Saturday, July 29, 2006

Charles Carroll and National Treasure

I read a book today called Charles Carroll and the American Revolution. It was really good. But the problem was, the more I read, the more I got annoyed with National Treasure.
I really like National Treasure, it has much of the subtle humor that I love and it has an interesting story. But it would be much better if they got their history right.
Now Charles Carroll was a practicing Catholic, in fact he was the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence. But National Treasure proclaims that Charles Carroll was a Free Mason, which is an impossible mix with a practicing Catholic like him. They also claim that The Knights Templar were the founders of the Free Masons. Now it is possible that this is true but I highly doubt it. From what I've heard saying that the Knights Templar were Free Masons has as much founding as calling Charles Carroll a Free Mason, and after making the mistake about him I am less inclined to believe any other historical "facts" in that movie. All the same you can still enjoy National Treasure. And I will but I don't think I can quite as much now I know about Charles Carroll, and the mistakes they made about him.

Now I have to share some of my favorite stories from this book:

One of my favorite parts is the same as Gilbert Girl's (who read the book before me). A tory as those supportive of England were called, wrote an artice in the Annapolis newspaper which consisted in a disscusion between two imaginary characters, First Citizen and Second Citizen. The First represents the Patriots and the Second the Tories. To the second he gave all the good arguments and he made the first sound like a fool. This made all the Maryland tories very happy, and their satisfaction lasted about two weeks. Then the blow fell, Charles Carroll, writing as simply, First Citizen, replied with another more brilliant article and this time all the good arguments were on the other side. Several more tries were made by the tory, Daniel Dulany, but all were futile, Charles Carroll, and with him the patriots, had won!

When he was an elderly man Charles Carroll, someone visited him (not that this is uncommon, he had many visitors in his later years) and later said that he was the best laugher in America, and Charles Carroll said that he prefered that title to any other he had ever recieved, including that of Signer of the Declaration of Independence!

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