Alexander, a descendant of an African Chief and the daughter of an English merchant, was born into slavery in Port Royal, Virginia. He escaped to join the 1st New Jersey Cavalry as an assistant cook, and while in service allegedly killed his former overseer. After the war ended, Turner and his family lived in Maine and Boston before settling in Grafton in 1872. Alexander worked in Grafton as a logger, and in a saw mill, and raised enough money to purchase, piece by piece, three lots that eventually came to one hundred fifty acres of land, and to build Journey's End Farm, where he and his wife would raise 16 children. Exhibits at the Grafton History Museum illustrated this ordinary and remarkable family’s life.