"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time."

boston-tea-partyAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

U.S. Senator Charles Carroll was unique.

He was the longest living signer of the Declaration of Independence, and he was the only Roman Catholic to sign the Declaration.

In 1772, he condemned the British Government’s oppressive taxes, writing in the Maryland Gazette under the pseudonym “First Citizen.”

When his identity became know, British loyalist Daniel Dulany the Younger, wrote highly personal ad hominem attacks, ridiculing Carroll.

In his statesmanlike response, Carroll explained that when Dulany engaged in “virulent invective and illiberal abuse, we may fairly presume, that arguments are either wanting, or that ignorance or incapacity know not how to apply them.”

Charles Carroll led the Tea Party movement in Maryland, helping to set fire to the British ship carrying tea, the Peggy Stewart, on October 19, 1774.

The Continental Congress sent Charles Carroll, along with his cousin John Carroll, Ben Franklin, and Samuel Chase to Canada in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade them to join in the Revolutionary cause.

At his death, Charles Carroll was considered the wealthiest citizen in America.

His statue was chosen to represent the State of Maryland in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

Charles’ cousin, John Carroll, founded Georgetown University and was the first Catholic Bishop in the United States.

Another cousin, U.S. Congressman Daniel Carroll, gave much of the land where the U.S. Capitol is located and was one of two Catholics to sign the U.S. Constitution.

Charles Carroll’s nephew, Robert Brent, was the first mayor of Washington, D.C., being reappointed by Jefferson and Madison.

Charles Carroll paid for the building of a large house for his son, which was later donated to became the main campus of John Hopkins University.

In a letter to James McHenry, the signer of the Constitution for whom Fort McHenry was named, Charles Carroll wrote on NOVEMBER 4, 1800:

“Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time.”

Charles Carroll continued:

“They therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure and which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”


The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.


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