Joseph A. Boromé, "Purvis, Robert," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/15/15-00559.html.
Purvis welcomed armed conflict to end slavery, but after the Civil War began, he criticized the race-related policies of President Abraham Lincoln, particularly his proposal to deport and colonize freed slaves. He grew to trust the Lincoln administration, however, and took heart from Attorney General Edward Bates's declaration that he believed blacks were citizens, the Dred Scott decision notwithstanding. After the official release of the Emancipation Proclamation, Purvis admitted freely that he was "proud to be an American citizen." When the government began recruiting black troops in 1863, he urged black volunteers to enlist at Camp William Penn near Philadelphia. Joining with others to organize the Pennsylvania Equal Rights League in 1864, he rejoiced at the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, although he remained a disappointed yet steadfast proponent of woman suffrage.