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Hon. Roger Sherman was born 19 April 1721 in Newton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts to William Sherman (1692-1740) and Mehetabel Wellington (1687-1776) and died 23 July 1793 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut of unspecified causes. He married Elizabeth Hartwell (1726-1760) 31 August 1749 in New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut. He married Rebecca Prescott (1742-1813) 12 May 1763 in Danvers, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Biography

Roger Sherman, a founding father of the United States, He was the only person to sign all four great state papers of the U.S.: the Continental Association; the Declaration of Independence; the Articles of Confederation, and; the Constitution.

Roger Sherman was an early American lawyer and statesman, as well as a Founding Father of the United States. He served as the first mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, and served on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and was also a representative and senator in the new republic.

Early Life

Sherman was born into a farm family located at Newton, Massachusetts near Boston, his family later moved to Stoughton (a town located seventeen miles, or 27 km, south of Boston) when he was two. The part of Stoughton where Sherman grew up became part of Canton in 1797. Sherman's education did not extend beyond his father's library and grammar school, and his early career was spent as a shoe-maker. However, he had an aptitude for learning, and access to a good library owned by his father, as well as a Harvard-educated parish minister, Rev. Samuel Dunbar, who took him under his wing.

In 1743, due to his father's death, Sherman moved (on foot) with his mother and siblings to New Milford, Connecticut, where in partnership with his brother, he opened the town's first store. He very quickly introduced himself in civil and religious affairs, rapidly becoming one of the town's leading citizens and eventually town clerk of New Milford. Due to his mathematical skill he became county surveyor of New Haven County in 1745, and began providing astronomical calculations for almanacs in 1759.

Legal, Political Career

Despite the fact that Sherman had no formal legal training, he was urged to read for the bar exam by a local lawyer and was admitted to the Bar of Litchfield, Connecticut in 1754.

  • 1764 : wrote A Caveat Against Injustice
  • 1755-58: representative (1st term) for New Milford, Connecticut in the Connecticut House of Representatives
  • 1760-61: representative (2nd term) for New Milford, Connecticut in the Connecticut House of Representatives
  • 1762: appointed justice of the peace in 1762,
  • 1765: judge of the court of common pleas in 1765.
  • 1766-85: Sherman was first elected to the Governor's Council of the Connecticut General Assembly, where he served until 1785.
  • 1766-89: Justice of the Superior Court of Connecticut from 1766 to 1789, when he left to become a member of the United States Congress.
  • treasurer of Yale College
  • 1774: Signing of the Continental Association
  • 1776: Signing of Declaration of Independence
  • 1777: Signing of Articles of Confederation
  • 1784-93: Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut
  • 1787: US Constitutional Convention - 2nd oldest delegate after Benjamin Franklin
  • 1790: Appointed to revise archaic legal statues of Connecticut.

Later Life and Death

Sherman died in his sleep on July 23, 1793 after a two-month illness diagnosed as typhoid fever. The Gazette of the United States (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Aug. 17, 1793, p. 508, reported an alternate diagnosis, "He was taken ill about the middle of May last, and from that time declined till his death. His physician supposed his disorder to be seated in his liver."

He was buried in New Haven Green; and in 1821, when that cemetery was relocated, his remains were moved to the Grove Street Cemetery.


Tombstone Epithet

The following is recorded on the tablet which covers the tomb of this truly excellent man:

In memory of THE HON. ROGER SHERMAN, ESQ, Mayor of the city of New-Haven, and Senator of the United States. He was born at Newton, in Massachusetts, April 19th, 1721, And died in -New-Haven, July 23d, A, D. 1793, aged LXXII. Possessed of a strong, clear, penetrating mind, and singular perseverance, he became the self-taught scholar, eminent for jurisprudence and policy. He was nineteen years an assistant, and twenty-three years a judge of the superior court, in high reputation. He was a Delegate in the first Congress, signed the glorious act of Independence, and many years displayed superior talents and ability in the national legislature. He was a member of the general convention, approved the federal constitution, And served his country with fidelity and honour, in the House of Representatives, and in the Senate of the United States. He was a man of approved integrity; a cool, discerning Judge; a prudent, sagacious Politician; a true, faithful, and firm Patriot. He ever adorned the profession of Christianity which he made in youth; and distinguished through life for public usefulness, died in the prospect of a blessed immortality.

Marriage & Family

1st Marriage: Elizabeth Hartwell

  1. John Sherman (1750-1802)
  2. Martha Sherman (1751-) - died young
  3. William Sherman (1751-1789)
  4. Roger Sherman (1753-) - died young
  5. Isaac Sherman (1753-1819)
  6. Oliver Sherman (1756-1757) - died young
  7. Chloe Sherman (1758-1839)
  8. Elisabeth Sherman (1759-1762) - died young

2nd Marriage: Rebecca Prescott

  1. Rebecca Sherman (1764-1795) - md Simeon Baldwin (1761-1851), future judge and mayor of New Haven CT (see below for prominent grandchildren)
  2. Elizabeth Sherman (1765-1850) - widow of Sturgis Burr, she married her sister Rebecca's husband after her death
  3. Martha Sherman (1767-) - died young
  4. Roger Sherman (1768-1856) - a 1787 graduate of Yale College served in the Connecticut General Assembly in 1810–1811.
  5. Sarah Sherman (1773-) - died young
  6. Mehetabel Sherman (1772-1772) - died young
  7. Mehitabel Sherman (1774-1851) - md noted Christian missionary, reformer, and indian rights activist Jeremiah Evarts (1781-1831) (Aka: William Penn). Much noteworthy posterity
  8. Oliver Sherman (1777-1820) - died in Havana Cuba?
  9. Martha Sherman (1779-1806) - was married to Jeremiah Day who was the President of Yale University from 1817 to 1846.
  10. Sarah Sherman (1783-1866) - youngest child of family, married Samuel Hoar, who was a member of the Massachusetts state legislature and the U.S. Congress. Several prominent grandchildren - see below


Other Noteworthy Descendants

Three grandsons, Roger Sherman Baldwin, George F. Hoar, and William M. Evarts served in the U.S. Senate. Baldwin also was Governor of Connecticut. Evarts also was a United States Attorney General, and was succeeded in that office by his first cousin Ebenezer R. Hoar, a brother of George F. Hoar.

  • Descendant Archibald Cox served as a U.S. Solicitor General and special prosecutor during President Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal.
  • Baldwin, Roger S, Gov (1793-1863) (grandson) - 32nd Governor of Connecticut, US Senator and Lawyer serving in the famous Amisted case of 1841.
  • Baldwin, Simeon (1761-1851) - (son-in-law) A daughter, Rebecca Sherman (1764-1795), was married to Simeon Baldwin, whose career included service in the United States Congress (1803–1806), as an Associate Judge of the Connecticut Superior Court, 1806–1817, and who became Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut in 1826. Following the death of Rebecca Sherman, Baldwin married another of Roger Sherman's daughters, Burr.
  • Baldwin, Simeon E, Gov (1840-1927) - ( RSBaldwin, ...) governor of Connecticut




Children



Offspring of Hon. Roger Sherman and Elizabeth Hartwell (1726-1760)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Sherman (1750-1802) 8 July 1750 New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut 8 August 1802 Canton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Rebecca Nancy Austin (1753-1793) Rebecca Nancy Austin (1753-1793) Anna Tucker (1761-1858)
Martha Sherman (1751-) 1751 New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut 9999 Connecticut
William Sherman (1751-1789) 12 November 1751 New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut 26 June 1789 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut Sarah Law (1753-1826)
Roger Sherman (1753-) 1753 New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut
Isaac Sherman (1753-1819) 17 June 1753 New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut 16 February 1819 New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut
Oliver Sherman (1756-1757) 25 July 1753 New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut 16 June 1757 New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut
Chloe Sherman (1758-1839) 19 May 1758 New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut 6 December 1839 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut John Skinner (1765-1850)
Elisabeth Sherman (1759-1762) 1759 Newton, Massachusetts 4 December 1762 New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut



Offspring of Hon. Roger Sherman and Rebecca Prescott (1742-1813)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Rebecca Sherman (1764-1795) 22 February 1764 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut 4 September 1795 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut Simeon Baldwin (1761-1851)
Elizabeth Sherman (1765-1850) 31 December 1765 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut 16 July 1850 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut Sturgis Burr (1760-1795) Sturgis Burr (1760-1795) Simeon Baldwin (1761-1851)
Martha Sherman (1767-) 1767 New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut
Roger Sherman (1768-1856) 16 July 1768 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut 5 March 1856 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut Susanna Staples (1778-1855)
Sarah Sherman (1773-) 1773 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut
Mehetabel Sherman (1772-1772) 20 February 1772 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut 18 November 1772 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut
Mehitabel Sherman (1774-1851) 23 January 1774 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut 5 March 1851 New York City, New York Daniel Barnes (1772-1799) Daniel Barnes (1772-1799) Jeremiah Evarts (1781-1831)
Oliver Sherman (1777-1820) 19 January 1777 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut 30 July 1821 Havana, Cuba
Martha Sherman (1779-1806) 24 September 1779 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut 4 April 1806 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut Jeremiah Day (1773-1867)
Sarah Sherman (1783-1866) 11 January 1783 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut 30 August 1866 Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Samuel Hoar (1778-1856)









Siblings

References


Residences

Footnotes (including sources)

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