Monday, September 19, 2016

Charles Carroll of Carrollton's 90th & 91st birthdays

Born on September 19, 1737 Charles Carroll would live 95 years, dying in November of 1832.  To celebrate his birthday, his 44 relatives and friends feasted on "glorious saddles of venison" (a yearly "best buck" from Harewood estate), mutton, plum puddings, kickshaws, and "substantials" with champagne and punch. The area, now Howard County, was sometimes named after its largest town, Elkridge, once an active port.  The men on their fox hunters/horses were well known riders.  Gold and silver medals were given to his children and grandchildren the previous year on his 90th birthday.

91st birthday dinner

Thursday [Sept 19, 1827] was old Mr. Carroll’s ninety first birthday, & a grand gala – it was too the day of St. Charles Borromeo, his patron saint -& as the old gentleman is very pious, he was busy with the Archbishop [Ambrose Marechal 1768-1828] all the morning, 

but about twelve he joined the party - & about that  time too, the guests from around poured in – the Baltimoreans, in their gigs & carriages, the neighbours & especially the Elkridgers, on their fox hunters, which they are famous for 

forty four persons sat down to table,

we had glorious saddles of venison & mutton, plum puddings, & substantials as well as Kickshaws of all sorts – after dinner the old gentleman drank two glasses of champaigne - & then left his grandson Charles Carroll to do the honours with wine & regents’ punch.  

Many of the guests remained all night, but the Elkridgers, all dashed off long after dark, & I fancy must have needed all their horsemanship to avoid spilling – 

we sat up with the ladies, playing various games, singing, &c. &c. until very late. I must mention a toast which Mr. Robert Gilmor gave as soon as the old gentleman left the table, which I then thought beautiful, though I will not answer for its beauty being somewhat increased by the effects of champaigne & punch – “May public & private virtue be crowned ever as now with the garland of years.”

Henry D. Gilpin to Joshua Gilpin (his father in Phila) Sept 22, 1827 while visiting his friend Charles Harper (grandson of CCofC).  In Maryland Historical Magazine, Fall 1974  “A Glimpse of Baltimore Society in 1827: Letters by Henry D. Gilpin.  

90th birthday medals

A medal was struck by Charles Carroll to commemorate his ninetieth birthday, September 20, 1826. Three of them were of gold and were given to his daughters and eldest grandson [his son had died, so given to his son]. Silver ones were given the other grandchildren. On one side is the profile bust of Charles Carroll in relief, with the legend round the margin: "To Charles Carroll of Carrollton." On the other face of the medal are the words: "The surviving Signer of the Declaration of Independence after the 50th Anniversary," surrounded by a laurel wreath entwined with ribbon, a scroll, pen, and olive branch, below. And around the margin here is the motto: "Upon entering his 90th. year. Sep. XX. MDCCCXXVI." 

Charles Carroll is described as he appeared on his birthday anniversary, 1826, by a writer in the American Farmer, September 22d, who tells of the present annually made him on this day by some of his neighbors:
"There are more than 100 deer on the Harewood estate, from which the best buck is always selected as an annual offering to the venerable Charles Carroll of Carrollton on his birthday. The last of these occurred on Wednesday last, the 20th, when in fine health and spirits he received the heart-felt congratulations of family and friends, at his manor on Elkridge. . . . He plunges into his limestone spring bath every morning before sunrise, and still rides on horseback with pleasure in good weather. A large portion of the day is devoted to reading. He retains his partiality for Latin and French literature."
The Life of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, 1737-1832 ..., Volume 2  By Kate Mason Rowland 1898

More on Doughoregan HERE

©2016 Patricia Bixler Reber
Forgotten history of Ellicott City & Howard County MD

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