James Forten

James Forten (1766 - 1842), an African-American abolitionist and business man, was born a free man in Philadelphia. At the age of 14, he joined the navy to serve on the Royal Lewis in the Revolutionary War, where he invented a device to handle ship sails. He was aprenticed as a sailmaker and became a foreman in 1786. He became an advocate of temperance, women's suffrage and equal rights for African-Americans. James Forten and Richard Allen formed the Convention of Color in 1817. With the help of Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, he enlisted 2500 Blacks to guard Philadelphia during the War of 1812. William helped his friend William Lloyd Garrison form the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. His daughter, Harriet, married Robert Purvis, and his daughter, Margaretta, was an officer of the Female Anti-Slavery Society in Philidelphia in 1845.

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