Letter from Dr. Turner
Christian Recorder: March 9, 1876
In your issue of the 24th inst., I find the following paragraph:—
The Colored Tribune of Savannah Ga., continue to be vehicle of fortunetellers and rum sellers. As it was endorsed by the South Georgia A.M.E. Conference we shall certainly look for a reformation of its morals. How about those advertisements, Dr. Turner?
I think it comes with very ill grace from the Editor of the CHRISTIAN RECORDER to ask Dr. Turner anything whatever, about those advertisements in the Tribune , after heralding his name to the world….as being a party to a fortune telling and rum selling establishment. When my friends first read your strictures many, were actually frightened for me. They both wrote and telegraphed to know if I had gone crazy or had I been expelled from the church, and gone into these enterprises for a livelihood. Many thought I was acting as a partner for such an establishment. Now after making the worm impression you could, causing scores of ministers both in South Carolina and Georgia Conference to believe you were my personal enemy, and was trying to do me a public injury (notwithstanding) my repeated efforts to show them it was all in kindness that I have no better friend than the Editor…..
I am not the Editor of the Tribune nor its Business Manager John H. Denver Esq., who holds the highest Government position of any colored man in the States; who is the Grand Master of Colored Masons for the State, and who presides over lodges than any other Grand Master in the United States. Who is a part noble---- of the Odd Fellows for the State, who is a trustee and Sabbath School Superintendent of my Church, who is the President of the State School Association for the State, and who is a gentleman a scholar, and one of the first citizens of Savannah, is the Editor and Business Manager, and not me, and he is possibly the only man living or dead, who can tell all about those advertisements. If I have any connection with the paper at all, it is not known to the public. But I have no more to do with what goes on in it than you except, when the report my sermons, then I claim the right to revise them before they go public. And more, the Tribune is published by a company composed of seven gentleman. If I am one, there are six besides me. Those seven gentlemen are not all ministers, nor Christian either. Some of them are men of means and study about little else. Besides the Tribune is not a religious paper. It gives the first page to religious matters, in deference to a host of ministers and religious patrons, but wields a mighty influence for its size.
But lastly, what is it your business what the Tribune publishes? What have you to do with it? You will not even condescend to exchange with it, and but for the fact, the Editor is such an admirer of the A.M.E. Church, you would not see it, nor do I know as you will much longer. Every colored paper in the United States exchanges with it except yours; and about twenty five white papers do the same. But the holy Editor of the RECORDER won’t send an exchange, yet he is eternally on the prattle about it.
I am the same.
H. M. Turner