Tourgée, Albion Winegar

Tagged: Author

(1838-1905) US lawyer, judge, diplomat, soldier, editor and author, active in the Southern states of America where he was notable for his pro-Black views, expressed in various manners, including essays (1868-1870) as by Wenckar and in 1878 as "C"; in France from 1897 (he was of French and German parentage). As an author Tourgée, who also wrote as by Henry Churton, is best known for an autobiographical novel, A Fool's Errand, By One of the Fools (1870), set in North Carolina during Reconstruction, where the narrator encounters the Ku Klux Klan (which historically threatened to kill him). Of sf interest is ''89: Edited from the Original Manuscript (dated 1891 but 1888) as by Edgar Henry, set in the immediate Near Future, depicting a non-racist movement to create an independent South under the leadership of a society deeply unlike the historical Ku Klux Klan. The protagonist of the tale allies himself with a powerful magnate named Stoningham, a figure clearly based on John D Rockefeller (1839-1937), who wishes the South to secede for financial reasons. Their alliance succeeds. In the aftermath, however, Stoningham crushes the nascent unions in the North, creating "a new feudalism" destined, it seems, to dominate the western world. Tourgée's current obscurity may have been in part caused by his anomalous Politics, and may be undeserved. [JC]

Albion Winegar Tourgée

born Williamsfield, Ohio: 2 May 1838

died Bordeaux, France: 21 May 1905

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