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James Turner
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James Turner

James Turner (20 December 1766 -- 15 January 1824) was the Democratic-Republican governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1802 to 1805. He later served as a U.S. senator between 1805 and 1816.

Turner was born in Southampton County, Virginia; his family moved to Warren County, North Carolina in 1770. Raised in a family of farmers, Turner served in the North Carolina volunteer militia in 1780.

In 1798, Turner was elected to the North Carolina House of Commons; he served there from 1799 to 1800, and served in the North Carolina Senate from 1801 to 1802. In 1802, the General Assembly elected John Baptista Ashe governor, but he died before he could assume office; Turner was chosen in his place and sworn in on 5 December 1802. He served the constitutional limit of three one-year terms and, at the end of this time as governor, was named to the United States Senate.

Turner served as a senator for eleven years, re-elected to a second term in 1811 and resigning due to ill health in 1816. During his time in office, he supported the administration of James Madison during the War of 1812.

Turner was married three times; first to Marian Anderson in 1793 (they had four children), then to Ann Chocran in 1802, with no children, and finally to Elizabethg Johnston in 1810 (resulting in two children). Turner died in 1824 and is buried on his "Bloomsbury" plantation in Warren County.


Preceded by:
Benjamin Williams
Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by:
Nathaniel Alexander
Preceded by:
Jesse Franklin
Senator from North Carolina
Succeeded by:
Montfort Stokes
Served in Senate alongside: David Stone (twice), Jesse Franklin, Francis Locke, Nathaniel Macon