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Deemed ‘necessary to the convenience of the people,’ Carroll formed out of Frederick, Baltimore counties on Jan. 19, 1837

This document was originally printed when the formation of Carroll County was near completion. It illustrates the map of Carroll which was formed from hundreds (land plats) of Baltimore and Frederick County. The map presented at the top of the document gives a true picture of the boundaries of Carroll county. The document was intended to be presented to the future citizens of Carroll. It saw very limited production and currently this is the only example known.
This document was originally printed when the formation of Carroll County was near completion. It illustrates the map of Carroll which was formed from hundreds (land plats) of Baltimore and Frederick County. The map presented at the top of the document gives a true picture of the boundaries of Carroll county. The document was intended to be presented to the future citizens of Carroll. It saw very limited production and currently this is the only example known. (Courtesy of the Thomas S. Gordon family collection)

Sunday marks Carroll County’s 183rd birthday, the county having been founded on Jan. 19, 1837, on land previously part of two other Maryland counties.

Not everyone favored the creation of Carroll County at the time.

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A charter document written by a committee and printed when the formation of Carroll was nearing completion to be shown to citizens to help them envision the new county, illustrates the map of the new Carroll County, created out of land plats from Baltimore and Frederick counties. Those two counties at the time comprised about one-fifth of the territorial area of Maryland.

This document was originally printed when the formation of Carroll County was near completion. It illustrates the map of Carroll which was formed from hundreds (land plats) of Baltimore and Frederick County. The map presented at the top of the document gives a true picture of the boundaries of Carroll county. The document was intended to be presented to the future citizens of Carroll. It saw very limited production and currently this is the only example known.
This document was originally printed when the formation of Carroll County was near completion. It illustrates the map of Carroll which was formed from hundreds (land plats) of Baltimore and Frederick County. The map presented at the top of the document gives a true picture of the boundaries of Carroll county. The document was intended to be presented to the future citizens of Carroll. It saw very limited production and currently this is the only example known. (Courtesy of the Thomas S. Gordon family collection)

Carroll County was named after Charles Carroll of Carrollton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. It was estimated that the new county of Carroll would contain about 20,000 residents. Westminster, centrally located in the new county, was home to some 700 people at the time and was to be designated the county seat.

During the early proposals of the county, some area towns were against leaving their counties. Manchester for example, in a first vote for formation voted heavily against the the idea of Carroll. When Carroll was formed many felt that too much power was to be held centrally within the Westminster area as the county county seat. Other areas also desired to stay part of Baltimore or Frederick county instead of the newly proposed county. Residents in the Manchester area in 1833 opted to turn the town cannon and fired it in the direction of Westminster as a gesture against the proposed county.

The wording appearing under the map on the charter document:

"Sir, The undersigned, on the part of their fellow citizens respectfully submit for your examinations the annexed diagram. For the purpose of facilitating any inquiry you may be pleased to make upon the subject of the contemplated New County. It has been prepared with great care by competent persons, has undergone a most rigid comparison with the best published authorities upon the Geography of the State, and is found to agree with them in every essential particular; designating correctly all those important point necessary to a fair and complete understanding of the subject. By a reference to it, you will be enabled to see at a single glance, the extent of territory both Baltimore and Frederick Counties. The very partial location of their respective seats of justice, and the remote distance at which a large and highly respectable portion of the citizens of those counties, are now situated from their respective courts of justice. It also satisfactorily designates the segregated portion of Baltimore and Frederick counties from which it is proposed to form the proposed New County and clearly proves that instead of impairing either in any imaginable respect, both will be materially benefited by the separation from each other, of a large portion of this oppressed population and much neglected territory; and by carefully tracing the red lines upon the diagram you will have presented to view more clearly than by any other mode that can be adopted, the whole extent of territory of the proposed New County, which with its population of about 20,000 souls its surface, soil, wealth, and various resources will readily compare without disadvantage with any County in the state; all of which is most respectfully submitted to your consideration with the confident hope that when you have deliberately examined the whole subject you will at once perceive that the creation of the contemplated New County is necessary to the convenience of the people of this section of the state; and that it is the only method calculated to remove effectively those oppressive grievances of which we have so long and loudly complained."

The document bears the following signatures: Evan McKinstry, Geo. Faraquhar, John Wadlow, John M. Caleb, J. L Warfield, Nicholas Kelly, C. Birnie, Allen Hibberd, Geo. F. Warfield, Tho. Hook, Jacob Landes, William H. Warfield, William B. Hebbard, Jacob Shriver, George W. Gorsuch, William Shepherd, Wm. Brown, Thomas E. Stockdale, John Roberts, Washington Van Bibber, Joseph Steel, William Willis, W. W. Warfield, James Hood of (John), John Mathias, George H. Krebs, J. Manning, John Moore, Edward Stocksdale of (Thomas), J. Cockey.

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