Historic Structures

Doughoregan Manor, Ellicott City Maryland

Date added: March 8, 2019 Categories: Maryland House Mansion

Doughoregan Manor, was the country home from 1766 to 1832 of Charles Carroll III of Carollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence for Maryland, planter, landowner, politician, and U.S. Senator. The Georgian brick plantation house, built about 1727, was greatly enlarged and remodelled in the Greek Revival Style in the 1830's. His favorite country home, Charles Carroll is buried in the family chapel attached to the north end of the mansion.

Charles Carroll,III, was born at Annapolis, Maryland, September 19, 1737, into a wealthy Roman Catholic family. He was educated by the Society of Jesus in Maryland; he attended the College de St. Omer in French Flanders from 1748 to 1752 and the College de Louis le Grand in Parish from 1753 to 1757. He then went to London for several years, where he continued the study of civil law that he had begun in France. In 1765, at the age of 28, Carroll returned to Maryland and took up the development of the 10,000 acre tract in Frederick County located at the mouth of the Monocary River and known as Carrollton Manor, which his father made over to him at this time. Here in a farmhouse he erected near present-day Buckeytown, Charles Carroll lived the life of a country gentleman of property. In 1765 he began the practice of adding "of Carrollton" to his name to distinguish himself from his father and cousins of the same name.

He took no part in Maryland politics as he was debarred by law from political activity by his legal disability as a Roman Catholic. In 1768 he married his cousin Mary Darnall, by whom he had seven children, three of whom lived to maturity. In 1773 Carroll entered politics when he published a series of letters in Annapolis news - papers. In 1774 and 1775 he was a member of the Annapolis Committee of Correspondence, of the first Maryland convention, of the provincial committee of correspondence and the committee of safety.

Because of his standing among American Catholics and his knowledge of French, the Continental Congress, in February, 1776, appointed Carroll a member of a commission to visit Canada "to promote or form a union" between Canada and the colonies. The mission failed. He was a delegate to the Maryland convention of 1776 and appointed a delegate to the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. Carroll went almost immediately to Philadelphia, voted for the engrossment of the Declaration of Independence on July 19, and signed the document on August 2. He was a member of the Continental Congress from 1776 to 1779 and a state senator from 1776 to 1804.

In 1787 he was elected to the Constitutional Convention but declined to serve. He favored, however, the adoption of the Constitution. He was chosen a U.S. Senator from Maryland in 1790 and served until 1792, when he resigned this office. In 1804, after he failed to be re-elected to the Maryland senate, he retired from public service at the age of 67. He then devoted his time to the development of an estate that included between 70 and 80,000 acres of land in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York. He was a member of the Potomac Company (1785) and of its successor, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (1823). He was on the first board of directors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and laid its cornerstone on July 4, 1828. Carroll died at Baltimore on November 14, 1832 and was buried in the family chapel on his country estate, Doughoregan Manor. At the time of his death he was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence and believed to be the wealthiest citizen in the United States.

Charles Carroll, I, acquired the 10,000 acres comprising the original Doughoregan Manor in 1717. His son, Charles Carroll, II, is believed to have constructed the main section of the mansion about 1727 and on his death in the 1760's, Doughoregan Manor passed to his son, Charles Carroll III, "the signer." The mansion was the latter's favorite country home. His grandson, Charles Carroll, V, remodelled and enlarged the Georgian house in the Greek Revival style shortly after his grandfather's death in 1832. The estate, now containing about 2,800 acres, is still owned by the Carroll family.