A letter from temperance leader Frances Willard to civil rights activist Albion Tourgée, responding to allegations of racism, 1894.
Willard responds to criticism about her annual address as president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in this letter to civil rights activist Albion Tourgée on December 21, 1894. Willard identifies herself as a supporter of racial justice and the work of anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells. In 1892 Wells asked Tourgée, an attorney, to represent her in a libel case. Having retired from law, Tourgée recommended his friend and colleague Ferdinand Barnett. Although they later decided not to pursue the case, Barnett and Wells married in 1895, which suggests that Wells and Tourgée may have been close.