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Carroll-McTavish papers

Identifier: MS 0220


These papers concern the settlement of the estates of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832) and of his grandson-in-law Robert Patterson (1781-1822). The collection includes correspondence, vouchers, legal and land records. There are also some papers of John McTavish (1787-1852) and his wife Emily Caton McTavish (1793-1867).


  • 1652-1863


Conditions Governing Access

Public use restricted to the microfilm edition of the Charles Carroll of Carrollton Family Papers [see microfilm MS 1893] available in the Main Reading Room. See index for how MS 0220 was integrated into this microfilm edition of Carroll papers.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical Note

Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832) was a politician, enslaver, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Born in Annapolis, Maryland, he was the son of Charles Carroll of Annapolis (1702-1782) and inherited Doughoregan Manor, located west of Ellicott City, Maryland. When the American Revolution began in 1775, Charles Carroll of Carrollton was the wealthiest person in the American colonies. He married Mary Darnall (1749–1782) in 1768 and they had seven children, though only three survived infancy: Mary Carroll (1770–1846) who married Richard Caton (1763–1845); Charles Carroll of Homewood (1775–1825) who married Harriet Chew (1775–1861); and Catherine Carroll (1778–1861) who married Robert Goodloe Harper (1765–1826).

Mary Ann Caton (1788–1853), the daughter of Richard and Mary Carroll Caton, married merchant Robert Patterson (1781-1822), who was the brother of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte. Her sister Emily Caton (1793-1867) married John McTavish (1788–1852), who served as British Consul to Baltimore.

When Charles Carroll of Carrollton died in 1832, his estate was large and the settlement was a complex and time-consuming process. In his will (1825) Carroll appointed as executors his son-in-law Richard Caton, his grandson-in-law John McTavish, and Robert Oliver. The will was immediately contested when filed and letters of administration were denied the executors. Since the litigation was lengthy and creditors were anxious for their accounts against Carroll to be settled, the court appointed Robert Oliver as administrator “pendente lite” in March 1833. This allowed the routine accounts against the Carroll estate to be settled while litigation was still pending. Oliver appointed David M. Perine to act as his agent to settle the estate. In February 1834 the Orphans Court granted letters of testamentary on the personal estate of Charles Carroll to his granddaughter Emily Caton McTavish. She was the sole executor of the estate. Emily McTavish continued to retain David M. Perine as the agent to settle the estate.


7.25 Linear Feet (15 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into the following 8 series: Series I: Carroll Family Financial Records; Series II: Charles Carroll of Carrollton Financial Records; Series III: Carroll Land Papers; Series IV: Carroll Family Personal Papers; Series V: Charles Carroll of Carrollton Estate Papers; Series VI: Robert Patterson Papers; Series VII: McTavish Papers; Series VIII: Baltimore Life Insurance Company Records


The Carroll-McTavish Papers (1652-1867) were owned by the McTavish family as a result of their involvement in the settlement of the estates of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832) and Robert Patterson (1781-1822). Carroll's grand-daughter Emily Caton McTavish was the executor of his estate and these papers were retained by her after the final administration of the estate.

Robert Patterson was a Baltimore merchant who in 1816 married Mary Ann Caton, granddaughter of Charles Carroll of Carrollton and sister of Emily Caton McTavish. Mary Ann Caton Patterson was one of the administrators of her husbands's estate. In 1825 she married Richard Marquis of Wellesley and settled permanently in England. At the time of her second marriage, Mary Ann put all of her property into a trust administered by her brother-in-law John McTavish and Roswell L. Colt. All of the Robert Patterson estate papers were turned over to John McTavish at the creation of this trust since the estate was a sizable portion of her property. John McTavish's wife Emily survived both her husband and sister, and the Patterson estate papers remained in her possession.

The Carroll-McTavish Papers stayed in the McTavish family until 1949. Upon the death of Charles Carroll McTavish, the papers were inherited by Charles Bancroft Carroll and purchased from him by the Maryland Historical Society (Accession # 51694).

(See Maryland History Notes 7 (May 1949): [2])

Related Materials

MS 0219, Carroll-Maccubbin papers, 1644-1888

MS 1893, Charles Carroll of Carrollton collection, 1757-1854, 1967

MS 1974, Outerbridge Horsey collection of Lee, Horsey, and Carroll family papers, 1684-1834

Processing Information

The collection was re-housed from 17 boxes to 15 boxes when microfilmed. The Box Inventory reflects the re-housing.

This collection of Charles Carroll of Carrollton estate papers is not complete. The University of San Francisco owns 14 volumes pertaining to Carroll's estate.

Scope and Contents

The majority of the papers in this collection pertain to the settlement of Charles Carroll of Carrollton's estate. Even the financial and land papers created by Charles Carroll of Carrollton and his father Charles Carroll of Annapolis were apparently collected by the executor in order to settle the estate.


In this series is the Carroll Family Account Book which contains inventories of the estates of Charles Carroll the Settler (1661-1720) and Daniel Carroll of Duddington (1707-1734) upon their deaths; general accounts; and lists of enslaved individuals at three different locations: Doohoregan/Doughoregan Manor 1773, Poplar Island 1774, and Annapolis 1774, 1779, 1781-1782. Also in this series is a Charles Carroll of Carrollton journal dated 1810-1832 containing his accounts with various family members.


This series does not by any means have all the financial records created by Carroll. It is assumed that the records in this collection were used in settling the estate. In these papers are Carroll's accounting of balances on interest and rents due him for almost every year from 1798-1831. These are on single ledger sheets and are filed by years. Two separate volumes have the accounts of Mary Carroll Caton and Catherine Carroll Harper with their father. There are also Carroll's bank books from accounts with the Farmer's Bank of Maryland, the Mechanics Bank, the Office of Discount and Deposit of Baltimore, the Bank of the U.S. and the Bank of Maryland as well as his shares of stock in the Bank of Baltimore, the Baltimore Water Company, the Baltimore and Reisterstown Turnpike Road, and the Baltimore Insurance Company.

The remainder of Carroll's financial papers are letters concerning payment due him, bonds, and promissory notes, and some receipts. Some of the individuals who owed Carroll money and wrote to him were Ignatius Diggs (1774-1775), Thomas Sim Lee and his executor J. Taylor Lomax (1795-1828), and Philemon Chew and his executor (1822-1828). William Darne rented Carroll land, Mountain View, and wrote detailed descriptions of the farming from 1818 until 1827. Carroll also received accounts on the management of Doughoregan Manor. There are also several lists of enslaved individuals owned by Carroll in the financial papers for 1819, 1825, and 1826. Other financial papers deal with Philip B. Key's opinion on land in Montgomery County (1803-1804), and the sale of Bank of America stock (1814-1815) and the sale of Bank of U.S. stock (1828). In 1822 Carroll received plans from Jacob Small for the design of a library.


This series includes deeds and surveys (1652-1823) of land acquired for the most part in the early 18th century. Most of the land was purchased by Charles Carroll the Settler, and Charles Carroll of Annapolis. Charles Carroll of Carrollton did not invest in land as heavily as his grandfather and father, but some of the land was acquired by him. It is assumed that these land papers were used in the settlement of Charles Carroll of Carrollton's estate. The papers also relate to his financial records and should be used in conjunction with them. The land papers are divided by County and then by date.


Papers in this series include those pertaining to family members other than Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Included are the wills of James Carroll and Clement Brooke, Jr.; Clement’s Manor rent roll; Charles Carroll of Annapolis letters and records including his marriage certificate and will, and Charles Carroll, Jr. (also known as Charles Carroll of Homewood) marriage contract.

This series also includes the few items of correspondence of Charles Carroll of Carrollton that do not pertain to financial matters. There are letters (1752-1764) written by his father while he was attending school in France and England. His mother wrote him several times. Other correspondents include James Carroll (1783) asking about a law forbidding Catholics to act as legal guardians for Protestant orphans and A.C. Hanson (1790) writing twice about the separation of powers and the position of judges. There is one letter (1828) from William Wirt concerning an anecdote on memory. Charles H.W. Wharton (1829) wrote nine times about Andrew Jackson and life in Washington. The few letters from 1830-1832 concern tributes to Carroll. One letter (1830) is from Augusta, Georgia informing Carroll that Carroll County, Georgia, which was named in his honor, was formed by illegally usurping Cherokee lands. The small number of Charles Carroll's outgoing letters in this collection were all written to his daughter Mary Carroll Caton and her daughters.


Robert Oliver was appointed administrator “pendente lite” and then Emily Caton McTavish was executor of the estate, but almost all the estate business was actually handled by their agent David M. Perine. He was the one who devised the system of organizing the estate papers. When the estate was finally settled, Perine returned all the estate papers to Emily McTavish. Perine also kept a daily memoranda of what he did in handling the estate. This he kept in his own papers and it is in the Perine family papers MS 645 Box 13.

Perine separated estate correspondence from vouchers, and he docketed each item. He further separated the estate correspondence into 21 subject categories and these categories have been retained. They are:

No. 1: Contains letters as to who are to be counsel of the administrator, the bank in which the money is to be deposited, whether the administrator pendente is authorized to pay debts, the difficulties about the inventories or the property to be included in them.

No. 2: Contains letters relative to the books and papers of the deceased.

No. 3: Contains letters to the personal estate at Doughoragen Manor.

No. 4: Contains letters relative to the debts due to the deceased generally.

No. 5: Contains letters relative to the debts due to the deceased on Carrollton Manor.

No. 6: Contains letters relative to the debts due to the deceased at Catonville.

No. 7: Contains letters relative to the debts due to the deceased in Annapolis.

No. 8: Contains letters relative to the Bank of Montreal stock.

No. 9: Contains letters relative to the Pennsylvania 5 percent loan.

No. 10: Contains letters relative to the Maryland 5 percent loan.

No. 11: Contains letters relative to the Columbia Bank stock.

No. 12: Contains letters relative to the personal estate at the house of Mr. Caton in Baltimore.

No. 13: Contains letters relative to the account of Richard Caton and John McTavish as executors before Administration was granted.

No. 14: Contains letters relative to the payment of the debts due by the deceased.

No. 15: Contains letters relative to the taxes due on lands in Pennsylvania.

No. 16: Contains letters relative to the taxes due on lands in Frederick County.

No. 17: Contains letters relative to the taxes due in Annapolis.

No. 18: Contains letters relative to John McTavish claim against the estate.

No. 19: Contains letters relative to the family accounts and Francis M. Fowler's accounts.

No. 20: Contains sundry documents, copies etc. relative to the estate of the deceased.

No. 21: Contains letters relative to the estate during the time of the executrix.

The vouchers for the estate were paid and docketed at three separate times, and this separation has been retained. One set was paid in 1833-1834. Robert Oliver as administrator “pendente lite” was authorized to have more accounts settled which he did in 1835 and these vouchers were docketed by Oliver's agent Perine. The final set of accounts were settled from 1835-1842 after Emily McTavish was appointed executor. These were also docketed by Perine but since he began numbering the vouchers at one again, these vouchers were kept separate from Oliver's.

The final group of estate papers include items which probably belong to the docketed estate correspondence and vouchers but which over the years became separated. These items are filed by date 1833-1853 and should be used in conjunction with the estate correspondence and vouchers. A few of the items in this series are rents on Carrollton Manor (1832), summary sale of personal estate on Doughoragen Manor (1833), Folly Farm papers (1834), executrix accounts re: personal estate sold on Doughragen Manor (1835), John Crawford debt (1837-1843) and William Carroll debt (1840-1843).


The bulk of the Patterson papers in this collection pertain to Robert Patterson's estate. As with Carroll's, the financial records created by Patterson do not reflect his entire career but are those records used to settle the estate. Materials include correspondence, receipts, legal agreements, and two day books.

The topics covered in this series are lands in Georgia claimed by William Patterson (1796) and his son John Patterson's trip (1820-1821) to verify this claim on the lands. Also covered are William and Robert Patterson's purchase of a ropewalk in Fells Point (1815), Robert Patterson's selling out to William Patterson (1816) and the Pattersons’ claim for property damage during the defense of Baltimore (1816). One topic that figured prominently in the settlement of the estate was Patterson's part of Carrollton Manor in Frederick County. This land was owned by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and he divided the lots among his family. His granddaughter Mary Ann Caton Patterson and her husband Robert owned lot 9. There are many legal papers and letters concerning this property in Patterson's papers for the years 1820 and 1821.

Robert Patterson appointed as his executors his brother John and his wife Mary Ann. The papers consist of correspondence, legal agreements, and vouchers. These were not separated by the executors as the Carroll estate papers were, so all three types of material have been filed together.

The Patterson estate was not nearly as extensive as that of Charles Carroll of Carrollton and most of it was settled by 1824. The two executors disagreed on several parts of the estate and litigation dragged the settlement out until 1827, although there are some papers relating to the estate as late as 1849. The points of controversy between John Patterson and Mary Ann Patterson were the sale of property at the Patterson farm in Frederick County known as Tuscarora, the Patterson claim on lands in Georgia, and the ownership of stock in the Bank of the United States and the Illinois and Wabash Land Company. Most of the estate papers is correspondence among John Patterson, Mary Ann Patterson, John McTavish, and Roger B. Taney concerning the legal ramifications of these disputes.

In April 1824, Mary Ann Patterson sailed for England for health reasons. She decided to settle there permanently in 1825 when she married Richard Marquis of Wellesley. She put all her property in a trust which was managed by her brother-in-law John McTavish and Roswell L. Colt. From 1825 to 1849 the papers of the Patterson estate and Wellesley trust are filed together by year. There are also Mary Ann's memo books (1825-1827), cash books (1824-1833), and trust account books (1824-1830, 1826-1834).


John McTavish was the British Consul in Baltimore. None of his papers relate to his career, and there are only 7 items (1820-1829) of his that do not relate to the Carroll or Patterson estate. Two of these letters (1826) are between McTavish and David Thompson concerning the origin of Indian languages in North America. Emily Caton McTavish's papers are a few letters, bills, and receipts for one year (1853) and her household account book, 1857-1863. Alexander McTavish was John McTavish's brother. His papers are receipts from Baltimore merchants for 1850-1851.


There are two volumes of Baltimore Life Insurance Company records in this collection. They are a list of policies of guarantee, 1833-1841, and a volume of monthly reports, 1842-1851.

Guide to the Carroll-McTavish papers
Under Revision
Cynthia H. Requardt
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-09-08: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Emily Somach.
  • 2023-08: Revised by Sandra Glascock

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States