"A" is for Adams, James Hopkins [1777-1858]. Governor. Born in lower Richland County and educated at Yale, Adams was a successful and wealthy cotton planter. He represented Richland County in both the South Carolina house and senate. In 1854, the General Assembly elected him governor. Although the state's voters had repudiated secession in 1850, he belonged to the radical faction that advocated immediate secession from the union.
In an address to the legislature, he urged the reopening of the international slave trade using the arguments that (1) if the trade were wrong, then so was the institution of slavery itself and (2) the importation of additional enslaved Africans would lower the price of slaves and thereby make the ownership of slaves available to non-slaveholding whites. James Hopkins Adams was a member of the state's secession convention.