Happy Birthday, Charles Carroll, Founding Father of Maryland

Born on September 19, 1737, Charles Carroll’s life spanned nearly a century. By the fiftieth anniversary of July 4, 1776, the Founding Father of Maryland was the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence, having outlived Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who both died on that day.


(Portrait of Charles Carroll of Carrollton by Michael Laty)

Benjamin Franklin is said to have advised his fellow patriots of the potential consequences of challenging the British Empire and its king: “We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” While each of the 56 British subjects who affixed their names to the Declaration risked life, fortune, and sacred honor, none may have risked as much as the delegate from Maryland, Charles Carroll of Carrollton.

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