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Page 4

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

1737-1832


   Mr. Carroll was continued a member of congress until 1778, at which time he resigned his seat in that body, and devoted himself more particularly to the interests of his native state. He had served in her convention in 1776, in the latter part of which year he had assisted in drafting her constitution. Soon after, the new constitution went into operation, and Mr. Carroll was chosen a member of the senate of Maryland. In 1781 he was re-elected to the same station, and in 1788, on the adoption of the federal constitution, was chosen to the senate of the United States.
   In 1791 Mr. Carroll relinquished his seat in the national senate, and was again called to the senate of his native state. This office he continued to hold until 1804, at which time the democratic party was successful in electing their candidate, to the exclusion of this long tried and faithful patriot. At this time, Mr. Carroll took leave of public life, and sought in retirement the quiet enjoyment of his family circle.
   Since the date of his retirement from public office, few incidents have occurred in the life of this worthy man, which demand particular notice. Like a peaceful stream, his days have glidea along, and have continued to be lengthened out, while the generation of illustrious men, with whom he acted on the memorable fourth of July, 1776, have all descended to the tomb.
   At the age of nearly ninety-two years, he alone survives. [Note: This book was published in 1829. Carroll died November 14, 1832.] "He seems on aged oak, standing alone on the plain, which time has spared a little longer, after all its contemporaries have been levelled with the dust. Sole survivor of an assembly of as great men as the world has witnessed, in a transaction, one of the most important that history records; what thoughts, what reflections, must at times fill his soul! If he dwell on the past, how touching its recollections; if he sur vey the present, how happy, how joyous, how full of the fruition of hope, which his ardent patriotism indulged; if he glance at the future, how must the prospect of his country's advancement almost bewilder his weakened conceptions. Fortunate, distinguished patriot! Interesting relic of the past !"
   To few men has it been permitted to number so many years—to none, to have filled them up more honourably and usefully, than Charles Carroll. Happy in the recollection of the past—conscious of a life well spent, and possessing

 
A peace above all earthly dignity—
A still and quiet conscience.

 
   He may well hope to pass the remaining hours of the evening of his life in tranquillity; and may be assured, that when called to follow his illustrious predecessors to the grave, liberty, and intelligence, and patriotism, and affection, will weep at his departure, while they will rejoice that his honour is placed where no accident can reach it, and no stain can tarnish it.

Source: Rev. Charles A. Goodrich Lives of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence. New York: William Reed & Co., 1856. Pages 357-363. (Some minor spelling changes may have been made.)

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