Charles Carroll (1737-1832) was a Founding Father from Maryland. He was: a member of the Committee of Correspondence (1774); member of the State Council of Safety (1775); helped draft the Maryland Constitution (1776); member of the Continental Congress (1776-78) where he signed the Declaration of Independence (1776); selected as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention (1787) but did not attend; and a U. S. Senator (1789-92) where he helped frame the Bill of Rights. At his death, he was the longest lived and last surviving signer of the Declaration and was considered the wealthiest citizen in America; he was the only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration.
Nearing the end of his life, Charles Carroll expressed his strong faith in the redeeming power of Christ in this letter to his friend and acquaintance Dr. Charles Wharton (an Episcopal clergyman):
This is the text of Charles Carrolls’ letter:
Doughoragen 27th September 1825
I received this day yr. [your] letter of the 24th instant, affectionaate & replete with just & pious sentiments. On the 20th of this month I entered into my eighty-ninth year: This in any country would be deemed a long life, yet as you observe if it had not been directed to the only end, for which man was created, it is a near nothing an empty phantom, a indivisible point compared with eternity.
Too much of my time & attention have been misapplied on matters to which an impartial Judge, penetrating the secrets of hearts, before whom I shall soon appear, will ascribe merit deserving recompense. On the mercy of my redeemer I rely for salvation and on his merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to his precepts, for even these, I fear, a fallacy a mixture will render unavailing, and cause to be rejected. Mrs. Harper and the rest of my family present their respects to you. I remain with sincere regard and wishes equally sincere for your health and happiness here & hereafter.
Yr.[your] most hum. Servt.[Servant]
Ch. Carroll of Carrollton