Tourgée, Albion

Tourgée, Albion (Winegar)

(1838–1905) writer, judge, editor; born in Williamsfield, Ohio. He studied at the University of Rochester (N.Y.), served as a Union soldier in the Civil War (1861–63), and was admitted to the Ohio bar (1864). In 1865 he moved to North Carolina, where he briefly edited a newspaper and was elected judge of North Carolina's superior court (1868–74). As an ardent supporter of the Reconstruction policies and a foe of the Ku Klux Klan, he was regarded as the epitome of the carpetbagger—a Northerner who lived in the South for political advantage after the Civil War—but he seems to have been a sincere proponent of reform and justice. He wrote at least two novels there, including A Fool's Errand (1879), then moved to New York City in 1879. He edited Our Continent (1882–84), a magazine in which he continued to champion the rights of blacks and to expose the Ku Klux Klan; he failed in his efforts to start another magazine in Buffalo, N.Y. Along with his political essays and newspaper articles, he continued to publish his novels, none except Hot Ploughshares (1883) receiving much respect. From 1897–1905 he was the U.S. consul in Bordeaux, France.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.