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John Carroll Collection

Identifier: GTM-760101

Scope and Contents Note

The John Carroll Collection contains a number of primary source documents and secondary source materials about John Carroll, the first Roman Catholic Archbishop in the United States. Included are about 10 autograph letters from Carroll between 1781 and 1815. Correspondents include Thomas Sim Lee, the Native Americans in Maine, and Louis De Barth. Also present are numerous transcriptions of Carroll correspondence with other individuals, most notably Charles Plowden and William Strickland. Some manuscript format and printed format materials document the Carroll family genealogy. And, a fine run of 20th century periodical clippings about John Carroll rounds out the collection. The John Carroll Collection amounts to 2 boxes (0.75 linear feet).


  • 1781 - 1976

Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical Sketch

John Carroll (1735-1815) was a prominent American Roman Catholic priest best remembered as the first Bishop in the United States and the first Archbishop of Baltimore. Born on January 8, 1735, in Upper Marlborough, Maryland, John Carroll was the son of Daniel Carroll and Eleanor (Darnall) Carroll. John Carroll was educated at home, presumably by his mother. At age 12, he attended the Jesuit school at Bohemia Manor, Maryland, which soon became defunct. At age 13, he was sent to school at St. Omers in France. In 1753, Carroll entered the Jesuit novitiate in Watten. Next, he studied at Liege. He was ordained in Leige in 1767. In 1773, the Society of Jesus was suppressed.

Carroll returned to America as the American Revolution developed. In 1776, he accompanied Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase, and Charles Carroll as commissioners to Canada. After the war, John Carroll helped organize the Catholic Church in the new, independent United States of America. On November 14, 1789, John Carroll was appointed Bishop of the United States. John Carroll became involved with several educational initiatives. In 1789, he founded Georgetown College, the first Roman Catholic college in the United States. Moreover, he was instrumental in creating St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore and Mt. Saint Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Bishop John Carroll supported the construction of a cathedral in Baltimore, but he did not live to see its completion in 1821. He became the first Archbishop of America in 1811. John Carroll died on December 3, 1815.

[Source: Biography Resource Center Online.]


0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


John Carroll Collection
Scott S. Taylor. Booth Family Center for Special Collecitons Georgetown University Library
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057