School Improvement in Maryland

Historical Investigation — The First Citizen: Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Social Studies Reading Stance Instructional Task

United States History Content Standard

  • Analyze views, lives, and contributions of significant people of the Revolutionary period. (2.4.5.5)

Political Systems Content Standard

  • Explain the importance of civic participation as a citizen of Maryland and the United States (6.8.5.2)

Engage the Students

Have students read "'First Citizen' – Background Information." After reading, have students create a chronology of the events that lead to the publication of Daniel Dulaney's and Charles Carroll of Carrollton's letters in the Maryland Gazette.

  1. How important was the role of the Maryland Gazette in the debate over the issue of the officials' salaries?
  2. How are Charles Carroll of Carrollton's actions an example of civic participation?

Narrative: Read the narrative to the class stressing the focus question at the end.   Print Version

In the years preceding the Revolutionary War, the citizens of Maryland debated many political issues. Nowhere more than in Annapolis was this evident. The Maryland Gazette newspaper played an important role in conveying the opinions of patriots and loyalists alike. Decisions and legislative acts of Parliament, the King, and his proprietary governors were debated openly in the pages of the press. Often times, this coverage of current events swayed peoples opinions and actions.

How important were the "First Citizen" letters published in the Maryland Gazette to Charles Carroll of Carrollton's political career? In this activity, you are going to read primary and secondary source documents to gather evidence that will help you answer this focus question. You will have a chance to work in a group to discuss your ideas. Then you will use your prior knowledge and details from the primary and secondary sources to summarize what you have learned from this historical investigation.

Focus Question: How important were the "First Citizen" letters published in the Maryland Gazette to Charles Carroll of Carrollton's political career?

Conduct the Investigation

In order to answer the focus question you will examine several documents independently. Analyze each document and answer the following questions on your "Individual - Document Analysis" graphic organizer.

  1. How do I know this is reliable information?
  2. When was this document written? Who wrote it? What was its purpose?
  3. What is the author's point of view about the debate over the issue of officials' salaries?
  4. How can this document help me answer the focus question?

Discussion

Now that the documents have been analyzed you will have the opportunity to discuss the documents and the focus question with other students in a group. As you discuss your interpretations of the documents cite evidence for your views and opinions. Multiple interpretations can emerge and may or may not be accepted by all. Write your group responses in the appropriate section on your "Group - Document Analysis" graphic organizer.

Report the Findings

Once historians have completed their research they present a written summary of their findings. You will do the same. Your written summary should answer the focus question and be supported with details from the primary and secondary documents you have read.

Focus Question: How important were the "First Citizen" letters published in the Maryland Gazette to Charles Carroll of Carrollton's political career?

Primary Source Documents

First Citizen – Background Information
Primary and Secondary Source Documents

  • Quote from Charles Carroll of Carrollton's first letter printed February 4, 1773 in the Maryland Gazette.
  • Quote from Daniel Dulaney's third letter printed April 8, 1773 in the Maryland Gazette.
  • Quote from Charles Carroll of Carrollton's letter printed May 6, 1773 in the Maryland Gazette.
  • Quote of a letter from Charles Carroll of Annapolis to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, March 12, 1773; Carroll Papers, III, 212.
  • Quote of a letter from Charles Carroll of Annapolis to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, March 17, 1773; Carroll Papers, III, 213A.
  • Quote of a letter from Charles Carroll of Annapolis to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, March 17, 1773; Carroll Papers, III, 213A.
  • Quote from article in Maryland Gazette, May 27, 1773
  • Quote from an open letter to the "First Citizen", Charles Carroll of Carrollton from William Paca and Matthias Hammond after their election to the Assembly as patriot party delegates.
  • Quote from historian, Ellen Hart Smith, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, 1942.
  • Chronology of Charles Carroll of Carrollton's Political Career