Daniel Carroll (July 22 1730 July 5 1796) was a politician and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a prominent member of one of America's great colonial families that included his cousin Charles Carroll of Carrollton who signed the Declaration of Independence, and his brother John Carroll who was the first Catholic bishop in the United States. He was one of only 4 men to sign both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States.
Carroll was a patrician planter who fused family honor with the cause of American independence, willingly risking his social and economic position in the community for the Patriot cause. Later, as a friend and staunch ally of George Washington, he worked for a strong central government which could secure the achievements and fulfill the hopes of the Revolution. Ironically, for one whose name was synonymous with the colonial aristocracy, Carroll fought in the Convention for a government responsible directly to the people of the country.
"the dependence of both Houses on the state Legislatures would be compleat.... The new government in this form is nothing more than a second edition of [the Continental] Congress in two volumes, instead of one, and perhaps with very few amendmentsHe wanted governmental power vested in the people, and he joined James Wilson in campaigning for popular sovereignty. When it was suggested that the President should be elected by the Congress, it was Carroll, seconded by James Wilson, who moved that the words "by the legislature" be replaced with "by the people". His signature on the Constitution made him one of two Roman Catholics to sign the document, a further symbol of the advance of religious freedom in America during the Revolutionary period.
Carroll did not arrive at the Constitutional Convention until July 9, but thereafter he attended quite regularly. He spoke about 20 times during the debates and served on the Committee on Postponed Matters. Returning to Maryland after the convention, he campaigned for ratification of the Constitution but was not a delegate to the state convention.
He later served in the Maryland Senate and as one of three commissioners appointed to survey the District of Columbia. He then became a commissioner (co-mayor) of the new capital city, but advanced age and failing health forced him to retire in 1795. Even then, interest in the good of his region kept him active. In the last year of his life he became one of George Washington's partners in the Patowmack Company, a business enterprise intended to link the middle states with the expanding west by means of a Potomac River canal.