|12th Governor of North Carolina|
December 6, 1802 – December 10, 1805
|Preceded by||Benjamin Williams|
|Succeeded by||Nathaniel Alexander|
|United States Senator|
from North Carolina
March 4, 1805 – November 21, 1816
|Preceded by||Jesse Franklin|
|Succeeded by||Montfort Stokes|
|Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives|
|Member of the North Carolina Senate|
|Born||December 20, 1766|
Southampton County, Colony of Virginia, British America
|Died||January 15, 1824 (aged 57)|
Warren County, North Carolina, U.S.
Turner was born in Southampton County in the Colony of Virginia; his family moved to the Province of North Carolina in 1770. Raised in a family of farmers, Turner served in the North Carolina volunteer militia during the American Revolutionary War in 1780. He served under Nathanael Greene alongside Nathaniel Macon, with whom he formed a lasting friendship and political alliance.
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 December 5, 1802. He served the constitutional limit of three one-year terms and, at the end of his time as governor, was elected to the United States Senate when Montfort Stokes resigned before serving the term to which he had been elected.
Turner served as a senator for eleven years, re-elected to a second term in 1811, resigning due to ill health in 1816. During his time in office, he supported the administration of James Madison during the War of 1812. Around 1805, he introduced to the Senate a bill outlawing the importation of slaves.
Personal life, death, legacyEdit
Turner was married three times; first to Marian Anderson in 1793 (they had four children), then to Ann Cochran in 1802, with no children, and finally to Elizabeth Johnston in 1810 (resulting in two children). Turner died in 1824 and is buried on his "Bloomsbury" plantation in Warren County. In addition to Bloomsbury, he owned a second home, "Oakland," in present-day Vance County.
- Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789–1978, Robert Sobel and John Raimo, eds. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. (ISBN 0-930466-00-4)
- North Carolina Historical Marker James Moody Turner
- Charles L. Coon, The Beginnings of Public Education in North Carolina: A Documentary History, 1790–1840 (1908)
- Delbert H. Gilpatrick, Jeffersonian Democracy in North Carolina, 1789–1816 (1931)
- William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, VI, 65—sketch by Roy Parker Jr.