Who comes to mind when you think about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence? George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, to just name a few, right? Well, how about a lesser-known man named Charles Carroll? You get a million epicPew points if you thought of Mr. Carroll right off the bat! Just kidding, you don’t get any epicPew points. Our editor hoards them all for himself.
What’s so special about Charles Carroll? Well, for starters, he was Catholic. Not only that, he was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. How do you like them apples? Let’s talk about some more interesting facts about Charles Carroll.
1. Charles was the last survivor of all the signers
One of the four signers who hailed from Maryland, Carroll and his family were pivotal figures in the establishment of a Maryland government. His efforts also paved way for the rest of the United States. He died in 1832 at age 96.
2. Carroll fought for religious tolerance and freedom
At the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Catholics were not allowed to worship in public and were not allowed to hold public office. After the signing, these restrictions ended, thanks to the efforts of Carroll. Some have even credited Carroll to the notion that “all men are created equal”. Impressive, amirite?
3. His Family was deeply Catholic
Charles’ cousin, John, was elected by all the Catholic priests in America to become America’ first Catholic Bishop. John later became Archbishop of Baltimore. Another cool tidbit on John: In 1789, he founded a college that still exists today in Georgetown, as in GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY! Whaaa???? Daniel Carroll, brother to John, is the author of the idea in the Constitution that powers not specifically given to the federal government were given to the states or the people. These guys were kind of a big deal.
4. He was the first mayor of Washington, D.C.
Well, not really, but sort of. Charles was one of the three original commissioners in the new city of the District of Columbia. If the government in Carroll’s used our current governmental titles, he would have been called the mayor. I’d bet money on it.
5. He was super wealthy and used his wealthy wisely
Like, Tony Stark wealthy. Ok, maybe he didn’t have Iron Man suit, but Charles did use his own private funds to keep the Revolutionary War moving against the British.
6. He and George Washington were BFFs
Washington always held Carroll in high regard, especially for his efforts during the Revolutionary War. Carroll even wrote a prayer for Washington’s inauguration. Bruh!
It’s amazing we don’t hear more about the Carroll family and their overwhelming influence on our country’s founding. Some attribute this to their being a devoutly Catholic family in a Protestant country. Let’s give thanks for the Carrolls, and for all our founding fathers, who fought for our independence and freedom! And thanks for all the men and women who continue to fight for us today! May God bless and keep all of you.