Historical records matching Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Signer of the "Declaration of Independence"
About Charles Fremont Carroll, Ill
Charles Carroll of Carrollton (September 19, 1737 – November 14, 1832) was a lawyer and politician from Maryland who was a delegate to the Continental Congress and later a United States Senator. He was the last surviving and only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.
He was born on September 19, 1737 at Annapolis, Maryland, the son of Charles Carroll of Annapolis (1702–1800) (his grandfather was Irish Daniel Carroll). His reputed attendance at the Jesuit preparatory school at Bohemia in Cecil County cannot be confirmed from contemporary records, and he may have been schooled at home before departing for Europe, where he attended the College of St. Omer in France, and graduated from the College of Louis the Grand in 1755. He continued his studies in Europe, and read for the law in London before returning to Annapolis in 1765.
Charles Carroll of Annapolis granted Carrollton Manor to his son, Charles Carroll of Carrollton. It is from this tract of land that he took his title, “Charles Carroll of Carrollton.”
Carroll was a voice for independence in Maryland. In 1772 he engaged in a debate conducted through anonymous newspaper letters and maintained the right of the colonies to control their own taxation. As a Roman Catholic, he was barred from entering politics, practicing law, and voting. However, writing in the Maryland Gazette under the pseudonym "First Citizen," he became a prominent spokesman against the governor's proclamation increasing legal fees to state officers and Protestant clergy. Carroll served on various committees of correspondence.
He was commissioned with Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Chase in February 1774 to seek aid from Canada. He was a member of Annapolis' first Committee of Safety in 1775. In early 1776, while not yet a member, the Congress sent him on a mission to Canada. When Maryland decided to support the open revolution, he was elected to the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, and remained a delegate until 1778. He arrived too late to vote in favor of it, but was able to sign the Declaration of Independence.
His signature reads "Charles Carroll of Carrollton," which is why he has gone down in history this way. At the time he was one of the richest men in America. As he signed, an observer stated "There go a few millions." Throughout his term in Congress, he served on the board of war.
Carroll returned to Maryland in 1778 to assist in the drafting of a constitution and forming a state government. Carroll was re-elected to the Continental Congress in 1780, but he declined. He was elected to the state senate in 1781 and served there continuously until 1800.
When the United States government was created, the Maryland legislature elected him to the first United States Senate. In 1792 Maryland passed a law that prohibited any man from serving in the State and national legislatures at the same time. Since he preferred to be in the Maryland Senate, he resigned from the U. S. Senate on November 30, 1792.
Carroll retired from public life in 1801. After Thomas Jefferson became president, he had great anxiety about political activity, and was not sympathetic to the War of 1812. After both Jefferson and Adams died on July 4, 1826, he became the only surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. He came out of retirement to help create the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1827. His last public act, on July 4, 1828, was the laying of the cornerstone of the B&O's Carrollton Viaduct, named in his honor and still in use today. He died on November 14, 1832 in Baltimore, and is buried in his Doughoregan Manor Chapel at Ellicott City, Maryland.
Carroll funded the building of what is known today as Homewood House, a 140 acre (570,000 m²) estate in northern Baltimore, Maryland as a wedding gift to his son, Charles Jr. and Harriet Chew. Charles Jr. then oversaw the design and construction of the house, which began construction in 1801 and had mostly finished by 1808. Research shows that he incorporated suggestions from his wife. It took five years to build and cost $40,000, four times the budgeted expense. The house never really fulfilled any of their expectations, as it did nothing to cure Charles Jr.'s idleness and alcoholism or prevent the couple from separating years later.
Homewood was donated to Johns Hopkins University in 1876 and later became its main campus. Today, Johns Hopkins operates Homewood House as a museum, and its beautiful Georgian architecture serves was the inspiration for the Hopkins' architecture.
Named in his honor are counties in Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia, as well as East and West Carroll Parishes, Louisiana. Also named for him is the Carroll Gardens neighborhood in Brooklyn.
In 1903 the state of Maryland added a bronze statue to the Capitol Building's National Statuary Hall Collection. It is located in the Hall of Columns
Charles of Carrollton's grandfather, Charles Carroll known as Charles Carroll the Settler, was an Irishman from Littemourna, who was a clerk in the office of Lord Powis . Around the year 1659 , during the reign of King James II, he emigrated from England to America, thus establishing one of the most influential families in American politics. 
Charles' sole son was born in 1702 and named Charles. To distinguish himself from his father he was known as Charles Carroll of Annapolis , but is not to be confused with his son of the same name (the subject of this article).
Charles married Mary Darnall, known as Molly, on June 5, 1768. They had seven children before Molly died in 1782, but only three survived infancy: Mary, Charles Jr., and Kitty. Mary married to Richard Caton. From 1820 to 1832, Carroll would winter with the Catons in Baltimore. Charles Jr. (sometimes known as Charles Carroll of Homewood because he oversaw its design and construction) married Harriet Chew and lived in Philadelphia. Harriet was the daughter of Benjamin Chew, the chief justice of Pennsylvania, and her sister married John Eager Howard who had served in the Senate with Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Charles Jr. was an alcoholic who reportedly consumed up to two quarts of brandy a day. This led to erratic behavior that resulted in his separation from Harriet.
Today, Carroll's descendants own the largest parcel of land in Howard County, Maryland, with over 1000 acres (4 km²) of valuable, but historically preserved land in Ellicott City, Maryland.
Charles Carroll was portrayed by actor Terrence Currier in the 2004 film National Treasure starring Nicolas Cage. He is accurately described as the last living signatory of the Declaration of Independence. Carroll is inaccurately described as a Freemason in the film; Catholics are not permitted to be Freemasons. Though the film does not explicitly state Carroll's location of death as being Washington, D.C., it inaccurately implies it.
In the 1940s, newspaper journalist John Hix's syndicated column "Strange As It Seems" published an interesting (though unverified) explanation for Charles Carroll's distinctive signature on the Declaration of Independence. Every member of the Continental Congress who signed this document automatically became a criminal, guilty of sedition against King George III. Carroll, because of his wealth, had more to lose than most of his companions. Some of the signators, such as Caesar Rodney and Button Gwinnett, had unusual and distinctive names which would clearly identify them to the King; other signators, with more commonplace names, might hope to sign the Declaration without incriminating themselves.
According to Hix, when it was Carroll's turn to sign the Declaration of Independence, he rose, went to John Hancock's desk where the document rested, signed his name "Charles Carroll" and returned to his seat. At this point another member of the Continental Congress, who was prejudiced against Carroll because of his Catholicism, commented that Carroll risked nothing in signing the document, as there must be many men named Charles Carroll in the colonies, and so the King would be unlikely to order Carroll's arrest without clear proof that he was the same Charles Carroll who had signed the Declaration. Carroll immediately returned to Hancock's desk, seized the pen again, and added "of Carrollton" to his name.
However, some believe that Carroll was using the "of Carrollton" suffix signature at least as early as September 15, 1765, in a letter written to a friend in England.
may have been the last living signer of the Decloration of Independance. Also only one to list his address by his signature.
Carroll Co was named after him.
CARROLL, Charles, of Carrollton, last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, born in Annapolis, Maryland, 20 September, 1737; died in Baltimore, 14 November, 1832.
The sept of the O'Carrolls was one of the most ancient and powerful in Ireland. They were princes and lords of Ely from the 12th to the 16th century. They sprang from the kings of Munster, and intermarried with the great houses of Ormond and Desmond in Ireland, and Argyll in Scotland.
Charles Carroll, grandfather of Carroll of Carrollton, was a clerk in the office of Lord Powis in the reign of James II, and immigrated to Maryland upon the accession of William and Mary in 1689. In 1691 he was appointed judge and register of the land-office, and agent and receiver for Lord Baltimore's rents. His son Charles was born in 1702, and died in 1782, leaving his son Charles, the signer, whose mother was Elizabeth Brook.
Carroll of Carrollton, at the age of eight years, was sent to France to be educated under the care of the Society of Jesus, which had controlled the Roman Catholics of Maryland since its foundation. He remained six years in the Jesuit College at St. Omer's, one year in their College at Rheims, and two years in the College of Louis Le Grand. Thence he went for a year to Bourges to study civil law, and from there he returned to College at Paris. In 1757 he entered the Middle Temple, London, for the study of the common law, and returned to Maryland in 1765.
In June, 1768, he married Mary Darnall, daughter of Col. Henry Darnall, young lady of beauty, fortune, and ancient family. Carroll found the public mind in a ferment over many fundamental principles of government and of civil liberty. In a province founded by Roman Catholics on the basis of religious toleration, the education of Catholics in their own schools had been prohibited by law, and Carroll himself had just returned from a foreign land, whither he had been driven by the intolerance of his home authorities to seek a liberal education.
Not only were Roman Catholics under the ban of disfranchisement, but all persons of every faith and no faith were taxed to support the established church, which was the Church of England. The discussion as to the right of taxation for the support of religion soon extended from the legislature to the public press. Carroll, over the signature " The First Citizen," in a series of articles in the "Maryland Gazette," attacked the validity of the law imposing the tax.
The church establishment was defended by Daniel Dulany, leader of the colonial bar, whose ability and learning were so generally acknowledged that his opinions were quoted as authority on colonial law in Westminster hall, and are published to this day, as such, in the Maryland law reports.
In this discussion Carroll acquitted himself with such ability that he received the thanks of public meetings all over the province, and at once became one of the "first citizens." In December 1774, he was appointed one of the committee of correspondence for the province, as one of the initial steps of the revolution in Maryland, and in 1775 was elected one of the council of safety. He was elected delegate to the revolutionary convention from Anne Arundel County, which met at Annapolis, 7 December, 1775.
In January, 1776, he was appointed by the Continental congress one of the commissioners to go to Canada and induce those colonies to unite with the rest in resistance to Great Britain. On 4 July, 1776, he, with Matthew Tilghman, Thomas Johnson, William Paca, Samuel Chase, Thomas Stone, and Robert Alexander, was elected deputy from Maryland to the Continental congress.
On 12 January, 1776, Maryland had instructed her deputies in congress not to consent to a declaration of independence without the knowledge and approbation of the convention, Mainly owing to the zealous efforts of Carroll and his subsequent colleagues, the Maryland convention, on 28 June, 1776, had rescinded this instruction, and unanimously directed its representatives in congress to unite in declaring "the united colonies free and independent states," and on 6 July declared Maryland a free, sovereign, and independent state.
Armed with this authority, Carroll took his seat in congress at Philadelphia, 18 July, 1776, and on 2 August, 1776, with the rest of the deputies of the thirteen states, signed the Declaration of Independence. It is said that he affixed the addition "of Carrollton" to his signature in order to distinguish him from his kinsman, Charles Carroll, barrister, and to assume the certain responsibility himself of his act.
He was made a member of the board of war, and served in congress until 10 November, 1776. In December, 1776, he was chosen a member of the first senate of Maryland, in 1777 again sent to congress, serving on the committee that visited Valley Forge to investigate complaints against General Washington, and in 1788 elected the first senator from the state of Maryland under the constitution of the United States. He drew the short term of two years in the federal senate in 1791, and was again elected to the state senate, remaining there till 1801.
In 1797 he was one of the commissioners to settle the boundary-line between Maryland and Virginia. On 23 April, 1827, he was elected one of the directors of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad company, and on 4 July, 1828, laid the foundation-stone of the beginning of that undertaking.
His biographer, John H. born Latrobe, writes to the senior editor of this Cyclopaedia:
"After I had finished my work I took it to Mr. Carroll, whom I knew very well indeed, and read it to him, as he was seated in an arm-chair in his own room in his son-in-law's house in Baltimore. He listened with marked attention and without a comment until I had ceased to read, when, after a pause, he said: 'Why, Latrobe, you have made a much greater man of me than I ever thought I was; and yet really you have said nothing in what you have written that is not true.' . . . In my mind's eye I see Mr. Carroll now--a small, attenuated old man, with a prominent nose and somewhat receding chin, small eyes that sparkled when he was interested in conversation. His head was small and his hair white, rather long and silky, while his face and forehead were seamed with wrinkles. But, old and feeble as he seemed to be, his manner and speech were those of a refined and courteous gentleman, and you saw at a glance whence came by inheritance the charm of manner that so eminently distinguished his son, Charles Carroll of Homewood, and his daughters, Mrs. Harper and Mrs. Caton."
The accompanying view represents his spacious mansion, known as Carrollton, still owned and occupied by his descendants.
--His son, Charles Carroll, married Harriet, daughter of Benjamin Chew, of Philadelphia, who, as well as her sister, Mrs. Philips, was a great favorite of General Washington. In 1796, when Gilbert Stuart painted his portrait for Mrs. William Bingham, she frequently accompanied the general to the artist's house, "as her conversation," said Washington, "will give to my countenance its most agreeable expression." Her portrait, as Harriet Chew, was executed by Col. John Trumbull, who also painted portraits of her sister Sophia Chew, Cornelia Schuyler, Julia Seymour, and many other celebrated beauties of that period. See Griswold's "Republican Court" (New York, 1879).
--The granddaughters of Charles Carroll of Carrollton became respectively Marchioness Wellesley, Duchess of Leeds, and Lady Stafford.
--A grandson, John Lee, governor of Maryland, born at Homewood, near Baltimore, Maryland, in 1830, was educated in the Roman Catholic Colleges at Georgetown, District of Columbia, at Emmettsburg, Maryland, and at Harvard law school, was admitted to the bar in 1851, removed to New York in 1859, where he served as United States commissioner, returned to Baltimore in 1862, was elected to the state senate in 1867 and again in 1871, and in 1875 elected governor. He married a daughter of Royal Phelps, of New York.
Doughoregan Manor is a mansion located on Manor Lane near Ellicott City, Maryland, USA. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on November 11, 1971. From 1766 to 1832, Doughoregan Manor was the country home of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. He lies buried in the chapel attached to the north end of the mansion. "Doughoregan" was a family estate in Ireland. The Georgian brick plantation house, built by Carroll's father around 1727.
Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM
CARROLL, Charles, of Carrollton, last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, born in Annapolis. Maryland, 20 September, 1737; died in Baltimore, 14 November, 1832. The sept of the O'Carrolls was one of the most ancient and powerful in Ireland. They were princes and lords of Ely from the 12th to the 16th century. They sprang from the kings of Munster, and intermarried with the great houses of Ormond and Desmond in Ireland, and Argyll in Scotland. Charles Carroll, grandfather of Carroll of Carrollton, was a clerk in the office of Lord Powis in the reign of James II., and immigrated to Maryland upon the accession of William and Mary in 1689. In 1691 he was appointed judge and register of the land-office, and agent and receiver for Lord Baltimore's rents. His son Charles was born in 1702, and died in 1782, leaving his son Charles, the signer, whose mother was Elizabeth Brook. Carroll of Carrollton, at the age of eight years, was sent to France to be educated under the care of the Society of Jesus, which had controlled the Roman Catholics of Maryland since its foundation. He remained six years in the Jesuit College at St. Omer's, one year in their College at Rheims, and two years in the College of Louis Le Grand. Thence he went for a year to Bourges to study civil law, and from there he returned to College at Paris. In 1757 he entered the Middle Temple, London, for the study of the common law, and returned to Maryland in 1765. In June, 1768, he married -------------------- Charles Carroll of Carrollton From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Charles Carroll of Carrollton (September 19, 1737 – November 14, 1832) was a wealthy Maryland planter and an early advocate of independence from Great Britain. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and later as United States Senator for Maryland. He was the only Catholic and the longest-lived (and last surviving) signatory of the Declaration of Independence, dying at the age of 95.
Named in his honor are counties in Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia, as well as East and West Carroll Parishes, Louisiana. Carroll County, Kentucky and its county seat, Carrollton, are both named for him. Also named for him are the Carroll Gardens neighborhood in Brooklyn and the Greater Carrollwood neighborhoods of Tampa; as well as the city of New Carrollton, Maryland, home to Charles Carroll Middle School.
Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana was named in his honor. The surrounding neighborhood formerly made up the separate town of Carrollton, but was incorporated into the city of New Orleans 1833.
http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=41351 1754–1914. This oldest colonial structure of Baltimore was built in 1754 upon the estate known as “Georgia Plantation” by Charles Carroll, Barrister 1723–1783 One of the foremost patriots of the Revolution, author of the Maryland Declaration of Rights and active in the preparation of the first constitution of the State. At this house Washington, Lafayette and others prominent in the Revolutionary period were guests on their journeys between the Northern and Southern Colonies.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Signer of the "Declaration of Independence"'s Timeline
September 19, 1737
Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland
April 3, 1769
Annapolis, Anne Arundel, MD
September 2, 1770
Annapolis, Anne Arundell County, Maryland
Carrollton, , MD
March 2, 1775
Of, Carrollton, Prince George, Maryland
Carrolton, , MD
December 18, 1778
Of, Carrollton, , Maryland
Annapolis, Anne Arundel, MD
June 5, 1786
November 14, 1832
Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland