Dear Papa, Dear Charley

Volume II
Edited by Ronald Hoffman, Sally D. Mason, and Eleanor S. Darcy
Paperback price: $51
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Publisher: Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press
Imprint: OIEAHC
Cloth/Hardcover Publication Date: 10/2001
Reprint Date: 10/2015
Pages: 522
Paperback ISBN: 9781469628431
Paperback Publication Date: 10/2015


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.

About The Author

Ronald Hoffman is director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture in Williamsburg, Virginia, and professor of history at the College of William and Mary.

Sally D. Mason is associate editor for the Carroll Papers.

Eleanor S. Darcy is assistant editor for the Carroll Papers.


The Maryland Historical Society Book Prize (2002)

J. Franklin Jameson Prize, American Historical Association (2005)


“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

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