James Hopkins Adams

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James Hopkins Adams
Portrait of Governor James Hopkins Adams of South Carolina.jpg
66th Governor of South Carolina
In office
December 11, 1854 – December 9, 1856
Lieutenant Richard de Treville
Preceded by John Lawrence Manning
Succeeded by Robert Francis Withers Allston
Member of the South Carolina Senate from the Richland District
In office
November 24, 1851 – November 27, 1854
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from the Richland District
In office
November 27, 1848 – November 25, 1850
In office
December 9, 1840 – November 28, 1842
In office
November 24, 1834 – November 26, 1838
Personal details
Born (1812-03-15)March 15, 1812
Minervaville, South Carolina
Died July 13, 1861(1861-07-13) (aged 49)
Live Oak Plantation, Richland District, South Carolina
Resting place St. John's Congaree Episcopal Church, Congaree, South Carolina
Spouse(s) Jane Margaret Scott
Children Eleven children
Alma mater Yale University
Committees Signer of the Ordinance of Secession
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America Confederate States of America
Service/branch South Carolina state militia
Rank Brigadier General
Commands South Carolina South Carolina Militia

James Hopkins Adams (March 15, 1812 – July 13, 1861) was an American politician from South Carolina. He served in the South Carolina Legislature and was the 66th governor of the state.

Early life and education

Governor James Hopkins Adams of South Carolina.

Adams was born in Minervaville, South Carolina, in 1812 to Henry Walker Adams and Mary Goodwyn Adams.[1] Both of his parents had died by the time James was three years old, and therefore he was raised by his grandfather, Joel Adams, the patriarch of the Adams family of South Carolina. He graduated from Yale College in 1831.[1]


In 1832, he joined the South Carolina Nullification Convention which deliberated until 1833 on whether states could nullify federal laws. He was an opponent of nullification.

He was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1834 to 1837, 1840 to 1841, and 1848 to 1849. In 1850, he was elected to the South Carolina Senate, where he stayed through 1853. He served as a brigadier general of the South Carolina Militia.[2]

In 1854, Adams was elected the 66th Governor of South Carolina, a position he held through December 1856. In 1856, he recommended a resumption of the foreign slave trade as a way of eliminating illicit trade. The legislature rejected this proposal.

He signed the articles of secession for South Carolina, The Ordinance of Secession, and served as a member of the commission to the United States government to negotiate the transfer of United States property in South Carolina to the state government.

Personal life

He married Jane Margaret Scott in April 1832.[1] They had 11 children. Among his many children was Lt. Colonel Warren Adams, of the Confederate States Army, who was in command of Battery Wagner, South Carolina during the American Civil War.[3]

Death and legacy

He died in Columbia, South Carolina, on July 13, 1861,[1] and his remains were buried in Congaree, South Carolina.


  1. ^ a b c d Marquis Who's Who, Inc. Who Was Who in American History, the Military. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1975. P. 2 ISBN 0837932017 OCLC 657162692
  2. ^ "Governor James Hopkins Adams". sciway.com. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Lt. Colonel Warren Adams". bellsouthpwp2.net. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 

External links

  • Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Adams, James Hopkins". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton. 
  • SCIway Biography of James Hopkins Adams
  • NGA Biography of James Hopkins Adams
Political offices
Preceded by
John Lawrence Manning
Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Robert Francis Withers Allston
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