857. According to records that he kept, from 1831 until 1861, he estimated that he helped one slave achieve freedom per day. According to these figures, he helped 9000 slaves achieve freedom.