Geddes John

Gov. Geddes John

South Carolina

December 1, 1818 - December 1, 1820

December 25, 1777

March 4, 1828


College of Charleston

Birth State
South Carolina

Military Service:
National Guard

Married twice--Harriet Chalmers, Ann Chalmers; three children


JOHN GEDDES was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He graduated from the College of Charlesotn and studied law. He was a Cavalry Major and then Major General in the South Carolina Militia. Prior to becoming governor, he was a Justice of the Peace, a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1808 to 1816 (including Speaker for two years), a member of the South Carolina Senate from 1816 to 1818, and Commissioner of Free Schools. Both slavery and tariffs were becoming volatile issues during Geddes’ gubernatorial term. In 1820, Congress declared African slave trade an act of piracy and provided for the death penalty for American citizens participating in the importation of slaves. After leaving office, Geddes served as Intendant (mayor) of Charleston from 1824 to 1825.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 12. New York: James T. White & Company.