South Carolina Governors

South Carolina SC History SC Governors

The Earliest SC Governors – And a President!

On March 26, 1776 – just over three months before the Declaration of Independence was signed – South Carolina adopted a state constitution drafted by a provincial congress, becoming the first independent government in the colonies.

The state's first president, John Rutledge, and its first vice-president, Henry Laurens, were elected by the General Assembly. The titles of these offices were changed to governor and lieutenant governor by the Constitution of 1778.

Prior to the 1776 constitution, South Carolina did have governors, but they were not elected. These officials were appointed by the Lords Proprietors from 1670 to 1719, then by the British government from 1719 to 1775. Learn more about South Carolina's colonial governors.

Governors in South Carolina History, 1776-Present

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This section of SCIWAY was originally developed in the spring of 1999 by William Nation, a graduate student in the University of South Carolina's College of Library and Information Science.

Since then, we've continued to update and improve these pages – often with help from the people of South Carolina, who have sent us links, pictures, articles, maps, and more. If you have information or a resource about a South Carolina governor you'd like to add, please write Thanks!


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