Tag Archives: Charles Carroll

Hey, is it just me

…or have we had a lot of religion-related posts here lately?  I’m going to squeeze in one more.  Check out this interview with Bradley Birzer, author of a new book on Charles Carroll.  (Tip of the hat to Mark Shea for this one.)

Most folks remember Carroll (if at all) as the only Catholic among the Founding Fathers and the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Birzer raises some interesting points about Carroll’s religion and its impact on his reputation.  Despite the strain of religious liberalism that a lot of people associate with the Revolution, many eighteenth-century Americans remained deeply suspicious of the Catholic Church.  The fact that Carroll managed to become an influential leader of the Revolutionary movement in spite of this is pretty impressive.


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Remembering the Revolution in Maryland

A lively discussion about Maryland’s state stong bounced around the historical blogosphere a few weeks ago.  I think Kevin Levin initiated the discussion, and then Richard G. Williams weighed in here and here

At the time, I only knew a few snippets of “Maryland, My Maryland,” although I was aware that it was originally a Confederate hymn of defiance.  So when I read the new book on Guilford Courthouse that I discussed in my last post, I was surprised to learn that the lyrics refer to the American Revolution.  Check out the third verse:

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Remember Carroll’s sacred trust,
Remember Howard’s warlike thrust,-
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland

As Lawrence Babits and Joshua Howard note, “Howard’s warlike thrust” is a reference to John Eager Howard, an accomplished officer in one of Maryland’s Continental regiments.¹  Charles Carroll was, of course, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and later U.S. Senator from Maryland.  The song offers a neat illustration of how secessionists invoked the legacy of the Revolution.

Babits and Howard also note another interesting example of commemoration: “Portions of [Howard’s] plantation became downtown Baltimore, where streets are named after his battles at Monmouth, Camden, Eutaw Springs, and Guilford Courthouse.”²  In fact, Howard donated some land for the city’s Washington Monument in what’s now the Mount Vernon neighborhood.  I suppose, then, that his estate (which he called “Belvidere”) was located in this area, so it’s fitting that his statue is there today:

It’s nice to see that Marylanders remembered their Revolutionary War “slumberers with the just,” both in song and in geography.

(Howard statue photo from Wikimedia Commons)

¹Lawrence E. Babits and Joshua B. Howard, Long, Obstinate, and Bloody: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2009), 203.


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Filed under American Revolution, History and Memory