Sarah Louisa Forten, the daughter of James Forten and Charlotte Vandine Forten, was born around 1811. Sarah, like the rest of her family, was extensively involved in activist movements. Using the pseudonyms Ada and Magawisca, she began writing poems for The Liberator when she was only sixteen or seventeen. A member of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, which she joined with her mother and two sisters in 1833, Sarah served as an officer for the society, as had several members of her family.. Her circle included Angelina Grimké, a white female abolitionist with whom she corresponded, and Amy Matilda Cassey’s New York family with whom she stayed in New York for the 1837 Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women Forten was active in a number of reform campaigns including the promotion of “moral and intellectual improvement” of free Philadelphia African Americans, the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and the construction of a building for the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. In 1838, Forten married Joseph Purvis, Robert Purvis’s younger brother.. She was widowed with eight children at the age of forty-two and largely withdrew from public activism..

Sarah Louisa Forten Purvis (1811-1898)