James Hopkins Adams (1812-1861) South Carolina Governor. He served as a Democrat in the South Carolina House of Representatives for six terms between 1834 and 1849, and in the State Senate from 1850 to 1853. In 1854, he was elected Governor of South Carolina, serving until 1856. In 1860, he signed the Ordinance of Secession, the first official act of the Civil War. Arledge/Mills line.