Vigilant Association of Philadelphia

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Founder Robert Purvis in the 1840s
Co-founder James Forten

The Vigilant Association of Philadelphia was an abolitionist organization founded in August 1837 in Philadelphia to "create a fund to aid colored persons in distress". The initial impetus came from Robert Purvis, who had served on a previous Committee of Twelve in 1834, and his father-in-law, businessman James Forten.[1][2]

Its executive was the Vigilant Committee of Philadelphia and its first president was a black dentist, James McCrummell. Other abolitionsts who helped included John Greenleaf Whittier, who helped form the committee and promoted the association in his newspaper Pennsylvania Freeman.[1][2]




  • Boromé, Joseph (1968), "The Vigilant Committee of Philadelphia", Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. 92 (3): 320–351, JSTOR 20090197
  • Tomek, Beverly C. (2015), "Vigilance Committees", The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, Rutgers University

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