460 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 21 illus., 7 maps, 4 tables, 1 fig., 6 genealogical charts, appends., notes, index
A Carroll Saga, 1500-1782
Charles Carroll of Carrollton is most often remembered as the sole Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. In this monumental study of the Carrolls in Ireland and America, that act vindicates a family's determination to triumph without compromising lineage and faith.
Ronald Hoffman peels back layer after layer of Carroll family history, from dispossession in Ireland to prosperity and prominence in America. Driven to emigrate by England's devastating anti-Catholic policies, the first Carroll brought to Maryland an iron determination to reconstitute his family and fortune. He found instead an increasingly militant Protestant society that ultimately disenfranchised Catholics and threatened their wealth and property. Confronting religious antagonisms like those that had destroyed their Irish ancestors, this Carroll and his descendants founded a fortune--and a dynasty that risked everything by allying with the American Revolutionary cause.
Meeting each crisis with a tenacious will to survive and prevail, the Carrolls earned an esteemed place in the new nation. Hoffman balances private lives against their contentious public role in American history. The journey from Irish rebels to American revolutionaries shaped and shattered the Carrolls--and then remade them into one of the first families of the Republic.
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