James Milton Turner and the Promise of America: The Public Life of a Post-Civil War Black Leader
by Gary R. Kremer
University of Missouri Press, 1991
Cloth: 978-0-8262-0780-7 | eISBN: 978-0-8262-6090-1
Library of Congress Classification E664.T88K74 1991
Dewey Decimal Classification 973.8092

James Milton Turner, Missouri's most prominent nineteenth-century African American political figure, possessed a deep faith in America. The Civil War, he believed, had purged the land of its sins and allowed the country to realize what had always been its promise: the creation of a social and political environment in which merit, not race, mattered.

Born a slave, Turner gained freedom when he was a child and received his education in clandestine St. Louis schools, later briefly attending Oberlin College. A self-taught lawyer, Turner earned a statewide reputation and wielded power far out of proportion to Missouri's relatively small black population.

After working nearly a decade in Liberia, Turner never regained the prominence he had enjoyed during Reconstruction.

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