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Charles Carroll of Carrollton: Maryland's First Citizen

Charles Carroll of Carrollton: Maryland's First Citizen

Charles Carroll of Carrollton wasn't in Philadelphia when the Second Continental Congress voted to break from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, nor was he there on July 4 when Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence was ratified. He wouldn't get there and add his name to the document's signers for some weeks, but when it came to the idea that the 13 colonies must free themselves from England, he got there long before many of his fellow Marylanders.

A colony famed for its "middle temperament," Maryland was among the last to come around to the cause of independence. As late as May 21, 1776, the provincial convention in Annapolis adopted a resolution...

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