Roger Sherman

Roger Sherman (April 19, 1721 – July 23, 1793) was an early American statesman, lawyer, and a Founding Father. He is the only person to sign all four great state papers of the United States: the Continental Association, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and U.S. Constitution.[1][2] He also signed the 1774 Petition to the King.

Roger Sherman
United States Senator
from Connecticut
In office
June 13, 1791  July 23, 1793
Preceded byWilliam S. Johnson
Succeeded byStephen M. Mitchell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1789  March 3, 1791
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byAmasa Learned
Member of the Confederation Congress from Connecticut
In office
1784–1784
Delegate to the Continental Congress from Connecticut
In office
1774–1781
1st Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut
In office
1784–1793
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded bySamuel Bishop
Personal details
Born(1721-04-19)April 19, 1721
Newton, Province of Massachusetts
DiedJuly 23, 1793(1793-07-23) (aged 72)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Resting placeGrove Street Cemetery
New Haven
NationalityAmerican
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Hartwell
Rebecca Minot Prescott
ProfessionPolitician, lawyer
Signature

Born in Newton, Massachusetts, Sherman established a legal career in Litchfield County, Connecticut, despite a lack of formal education. After a period in the Connecticut House of Representatives, he served as a justice of the Superior Court of Connecticut from 1766 to 1789. He represented Connecticut at the Continental Congress, and he was a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence.

Sherman served as a delegate to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, which produced the United States Constitution. After Benjamin Franklin, he was the second oldest delegate present at the convention. Sherman favored granting the federal government power to raise revenue and regulate commerce, but initially opposed efforts to supplant the Articles of Confederation with a new constitution.[3] After supporting the establishment of a new constitution, Sherman became a key delegate and main opponent of James Madison's Virginia Plan by introducing the Connecticut Compromise that won the approval of both the more and less populous states.[4][5][6]

After the ratification of the Constitution, Sherman represented Connecticut in the United States House of Representatives from 1789 to 1791. He served in the United States Senate from 1791 to his death in 1793.


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