Carroll name has been on state's VIP list for years

Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Baltimore Sun.

100 Years Ago

Signatures, please


A Times political story included a picture of John Carroll with the caption, "John Lee Carroll, Doughregon, Governor 1876." The story also mentioned the 1912 presidential election and the "Honorable Blair Lee of Maryland," who was then a Maryland state senator and would, in a few years, become a United States senator.

Blair Lee was the great-grandson of Richard Henry Lee, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and president of the Continental Congress. For that body, in 1776, Lee wrote the resolution that was sent to the British which included the opinion that the colonies should be "free and independent States, that they are absolved of all allegiance to the British crown ... ."


Today there are schools named for Richard Henry Lee, in Chicago, California, and one here in Maryland; Richard Henry Lee Elementary School, in Glen Burnie.

As for Howard County's John Lee Carroll, he had just died that year, in February 1911. He was owner and manager of his family's Howard County estate, Doughregan and was the 37th governor of Maryland. He also had a family member who signed the Declaration of Independence as he was the grandson of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signer of that document.

Members of the Carroll family have been VIPs throughout much of Maryland's history, but the various branches of that family can get confusing. However, you can always recall Charles Carroll of Carrollton's role by remembering that all those "C's" mean "cash." He was one of the richest men in America and helped bankroll our fight for independence from Britain.

He died at 95, after leading a fascinating life. Among his many connections to the Howard County area he's also tied to the county's namesake in Maryland's state song: "Remember Carroll's sacred trust, Remember Howard's warlike thrust — And all they slumberers with the just, Maryland! My Maryland!"

75 Years Ago

Who me?

A big government job was beginning that week, as noted in the Times:

"The immense job of registering 26,000,000 workers for old-age pension with the SSA will begin Monday with 45,000 office workers distributing to employees a form known as the 'Employers Application for I.D. number.' "


When social security first began, there were seniors that could not fathom the concept of the government sending them money and did not cash the checks, or those first years of checks, my grandfather among them. He was a big man of Irish-Scottish descent, a former sheriff who outlived two wives and had 12 children.

In 1936, at 71, he was still full of vim and vigor. So, like some of his peers, in addition to the big government implications of the new social security plan, grandfather also bristled at the idea of the government presuming he, of all people, needed any help!

50 Years Ago

Tubman's Harvest Ball, or Tsevrah Llab

In the school announcement section:

"The Harriet Tubman High School is preparing for the Harriet Carnival Harvest Ball to be held on November 17. The entire school population is expected to participate. Some of the anticipated booths will be: Fortune telling, bake sale, baskets, dance room and more ... . An award will be presented to the homeroom raising the highest amount of money. A King and Queen will represent the homerooms, the winners to reign over the harvest ball."


A couple of places to find out more about that school's namesake, Tubman (a former slave who ran a section of the Underground Railroad) is at the Howard County Center of African-American Culture, with the museum and children's library on Vantage Point Road, in Columbia, (410-715-1921) and at its research library housed at Howard County Community College.

Whenever I read or hear about a queen of the harvest ball, and I can't but think about the movie, "Picnic." The movie featured a Labor Day town picnic, a time when they also chose the gal who would be queen of that year's Halloween festivities, an event the town named Neewollah, Halloween spelled backward. That night during the dance, their chosen queen, played by Kim Novak, floated on a barge along the river for all the town to see, although ultimately she was wasn't around to reign over Neewollah.

Actually "Neewollah" works pretty good backward, phonetically speaking, compared to other holidays like "Snaretev Yad" and "Sknaht Gnivig."