Kingston Hall in Westover, Md., on the western shore of the Delmarva Peninsula, is best known as the home of Thomas King Carroll, governor of Maryland from 1830 to 1831. But the 18th-century Georgian manor is also the birthplace of Anna Ella Carroll, whose accomplishments ended up being greater than her father’s.
The brick house was built toward the end of the American Revolution by Thomas King Carroll’s grandfather, Thomas King. His daughter, Elizabeth Barnes King, inherited the home. She married Henry James Carroll and gave birth to two sons, one of whom was Thomas King Carroll.
Thomas King Carroll took over Kingston Hall after his father’s death in 1818. In addition to running the large plantation, he became active in local politics. He eventually rose to governor but lasted only one year in office.
Anna Ella Carroll, the eldest of Thomas King Carroll’s eight children, was born at Kingston Hall in 1815. Educated by her father, she was a prolific writer whose adroit political skills allowed her to influence presidents and carve out a place for herself in the male-dominated worlds of politics and war.
Using her political background and professional experiences, Anna Ella Carroll was involved in military planning during the Civil War. She is generally credited with the military strategy that allowed the Union army to capture Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, although some dispute her contributions. She advised Ulysses S. Grant on the attack on Vicksburg in 1863. Her portrait hangs at the National War College at Fort McNair.
Thomas King Carroll lost Kingston Hall to foreclosure in 1840. To settle his outstanding debts, he also sold off his 38 slaves. Anna Ella Carroll persuaded President Zachary Taylor to appoint her father chief naval officer for the Port of Baltimore in 1849.
Although the house has gone through more than a dozen owners, its historical integrity remains mostly intact. The original floor-to-ceiling raised paneling in the entry hall, parlor, dining room and library has been preserved, as have the floors and fireplaces.
In addition to the main house, the 25-acre estate on the banks of the Annemessex River includes the sole surviving ice house in Somerset County. The squat, circular building with a conical top is “one of the few known circular dependencies in Maryland” and “perhaps the most important architectural element” of the estate, according to a document filed with the National Register of Historic Places.
The large tobacco barn is not original, nor is the smokehouse. During Thomas King Carroll’s time, the plantation raised more corn than tobacco. The horse barn has three stalls. A nearly 2,000-square-foot guesthouse has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The seller is offering the house furnished with antique furniture, a grand piano and artwork.
The historic estate is on the market for $649,999.
Listing agent: Brandon Brittingham, Long & Foster