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Page 1

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

1737-1832

Charles Carroll Was a descendant of Daniel Carroll, an Irish gentleman, who emigrated from England to America about the year 1659. He settled in the province of Maryland, where, a few years after, he received the appointment of judge, and register of the land office, and became agent for Lord Baltimore.
Charles Carroll by Charles Willson Peale, after Rembrandt Peale, c. 1823. Used by permission of Independence National Historic Park
Charles Carroll by Charles Willson Peale, after Rembrandt Peale, c. 1823. Used by permission of Independence National Historic Park
 

   Charles Carroll, the father of the subject of the present sketch, was born in 1702. His son, Charles Carroll, surnamed of Carrollton, was born September 20, 1737, O.S. at Annapolis, in the province of Maryland.
   At the age of eight years, he was sent to France for the purpose of obtaining an education. He was placed at a college of English jesuits, at St. Omer's, where lie remained for six years. Afterwards he staid some time at Rheims, whence he was removed to the college of Lewis le Grand. On leaving college, he entered upon the study of the civil law, at Bourges; from which place he returned to Paris, where he remained till 1757, in which year he removed to London, and commenced the study of law. He returned to America in 1764, an accomplished scholar, and an accomplished man Although he had lived abroad, and might naturally be sup posed to have imbibed a predilection for the monarchical institutions of Europe, he entered with great spirit into thc controversy between the colonies and Great Britain, which, about the time of his arrival, was beginning to assume a most serious aspect.
   A few years following the repeal of the stamp act, the violent excitement occasioned by that measure, in a degree subsided throughout all the colonies. In this calmer state of things the people of Maryland participated. But about the year 1771, great commotion was excited in that province, in consequence of the arbitrary conduct of Governor Eden and his council, touching the fees of the civil officers of the colonial government. These fees, as was noticed in the life of Mr. Paca, had become, in the estimation of the popular branch of the assembly, from the manner in which they were charged, exceedingly exorbitant. To correct thc abuses growing out of the indefinite character of the law, a new law was framed; and, after being passed by the lower house, was sent to the upper house for their concurrence. This, however, was refused; and the assembly was prorogued, without coming to any agreement on the subject. Shortly after, Governor Eden issued his proclamation, the ostensible object of which was to prevent oppressions and extortions on the part of the officers, in exacting unreasonable and excessive fees. The proclamation was in reality, however, highly exceptionable in the view of the people, as it affected to settle the point, which was the prerogative only of the people. The fees in question were considered in the light of a tax, the power to lay which the people justly claimed to themselves.

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Last modified December 27, 2005