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James Turner
North Carolina

Gov. James Turner

  • December 6, 1802 - December 10, 1805
  • Democratic-Republican
  • December 20, 1766
  • January 15, 1824
  • Virginia
  • Married three times—Marion Anderson, Ann Cochran, Elizabeth Johnston; six children
  • Senator
  • National Guard


JAMES TURNER was born in Southampton County, Virginia on December 20, 1766. After his family moved to North Carolina, Turner attended the common schools of Warren County. During Revolutionary War he served briefly in the Warren County militia in the 1781 campaign under fellow future governor Benjamin Williams. Turner first entered politics as a member of the North Carolina House of Commons, a position he held from 1797 to 1800. He also served in the North Carolina Senate from 1801 to 1802. Turner next won election to the governorship in 1802. He went on to win reelection annually until 1804. During his tenure, a border disagreement with Georgia was dealt with; and a public school system was proposed that would be financed by state revenue. After completing his term, Turner served in the U.S. Senate, an office he held from 1805 to 1816. Governor James Turner passed away on January 15, 1816, and was buried on his Bloomsbury estate in Warren County, North Carolina.

Note: “National Guard” refers to Turner’s service in the North Carolina militia.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (search keyword: Governors)

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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