My friend Sally Greene has posted on ssrn her introduction to the symposium on Albion Tourgee, which the Elon Law School and UNC's Center for the Study of the American South hosted back in November 2011. Cribbing now a little from the introduction:
To those familiar with Greensboro, Albion Tourgée’s name, at least, was not so strange. A historical marker on Lee Street in downtown Greensboro points toward the site of his home. A former Union soldier, Tourgée (1838-1905) became one of the great civil rights advocates of the nineteenth century. He settled in Greensboro in 1865 in hopes of helping to shape the new post-slavery South. As a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1868, he successfully campaigned for such important provisions as free public education, the election of municipal and county office-holders, the abolition of the whipping post, and the elimination of property qualifications for jury duty in North Carolina’s Reconstruction Constitution. Working as a reformer, lawyer, judge, and novelist, Tourgée fought for racial equality openly enough to attract theattention of the Ku Klux Klan, which he vigorously opposed.Read the rest of the Introduction here.