Carroll, Charles

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 Franklin and Samuel Chase, 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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