Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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TANNER, Benjamin Tucker, A. M. E. bishop, born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, 25 December, 1835. He is of African descent. After studying at Avery institute and Western theological seminary, Alleghany City, Pennsylvania, he officiated at the 15th street Presbyterian church in Washington, D. C., also organizing the first school for freedmen in the United States navy-yard, by permission of Admiral Dahlgren. At the end of eighteen months he returned to his own church, the African Methodist Episcopal, entering the Baltimore conference in April, 1862. He labored as a missionary in Alexandria, where he organized the first society of his church on Virginia soil. He was stationed in 1863 in Georgetown, D. C., in 1864 in Frederick, Maryland, and in 1866 in Baltimore, but resigned to organize a proposed conference school in Frederick, Maryland, as well as to take charge of the schools of the Freedmen's bureau in Frederick county. He was elected secretary of the general conference of 1868, and by this body was chosen editor of the "Christian Recorder," being continued in this post by three subsequent general conferences of 1872, 1876, and 1880. In 1884 he was elected managing editor of a new church publication, the "A. M. E. Church Review." He received the degree of A.N. from Avery college in 1870, and that of D. D. from Wilberforce university in 1878, and on 19 May, 1888, was elected a bishop. Dr. Tanner has written prose and poetry for periodicals, and is the author of "Paul versus Pius Ninth" (Baltimore, 1865); "Apology for African Methodism" (1867);" The Negro's Origin, and Is the Negro Cursed?" (Philadelphia, 1869); and "Outline of the History and Government of the A. M. E. Church" (1883). He has ready for publication "The Negro, African and American."
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