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Mark Emory Elliott
Wagner College (Staten Island, NY 10301-4495)
In Quest of a Color-Blind America: The Life and Times of Albion Tourgée

This book project examines the life and thought of Albion Tourgée who was one of the most committed proponents of “color blind citizenship” in post-Civil War America and who played a crucial role in bringing this phrase into the legal and political discourse. Using Tourgée as a lens into the nineteenth-century debates over the relationship of race to citizenship, I argue that the concept of civic “color-blindness” derived from a larger set of cultural beliefs about the nature of the self, and civic identity, that were rooted in the most individualistic strains of nineteenth-century evangelical Protestantism that, for radicals like Tourgée, did not conflict with activist government policies for racial justice.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2006 – 8/31/2006