Joe Turner Constable -1871, Lowndes County Alabama

In 2003 I purchased a copy of the book “Lowndes Court House – A Chronicle of Hayneville, an Alabama Black Belt Village 1820 – 1900”, a book of reminiscences by  Mildred Brewer Russell. In the chapter “Reconstruction And After, 1865 – 1900 I found my great great grandfather, Joe Turner, mentioned as one of the Negro (sic) politicians.  After that I tried to find what sort of politician he was, what office he held.  I could not find anything.

From “LowndesCourt House – A chronicle of Hayneville – an Alabama Black Belt Village 1820- 1900” Page 127 By Mildred Brewer Russell

Last week on, I found the following information. Joe Turner was elected as constable on November 7, 1871.

Google defined a constable as “…a peace officer with limited policing authority, typically in a small town.”

In 1874 Reconstruction ended in Alabama, resulting in loss of voting rights and the ability to hold elected office for black people.

Here is an interesting timeline that traces how the right to vote and hold public office was taken away from black men in Lowndes and neighboring counties. “The More You Know: A History …”  It wasn’t until 1970, 99 years from 1871, that African American John Hulett was elected  sheriff in Lowndes County.

You can read more about Joe Turner in these posts:

Timeline for Joe Turner
Joe Turner in the 1853 Probate Record for Wiley Turner
Joe Turner, Land, Mules and Courts
Emma and Joe Turner of Gordensville, Lowndes County
Joseph Turner’s Will
There were at one time 4 flourishing schools…

6 thoughts on “Joe Turner Constable -1871, Lowndes County Alabama

  1. So wait… they were temporarily given rights and freedoms and the ability to hold office after the Civil War, but then as soon as the next government came to power they took it away again?

  2. It took ninety nine years, for John Hulett to become sheriff in Lowndes County, in 1970. The Lowndes County Freedom Organization used the Black Panther as its symbol.

    1. I remember that black panther. I think I have something around here from Lowndes County with the panther on it. If I find it I will post.

  3. I just spent some time reading this post and your archival posts on Joe Turner. You have unearthed some incredible and heart-wrenching documents about his history. I wish my Union Army ancestor had stayed in service a bit longer to assist with the Reconstruction period — and that the Union Army hadn’t been withdrawn so soon…too soon, as it turns out. I will stop back to read more about Joe as his story unfolds. Thanks for stopping by my blog as well.

  4. The federal government decided it wasn’t a priority, so withdrew the troops. I’m sorry local black citizens weren’t armed and able to defend themselves and their rights. 99 years is way to long.

    Right now I’m waiting for some microfilm with Lowndes County land records to come to the local family search center so I can the buying and selling and mortgagine of land that Joe Turner and some of the others who were formerly enslaved on the Turner plantation, did.

Comments are closed.