Charles Carroll of Carrollton was born in Annapolis in 1737. He received a formal education in Europe and studied law in France and England. When Carroll returned to Annapolis in 1764 he was not allowed to practice law or hold public office due to restrictions on the rights of Roman Catholics.
In 1774, Carroll gained distinction by adopting the name "First Citizen" in a series of political debates published in the Maryland Gazette that focused on the nature of government and the rights of private citizens.
Carroll was the only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence and, on his death in 1832, was the last surviving signer. He served in the Maryland Senate from 1777-1800, and was its president on the day of George Washington’s resignation.