JANUARY 23, 1789, John Carroll founded Georgetown University. He was brother of Daniel Carroll, who signed the U.S. Constitution and gave the land where the Capitol is built. He was cousin to Charles Carroll, the wealthiest man in America and the longest living signer of the Declaration of Independence. John’s nephew Robert Brent, was Washington, DC’s first mayor, reappointed by Jefferson and Madison.
John Carroll, America’s first Catholic bishop, founded the nation’s first Catholic seminary and parochial school system. He persuaded Elizabeth Seton to start a girls school in Baltimore.
In 1776, the Congress asked him to go with Ben Franklin to try to enlist Canada’s support of the Revolution. His influence led several States to give Catholics equality.
Bishop John Carroll wrote:
“Freedom and independence, acquired by…the mingled blood of Protestant and Catholic fellow-citizens, should be equally enjoyed by all.”
President Washington wrote to John Carroll, March 1790:
“Your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their Revolution . . . May the members of your society in America, animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity…enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity.”