Facts about Roger Sherman
Roger Sherman Biography
Roger Sherman was an important — but often forgotten — member of the group of white men commonly called the “Founding Fathers” of the United States of America.
Sherman is the only one of them to have signed all four of the nation’s founding documents: The Articles of Association (1774, from the First Continental Congress), the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Articles of Confederation (1777) and the Constitution (1787).
Roger Sherman came from humble beginnings in Massachusetts, but after his father died he and his family relocated to Connecticut, where he and his brother went into business.
Sherman’s smarts and ambition made him a prominent member of the community. He was admitted to the bar in 1754, despite no formal legal education, and spent most of his career in appointed or elected positions.
A delegate from Connecticut when the Constitution was being debated, Sherman came up with what’s been called “The Great Compromise” or “The Connecticut Compromise” — the bicameral form of legislature that was ultimately adopted.
Sherman started as a cordwainer (shoe maker) and became a merchant, lawyer and legislator. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1789-91) and the U.S. Senate (1791-93), and he was the mayor of New Haven, Connecticut from 1784 until his death in 1793.
Roger Sherman was married twice; with his first wife he had seven children, and with his second wife he had eight more children… One of Sherman’s grandchildren was Roger Sherman Baldwin, born six months after Sherman died. Baldwin went on to be the lawyer (with John Quincy Adams) who defended the rights of the Africans involved in the Supreme Court case of The United States v. The Amistad.