Carroll Spence (1818-1896)

Carroll Spence was born at Mount Clare, the family home, on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland on February 22, 1818, the son of naval hero Robert Traill and Mary Clare Carroll Spence. He was educated privately and then in the law department at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in the class of 1842. He began his practice in his home state and was soon elected to the state house. In the election of 1852, he campaigned on behalf of Franklin Pierce and the Democrats in Maryland and was a presidential elector. In recognition of his efforts, Pierce, when elected, nominated him as the ninth United States minister to the Turkish Empire.

Spence took up his appointment in August 1853 and spent four years in Constantinople, negotiated the first treaty between Persia and the United States, visited much of the Middle East, and lobbied strenuously for the religious freedom of Turkish Christians and the rights of Muslims to convert. He, in fact, served as the president of the Auxiliary Bible Society of Constantinople.

Spence returned to private life in Baltimore after his term ended in 1858. He died on August 9, 1896 following a lingering illness. He was seventy-eight years old.

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Dickinson College Archives
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