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James Hopkins Adams (March 15, 1812– July 13, 1861) was an American politician from South Carolina.

Adams was born in South Carolina in 1812 to Henry Walker Adams and Mary Goodwyn Adams. He graduated from Yale University in 1831, and married Jane Margaret Scott in April, 1832. That same year he joined the South Carolina States Rights Party. He was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1834-1837, 1840-1841, and 1848-1849. 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. In 1854, he was elected the 66th Governor of South Carolina, a position he held through 1856. He also 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. He died in Columbia, South Carolina in 1861.

In 1856, Governor James Hopkins Adams recommended a resumption of the Foreign Slave Trade. As a result, slaveholders argued that every white man should legally be required to own at least one slave, which they claimed would give an interest in the issue and instill responsibility.

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Political offices
Preceded by
John Lawrence Manning
Governor of South Carolina
1854–1856
Succeeded by
Robert Francis Withers Allston
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