This medal was commissioned in 1826 by the Carroll family of Maryland to celebrate the 89th birthday of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Roman Catholic signer and the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. The two remaining signers before him - John Adams and Thomas Jefferson - both died on July 4, 1826.
In celebration of Charles Carroll of Carrollton's 149th birthday and in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States was authorized by the 94th Congress to strike and furnish to the Baltimore Museum of Art a bronze medal of the same size as the original.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton was a member of the Maryland Senate from 1777 to 1800 and served as its President from 1782 to 1783. A seal of the Charles Carroll of Carrollton medal is used by the President of the Senate on the First Citizen Award which he gives annually to Marylanders who have been dedicated and effective participants in the process of making government work for the benefit of all. First Citizen was the name that Charles Carroll of Carrollton signed to a series of articles published by Ann Catharine Green in the Annapolis Maryland Gazette. The articles formed a strong defense of an independent legislature and were among the earliest arguments for a concept of government based upon traditional community rights and liberties which protected its citizens from arbitrary rule.
July 18, 2000
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