Appointed by Governor (Constitution of 1776, secs. 40, 41):
1777 John Caile Harrison
1777-1803 John Goldsborough
1803-1823 Dr. John Cropper
1823-1838 William W. Eccleston
1838-1851 Thomas Holliday Hicks (W)

Elected by Voters to 6-year terms (Constitution of 1851, Art. IV, sec. 18):
1851-1852 Shadrock Mitchell
1852-1857 Thomas Holliday Hicks (A)
1857-1861 Levin L. Keene (W)
1861-1865 Edward W. LeCompte (D)

Elected by Voters to 6-year terms (Constitution of 1864, Art. IV, sec. 46):
1865-1867 Edward W. LeCompte (D)

Elected by Voters to 6-year terms (Constitution of 1867, Art. IV, sec. 41):
1867-1885 Edward W. LeCompte (D)
1885-1909 John W. Fletcher (D)
1909-1926 Russell P. Smith, Sr. (D)

Elected by Voters to 4-year terms (Constitution of 1867, Art. XVII, added by Chapter 227, Acts of 1922, ratified Nov. 7, 1922):
1926-1949 Russell P. Smith, Sr. (D) (resigned 1949)
1949-1950 Charles E. Barnett
1950-1956 Agnes Phelps McAllister

Elected by Voters to 4-year terms (Constitution of 1867, Art. IV, sec. 41, amended by Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956):
1956-1970 Agnes Phelps McAllister
1970-1974 Maurice C. Lewis, Jr. (D)
1974- Doris Keene Lewis (D)

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