Charles Carroll (Of Bellevue) Papers

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Charles Carroll (of Bellevue) papers
Creator: Carroll, Charles, 1767–1823
Call Number: D.488
Dates: 1803-1859
Physical Description: 2 Linear Feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Subject(s)
Access
Use
Citation
Content List
Series I: Correspondence and ephemera, 1803-1859
Collection Overview
Title: Charles Carroll (of Bellevue) papers
Creator: Carroll, Charles, 1767–1823
Call Number: D.488
Dates: 1803-1859
Physical Description: 2 Linear Feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
Charles Carroll of Bellevue was a prominent figure in early 19th century politics. Cousin to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Carroll was a wealthy landowner and a personal friend to James Monroe and James Madison. His title is drawn from the name of his estate, Bellevue, located in Hagerstown, Maryland. In 1814, he was responsible for evacuating Dolly Madison from the White House prior to the British invasion and subsequent burning of Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812, taking refuge at his Bellevue estate. Throughout the course of the war, Carroll's eldest son, Henry, served as personal secretary to Henry Clay, and was the first messenger to deliver news of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, the peace agreement between the United States and Great Britain, to Washington.

After the war, Carroll set his sights on New York State, founding the city of Rochester in conjunction with William Fitzhugh and Nathaniel Rochester before buying further lands in the Genesee valley region. Though his role in Rochester's history is somewhat obscure, Carroll took an active role in helping develop the commercial center. He corresponded frequently with his co-founders on how to best develop the land, and travelled personally to research new milling methods which he brought back and implemented in Rochester. In 1811, he moved to Washington, D.C. with his family in tow, marking the start of their migration to north and, sure enough, by 1815 Carroll had sold Bellevue in Hagerstown and had established a new estate in Groveland, New York. After three years, James Monroe offered Carroll the position of Federal Registrar of Lands for Howard County in the Missouri Territory, which he accepted.

While Charles was occupied with the Groveland estate and other affairs in the east, such as the development of Rochester as an important milling center, Henry Carroll went in his father's stead to the new territory to tend to his duties as federal Registrar of Lands. As was foreshadowed by the lack of direct Presidential appointment to a previously requested position, Henry proved unequal to this role, inciting the anger of locals who viewed him as corrupt. By this point, Charles had also arrived in Franklin, Missouri with most of his family, notably Charles Holker (his second son) had remained behind in New York to tend to his fathers estate in his absence. However, it would seem that Charles arrival had little effect on the enmity of his son Henry's enemies, for on February 29, 1820 Henry was shot and killed by Major Richard Gentry. Though his father sought legal action for the murder, Gentry was able to avoid prosecution through the legal efforts of his lawyer Thomas Hart Benton.

The death of his eldest son had a lasting effect on Carroll. By 1821, Charles had returned to New York and resigned from his position in Missouri, though his plan originally seemed to have been permanently moving west. In his resignation he urged President Monroe to appointment a replacement quickly, giving firm evidence that he held no further interest in the title. He died in 1823, having never achieved justice for the murder of his son Henry.

Upon the death of his father, the management of family affairs was handed to Carroll's second eldest son, Charles H. Carroll, who continued to operate and reside at the family's Groveland estate in Livingston County. Charles H. Carroll went on to become an important Whig politician, serving as a judge (1823-1829), a state senator (1827-1828), and a member of the House of Representatives (1843-1847), going on to become New York state's candidate to the Electoral College (on the American Party's ticket) for the 1856 presidential election. Much of the correspondence in this collection pertains to Charles H. Carroll's career and family life.

Both Charles and Charles H. Carroll are buried in Williamsburg Cemetery in Groveland, New York.

Scope and Content
Containing a total of 39 letters and documents, The Charles Carroll (of Bellevue) Papers span the latter years of Charles Carroll of Bellevue and the adulthood of his son Charles H. Carroll. The collection is divided into two sections: ephemera and correspondence, with the correspondence subdivided into those which pertain to family and political matters.

Ephemeral items include a stereotype of Charles Carroll of Bellevue, newspaper clippings from the murder of his son Henry Carroll at the hand of Major Richard Gentry, expense records (some documenting purchases Henry made in London), and documents heralding the quality of Charles H. Carroll's imported bull "Usurper". Henry Carroll's London purchases were an attempt to court Emily Caxtan, however,she did not return his advances, and married another man.

The family correspondence mainly concern Charles Carroll of Bellevue and his son, Charles Holker Carroll. The topics of the correspondence vary and are at times light-hearted, but occasionally very serious, such as the letter in which Charles Carroll addresses Charles Holker to both congratulate him on his marriage and express his grief and anger at the murder of Henry. Correspondence which is neither from nor addressed to either Charles is also present, such as correspondence between Alida Carroll and Ann Carroll (daughter and mother in law, respectively).

With the exception of several letters dated prior to 1823, such as Charles Carroll's letter to James Monroe resigning his position in the Missouri territory as Federal Registrar of Lands, the political correspondence in the collection pertain to the career Charles H. Carroll led as a judge and member of the New York State and federal legislature (both as a member of the Senate and the House of Representatives). The dinner invitation extended to Charles Holker came from friends within the Whig party and includes signatures from David Graham, J.S. Woodhall, Jas. VanMostrand, Jas. Thayer, and Marshall Roberts on behalf of the Whig corresponding committee.

Other notable figures in this collection include Henry Clay, James Madison, and Thurlow Weed (see collection A.W39), the latter two being correspondents. Henry Clay is not a correspondent, but a copy of his legal act which changed compensation for employees at federal land offices is included.

Subject(s):
Correspondence
Carroll, Charles, 1767–1823
Carroll, Charles H. (Charles Holker), 1794-1865
Access
The Charles Carroll (of Bellevue) papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Charles Carroll (of Bellevue) papers, D.488, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Peter Snell
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:


Content List
Series I: Correspondence and ephemera, 1803-1859
Box 1, Folder 1Stereotype of Charles Carroll (of Bellevue), undated
0.23 Cubic feet

Box 1, Folder 2Newspaper clippings, murder of Henry Carroll, c. 1820
This folder contains the newspaper clipping referring to the murder of Henry Carroll, Charles' eldest son.

Box 1, Folder 3Legal retainer, 1816
Box 1, Folder 4Expense Records, 1814; 1859
This folder contains an advertisement for an auction sale held by the Carroll family in 1859 and 1814 receipts from London from purchases made by Charles Carroll's first son Henry.

Box 1, Folder 5Imported Bull Usurper: Diploma and Pedigree, 1856
These documents pertain to an imported bull that Charles H. Carroll owned. They attest to the bull's quality and breeding.

Box 1, Folder 6Ann Carroll to Alida Van Rensselaer, 1821
Within this letter, Ann expresses her grief over the death of her Aunt.

Box 1, Folder 7Alida Carroll to Ann Carrol; Charles Carroll to "Beloved Aunt", 1820
In this letter, both Charles and Alida speak of the passing of their nephew, who died as an infant.

Box 1, Folder 8Henry Carroll to Charles Carroll, 1805
Box 1, Folder 9Charles Carroll to Charles H. Carroll, 1820
In this folder, Charles Carroll addresses Charles H. Carroll on several topics including business, Charles' impending marriage, and the death of Henry Carroll. In the letter dated May 8th, Charles outlines the family's current financial situation, explaining to his son to whom money is owed and which lands he intends to sell in order to pay the debts.

Box 1, Folder 10Charles Carroll to Henry Carroll, 1818
In this letter, Charles writes to Henry about his application for the position of Receiver of Public Monies in Missouri. Charles urges Henry to attain the position based upon his own merits and informs him that he will not use his influence to achieve the position for his son through favors

Box 1, Folder 11V. R. Carroll to Cornelia Carroll, 1840
Box 1, Folder 12Maria Carroll to Charles H. Carroll, 1829
Maria Carroll writes Charles,informing him of the health and status of several of the presidential cabinet members, including Henry Clay.

Box 1, Folder 13Elizabeth Woodsworth to Charles H. Carroll, February 8
Box 1, Folder 14Charles Carroll to James Monroe, 1820; 1821
In the first of two letters, Charles writes President (?) James Monroe formally requesting the appointment of Col. John Miller as Registrar of St. Louis. The second letter is a resignation of Charles' post as Registrar of Lands in Missouri

Box 1, Folder 15Land Offices Compensation Act (contemporary copy), 1818
Box 1, Folder 16James Cochrane to Charles H. Carroll, 1843
In this letter, James Cochrane writes Charles discussing tariffs and currency

Box 1, Folder 17Postmaster General Francis Granger, 1820; 1829; 1844
When Henry Carroll was murdered, Charles Holker was managing the family affairs in Groveland. As such, he was informed by the first letter in this folder in which were enclosed the newspaper clippings found in this collection.

Box 1, Folder 18Washington Hunt to Charles H. Carroll, 1842
In this letter, Washington Hunt informs Charles that he will be traveling to try settling a dispute in New York. He also plans for a visit with Charles, either in Rochester, New York City, or somewhere in between the two cities.

Box 1, Folder 19James Madison to Henry Carroll, 1818
This card expresses good wishes towards the Carroll family on behalf of the president.

Box 1, Folder 20John Mason to Charles Carroll, 1819
This letter is chiefly financial in nature

Box 1, Folder 21Jeremiah Van Rensselaer to Charles H. Carroll, 1820
Box 1, Folder 22Samuel Sprigg to Charles H. Carroll, 1841
The first part of this letter is a copy of a different piece of correspondence which was sent by Samuel to a business partner. On the third page is Sprigg's letter to Charles Holker in which he briefly addresses the previous contents.

Box 1, Folder 23Thurlow Weed, 1853
Box 1, Folder 24Invitation from Whig friends, 1851
This is a dinner invitation from the Whig Corresponding Committee to Charles H. to be hosted by John Young and his Whig friends

Box 1, Folder 25Union General James Wadsworth, 1833; 1838; 1856


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