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John Lee Carroll

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Preceded by  James B. Groome
Name  John Carroll
Political party  Democratic
Spouse  Anita Phelps

Children  10
Party  Democratic Party
Religion  Roman Catholic
John Lee Carroll
Died  February 27, 1911, Washington, D.C., United States
Education  Harvard Law School, Georgetown University

Succeeded by  William Thomas Hamilton

John Lee Carroll (September 30, 1830 – February 27, 1911), a member of the United States Democratic Party, was the 37th Governor of Maryland from 1876 to 1880.


Early life

Carroll was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Col. Charles Carroll (b. 1801) and Mary Diggs Lee (b. 1800). Col. Charles Carroll was the great-grandson of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, (1737–1832), the only Catholic signer and longest living, last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. John Lee Carroll was also a great-grandson of Maryland's second (and seventh) Governor of Maryland, Thomas Sim Lee, (1745–1819).

At the age of ten, in 1840, Carroll was sent to Mount Saint Mary's College in Frederick County's Emmitsburg, where he remained for two years. After leaving he attended Georgetown University in Georgetown, near Washington, D.C., and then the secular part of St. Mary's College, on North Paca Street in Baltimore, for another three years. Carroll then decided to enter the legal profession, and attended Harvard Law School of Harvard College, (now Harvard University), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, adjacent to Boston for two terms.


After finishing schooling, Carroll worked as a student lawyer for the law office of Brown and Brune in Baltimore. He was admitted to the bar in 1851. Carroll practiced law in Maryland from 1854 until 1858. He ran as a Howard County Democratic candidate for the state General Assembly in 1854, (shortly after the separation of the former Howard or Western District of Anne Arundel County and the "erection"/establishment of Howard as the 22nd of the state's 23 counties), however losing to his opponent from the newly-dominant "Know Nothing" Party (also known as the American Party) during the political crises of the 1850s. Carroll then moved to New York City and while there, accepted a position as deputy clerk and United States Commissioner in the office of the clerk of the United States District Court. He stayed there until 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, when he returned to Maryland, where he then remained the rest of his life. When he returned to Maryland, Carroll purchased the "Doughoregan Manor", historic family estate in Howard County, near Ellicott City from his older brother Charles Carroll.

Carroll was elected into the Maryland State Senate of the General Assembly of Maryland in 1867 and served two terms. He was elected President of the State Senate in 1874.

In 1875, Carroll became the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of Maryland, opposed by James Morrison Harris. He won by a 10,000-vote majority and was inaugurated as governor on January 12, 1876.

Strikes and unrest in 1877

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began with a sudden cut in wages by the B. & O. Railroad's Board of Directors and President John Work Garrett, which caused workers to walk off the job in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and spread nationwide to the rest of the B. & O., as well as several other lines. Governor Carroll called up the 5th and 6th Regiments of the Maryland National Guard to stop railroad workers from striking in Cumberland, Hagerstown and in Frederick County's shops and roundhouses at Brunswick. Once the news spread by telegraph east, it touched off riots in Baltimore at the Mount Clare Shops and the yards at the B. & O.'s Camden Street Station, headquarters of the line.

The National Guard attempted to march from their armories to Camden Station—the Fifth Regiment from the armory in the assembly hall above the Richmond Market along North Howard Street in the northwest city, and the Sixth from their armory at North Front and East Fayette Streets, near Jonestown/Old Town. The Fifth marched south down Howard Street and the Sixth attempted to march south on Front Street along the east bank of the Jones Falls for a few blocks then west on East Baltimore Street, through the middle of the downtown business district (and avoided the obvious associations of marching along the waterfront of Pratt Street, as the 6th Massachusetts Regiment did 16 years before, with its tragic memories). Despite this precaution, each regiment had to again literally fight its way through the streets of the city, attacked by projectiles, rocks and angry mobs the entire way. Conflict gripped the city and Governor Carroll was powerless to stem the tide. Later, additional reinforcements of Federal troops were called in by newly elected 18th President Rutherford B. Hayes to restore order in Baltimore.

Later career

In later years, Governor Carroll served on the Howard County Board of Education and served in 1883 on an early grand jury that used both Caucasian and African American members.

The Governor was also a member of the District of Columbia Society of the Sons of the Revolution.

Marriage & children

Carroll was married twice, first to Anita Phelps (April 23, 1838 – March 24, 1873), daughter of Royal Phelps of New York, on April 24, 1856. They had nine children:

  • Charles Lee Carroll (October 5, 1857 – 1858)
  • Mary Louisa Carroll (b. May 26, 1859); married Comte Jean de Kergorlay of France
  • Anita Maria Carroll (b. March 28, 1861); married Baron Louis de la Grange of France
  • Royal Phelps Carroll (October 29, 1863 – 1922), attended Harvard College (class of 1885); married to Marion Langdon (1864-1949), daughter of Eugene and Harriet (Lowndes) Langdon of New York, 1 daughter
  • Charles Carroll (January 12, 1865 – 1921); married Suzanne Bancroft (1865 – 1959), 1 son
  • Albert Henry Carroll (October 6, 1866 – 1867)
  • Mary Irene Carroll (March 3, 1869 – November 8, 1888)
  • John Lee Carroll (February 26, 1871 – c. 1895)
  • Mary Helen Carroll (b. 1873); married Herbert Robbins (1869 – 1946), no issue
  • Carroll was married secondly to Mary Carter Thompson (1847–1899), daughter of Judge Lucas P. Thompson, in April 1877 and had one son. As of 2012, Philip's grandchildren owned Doughoregan Manor, the family estate in Howard County.

  • Philip Acosta Carroll (b. May 10, 1879 – July 1957); married to Nina Ryan (1897 – 1989), 2 sons and 1 daughter
  • Mary Thompson's sister Caroline Thompson was married to John Lee's older brother, Charles Carroll (1828–1895).

    Carroll died in Washington, D.C. and was buried at the Bonnie Brae Cemetery (New Cathedral Cemetery) in Baltimore City, Maryland.


    John Lee Carroll Wikipedia