Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Daniel Carroll (1730-1796)
MSA SC 3520-210

Governor's Council, 1777-1781
Senate, Western Shore, 1781-1790
Senate President, 1783, 1785, 1787, 1788-1790
Member of Congress, 1781-1783; 1789-1791
Member of the Constitutional Convention, 1787, and Signer of the United States Constitution


Sister M. Virginia Geiger (Daniel Carroll II One Man and His Descendants (Baltimore: Privately Printed, 1979) writes that:

The public life of Daniel Carroll II covers a period  of almost twenty years (1777-1795) in Maryland and in the National Government.  He served in various capacities as a member of the Maryland council for five successive terms (1777-1781), as senator in the Maryland legislature (1782-1792), as state delegate to the Continental Congress (1781-1783), as chairman of the Maryland-Virginia project to promote the navigation on the Potomac River (1785), and as  member of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 to ratify the Constitution.  He likewise served in the National Government as a member of the House of Representatives (1789-1791) and was appointed one of the three Commissioners to survey the District Territory for the permanent seat of government of the United States (1791-1795). 

Daniel Carroll's career as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives is covered in the Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress:

CARROLL, Daniel, (uncle of Richard Brent, cousin of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and Charles Carroll "Barrister"), a Delegate and a Representative from Maryland; born in Upper Marlboro, Prince Georges County, Md., July 22, 1730; educated at the Jesuit School at Bohemia Manor, Md., and at St. Omer's College, France; returned to Maryland in 1748; Member of the Continental Congress, 1781-1783, signing the Articles of Confederation on March 1, 1781; appointed a delegate on May 26, 1787, to the convention that framed the Federal Constitution; member of the first State senate of Maryland and up to the time of his death was a member of the senate of Maryland, or the executive council of Maryland; elected as a Pro-Administration candidate to the First Congress (March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791); took an active part in fixing the seat of government for the United States; appointed by President Washington on January 22, 1791, as one of the commissioners to locate the District of Columbia and the Federal City and served until July 25, 1795, when he resigned; engaged in agricultural pursuits, his farm being the site of the present city of Washington; died at Rock Creek (Forest Glen), near Washington, D.C., May 7, 1796.

His career as a Maryland Legislator is analyzed in Papenfuse, et. al., A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature,  Volume 1.

With regard to his national career, Daniel Carroll should be best remembered for the role he played in adding "to the people" to the 10th Amendment to the Constitution and the assistance he gave Congressman James Madison in the First Congress in facilitating the passage of the Bill of Rights in which, until the fairly recent ratification of one of the originally proposed 12 amendments to the Constitution, he literally had the last word.  For a discussion of Daniel Carroll's role in crafting the language of the 10th Amendment, see Brian Lamb's 1996 interview with State Archivist Edward Papenfuse on CSPAN. A copy of the interview is also available in the special collections of the Maryland State Archives.

(compiled by Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse, November 25, 2012)

Return to Daniel Carroll's Introductory Page


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