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Picture of Charles Carroll of Carrollton


Signer of the Declaration of Independence (Maryland)

Biographical Data
Religious Views
References, Links, & Further Reading

Education: College of Louis the Grande

Occupation: landed gentry

Political Affiliation: Pro-Administration, Federalist

Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Summary of Religious Views:

Views on Religion & Politics:


"Being persuaded that there can be but one true religion taught by Christ, and that the R C is that religion, I conceive it to be my duty to have my grandchildren brought up in it. I feel no ill will or illiberal prejudices against the sectarians which have abandon that faith; if their lives be conformable to the duties and morals prescribed by the Gospel, I have the charity to hope and believe they will be rewarded with eternal happiness, though they may entertain erroneous doctrines in point of faith; the great number in every religion not having the leisure or means to investigate the truth of the doctrines they have been taught, must rest their religious faith on their instructors, and therefore the great body of the people may conscientiously believe that they hold the true faith; but they who, from liberal education, from understanding, from books, not written by one party only, and from leisure, have the means of examining into the truth of the doctrines they have been taught as orthodox, are in my opinion bound to make the examination, nor suffer early instructions and impressions or habits or prejudices to operate against the conviction of what is right. Upon conviction only a change of religion is desirable; on a concern so seriously interesting to all of us no worldly motives should sway our conduct." -- letter to Harriet Chew Carroll, 29 August 1816 (Harriet, or "Hettie," was the daughter-in-law of Charles Carroll)

"Piety is the only solid foundation of happiness even in this life; Louisa was, and I hope is still pious; let her strive to continue so; let her not depart from that religion in which she was brought up; its principles and its practices will enable her to discharge the duties of the married state, to combat and overcome the temptations to which a life of, perhaps, too much dissipation will be liable; a perpetual round of company, cards, concerts, balls, plays and operas are all incompatible with the spirit and letter of the Gospel; a mind distracted and engrossed by such frivolities cannot think seriously of heaven, or fulfill those duties which only can merit heaven." -- letter to Betsy Caton, 22 May 1817 (both Betsy and Louisa were grand-daughters of Charles Carroll)

References, Links, & Further Reading: Books, Articles, Links


Works by Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Journal of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, 1776, Maryland Historical Soc., 1876; reprint, Journal Of Charles Carroll Of Carrollton
ed. by Thomas Meagher Field, Unpublished Letters of Charles Carroll of Carrollton and of His Father, Charles Carroll of Doughoregan, U. S. Catholic Historical Soc., 1902


Kate Mason Rowland, The Life Of Charles Carroll Of Carrollton, 1737-1832: With His Correspondence And Public Papers, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1898, Vol. I, Vol. II
Thomas O'Brien Hanley, Charles Carroll of Carrollton: The Making of a Revolutionary Gentleman, Catholic Univ. of America Press, 1970
Thomas O'Brien Hanley, Revolutionary Statesman: Charles Carroll and the War (A Campion Book), Loyola University Press, 1983
Ellen H. Smith, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, 1942; reprint, Russell and Russell, 1971



CARROLL, Charles (of Carrollton), 1737-1832 (Biographical Directory of the US Congress)
Charles Carroll of Carrollton (ushistory.org: Signers of the Declaration of Independence)
Charles Carroll of Carrollton (Catholic Encyclopedia)
Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832) (Archives of Maryland)
Charles Carroll of Carrollton (Colonial Hall)
Charles Carroll (Signers of the Declaration of Independence -- National Park Service)
Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832) (Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty)

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