Carroll, Charles,1737–1832, political leader in the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. Annapolis, Md. After completing his education in France and England, he returned home (1765) and his father gave him a large estate near Frederick, Md., known as Carrollton Manor; he was afterward styled Charles Carroll of Carrollton. As leader of the Roman Catholic element, he opposed support of the established Anglican Church, presenting his views in a series of articles written for the Maryland Gazette. He threw himself boldly into revolutionary activities, and in 1776 the Continental Congress appointed him, together with Benjamin FranklinFranklin, Benjamin,
1706–90, American statesman, printer, scientist, and writer, b. Boston. The only American of the colonial period to earn a European reputation as a natural philosopher, he is best remembered in the United States as a patriot and diplomat.
..... Click the link for more information. and Samuel ChaseChase, Samuel,
1741–1811, political leader in the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1796–1811), b. Somerset co., Md.
..... Click the link for more information. , to seek Canadian support for the Continental cause. His journal is one of the chief sources for study of this unsuccessful mission. Carroll served (1776–78) in the Continental Congress; he refused to attend the Federal Constitutional Convention (1787), but he later supported the Constitution. He was (1789–92) U.S. Senator from Maryland.
See biographies by K. M. Rowland (1898, repr. 1968), J. Gurn (1932), and E. H. Smith (1942, repr. 1971).
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Carroll, Charles (“of Carrollton”)(1737–1832) Revolutionary leader, U.S. senator; born in Annapolis, Md. (cousin of John Cardinal Carroll). Son of a wealthy, land-owning Catholic family, he was educated at Jesuit schools in France and read law in London, then returned to Maryland in 1765 and took over the family estate, Carrollton. He devoted himself to developing the property until he got drawn into politics in 1773 and ended up as spokesman for the patriot cause. In 1776 he accompanied Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase, and his cousin, John, on a failed mission to persuade Canada to join the revolting colonies. As a member of the Continental Congress (1776–78) he signed the Declaration of Independence; later he was a member of the U.S. Senate (Fed., Md.; 1789–92). Active in trade, land development, and with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, at his death he was said to be the wealthiest man in America as well as the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.