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Albion W. Tourgée
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Albion Winegar Tourgée

(1838-05-02)May 2, 1838
Died May 21, 1905(1905-05-21) (aged 67)
Nationality United States
Alma mater University of Rochester
Occupation Jurist, Politician
Known for Color-blind justice, founder of Bennett College

Albion Winegar Tourgée (May 2, 1838 – May 21, 1905) was an American soldier, lawyer, writer, politician, and diplomat. Wounded in the Civil War, he relocated to North Carolina afterward, where he became involved in Reconstruction activities. He served in the constitutional convention and later in the state legislature. A pioneer civil rights activist, he founded the National Citizens' Rights Association, and founded Bennett College as a normal school for freedmen in North Carolina (it has been a women's college since 1926).

Known as an ally of African Americans, later in his career, Tourgée was asked to aid a committee in New Orleans to challenge segregation on railways in Louisiana, and he litigated what is known as the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). They were dismayed by the United States Supreme Court ruling that "separate but equal" public facilities were constitutional; this enabled segregation for decades. Historian Mark Elliott credits Tourgée with introducing the metaphor of "color blind justice" into legal discourse.

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