Saturday, September 1, 2012

HENRY McNEAL TURNER POST OFFICE

Congressional Action:
House of Representatives - September 06, 2000

Mrs. MORELLA. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 3454) to designate the United States post office located at 451 College Street in Macon, Georgia, as the ``Henry McNeal Turner Post Office.''

The Clerk read as follows:
H.R. 3454

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. DESIGNATION OF POST OFFICE.

(a) DESIGNATION.--The United States post office located at 451 College Street in Macon, Georgia, shall be known and designated as the ``Henry McNeal Turner Post Office''.

(b) REFERENCES.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the facility referred to in subsection (a) shall be deemed to be a reference to the ``Henry McNeal Turner Post Office''.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from Maryland (Mrs. MORELLA) and the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. CUMMINGS) each will control 20 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Maryland (Mrs. MORELLA).

GENERAL LEAVE

Mrs. MORELLA. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks on this legislation.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman from Maryland?

There was no objection.

Mrs. MORELLA. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, the legislation before us, H.R. 3454, was introduced by our colleague, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. CHAMBLISS). All Members of the House delegation from Georgia have cosponsored this bill.

H.R. 3454 designates the post office located at 451 College Street in Macon, Georgia, as the Henry McNeal Turner Post Office.

There is much to be said about the man honored by this legislation, but I will speak briefly. Henry McNeal Turner was a well-known missionary, pastor, evangelist, church administrator, Army chaplain, author of religious publications, and postmaster.

Turner faced many obstructions in his youth. However, he taught himself to read, and at the age of 19 became a preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1863, he organized the first regiment of African-American troops, and he became the first African-American Army chaplain, and then became a chaplain of the regular troops.

Mr. Turner was appointed as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1867. He was elected to the Georgia State Legislature in 1868 and in 1870. He was appointed postmaster of Macon in 1869. After a year as postmaster, Mr. Turner returned to the State Legislature and founded the Georgia Equal Rights League. He actively championed equal rights, and led mission trips to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and South Africa.

Madam Speaker, I urge our colleagues to support H.R. 3454, honoring an individual who sought equality for all Americans and for people around the world.

I want to thank the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. CHAMBLISS) for bringing our focus to this great individual, Henry McNeal Turner.

Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. CUMMINGS. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I join the gentlewoman from Maryland (Mrs. MORELLA) in thanking the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. CHAMBLISS) for sponsoring H.R. 3454.

Henry McNeal Turner was a well-known missionary pastor, evangelist, church administrator, Army chaplain, author of religious publications, and postmaster. He taught himself to read, and at the age of 19 he became a preacher in the African-American Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1863, he organized the first regiment of African-American troops. He became the first African-American Army chaplain, and then became a chaplain of the regular troops. He was elected to the Georgia State legislature in 1868.

I guess it is easy for us to say that today, but when we think about the times back in 1868, for an African-American man to be elected to the State legislature is phenomenal.

In 1869 he was appointed Postmaster of Macon, Georgia. He actively championed equal rights, and led missions to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and South Africa. So we pause here to honor him by naming this post office after him.
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