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BOOK OF THE ROYAL BLUE.
(All rights reserved.)
BALTIMORE, JULY, 1905.
CHARLES CARROLL OF CARROLLTON.
BY HENRY BARRETT CHAMBERLIN, "CHICAGO RECORD-HERALD."
RATEFUL to Almighty God for the wrote his reiteration upon a fac-simile of the
blessing which, through Jesus Christ document, which now reposes in the library our Lord, He has conferred upon of the city of New York.
my country, in her emancipation, In May, 1776, while Charles Carroll was and upon myself, in permitting me, under in Canada with Benjamin Franklin and circumstances of mercy, to live to the age Samuel Chase as a commission appointed of eighty-nine years and to survive the by Congress to induce the Canadians to fiftieth year of American independence, join the movement against the mother and certifying by my present signature my country, the Maryland convention met at approbation of the Declaration of Inde- Annapolis and passed a resolution instructpendence adopted by Congress on the ing its delegates not to concur in a vote for fourth day of July, in the year of our Lord independence. June 24 Carroll returned one thousand seven hundred and seventy- and took his seat in the house, protesting six, which I originally subscribed on the against the action. Four days later Marysecond day of August of the same year,
land fell in line with its sister colonies, and of which I am now the last surviving recalled the former instructions and advised signer, I do hereby recommend to the her deputies that they were authorized to present and future generations the princi- concur with the others in declaring the ples of that important document as the united colonies free and independent states. best earthly inheritance their ancestors The passage of this new resolution was due could bequeath to them, and pray that the to Carroll's influence, and on the Fourth of civil and religious liberties they have July he was chosen a delegate to Congress. secured to my country may be perpetuated Hastening from the convention, he took to the remotest posterity and extended to his seat in that body on the 18th of July, the whole family of man.
1776. On the following day, July 19, the CHARLES CARROLL OF CARROLLTON.
Declaration of Independence, adopted July “Baltimore, Aug. 2, 1826.”'
4, was ordered engrossed on parchment, and August 2 it was signed by fifty-six dele
gates, headed by John Hancock, president. On this, the first day of the one hundred Of the fifty-six, twenty-one were lawyers, and thirtieth year of the independence of ten merchants, four doctors, three farmers, the United States, is recalled the reaffirm
a clergyman and a printer. atory declaration of the last of the signers. Twenty-five were college graduates and The year of the fiftieth anniversary of the sixteen were men of wealth, but of them adoption of the Declaration of Independ- all few risked so much as the Marylander, ence found living but three of the men who who was the richest man of the colonies, had affixed their signatures to the immortal George Washington ranking second. charter. While it found three living it left That none had more at stake than Carbut one, for that memorable Fourth of July roll was recognized by his colleagues. was marked by the dramatic death of both When asked by John Hancock, “Will you Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, leaving sign it?" he replied, “Most willingly,'' Charles Carroll of Carrollton the sole sur- and as he made his signature a member exvivor of the signers.
claimed: “There go a few millions.” Just fifty years from the day he had A story from that time which appeals to originally signed the Declaration, Carroll the patriotism of this day recounts that
CHARLES CARROLL OF CARROLLTON.
when the delegate from Maryland had foremost people of the time, his wealth and signed his name and was about to return aristocratic lineage securing him an entree. to his seat, Benjamin Franklin, who was Soon after his return, in 1765, Charles standing near, said:
Carroll declared in a letter to a friend, “I “Well, friend Carroll, if our cause shall am resolved never to give myself the least fail and the English king decides that we concern about politics.
* Swift, I shall hang for this day's work you will be think, says somewhere, that a man who, by safe enough. There are many Carrolls in his superior industry and application, makes Maryland, and it is likely that some other an acre of ground produce two for one in of your name may expiate your crime.” the customary method of cultivation, is of
Quick as thought Carroll turned, seized more real utility to his country than all the the pen which he had just laid down, and politicians that ever existed or will exist in after his name wrote, of Carrollton.
it.' But almost immediately he entered There was no mistaking that. Charles with spirit into the controversy between Carroll of Carrollton. If anyone were to the colonies and Great Britain, which at pay the penalty he would be that man. this time was weakening the bonds between
the two. The stamp act had been passed, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
but not yet repealed, and an interesting third of his line in Maryland. His grand- parallel between the attitude of the merfather, Charles Carroll, arrived in the col- chants of that time and those in China ony in 1688 before the English revolution to-day may be drawn from Carroll's state„which put William of Orange on the throne. ment of their action. * The merchants at In England he had been secretary to a
New York and Philadelphia have come to favorite minister of James II, and on com- a resolution not to send for any more goods ing to the new land James granted him of the manufacture and growth of Great large tracts in the Province of Maryland, Britain, and to contradict the orders already which were divided into three manors of given, till a repeal of the stamp act is 20,000 acres each, called after possessions obtained; this resolution will, in my opinwhich his family, tracing its origin back ion, avail us more than petitioning; for to the Irish kings, had held in Ireland. should the people of England be so deaf as These names were Ely O'Carroll, Dougho- not to hear and be moved with our comregan and Carrollton.
These lands were plaints, or so blind as not to see the effects the foundation of the Carroll fortune. of this injustice, they will not be so callous
The father of the signer was also a as not to feel them."
of political letters over the signature of Though Maryland was originally a Roman “First Citizen." Aristocrat as he was, Catholic province, the passing of the Stuarts from this time he was regarded by the from the English throne resulted in many people as one with them in their resistance disabilities being placed upon the adherents to English domination. In 1774 he was to that faith. Among these was Charles appointed member of the committee of Carroll of Doughoregan, who, unable to correspondence; in 1775 he served on the give his son what he considered a suitable committee of safety, and in 1776, as bas education for a Roman Catholic gentleman, already been told, he was sent to Canada, sent him to France, where he attended the his religion and knowledge of the French Jesuit colleges of St. Omer's and Rheims. language fitting him for this service. Later he studied law, both in Paris and Accompanying him was his cousin, Father London, being entered in the Inner Temple, John Carroll, who was afterward the first
was his grandfather before him. He archbishop of Baltimore. remained abroad until he was a
man of twenty-eight. During this preparatory It was in 1774 that Carroll helped place period he traveled on the continent, being in the calendar of Maryland the state holientertained there, as in England, by the day—“Peggy Stewart's Day." In October
CHARLES CARROLL OF CARROLLTON.
to the position of first lady in waiting to the queen, and the signer of the declaration which took from England her richest possession sent to his granddaughter an order for $10,000 to defray the expense that he knew the pageant of the coronation would involve.
of that year some Scotch merchants of Annapolis braved public opinion by accepting a consignment of tea. Anthony Stewart, owner of the brig Peggy Stewart, and one of the signers of the nonimportation agreement, forgetful of his pledge, paid duties on seventeen packages of tea. This becoming known, committee was appointed to prevent the landing of the forbidden cargo, The excitement ran so high that the captain of the vessel was in personal danger. His friends appealed to Carroll to use his influence with the people. Carroll advised him that the only way to allay the anger of the people was to burn the brig. Stewart, who was regarded as the chief offender, with his own hand fired the Peggy Stewart, and in the presence of a great crowd of watchers she was destroyed. Since then October 19 has been known in Maryland and celebrated as Peggy Stewart's day.
During the entire revolutionary period Carroll was active. After peace had been declared, for some time he devoted his attention to his estates and a large iron foundry in which he was interested. He was appointed a delegate to the constitutional convention, but declined to serve. In 1788 he was elected United States senator from Maryland for the short term. re-elected, but resigned and entered the state senate, where he served for ten years. This service completed, he retired from political life.
On the 5th of June, 1768, Charles Carroll was married to his cousin, Mary Darnall, who, with her mother, had made her home with his father, Charles Carroll of Doughoregan.
Her devotion to the latter is shown by the fact that eleven days after his death in 1782 she too died. Seven children were born to the Carrolls, among them one son, Charles, who, like his father and grandfather, was sent to Europe to pursue his studies. One of the daughters married Richard Caton, becoming the mother of three daughters, known when they visited England as the Graces. One of these, Mary, married Robert Patterson, brother to Miss Patterson, who became the wife of Jerome Bonaparte. He was brother to the Emperor Napoleon and grandfather to Charles Joseph Bonaparte, secretary of the navy. Mrs. Patterson, having been left a widow, married the Marquis of Wellesley, brother to the Duke of Wellington.
In 1831 Lady Wellesley was appointed
To the very last Charles Carroll kept his keen interest in the affairs of the world. On July 4, 1828, was celebrated in Maryland the beginning of the first railway—the Baltimore & Ohio. He, a member of the first directory, was present.
The pick, spade, hammer and trowel that were used by him in the ceremony of dedication were presented to him by the Blacksmiths' Association. He acknowledged the gift in a letter, saying:
“You observe that republics can exist and that the people under that form of government can be happier than under any other. That the republic created by the Declaration of Independence will continue to the end of time is my fervent prayer. That protracted existence, however, will depend on the morality, sobriety and industry of the people, and on no part more than on the mechanics, forming in our cities the greatest number of their most useful inhabitants."
The leading event of the celebration was the laying of the corner stone of this first railroad of the land. The venerable Carroll of Carrollton, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, as he cast the first spadeful of earth for the beginning of the railroad, said: “I consider this among the most important acts of my life, second only to that of signing the Declaration of Independence, if indeed second to that.”
The implements, with the badge worn by Charles Carroll on the occasion, were among the relics exhibited by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at the world's fair in Chicago in 1893, and are now in Baltimore.
In the ninety-sixth year of his age, Charles Carroll of Carrollton died at Baltimore November 14, 1832, and was buried in the chapel of Doughoregan Manor. The monument marking the spot bears the simple inscription :
of Carrollton. Born Sept. 19, 1737. Died Nov. 14, 1832.
His greatest and most lasting monument is the nation which he helped to create.