Guide to the Turner family papers, 1778-1929 and undated
The Turner family was based in Van Buren, Crawford County, Arkansas. Correspondence, papers, diaries, and scrapbooks of Jesse Turner, Sr. (1805-1894), lawyer, jurist, and Whig politician of Van Buren, Ark.; his wife, Rebecca (Allen) Turner (1823-1917); their son, Jesse Turner, Jr. (1856-1919); and other members of the Turner and Allen families, relating to law practice, family history and personal matters, political activities in Arkansas and the U.S. (1840-1900), secession in Arkansas, the Arkansas Constitution of 1836, social life and customs in Arkansas, life during Reconstruction, and U.S. presidential elections of 1848 and 1860. Correspondents include prominent Arkansas attorneys Albert Pike and Absalom Fowler. There are also a number of letters between Rebecca Allen and Jesse Turner before their marriage, and letters from Rebecca to her son Jesse Jr., as well as diaries written by his mother (1857-1859) chronicling his early childhood.
- Collection Number
- Turner family papers
- 1778-1929 and undated
- 3.5 Linear Feet, Approx. 1316 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
Correspondence and papers of Jesse Turner, Sr., lawyer, jurist, and Whig politician of Van Buren, Arkansas; his wife, Rebecca (Allen) Turner; their son, Jesse Turner, Jr.; and other members of the Turner family, relating to law practice, family affairs, political activities in Arkansas and the U.S. (1840-1900), the Arkansas Constitution of 1836, secession in Arkansas, social life and customs in Arkansas, and life during Reconstruction. Jesse Turner Sr.'s letters on secession are especially invaluable, as are his letters and those from prominent lawyers and jurists commenting on state and national politics. Correspondents include prominent Arkansas lawyers Albert Pike and Absalom Fowler. There are also a number of letters between Rebecca Allen and Jesse Turner before their marriage, and letters from Rebecca to her son Jesse Jr.
The collection also includes legal records; school records, college letters from the University of Virginia, and other papers of Jesse Jr.; a diary belonging to Rebecca Allen Turner (1857-1859) that comments on her young son's activities; a journal of work on steamboats in the West (1840-1850); and scrapbooks relating to the presidential elections of 1848 and 1860.
For a more detailed description of the context and contents of this collection, please consult with a reference archivist for access to the Rubenstein's digitized cardfile.
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How to Cite
[Identification of item], Turner family papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Box contains one scrapbook and several dozen pamphlets.
Jesse Turner, Sr., was born in Orange County, North Carolina in 1805 to a family of Irish immigrants. He received his legal training in Chapel Hill from William McCauley, then left Carolina in 1830. He settles in Van Buren, Arkansas, in 1838, and was elected to the state legislature in the same year as a Whig party member. He rose to prominence in state and national politics, and in 1861 he served as a delegate to the secession convention. He married Rebecca Allen Turner in 1855; in 1856 they had a son, Jesse, who died at an early age in 1919, a few years after his mother. Jesse Turner, Sr. died in 1894.
The following three volumes were transferred to the Duke University Law Library: Jesse Turner, Sr., Briefs of Suits In the Supreme Court of Arkansas, 1891-1901, 1901-1908, 1908-1911.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Allen family
- Fowler, Absalom
- Pike, Albert, 1809-1891
- Turner family
- Turner family
- Turner, Jesse, 1805-1894
- Turner, Jesse, 1856-1919
- Turner, Rebecca Allen, 1823-1917
- Lawyers -- Arkansas -- Correspondence
- Lawyers -- Southern States
- Mothers and sons
- Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1860
- Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1848
- Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) -- Arkansas
- Steamboats -- West (U.S.)
- Secession -- Arkansas
- Arkansas -- Politics and government
- Arkansas -- History
- United States -- Politics and government -- 19th century
- West (U.S.) -- Description and travel
The Turner family papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as gifts and additions from 1938 to 1954.
Processed by Rubenstein Library staff
Encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, Willeke Sandler, June 2014