Benjamin Thomas Emanuel was born in Burke County, Georgia on 29 Jan 1806, a son of Lewis Emanuel. The identity of Benjamin Emanuel’s mother is unknown. His father, Lewis Emanuel, died in about 1816, when Benjamin was about 10 years of age.
On 4 Nov 1827, the orphans of Lewis Emanuel were granted 287 acres of land in Irwin County, Georgia, which had been taken from Native Americans. In 1831, Benjamin Emanuel paid tax on this land, providing evidence that Lewis Emanuel was his father.

The 1830 census of Burke County, Georgia enumerates Benjamin Emanuel living alone.

On 2 Jun 1830, Benjamin T. Emanuel married Amazon Jane Johnson in Jefferson County, Georgia. She was a daughter of Elijah Johnson and Sarah Johnson (Collins). At their marriage, Benjamin was about 24 years of age, and Amazon Jane Johnson was 19. Benjamin T. Emanuel and Amazon Jane Emanuel (Johnson) had at least eight children: William David Emanuel, Robert J. Emanuel, Sarah E. Emanuel, Benjamin Finney Emanuel, Lewis A. Emanuel, Georgia Ann E. Emanuel, Thomas Joel Emanuel, and Moses Tucker Emanuel.

William David Emanuel, the first child of Benjamin T. Emanuel and Amazon Jane Emanuel (Johnson), was born in Talbot County, Georgia on13 Jun 1831.

During Sep 1836, Benjamin T. Emanuel served on a Grand Jury of the Inferior Court in Talbot County, Georgia.

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census of Talbot County enumerates the B. T. Emanuel household as: male age 30-39, female age 30-39, male age 10-14, male age 5-9, female 5-9, and a male under 5 years of age, likely corresponding to Benjamin T. and Amazon Jane Emanuel and their children William David, Robert J. Benjamin Finney, and Sarah E. Emanuel.

During 1840, Benjamin T. Emanuel served in the House of Representatives of the Georgia General Assembly.

On 6 Jul 1846, Benjamin T. Emanuel and Amazon J. Emanuel (Johnson) inherited land in Talbot County, Georgia from Moses W. Johnson, a brother to Amazon J. Emanuel (Johnson). The land comprised a large plantation in Talbot County.

The 1850 Federal census of Talbot County enumerates the Benjamin Emanuel household in the 17th District including Amazon Jane Emanuel, age 40, and four children: Robert Emanuel, age 17; Sarah Emanuel, age 15; Benjamin Emanuel, age 11; Lewis Emanuel, age 9; Georgia Ann, age 3; and an unnamed male infant, age 3 months. All members of the household were born in Georgia.

On 27 Feb 1854, Benjamin T. Emanuel died in Talbot County, Georgia of Typhoid Pneumonia. At his death, Benjamin was about 66 years of age.

In 1856, the Georgia Tax Disgest of 1856 assigned personal property in O’Neals District of Talbot County, Georgia valued at $8,000 to the administrator of the estate of B. T. Emanuel. The tax digest also assigns personal property to the guardians of three orphans of Benjamin T. Emanuel: Georgia Emanuel, Thomas Emanuel, and Moses Emanuel, valued at $6,000, $7230, and $6,100 respectively. Property assigned to the agent of Wm. Johnson is also recorded. This may be a son of Elijah Johnson.