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Roger Sherman
Roger Sherman
American, 1721 - 1793
Biography: Roger Sherman is probably Connecticut's most famous patriot. He was born 19 April 1721 in Newtown, Massachusetts. His father, William Sherman (d. 1741) was a farmer of modest means; Roger Sherman was apprenticed as a shoemaker. In 1743, the Sherman family moved to New Milford, Connecticut, to join Roger Sherman's oldest brother in running a town store. Despite little formal education, Roger Sherman excelled in mathematics, and in 1745, he was appointed surveyor of lands for his county. Studying law informally on the side, he was admitted to the Litchfield bar in 1754. Roger Sherman married twice. He married Elizabeth Hartwell (d. 1760) of Stoughton, Massachusetts in 1749; they had seven children. Elizabeth Sherman died in childbirth in 1760. Roger Sherman married Rebecca Minot Prescott (1743-1793) of Danvers, Massachusetts on 12 May 1763; they had eight children. Roger Sherman had a remarkable political career. In 1755, he was elected a representative of New Milford in the general assembly of Connecticut; in 1759, he was made a judge of common pleas in Litchfield County. In 1761, Sherman moved to New Haven, where he managed two stores and served for many years as the Treasurer of Yale College. Sherman was a representaive in both houses of the colonial assembly, and he served on the Connecticut Superior Court from 1766 to 1789. Sherman was elected to the Continental Congress in 1774; he helped draft the Declaration of Independence. Roger Sherman is the only man to sign all four of America's great state papers: the Articles of Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution. After the Revolution, Sherman was elected the first Mayor of New Haven in 1784. In 1789, he left Connecticut to join the United States Congress, where he helped draft the Bill of Rights. Roger Sherman died on 23 July 1793 in New Haven, Connecticut. He is buried in Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven.