Founding Fathers of Maryland: Daniel Carroll

Introducing United States’ Founding Father Daniel Carroll

Born in 1730, Daniel Carroll probably didn’t know he would grow up to become a great politician that would help found one of the greatest countries in the world. He was also one of the few Roman Catholics to be among the Founders. A proud patriot, he was raised in a political colonial family of Irish descent that had many important members including Charles Carroll who signed the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. His brother, John Carroll, was the first Roman Catholic Bishop in the United States.

Founding Fathers of Maryland Daniel Carroll

Allied closely with George Washington, he always believed that a government should be accountable to its people, and he fought for this principle during the Convention. He also worked with George Washington in the Patowmack Company which was created to link central United States together using the Potomac River Canal.

A son of Maryland, he was born in Upper Marlboro but studied overseas in Europe under a school run by Jesuits. Because laws in the United States prevented Catholics from holding office, he couldn’t occupy one when he returned home. In 1776, however, those laws were struck down. This allowed him to be elected and thus he joined the Maryland legislature upper house from 1777 to 1781. Together with other patriots, he was invested in the Revolution.

He wasn’t able to join the early sessions of the Constitutional Convention due to being ill but still persisted in being an active member. He then attended the sessions regularly after. He believed that a solid primary government was needed to handle all the business between states as well as other countries.

He was against the members of Congress receiving any form of payment for their services, and spoke out against that stating that getting paid could compromise the strength of a newly formed government. He spoke during debates and was an active and hardworking member of the Committee on Postponed Matters.

Upon his return to Maryland, Daniel Carroll maintained his involvement in several state and national issues, including playing a key role during the Maryland ratification struggle. He also defended the Constitution publicly, writing his thoughts in the Maryland Journal. He was a staunch supporter of the need for both fiscal and economic stability and voted for the federal government to assume the debts of the state.

He was part of the Maryland Senate as he was one of the three commissioners who were appointed to survey the District of Colombia. Due to his declining health, he retired in 1975 instead of becoming a commissioner in the new capital. He later died at sixty-five at his home in Forest Glen, Maryland, and was buried in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery.



Constitution Day. 2017. “Daniel Carroll, Maryland.” Accessed on April 6, 2017.

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