Dear Papa, Dear Charley

The Peregrinations of a Revolutionary Aristocrat, as Told by Charles Carroll of Carrollton and His Father, Charles Carroll of Annapolis, with Sundry Observations on Bastardy, Child-Rearing, Romance, Matrimony, Commerce, Tobacco, Slavery, and the Politics of Revolutionary America
Ronald Hoffman
Cloth price: $51
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Publisher: Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press
Imprint: OIEAHC
Cloth/Hardcover Publication Date: 10/2015
Pages: 522
Cloth ISBN: 9781469628431


This compelling collection of correspondence between a father and a son documents the history of eighteenth-century America through the intimate story of a family and the journey from boyhood to political prominence of its most illustrious member, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Beginning in the late 1740s, when "Papa" (Charles Carroll of Annapolis) sent "Charley" (Charles Carroll of Carrollton) away from his native Maryland to be educated in Europe, the letters present a new perspective on colonial and Revolutionary America as the lived experience of Roman Catholics, whose defiant adherence to their faith denied them the civil rights and guarantees--including the right to hold office and to vote--that their Protestant counterparts enjoyed. This context accentuates the drama of Charley's rise to power during the Revolution, the necessity of the political and economic compromises he felt compelled to make, and the ultimately tragic personal price exacted by his success. Bringing the Carroll's public and private lives sharply into focus, these volumes present the past in its fullest human dimensions.


Simply put, Dear Papa, Dear Charley is a splendid collection of letters that has much to tell us about the extraordinary Carroll family of Maryland. . . . At its most human and basic level, it is the moving account of a family's successes and failures over a period of more than five decades. As American history, it is an extraordinary panorama of the nation's politics, society, and economics at the founding. These volumes are a gem!--Barbara B. Oberg, Princeton University

The editors have opened up an exciting new vista on the American Revolutionary era. These superbly edited volumes illuminate, in fascinating detail, the complex and compelling connections between the history of an extraordinary family and the epochal changes that transformed Maryland and the Anglo-American world. The publication of this rich and revealing documentary edition is cause for celebration.--Peter S. Onuf, University of Virginia

Ronald Hoffman is the former director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and professor of history at the College of William and Mary. He is editor of the Charles Carroll of Carrollton Papers and author of Princes of Ireland, Planters of Maryland: A Carroll Saga, 1500-1782. Sally D. Mason is associate editor of the Carroll Papers and assistant to the director of the Institute. Eleanor S. Darcy is former assistant editor of the Carroll Papers.

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