Albion Tourgee and the Second Amendment:

A post by Eugene notes the publication of a new biography of the great 19th century civil rights lawyer Albion Tourgee. Undoubtedly, some VC readers are waiting for the secondary consipirators to explain what Tourgee thought of gays, guns, and Israel. So I will do my part, on the second topic.

Tourgee's book about the Ku Klux Klan explained that during the 1870s, in Southern areas where the black militias lost and the Klan or other white groups took control, "[A]lmost universally the first thing done was to disarm the negroes and leave them defenseless." Albion Winegar Tourgee, The Invisible Empire (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989)(1st ed. 1880), pp. 54-55. Of course the Klan's objective in disarming the blacks was to leave them unable to defend their rights. Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy vol. 5 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1872), p. 1672 (reprint of Testimony Taken by the Joint Select Committee into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States (South Carolina, vol. 3), 42d Congress, 2d Session), cited in Kermit L. Hall, Political Power and Constitutional Legitimacy: The South Carolina Ku Klux Klan Trials, 1871-72, 33 Emory Law Journal 921, 945 (1984).

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