African American Councilmembers, 1868-Present

ican American Council Members

City of Charleston, South Carolina


The 1783 charter of the City of Charleston provided for a form of government that generally existed in cities during the colonial era. From 1783 to 1808, the city was divided into thirteen wards, each represented by a warden elected annually; the intendant was elected from the wardens. The city elected wardens and intendants until 1836. The city elected a mayor and aldermen from 1836 through 1975. The city has elected a mayor and council members from 1975 to the present.


1868: Military appointments made by Major Edward Camby


Reverend Ennals J. Adams

Reverend Richard H. Cain

Richard Dereef

Robert Howard

William McKinlay

Edward P. Wall

William Weston


November 1868 Election


William McKinlay

Robert Howard, Sr.

Richard Holloway

William R. Hampton

Launcelot F. Wall

Philip Thorne

Malcom Brown

Edward P. Wall

Thomas Small


1871 Election. No African American aldermen from 1871-73.[i] 


1873 Election


W. J. McKinlay

S. B. Garrett 

A. B. Mitchell

W. G. Fields

John A. Godfrey 

B. Moncrief

George Shrewsbury

John Gordon

R. N. Gregorie 


1877 Election. No African American city council representatives for 90 years.




St. Julian Devine, 1967-1975. Mayor Pro Tem in 1975. First black alderman in 90 years.[ii] 


Frank McKenzie, 1971-75


David S. Hill, 1971-1975


Jerome Kinloch, 1975-1998


Daniel L. Richardson, 1975-1992


Hilda Jefferson, 1975-1998 (female)


Arthur Christopher, 1975-1992


Brenda Scott, 1975-1998 (female)


Robert Ford, 1975-1992


Ligure Ellington, 1992-1996


Maurice Washington, 1992-2000


Louis Waring, 1994-2012


James Lewis, Jr., 1996-2019


Kwado Campbell, 1998-2004


Robert Mitchell, 1998-2002, 2006-present


Wendell J. Gilliard, 1998-2008


Jimmy S. Gallant, 2000-2012


William Dudley Gregorie, 2009-present


Perry K. Waring, 2012-present


Rodney Williams, 2014-2017

[i] Bernard E. Powers, Jr., Black Charlestonians: A Social History (Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press, 1994), 228. 

[ii] Robert Behre, “Charleston’s City Council Draws Outside the Lines of Race,” Post and Courier, 28 February 1993.