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James Turner (20 December 1766 – 15 January 1824) was the Democratic-Republican governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1802 to 1805. He later served as a U.S. senator between 1805 and 1816.
Turner was born in Southampton County, Virginia; his family moved to Warren County, 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 1798, Turner was elected to the North Carolina House of Commons; he served there from 1799 to 1800, and served in the North Carolina Senate from 1801 to 1802. 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 5 December 1802. He served the constitutional limit of three one-year terms and, at the end of this time as governor, was named to the United States Senate.