Victorine Quille Adams was the first African-American woman to serve on the Baltimore City Council.
Adams was born in Baltimore, Maryland on April 26, 1912, to Joseph C. and Estelle Tate Quille, she graduated from Frederick Douglass High School and attended Coppin Teachers College, as well as Morgan State College.
After completing her studies, Adams found employment with the Baltimore City School Systems where she worked for fourteen years. In 1935, She married William L. “Little Willie” Adams who was a local businessman. His wealth, however, was acquired through the numbers games and would eventually lead to him becoming a power broker.
Adams got involved in politics and founded a women’s political club, the Colored Democratic Women’s Campaign Committee, in 1946. The initial purpose of the group was to “mobilize support for candidates — invariably white — who were sympathetic to black causes.”Theodore McKeldin, Jr., was one such politician. Eventually, they focused their efforts on the election of African-American politicians citywide and statewide, such as Verda Welcome and Harry A. Cole
In 1962, Adams ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Maryland State Senate; she was successfully elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1966. The following year, Adams left the state legislature to run for a seat on the Baltimore City Council, representing the 4th District.
While serving on the City Council in 1979, Adams partnered with the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company to establish the Baltimore Fuel Fund, which is designed to help local families with their heating bills. The fund has since been renamed the Victorine Q. Adams Fuel Fund. Adams served four terms until her retirement in 1983.