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The White “Bystander” and the Black Journalist “Abroad”: Albion W. Tourgée and Ida B. Wells as Allies Against Lynching

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 July 2009

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In March 1886, twenty-four-year-old Ida B. Wells wrote in her diary: “Read all day, after going home, ‘Bricks without Straw’ by Judge Tourgée. It deals with the Reconstruction era of Negro freedom and American history, and I like it somewhat. The writer is actuated by a noble purpose and tells some startling truths.” Wells was referring to Albion W. Tourgée's 1880 novel centering around a group of North Carolina freed-people, who buy land, prosper as tobacco farmers, set up a church and school, and vote for politicians sympathetic to their interests, until Ku Klux Klan terrorism and the return to power of a white-supremacist government reduce them to neoslavery. The qualifier “somewhat” may reflect Wells's disappointment with the pessimistic ending, which leaves little room for black agency after the crushing of resistance.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2005

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This essay has benefited greatly from valuable suggestions and tough criticism by the members of my writers'group — Carla Peterson, Jeannie Pfaelzer, and Thorell Tsomondo — and by Jacqueline Goldsby, who generously shared with me the manuscript of the chapter on Wells, in her book A Spectacular Secret: The Cultural Logic of Lynching in American Life and Literature, forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, 2005Google Scholar.

1. DeCosta-Willis, Miriam, ed., The Memphis Diary of Ida B. Wells (Boston: Beacon, 1995), 52Google Scholar. I refer to Wells by her maiden name when discussing her activities and writings during the period preceding her marriage. For information on Wells's life, I have drawn primarily on her Memphis Diary and the introduction by DeCosta-Willis; Wells, Ida B., Crusade For Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells, ed. Duster, Alfreda M. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970)Google Scholar; McMurry, Linda O., To Keep the Waters Troubled: The Life of Ida B. Wells (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998)Google Scholar; and Schechter, Patricia A., Ida B. Wells-Barnett and American Reform, 1890–1930 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001)Google Scholar. Other sources are cited in the following notes, where relevant.

2. Logan, Rayford W., The Betrayal of the Negro from Rutherford B. Hayes to Woodrow Wilson (1954; rept. New York: Da Capo, 1997)Google Scholar. See also Woodward, C. Vann, Origins of the New South, 1877–1913 (1951; rept. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971)Google Scholar; Williamson, Joel, The Crucible of Race: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984)Google Scholar; Oshinsky, David M., “Worse Than Slavery”: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), part 1Google Scholar; and Litwack, Leon F., Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow (New York: Knopf, 1998)Google Scholar.

3. Gilmore, Glenda Elizabeth, Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896–1920 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), 4559Google Scholar, quotation on 48. See also Logan, , Betrayal of the Negro (142–47)Google Scholar, on the racial separatism that prevailed in the labor movement. The exceptions tend to prove the rule. The Knights of Labor, who “pursued a dual system, in both the North and the South, of all-colored and of mixed locals,” “disappeared from the ranks of organized labor” by the 1890s (Logan, , Betrayal of the Negro, 137, 143)Google Scholar, and the United Mine Workers, as Herbert G. Gutman has shown, succeeded in building a multiracial union only during the ascendancy of the heroic black organizer Richard L. Davis. Gutman concludes, the “long-range vision and concrete aspirations for democratic interracial trade unionism [of Davis and others like him] were stifled by the defensive strategy of organized labor and middle-class Negro leadership as well as the rising tide of racism within the labor movement and throughout the country.” See his essay “The Negro and the United Mine Workers of America: The Career and Letters of Richard L. Davis and Something of Their Meaning, 1890–1900,” reprinted in Gutman, Herbert G., Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing America (New York: Random-Vintage, 1977), 121208, quotation on 208Google Scholar.

4. Higginbotham, Evelyn Brooks, Righteous Discontent: The Women's Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880–1920 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993), ch. 4, quotation on 115Google Scholar.

5. Among the NAACP's more short-lived predecessors were the Massachusetts Anti-Lynching League, founded in August 1894, and Tourgée's National Citizens Rights Association, discussed later in the text and in note 47.

6. The sole precedent for a prolonged collaboration between a man and a woman of different races — the role of the British abolitionist Julia Griffiths in helping Douglass to edit his newspaper — had generated ugly sexual innuendoes from white Garrisonians otherwise known for their egalitarian views. See McFeely, Willam S., Frederick Douglass (New York: W. W. Norton, 1991), 170–71Google Scholar.

7. According to Lawrence J. Friedman, “Cable often wrote of friendly and enjoyable relations with cultivated, restrained male Negro intellectuals who looked up to him…. The black novelist [Chesnutt] looked to Cable as his literary adviser and sponsor, and Cable loved to guide the man…. The relationship would become even more rewarding, Cable noted, if the Negro writer would only serve as his personal secretary.” See The White Savage: Racial Fantasies in the Postbellum South (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970), 113–14Google Scholar.

8. Gilmore, , Gender and Jim Crow, 4950Google Scholar; and Higginbotham, , Righteous Discontent, 90Google Scholar.

9. Erroneous statements in both Schechter's Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mc-Murry's To Keep the Waters Troubled reflect these otherwise well-researched biographies' inattention to the Wells-Tourgée relationship. Schechter misidentifies the novel Wells praises in her diary as A Fool's Errand and credits Wells's pamphlet The Reason Why to Douglass's inspiration, though Wells specifically thanks Tourgée, for inspiring it (Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 46, 94)Google Scholar. McMurry misidentifies Tourgée as a “Chicago lawyer,” though correctly noting that he was “well-known among African Americans for founding a civil rights organization and for confronting racial issues in his ‘Bystander’ column in the Chicago Inter-Ocean” (182). McMurry and Mildred I. Thompson devote more space to Tourgée than Schechter does (see McMurry, , To Keep the Waters Troubled, 2324, 182–83, 203, 252, 265Google Scholar; and Thompson, , Ida B. Wells-Barnett: An Exploratory Study of an American Black Woman, 1893–1930 [Brooklyn: Carlson, 1990], 3637, 45, 5859)Google Scholar.

10. Olsen, Otto H., Carpetbagger's Crusade: The Life of Albion Winegar Tourgée (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1965)Google Scholar. Despite Olsen's fine biography, which details Tourgée's many contacts with African Americans, including Wells, Tourgée typically receives no mention in studies of lynching. Williamson's Crucible of Race, for example, includes a three-chapter sequence on “The North and the Negro, 1889–1915,” yet omits any reference to Tourgée. Dray, Philip's At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America (New York: Modern Library, 2002)Google Scholar cites Lillian Clayton Jewett as “one of the first white antilynching crusaders” (120), though Tourgée's antilynching activism preceded hers by more than a decade and was far more extensive. And Pinar, William's The Gender of Racial Politics and Violence in America: Lynching, Prison Rape, and the Crisis of Masculinity (New York: Peter Lang, 2001)Google Scholar discusses Jane Addams as a white opponent of lynching, but not Tourgée, even attributing to Wells a passage she quotes from Tourgée (468, 532–42). For studies that discuss Tourgée's role in Reconstruction and in the Plessy v. Ferguson case, see Foner, Eric, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877 (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), 316, 364, 430–31, 436, 606Google Scholar; and Thomas, Brook, ed., Plessy v. Ferguson: A Brief History with Documents (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1997)Google Scholar, passim. For literary studies focusing on Tourgée's novels, see Wilson, Edmund, Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966), 529–48Google Scholar; Gross, Theodore, Albion W. Tourgée (New York: Twayne, 1963)Google Scholar; and Thomas, Brook, American Literary Realism and the Failed Promise of Contract (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), ch. 7Google Scholar.

11. Quotations are from Olney, James, “‘I Was Born’: Slave Narratives, Their Status as Autobiography and as Literature,” in The Slave's Narrative, ed. Davis, Charles T. and Gates, Henry Louis Jr (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), 167Google Scholar; Moses, Wilson J., “Writing Freely? Frederick Douglass and the Constraints of Racialized Writing,” in Frederick Douglass: New Literary and Historical Essays, ed. Sundquist, Eric J. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 67, 70, 7172Google Scholar; Sánchez-Eppler, Karen, Touching Liberty: Abolition, Feminism, and the Politics of the Body (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 17, 20Google Scholar (see also 93–94 and 97–98); Smith, Valerie, “‘Loopholes of Retreat: Architecture and Ideology in Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl’” in Reading Black, Reading Feminist: A Critical Anthology, ed. Gates, Henry Louis Jr (New York: Penguin, 1990), 222Google Scholar; and Smith, Sidonie, “Resisting the Gaze of Embodiment: Women's Autobiography in the Nineteenth Century,” in American Women's Autobiography: Fea(s)ts of Memory, ed. Culley, Margo (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992), 98Google Scholar. See also Deck, Alice A., “Whose Book Is This? Authorial versus Editorial Control of Harriet Brent Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself,” Women's Studies International Forum 10, no. 1 (1987): 3536, 3940CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Foster, Frances Smith, Written by Herself: Literary Production by African American Women, 1746–1892 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993), 106Google Scholar; and Garfield, Deborah M., “Conclusion: Vexed Alliances: Race and Female Collaborations in the Life of Harriet Jacobs,” in Harriet Jacobs and “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”: New Critical Essays, ed. Garfield, Deborah M. and Zafar, Rafia (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 287–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Schechter's disparagement of Wells's British ally Catherine Impey illustrates the same tendency (see Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 92–93).

For studies that provide a sympathetic perspective on relations between black and white abolitionists, see McKivigan, John R. on “The Frederick Douglass-Gerrit Smith Friendship and Political Abolitionism in the 1850s,” in Sundquist, , Frederick Douglass, 205–32Google Scholar; Stauffer, John, The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002)Google Scholar, on the four-way friendship of Gerrit Smith, Frederick Douglass, James Mc-Cune Smith, and John Brown; and Yellin, Jean Fagan, Harriet Jacobs: A Life (New York: Basic Civitas, 2004)Google Scholar.

12. See, for example, Quarles, Benjamin, Black Abolitionists (New York: Oxford University Press, 1969)Google Scholar; and Terborg-Penn, Rosalyn, “Discrimination Against Afro-American Women in the Woman's Movement, 1830–1920,” in The Afro-American Woman: Struggles and Images, ed. Harley, Sharon and Terborg-Penn, Rosalyn (Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennicat, 1978), 1727, 121–22Google Scholar.

13. Higginbotham, , Righteous Discontent, 9293Google Scholar.

14. Turner, Victor, Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974), 232–33Google Scholar. Turner introduces the concept of voluntary outsiderhood in the midst of his better-known discussion of the “betwixt-and-between state of liminality,” in which “communitas,” the communion of “free and equal comrades,” occurs (238). He distinguishes among different types of outsiderhood, one of which involves “voluntarily setting oneself apart from the behavior of status-occupying, role-playing members” of one's “social system” (233).

See also 243 and 260–61, where Turner cites political reformers and revolutionary leaders among his examples of voluntary outsiders. According to Turner, “the besetting quality of human society … is the capacity of individuals to stand at times aside from the models, patterns, and paradigms for behavior and thinking, which as children they are conditioned into accepting” (14–15). Those who so “stand … aside” and enter into “communitas,” he argues, represent a threat to their societies' established structures and hierarchies (268).

15. McPherson, James M., The Abolitionist Legacy: From Reconstruction to the NAACP (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975)Google Scholar.

16. Higginbotham similarly offers the Northern Baptist women she has researched as a demonstration of McPherson, 's thesis: “Rather than forsake the ‘abolitionist legacy,’ northern Baptist women in the post-Civil War period championed it with renewed fervor and commitment — even at a time when most white Americans expressed indifference or hostility to the ‘Negro question’” (Righteous Discontent, 91)Google Scholar.

17. Wells, Ida B., “Lynch Law in All Its Phases,” Our Day 11 (05 1893): 333–47, quotation on 347Google Scholar. This article was originally delivered as an address at Tremont Temple in Boston on February 13, 1893. It is reprinted in Thompson, , Ida B. Wells-Barnett (171–94)Google Scholar.

18. Quoted in Olsen, , Carpetbagger's Crusade, 309Google Scholar.

19. Cooper, Anna Julia, A Voice from the South (1892; rept. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 188, 190–91Google Scholar. Cooper was among Tourgée'e's many African American correspondents (see Olsen, , Carpetbagger's Crusade, 308, 311)Google Scholar.

20. Olsen, , Carpetbagger's Crusade, 25, 224Google Scholar.

21. Olsen includes a photostat of a “Bystander” article reprinted in the Detroit Plaindealer of November 15, 1889 (facing 304). He also notes that both the Plaindealer and the Cleveland Gazette, another African American newspaper, were “close followers” of Tourgée from September 1889 on (309): “The Cleveland Gazette … would print almost every Bystander column for over a year” (313).

22. Tourgée, , “Bystander's Notes,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 12 22, 1888, 4Google Scholar.

23. Tourgée, , “Bystander's Notes,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 07 14, 1888, 4Google Scholar. The term “lawless violence” comes from a “Bystander” article (December 15, 1888, 4). As Angela Y. Davis points out, once Southerners began claiming that the dramatically increased incidence of black men raping white women necessitated recourse to lynching as a deterrent, “not only was opposition to individual lynchings stifled — for who would dare to defend a rapist? — white support for the cause of Black equality in general began to wane” (see Davis, , Women, Race & Class [New York: Random House, 1981], 187Google Scholar).

24. Tourgée, , “Bystander's Notes,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 12 15, 1888, 4Google Scholar. See McMurry, , To Keep the Waters Troubled (128–29)Google Scholar, on Wells's antilynching editorial of September 1891, which I discuss later in the text and in note 29. Most scholars date Wells's focus on lynching from March 1892. See, for example, Bederman, Gail, Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880–1917 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar: “Before March 1892, Wells had paid no particular attention to the growth of lynch law in the South” (53). In chapter 2 of her forthcoming book A Spectacular Secret: The Cultural Logic of Lynching in American Life and Literature, Jacqueline Goldsby convincingly dates Wells's antilynching journalism back to September 1886, when she published a no longer extant “dynamitic article … almost advising murder” in response to the lynching of a woman. Wells, mentions this article in her Memphis Diary (102)Google Scholar. On antilynching journalism before both Wells's and Tourgée's, see Grant, Donald L., The Anti-Lynching Movement, 1883–1932 (San Francisco: R and E Research Associates, 1975)Google Scholar; Brundage, Fitzhugh, “‘To Howl Loudly’: John Mitchell Jr. and His Campaign against Lynching in Virginia,” Canadian Review of American Studies 22, no. 3 (Winter 1991): 325–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Mitchell's newspaper, the Richmond Planet, to which Tourgée subscribed. See also Douglass, Frederick, “Lynch Law in the South,” North American Review 155 (07 1892): 1724Google Scholar.

25. See Olsen, , Carpetbagger's Crusade, 312–13Google Scholar.

26. Ida B. Wells v. Chesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern Railroad Company, March 31, 1885, cited in McMurry, , To Keep the Waters Troubled, 345Google Scholar; and Chesapeake & Ohio & Southwestern Railroad Company v. Wells. Tennessee Reports: 85 Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee for the Western Division, Jackson, April Term, 1887: 615Google Scholar, cited in Wells, , Crusade, 20Google Scholar. Wells, notes that the case attracted widespread attention because it was the first “in which a colored plaintiff in the South had appealed to a state court since the repeal of the Civil Rights Bill by the United States Supreme court” (Crusade, 20)Google Scholar.

27. Tourgée, , “Bystander's Notes,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 09 26, 1891, 4Google Scholar.

28. For Tourgée's references to some of the African American newspapers he subscribed to or received, see “Bystander's Notes,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 09 12, 1891, 4Google Scholar, where he mentions the New Orleans Crusader, the Richmond Planet, the Cleveland Gazette, the Indianapolis World, and the Southwestern Christian Advocate. Wells contributed articles to the World and to the Detroit Plaindealer, another African American newspaper Tourgeée read. Comments on her railway suit appeared in T. Thomas Fortune's New York Globe, later renamed the Freeman and then the Age (see McMurry, , To Keep the Waters Troubled, 9091, 96Google Scholar). Since Tourgée was familiar with the Age, he probably was with its earlier incarnations as well.

29. Quoted in McMurry, , To Keep the Waters Troubled, 128–29Google Scholar. This editorial was reprinted in the white Memphis Weekly Avalanche of September 6, 1891.

30. As early as 1832, Maria Stewart had also “appropriated the rhetoric of black men themselves to invoke the concept of ‘manhood rights,’” though her language was much less militant than Wells's (see Peterson, Carla L., “‘And We Claim Our Rights’: The Rights Rhetoric of Black and White Women Activists before the Civil War,” in Sister Circle: Black Women and Work, ed. Harley, Sharon and the Black Women and Work Collective [New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2002], 137)Google Scholar. For analyses of lynching as the attempted eradication of black manhood, see Harris, Trudier, Exorcising Blackness: Historical and Literary Lynching and Burning Rituals (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984), ch. 1Google Scholar; and Wiegman, Robyn, American Anatomies: Theorizing Race and Gender (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995), ch. 3Google Scholar. For a comprehensive analysis of David Walker's Appeal, see Hinks, Peter P., To Awaken My Afflicted Brethren: David Walker and the Problem of Antebellum Slave Resistance (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997)Google Scholar.

31. Tourgée, , “Bystander's Notes,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 09 12, 1891, 4Google Scholar.

32. Wells, , Crusade, 5051, 64Google Scholar.

33. Wells reprints her editorial in the second paragraph of Southern Horrors. See Wells-Barnett, Ida B., Selected Works of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, ed. Harris, Trudier (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 17Google Scholar. All quotations from Southern Horrors are from this edition.

34. Wells, , Crusade, 64Google Scholar; and Tourgée, , “Bystander's Notes,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 06 25, 1892, 45Google Scholar.

35. Ida B. Wells to Albion W. Tourgée, July 2, 1892, Tourgée Papers, Chautauqua County Historical Society (hereafter abbreviated as CCHS), quoted by permission. Photocopies of Wells's letters to Tourgée are also available in the Ida B. Wells Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago. See also Cooper, , Voice from the South, 190Google Scholar.

36. See Holt, Thomas C., “The Lonely Warrior: Ida B. Wells-Barnett and the Struggle for Black Leadership,” in Black Leaders of the Twentieth Century, ed. Franklin, John Hope and Meier, August (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1982), 3961Google Scholar; and Carby, Hazel V., Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 108Google Scholar.

37. On the criticisms Wells faced from African Americans, see her Crusade, 220; Holt, , “Lonely Warrior,” 4849Google Scholar; and Schechter, , Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 106–7Google Scholar.

38. Turner, , Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors, 268Google Scholar.

39. Schechter, , Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 24Google Scholar.

40. Quoted in McMurry, , To Keep the Waters Troubled, 214, 219, 222Google Scholar. The last quotation comes directly from British Anti-Lynchers,” New York Times, 08 2, 1894, 4Google Scholar.

41. Quotations are from McMurry, , To Keep the Waters Troubled, 62, 114, 116–17, 252, 262–63, 271Google Scholar (see also 280–82); Logan, Shirley Wilson, “We Are Coming”: The Persuasive Discourse of Nineteenth-Century Black Women (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1999), 71Google Scholar; and Wells, , Crusade, 255Google Scholar. See also Holt, , “Lonely Warrior,” 4850Google Scholar; and Schechter, , Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 6163Google Scholar.

42. McMurry, , To Keep the Waters Troubled, 56, 6263, 249–50, 252, 308Google Scholar; DeCosta-Willis, , Memphis Diary, 7Google Scholar; and Schechter, , Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 118–19Google Scholar.

43. Untitled note under “Music — Drama,” Woman's Era, 05 1, 1894, 13Google Scholar.

44. Turner, , Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors, 265Google Scholar; see also 232, 237.

45. Tourgée, , “A Bystander's Notes: Colored Men and the Democratic Party,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 08 4, 1894, 12Google Scholar.

46. Quotations from Olsen, , Carpetbagger's Crusade, 289, 301Google Scholar; Turner, , Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors, 268Google Scholar; and Tourgée, , “Bystander's Notes,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 06 2, 1894, 12Google Scholar.

47. Olsen, , Carpetbagger's Crusade, 312, 322–23Google Scholar; and Olsen, Otto H., “Albion W. Tourgée and Negro Militants of the 1890s: A Documentary Selection,” Science and Society 28, no. 2 (1964): 186, 188Google Scholar. Grant, (Anti-Lynching Movement, 33)Google Scholar maintains that the NCRA failed “because it did not question the Republican national leadership” and thus “did not attract the militants” in African American ranks (though Wells and Barnett certainly qualify as militants).

48. Giddings, Paula, When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America (1984; rept. New York: William Morrow, 1996), 30Google Scholar; Wells, , Crusade, 78Google Scholar; and McMurry, , To Keep the Waters Troubled, 182Google Scholar.

49. Tourgée, , “Bystander's Notes,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 09 24, 1892, 4Google Scholar, quoted in Wells-Barnett, , Selected Works, 2425Google Scholar; Wells's own statement is on 19.

50. Ware, Vron, Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism and History (London: Verso, 1992), 196Google Scholar; Schechter, , Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 86Google Scholar; and Goldsby, , Spectacular Secret, ch. 2Google Scholar.

51. Tourgée, , “Bystander's Notes,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 09 24, 1892, 4Google Scholar. quoted in Wells-Barnett, , Selected Works, 24Google Scholar; for Wells's own views, see Selected Works, 19, 22–23.

52. For a similar interpretation, see Ware, , Beyond the Pale, 196Google Scholar. For Wells's comments on Douglass, see Crusade, 73: “I, too, would have preferred that Mr. Douglass had chosen one of the beautiful, charming colored women of my race for his second wife. But he loved Helen Pitts and married her and it was outrageous that they should be crucified by both white and black people for so doing.” See also Wells's refusal, at great cost to herself, to condemn an indiscretion by the British reformer Catherine Impey: “I could not see that [Miss Impey] had committed a crime by falling in love [with a man of color] and confessing it” (Crusade, 105). For other interpretations of Wells's views on interracial marriage, see Braxton, Joanne M., Black Women Writing Autobiography: A Tradition Within a Tradition (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989), 126–27Google Scholar; and Davis, Simone W., “The ‘Weak Race’ and the Winchester: Political Voices in the Pamphlets of Ida B. Wells-Barnett,” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 12, no. 2 (1995): 8990Google Scholar.

53. Wells quotes the editorials of the Memphis Commercial and Evening Scimitar in the opening chapter of Southern Horrors, Selected Works (17–18). Further quotations from the Commercial are drawn from McMurry, , To Keep the Waters Troubled (177)Google Scholar.

54. Wells to Tourgée, February 22, 1893, Tourgée Papers, quoted by permission of CCHS. Schechter, (Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 91)Google Scholar speculates that Frederick Douglass suggested Tourgée to Wells as an attorney, yet it is more likely that Wells thought of Tourgée herself, having been in correspondence with him since July 1892. Wells did not meet Douglass until October 1892. See Wells, , Crusade, 82Google Scholar; and Ida B. Wells to Frederick Douglass, October 17, 1892, her earliest extant letter to him (Frederick Douglass Papers, Library of Congress).

55. Tourgee to Wells, undated draft, Tourgee Papers, quoted by permission of CCHS. Presumably, Emma Tourgee made a fair copy to send, which must have perished along with his other letters to Wells.

56. Wells to Tourgee, February 22, 1893, Tourgee Papers, CCHS, quoted by permission. As scholars have noted, Wells's Memphis Diary records indiscretions with men that subjected her to gossip and might indeed have been used against her. See DeCosta-Willis, , ed., Memphis Diary, 910, 3738, 44, 110, 112–15Google Scholar; and Goldsby, , Spectacular Secret, ch. 2Google Scholar.

57. Ferdinand L. Barnett to Albion W. Tourgee, September 12, 1891, and Albion W. Tourgee to Ferdinand L. Barnett, September 16, 1891; Ferdinand L. Barnett to Albion W. Tourgee, February 23 and March 4, 1893, Tourgee Papers, CCHS, quoted by permission; and McMurry, , To Keep the Waters Troubled, 182–83Google Scholar.

58. The quotation is from Ida B. Wells to Albion W. Tourgee, February 22, 1893, Tourgee Papers, CCHS, quoted by permission.

59. See Blackett, R. J. M., Building an Antislavery Wall: Black Americans in the Atlantic Abolitionist Movement, 1830–1860 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1983)Google Scholar; and Peterson, Carla L., “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830–1880) (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995)Google Scholar.

60. The phrase appears on the magazine's masthead; for a superb account of Impey, see Ware, , Beyond the Pale, 173–75, 184–90Google Scholar. For further discussion of Impey and her collaboration with both Wells and Tourgee, see Karcher, Carolyn L., “Ida B. Wells and Her Allies Against Lynching: A Transnational Perspective,” Comparative American Studies, in pressGoogle Scholar. The captioned photo appears on the front page of the January 1893 number of Anti-Caste and in both The Reason Why and A Red Record, reproduced in Selected Works, 88–89, 198–99. The October 1892 number of Anti-Caste also carries a long extract from Tourgee's “Bystander” column about an outbreak of antiblack violence in Arkansas (1–2). Despite Wells's explicit identification of the photo as one “sent to Judge A. W. Tourgee,” and despite Wells's correspondence with Mrs. Tourgee about the loan of the photo, Philip Dray misattributes it to the British antilynching activist Charles Aked, who, he claims, purchased it in the United States among other “photographic souvenirs of lynchings” – yet another indication of how thoroughly Tourgee's role in Wells's campaign against lynching has been erased from history. See Ida B. Wells to Mrs. Tourgee, February 10 and 23, 1893, CCHS; and Dray, , At the Hands, 103Google Scholar.

61. Wells, , Crusade, 8996, 107Google Scholar; and Catherine Impey to Albion W. and Mrs. Tourgée, June 24, 1893, Tourgée Papers, CCHS, quoted by permission.

62. Wells, , Crusade, 128Google Scholar.

63. Wells to Tourgée, July 1, 1893, and inscribed copy of The Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the World's Columbian Exposition: The Afro-American's Contribution to Columbian Literature, Tourgée Papers, CCHS, quoted by permission. In a postscript, Wells explains that she has not publicly acknowledged Tourgée's contributions because “I understood that you did not wish to appear in this matter.” Despite having thoroughly searched the Tourgée Papers, Schechter seems to have overlooked this inscribed edition, leading her to credit the idea of the pamphlet to Douglass rather than Tourgée, (Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 94)Google Scholar.

64. Wells, , Crusade, 120–21Google Scholar.

65. Wells, , Crusade, 125Google Scholar. In his first letter to Tourgée, Barnett refers him to “Mr Nixon and Mr Kohlsaat [editor and owner, respectively] of the Inter-Ocean” for testimony as to his “standing” in Chicago (see Ferdinand L. Barnett to Albion W. Tourgee, September 12, 1891, Tourgee Papers, CCHS, quoted by permission). The recommendation of a prominent white writer would probably have counted more heavily, however, at a time when few precedents existed for a white newspaper's hiring an African American as a “regular paid correspondent.” Wells probably chose this term to differentiate herself from African Americans who were already publishing in the white press, some of whom are mentioned by Penn, I. Garland in The Afro-American Press and Its Editors (1891; rept. New York: ArnoGoogle Scholar and New York Times, 1969), 375, 516–17Google Scholar.

66. Wells reprinted the texts of her “Ida B. Wells Abroad” columns in Crusade for Justice. I have examined the originals in the Chicago Inter Ocean, but will cite Crusade as my text for ease of reference. The headlines, except for the first, are not reprinted in Crusade, but drawn directly from the Inter Ocean of April 23, 1894, 10, and May 19, 1894, 16. In Manliness and Civilization, Bederman further explicates Wells's strategy: “Wells represented herself and her mission as modeling African Americans' civilized refinement, in marked contrast to white Americans' barbarism”; in describing the “massive support she received from the most prominent, civilized British dignitaries,” Wells used “British Anglo-Saxons to pressure American Anglo-Saxons” (62–63).

67. Wells, , Crusade, 135, 137–38, 148–49, 153–54, 178–80Google Scholar.

68. Wells, , Crusade, 130, 134, 163, 177Google Scholar. See also Wells, , “Liverpool Slave Traditions and Present Practices,” Independent, 05 17, 1894, 617Google Scholar.

69. Wells, , Crusade, 135Google Scholar.

70. Wells, , Crusade, 131, 151–52Google Scholar. For examples of Douglass's and Garrison's denunciation of American churches, see the Appendix of The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself and Garrison's attack on Lyman Beecher in the Liberator of July 23, 1836, the latter reprinted in Documents of Upheaval: Selections from William Lloyd Garrison's The Liberator, 1831—1865, ed. Nelson, Truman (New York: Hill and Wang, 1966), 97110Google Scholar.

71. See Schechter, , Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 111Google Scholar; and Gilmore, , Gender and Jim Crow, 5658Google Scholar. The divisions are reflected in the WCTU organ the Union Signal, which publicized the support Lucy Thurman and other African American temperance workers expressed for Willard, and in the Woman's Era, which endorsed Wells's position but printed letters by African Americans in favor of Willard. See “The Twenty-First Convention of the National,” Union Signal, 11 29, 1894, 9Google Scholar: “Mrs. Lucy Thurman, in behalf of the colored women of Cleveland, presented the newly elected president [Willard] with a beautiful bouquet of yellow and white chrysanthemums tied with yellow and white ribbon.” Also see “Mrs. F. E. W. Harper,” Union Signal, 11 21, 1894, 3Google Scholar (Harper's moderate speech at the convention tried to strike a balance between temperance and antilynching work without mentioning either Wells or Willard). In the Woman's Era, see “Apologists for Lynching,” June 1, 1894, 14; “Miss Willard in Boston,” Woman's Era, 07 1894, 78Google Scholar: “Miss Willard has placed herself on the list of apologists for lynching”; and “Miss Willard and the Colored People,” Woman's Era, 07 1895, 12Google Scholar.

72. Yates, Josephine Silone, “Position of National W.C.T.U. in Relation to Colored People,” Woman's Era, 07 1895, 6Google Scholar, reprints and apparently endorses this signed letter in Willard's defense, noting that “the signature of Frederick Douglass was almost the last one that he made” before his death. Douglass, had attacked Willard in his lecture “The Lessons of the Hour” (The Oxford Frederick Douglass Reader, ed. Andrews, William L. [New York: Oxford University Press, 1996], 343)Google Scholar, but seems to have retracted his criticism, perhaps under pressure from Willard's British champion, Lady Somerset.

73. Wells, , Crusade, 151, 156Google Scholar.

74. Congregationalist, July 5, 1894, 9; New York Sun, reprinted in Literary Digest, August 11, 1894; and H.F., , “Church Scorned by Wales,” New York Times, 04 29, 1894, 1Google Scholar, and “British Anti-Lynchers,” August 2, 1894, 4. Reactions to Wells in the white press were not uniformly negative, however. The New York Independent, a Congregationalist weekly with a heritage of abolitionist advocacy, not only took issue with the Congregationalist, but pronounced itself “thoroughly glad that [Wells] has made her campaign in England because foreign criticism will affect us here in America when, perhaps, home criticism will not” (see the untitled editorial notes of June 28 and July 12, 1894, 828, 897). The Literary Digest of August 11, 1894, also includes two favorable comments on Wells by Republican newspapers, the Advertiser of New York City and the Chronicle of Rochester.

75. Tourgée, , “A Bystander's Notes: In the Glass of English Opinion,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 06 16, 1894, 1213Google Scholar.

76. Wells devotes “Miss Willard's Attitude,” chapter 8 of A Red Record, to the dispute between them (see Selected Works, 226–39, quotations from 226–28). Willard, presents her side of the dispute in the editorial “An Unwise Advocate,” Union Signal, 06 21, 1894, 89Google Scholar, which reprints the exculpatory interview Lady Somerset conducted with her. For a direct account of the Cleveland WCTU convention, see the Union Signal, which reprinted the proceedings in special numbers of November 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, and 22, 1894, besides summarizing the details of the convention in the November 29 and December 6 numbers. The proceedings mention Wells only briefly in the November 20 number, euphemistically reporting that she “asked the assistance of the women in this convention for the suppression of lawlessness towards their race” (8). Willard's “Annual Address” indirectly acknowledges Wells's critique of the WCTU by admitting, “Much misapprehension has arisen in the last year concerning the attitude of our unions towards the colored people,” and by providing an “official explanation” of the organization's racial policies (Signal, November 16, 1894, 3). For a nuanced analysis of Wells's dispute with Willard, see Ware, , Beyond the Pale, 198221Google Scholar; also see Schechter, , Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 110–11Google Scholar.

77. Willard, Frances E., “Notes from Temperance Meetings,” Union Signal, 03 21, 1889, 2Google Scholar.

78. Tourgée, , “A Bystander's Notes: Lynching as a Fad,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 11 24, 1894, 12Google Scholar; and Wells to Tourgée, November 27, 1894, Tourgée Papers, CCHS, quoted by permission.

79. Turner, , Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors, 268Google Scholar.

80. Higginbotham, in Righteous Discontent, describes some of these exceptions in her chapter “Unlikely Sisterhood.” See also Gutman, , Work, Culture, and Society, 139–41Google Scholar.

81. Wells to Mrs. Tourgée, May 19, 1895, Tourgée Papers, CCHS, quoted by permission. The text paragraphs that follow quote from and refer to this letter.

82. I have drawn this phrase from Tourgée's letter to Ferdinand Barnett of September 16, 1891, where he writes, “I have never complained of lack of appreciation from your people because I saw the reasons of their failure to manifest approval, but I have been forced to take note of it by what I saw was its effect on others” (Tourgée Papers, CCHS, quoted by permission).

83. The letter and resolution calling for it are published in Woman's Era, August 1895, 2, 4. The group also sent a letter of sympathy to Catherine Impey, Wells's sponsor in England, regarding the illness of her mother. Wells seems to have inspired both the letters to Tourgée and to Impey.

84. Ida B. Wells-Barnett to Albion W. Tourgée, May 15, 1897, Tourgée Papers, CCHS, quoted by permission. The letter is written on Conservator stationery. Barnett echoed her sentiments in his own letter of May 24. Tourgée had actually applied for the consulship to Liverpool. The less prestigious Bordeaux appointment rewarded his long service to the Republican Party while in effect sidelining him (see Olsen, , Carpetbagger's Crusade, 337–39Google Scholar).

85. Olsen, , Carpetbagger's Crusade, 350Google Scholar. Tourgée's last letter to Barnett, replying to a no longer extant letter of July 1, 1900, is dated August 6, 1900. It expresses his despair at the continuing erosion of African American rights and the apathy of white Northerners and predicts that African Americans will not win equality until “every service in every ‘colored’ church, palpitates with the impassioned demand for Justice before the law, equal rights as men and equal opportunity as doers of the world's work.” For Wells's tributes to Tourgée, see Crusade, 120–21, 151, 156.