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Thu, 03.17.1825

Benjamin S. Turner, Businessman, and Politician born

Benjamin Turner

*This date remembers Benjamin Turner, born in 1825. He was a Black businessman and politician.

Born a slave in Halifax County, North Carolina, Benjamin Sterling Turner was taken to Alabama at age five. Educated secretly, Turner eventually became an entrepreneur and stable owner in Selma, Ala.  In 1867, he was elected tax collector and, two years later, city councilman. In 1870, Turner won the election as a member of the Forty-second Congress.  He introduced measures to appropriate $200,000 for constructing a Federal Building in Selma and a bill for relief for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of that city.

He also got passage of a bill allowing Black civil war soldiers a pension of eight dollars a month. After politics, he returned to farming, confining his political activities to the county level.  Benjamin Turner, the first Black member of the House of Representatives from Alabama, died on March 21, 1894.

To Become a Political Scientist


Encyclopedia of

Black Americans In Congress 1870-1989.
Bruce A. Ragsdale & Joel D. Treese
U.S. Government Printing Office
Raymond W. Smock, historian and director 1990

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Your door is shut against my tightened face, And I am sharp as steel with discontent; But I possess the courage and the grace To bear my anger proudly... THE WHITE HOUSE by Claude McKay.
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