Tourgee’s enthusiasm to attract literary talents to his political causes often ended in disappointments.
Tourgée sent a NCRA membership application and letter to George Washington Cable, strongly urging him to join the organization, with the revelation that Cable’s is the, "first one yet printed without the written application,” as Tourgée believes he will support the effort.
Tourgée mentions that though the membership drive is only three weeks old, there are already 10,000 members and new forms coming in every day.
However, Cable was less than enthusiastic in his reply to Tourgée, written from Northampton, Massachusetts in December 1891, thanking him for the certificate of membership and invitation to serve on the Administrative Council of the NCRA, but "with great regret” was returning the form with "only my own signature,” claiming that the burdens of his work would not allow him to be active:
"I should be a dead head & that I must not be, for the good cause’s own sake.”
But Tourgée’s doggedness must have finally convinced Cable to agree to serve on the Council as the latter sent a letter of agreement to serve as an officer for the organization just two weeks later!