John Lee Carroll, Governor

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John Lee Carroll, Governor

Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Death: Died in Washington, District of Columbia
Place of Burial: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Charles Carroll, V, of Doughoragen and Mary Digges Carroll
Husband of Anita Gregoria Carroll; Mary Ann Carroll and Mary Carter Carroll
Father of Charles Lee Carroll; Maria Louisa de Kergolay; Anita de la Grange; Royal Phelps Carroll; Charles Carroll and 7 others
Brother of Charles Carroll, VI; Albert Henry Carroll; Helen Sophia O'Donnell; Rose Marie Lynch; Robert Goodloe Harper Carroll and 1 other

Managed by: Linda Kathleen Thompson, (c)
Last Updated:

About John Lee Carroll, Governor

Deputy clerk and U.S. Commissioner, Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court, New York, 1858-1861

Maryland Senate, 1868-1876

President of the Maryland Senate, 1874-1876

Governor of Maryland, 1876-1880

Presidential elector, 1893

President, National Society of the Son's of the American Revolution


John Lee Carroll (September 30, 1830 – February 27, 1911), a member of the United States Democratic Party, was the 37th Governor of Maryland from 1876 to 1880.

Early life

He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Col. Charles Carroll (b.1801) and Mary Diggs Lee (b.1800). Col. Charles Carroll was the great-grandson of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.

At the age of ten, in 1840, he was sent to Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg. He remained there for two years. After leaving he attended Georgetown University, and then St. Mary's College, in Baltimore, for three years. He then decided to enter the legal profession, and attended Harvard Law School for two terms.


After finishing schooling, he worked as a student lawyer for the law office of Brown and Brune in Baltimore. He was admitted to the bar in 1851. He practiced law in Maryland from 1854 until 1858, when he moved to New York. While in New York, he accepted a position as deputy clerk and United States Commissioner in the office of the clerk of the United States district court. He stayed there until 1861, when he returned to Maryland, where he would live for the rest of his life. When he returned to Maryland, he purchased Doughoregan Manor, the family estate from his older brother Charles Carroll.

He was elected into the Maryland State Senate in 1867 and served two terms. He was elected President of the Senate in 1874.

In 1875 he became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Maryland, opposed by James Morrison Harris. He won by a majority vote of 10,000. He was inaugurated as governor on January 12, 1876.

During the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, Governor Carroll called up the 5th and 6th Regiments of the state militia to stop railroad workers from striking in Cumberland, resulting in riots in Baltimore when the militia attempted to march from their armories to Camden Station. Federal troops were then called in to restore order in Baltimore.

Marriage & children

John was married twice. Firstly, to Anita Phelps (April 23, 1838 – March 24, 1873), daughter of Royal Phelps of New York, on April 24, 1856. They had nine children:

Charles Lee Carroll (October 5, 1857–1858)
Maria Louisa Carroll (b. May 26, 1859); married Comte Jean de Kergorlay of France
Anita Maria Carroll (b. March 28, 1861); married Baron Louis de la Grange of France
Royal Phelps Carroll (b. October 29, 1863)
Charles Carroll (b. January 12, 1865)
Albert Henry Carroll (October 6, 1866–1867)
Mary Irene Carroll (March 3, 1869 – November 8, 1888)
John Lee Carroll (February 26, 1871-c. 1895)
Mary Helen Carroll (b. 1873)

He married secondly to Mary Carter Thompson (1847–1899), daughter of Judge Lucas P. Thompson, in April 1877. They had one son; Philip Acosta Carroll (b. May 10, 1879 – July 1957). Mary Thompson's sister Caroline Thompson was married to John Lee's older brother Charles Carroll (1828-1895). As of 2012, Philip's grandchildren own Doughoregan Manor, the family estate in Howard County.

He died in Washington, D.C. and was buried at the Bonnie Brae Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland.

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John Lee Carroll, Governor's Timeline

September 30, 1830
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
October 5, 1857
Age 27
May 26, 1859
Age 28
March 28, 1861
Age 30
October 29, 1863
Age 33
Albany, Albany County, New York, United States
January 12, 1865
Age 34
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
October 6, 1866
Age 36
March 3, 1869
Age 38
February 26, 1871
Age 40
Age 42