top of page

Letters to Aunt Hattie

Written and Directed by Gigi McGraw

Featuring Gigi McGraw, Camille E. Young, Ciera Gardner


This one-woman play is about African American Philadelphia civil rights activist, Harriet Forten Purvis (Hattie) (1810-1875). It is based on correspondence between Harriet and her niece Charlotte.

When Charlotte expresses worries about her future to her Aunt Hattie, she learns about the struggles and accomplishments of her aunt and other women in her family. Come hear about Harriet's work in the creation of The Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, the 1838 Women's Anti-Slavery Convention in Philadelphia, her membership in the National Woman Suffrage Association and her friendship with Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott. Hear, too, how Harriet and her husband Robert Purvis also worked with Octavius Catto to desegregate Philadelphia trolley cars.


Harriet Forten Purvis (1810 – 1875) was an African-American abolitionist and first generation suffragist. With her family, she formed the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, the first biracial women's abolitionist group. She also hosted anti-slavery events at her home and ran an Underground Railroad station. Harriet Purvis fought against segregation and for the right for blacks to vote after the Civil War.

Harriet Forten Purvis Biography (Notable Names Data Base)

Harriet Forten Purvis Biography (Suffragist Memorial)

Africans in America Part 3: The Forten Women (PBS)

Charlotte Forten Grimké Bio

Biography of Robert Purvis - Harriet Forten Purvis's Husband (National Park Service)

Nine Poems by Charlotte Forten Grimké 

Charlotte Grimke, Abolitionist and Educator

bottom of page