Roger Sherman


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Roger ShermanSherman, ROGER, signer of the Declaration of Independence; born in Newton, Massachusetts, April 19, 1721; in early life was a shoemaker, and after the death of his father (1741) he supported his mother and several younger children by his industry, at the same time employing all his leisure time in acquiring knowledge, especially of mathematics. In 1743 he joined an elder brother in keeping a small store in New Milford, Connecticut, and the next year was appointed county surveyor of lands. For several years (174860) he furnished the astronomical calculations for an almanac published in New York. Meanwhile he had studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1754. He was elected to the Connecticut Assembly several times, and in 1759 became a judge of the court of common pleas. Removing to New Haven in 1761, he became a judge of the same court there in 1765, holding the office until 1789. He was also chosen an assistant in 1766, and held the office nineteen years. In 1774 he was chosen delegate to the first Continental Congress. He continued in Congress until his death, at which time he was in the United States Senate. Judge Sherman was one of the committee appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence; served on the most important committees during the war; from 1784 until his death was mayor of New Haven; and was chiefly instrumental in securing the ratification of the national Constitution by Connecticut. He was one of the most useful men of his time. Jefferson declared that he "never said a foolish thing in his life." He died in New Haven, Connecticut, July 23, 1793.



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