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       BENJAMIN STERLING TURNER

Benjamin Sterling Turner (1825-1894), member from the Alabama House of Representatives in the 42nd Congress, was born a slave in Halifax, North Carolina. His master moved his establishment to Alabama in 1830, and the boy obtained a passable education by studying secretly. After the war, Turner, developing a prosperous business in Dallas County, was elected tax collector in the area of 1867. He became a responsibly citizen and leader through service on many local committees. He was elected a member of the Selma City Council in 1869.

            Nominated by the Republican Party for the 42nd Congress in 1870, Turner was elected; but he failed to be re-elected to the 43rd Congress. The division in the power structure of the Republican Party in Alabama at this time forced most of the Negro politicians into retirement. After his defeat, Turner confined himself to his business and local affairs.

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Source: International Library of Negro Life and History by Wilhelmena S. Robinson, Publishers Company, Inc., New York, Washington, London under the auspices of The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (1967).*Black has been substituted for the word “Negro” originally used in this citation.

 

    

 

 

 

   
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