Novelist, magazinist, and attorney Albion Winegar Tourgée was born May
2, 1838, in Williamsfield, Ohio, and died May 21, 1905, in Bordeaux, France.
He grew up on a farm near Kingsville, Ohio, and attended the University of Rochester
for two years. He served in the Union Army from 1861-63, during which time he
suffered spinal injuries and spent four months in a Confederate prison. In 1864
he was admitted to the Ohio bar. Hoping to find entrepreneurial opportunities
in the South, he moved to North Carolina in 1865 . Labeled a "carpetbagger",
he believed in the reintegration of the Union, abhorred slavery, took on African-Americans
as law clients and employees, and openly criticized the Ku Klux Klan. He joined
the Republican Party and was a delegate to the North Carolina constitutional
convention in 1868.
Tourgée's writings include several novels and political articles. One of his best-known novels is A Fool's Errand: By One of the Fools (1879). He founded a magazine called Our Continent (later, Continent) in 1881 and also published another periodical called Basis: A Journal of Citizenship.