Skip to main content

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). Include correspondence, vouchers, legal and land records. There are also some papers of John McTavish (1787-1852) and Emily [Caton] McTavish (1793-1867) involved in settling these matters.

Please Note: The container list/inventory for this collection is available as a PDF below. Click "Expand All" and scroll down to the "External Documents" section to view.


  • 1652-1867


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 was a politician, land owner, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Robert Patterson was a merchant. John McTavish was a British Consul for Maryland. Emily McTavish was an executor for Charles Carroll. Mary Anne P. Wellesley was an executor.


7.25 Linear Feet (15 boxes (3,000 items))

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into the following series: Carroll Land Papers 1652-1823 (1 box); Charles Carroll of Carrollton Financial Records 1773-1832 (4 boxes); Carroll Family Personal Papers 1703-1838 (1 box); Charles Carroll of Carrollton Estate Papers 1832-1853 (6 boxes); Robert Patterson Financial Records 1796-1822 (.5 box); Robert Patterson Estate/Mary Ann [Caton] Patterson Wellesley Trust Papers 1822-1849 (3.5 boxes); McTavish Papers 1812-1853 (.5 box); Baltimore Life Insurance Company Records 1833-1851 (2 volumes)

Carroll Land Papers, 1652-1823

This series includes deeds and surveys (1652-1823) of land acquired for the most part in the early eighteenth century. Most of the land was purchased by Charles Carroll, 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 (Boxes 6 and 7) and should be used in conjunction with them. The land papers are divided by County and then by date as listed in the container list for Box 4.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton Financial Records, 1773-1832

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 in boxes 5 and 6. Other accounts are Carroll's journal (1760-1816, 1 vol.) which he kept in the back of a ledger containing Charles Carroll, Settler's Estate records (1721-1735). There is also Carroll's “Libre F.A.,” a journal (1810-1832) of his accounts with his family. Both are in Box 1. Two separate volumes have the accounts of Mary [Carroll] Caton and Catherine [Carroll] Harper with their father in Box 2. Also included are Carroll's bank books from accounts with the Farmer's Bank of Maryland, the Mechanics Bank, the Office of Discount and Deposit, the Bank of the U.S. and the Bank of Maryland. They are in Box 2. There are also shares of stock in the Bank of Baltimore, the Baltimore Water Company, the Baltimore and Reisterstown Turnpike Road, and the Baltimore Insurance Company. These are in Box 3.

The remainder of Carroll's financial papers are letters concerning payment due him, bonds, and promissory notes, and some receipts. These are in boxes 5 and 6. 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, [Montgomery County?], 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 slaves owned by Carroll in his journal in Box 1, and 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.

Carroll Family Personal Papers, 1703-1838

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., Clements Manor rent roll, Charles Carroll of Annapolis letters and records including his marriage certificate and will, and Charles Carroll, Jr. marriage contract. A listing of these items is in the container list, Box 7.

This series also includes the few items of correspondence of Charles Carroll of Carrollton that do not pertain to financial letters. 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 included 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 concerned tributes to Carroll. One letter (1830) was from Augusta, Georgia informing Carroll that Carroll County, Georgia, named in his honor, was formed by illegally usurping Cherokee Indian 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 with the exception of one letter he wrote to his mother Elizabeth [Brooke] Carroll in 1761.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton Estate Papers, 1832-1853

Robert Oliver was 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 on Doughoragen Manor

No. 4

Contains Letters

Relative to the debts due to the deceased Genenally

No. 5

Contains Letters

Ditto on Carrollton Manor

No. 6

Contains Letters

Ditto at Catonville

No. 7

Contains Letters

Ditto in Annapolis

No. 8

Contains Letters

Relative to the Bank of Montreal stock.

No. 9

Contains Letters

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 Letters

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, and they are in Box 10. Robert Oliver as administrator “pendente lite” was authorized to have more accounts settled which he did in 1835. These vouchers were docketed by Oliver's agent Perine and are in Box 11. 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. They are in Box 12 with the cancelled checks from the estate.

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 in Box 13 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).

Robert Patterson Financial Records, 1796-1822

This series is by no means the complete record of Patterson's finances but presumably those records needed to settle the estate. These records include correspondence, receipts, and legal agreements. They have been filed by date in Box 14. The two day books belonging to Patterson are in Box 16.

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 was 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 Estate/Mary Ann [Caton] Patterson Wellesley Trust Papers, 1822-1849

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 by year in boxes 14 and 15.

The Patterson estate was not nearly as extensive as that of Charles Carroll 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 were 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 in Box 15. Mary Ann [Caton] Patterson Wellesley's memo books (1825-1827), cash books (1824-1833), and trust account books (1824-1830, 1826-1834) are in Box 16.

McTavish Papers, 1812-1853

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.

Baltimore Life Insurance Company Records, 1833-1851

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.


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). Charles Carroll of Carrollton was a wealthy Maryland land owner, politician and one of the four signers of the Declaration of Independence. His grand-daughter Emily [Caton] McTavish was the executor of his estate. The bulk of the Charles Carroll of Carrollton papers in this collection relate to the administration of his estate. These papers were retained by Emily [Caton] McTavish after the final administration of the estate.

Robert Patterson was a Baltimore merchant who in 1816 married Mary Ann Caton, granddaughter of Charles Carroll and sister of Emily [Caton] McTavish. Mary Ann [Caton] Patterson was one of the administrators of her husbands's estate. In 1824 Mary Ann sailed for England for health reasons and in 1825 decided to settle permanently there by marrying Richard Marquis of Wellesley. 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 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 Mary Ann, and the Patterson estate papers and the Mary Ann[Caton] Patterson Wellesley trust papers remained in her possession.

The Carroll-McTavish Papers remained in the McTavish family until 1949. At 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])

This collection of Carroll estate papers is not complete. The University of San Francisco owns fourteen volumes pertaining to Carroll's estate. A description of this alienated portion of the collection appears in Appendix 1.

Related Materials

The University of San Francisco owns 14 volumes pertaining to Carroll's estate. A description of this alienated material follows the Box Inventory.

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

Collection re-housed from 17 boxes to 15 boxes when microfilmed. The Box Inventory reflects the re-housing. This collection of Carroll estate papers is not complete. The University of San Francisco owns 14 volumes pertaining to Carroll's estate. A description of this alienated material follows the Box Inventory under the heading "Bound Ledgers Concerning the Charles Carrol[sic] of Carrollton Estate."

Scope and Contents

Charles Carroll of Carrollton Papers

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 apparently were collected by the executor in order to settle the estate.

Charles Carroll died in 1832. His estate was large and settlement a complex and time-consuming process. In his will (1825) Carroll appointed as excutors 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, 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. The papers [UNK] to the settlement of the estate date from 1832 until 1853. They are broken down by type as described in the Series Note.

The collection contains a small number of Charles Carroll of A and Charles Carroll of C personal papers. It is not clear how these papers became part of this collection. The letters are a few business letters (1742-62) of Charles Carroll of A. and his letters (1752-64) written to his son while a student at St. Omer, a Jesuit school at France and a law student at the Temple in London, Other personal letters written to Charles Carroll of C. include Caton family members, Alexander C. Hanson, Charles H.W. Wharton, and William Wirt. There is also a series of letters (1790-1828) written by Carroll to his daughter Mary [Carroll] Caton and her family.

Robert Patterson Papers

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.

Robert Patterson died in 1822. He had appointed his brother John and his wife Mary Ann [Caton] Patterson as executors. The estate was not nearly as large and complex as Carroll's but disputes between the executors lengthened settlement. Most of the estate was settled by 1824 but there is material until 1849.

Mary Ann [Caton] Patterson married Richard Marquis of Wellesley in 1825. At this time she placed all her property in trust with John McTavish and Roswell L. Colt as administrators. The remarriage prolonged the estate settlement since as a widow she had legal rights that were negated after her re-marriage. The papers pertaining to the Robert Patterson estate and those of the Mary Ann [Caton] Patterson Wellesley trust were difficult to separate after 1827 and are filed together.

McTavish Papers

The collection includes a small number of McTavish papers that do not relate to estate or trust management. These include John McTavish and Emily McTavish financial records, and some receipts of Alexander S. McTavish.

Baltimore Life Insurance Company Records

There are two volumes of records of the Baltimore Life Insurance Company.

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.

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