Roger Sherman: A Founding Father and Influential Politician
Roger Sherman is a name that may not be as well-known as some of the other Founding Fathers of the United States, but his contributions to the nation were just as important. He was a man of many talents – a lawyer, politician, and even a scientist. Ov
Roger Sherman was born on April 19th, 1721 in Newton, Massachusetts. He was the second son of William and Mehetable Sherman, who were both from families that had settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the late 1600s. Roger’s father was a farmer and a shoemaker, and the Shermans were not a wealthy family.
At the age of 19, Roger Sherman moved to Connecticut to work as a clerk in a store in New Milford. While he was working there, he began to read law books in his spare time, and he eventually became an apprentice to a lawyer in New Milford. In 1743, he was admitted to the bar and set up his own law practice in New Milford.
Career as a Politician
Roger Sherman’s career in politics began in 1755, when he was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly. He would go on to serve in this legislature for many years, and he also served as a justice of the peace, a judge, and a member of the governor’s council.
Sherman was a strong supporter of American independence, and he was one of the original members of the Continental Congress in 1774. He was also one of five men who were appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. While he did not write the famous document himself, he played an important role in its creation. He was known for his ability to compromise and find common ground, and he helped to bring the various factions within the Continental Congress together.
Sherman continued to serve in the Continental Congress until 1781, when he was appointed to serve on the committee that drafted the Articles of Confederation. He is credited with proposing the Great Compromise, which solved a heated debate between large and small states over representation in Congress. This compromise created a bicameral legislature with equal representation in the Senate and representation by population in the House of Representatives.
In 1783, Sherman was elected as the first mayor of New Haven, Connecticut. He would go on to serve in various positions in the Connecticut government over the next decade, including as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787.
Contributions to Drafting the United States Constitution
Roger Sherman’s most significant contribution to American government may well have been his work in drafting the United States Constitution. He was one of the most active and influential members of the convention that drafted the document, which would become the foundation of the American political system.
Sherman was a strong proponent of a strong central government, but he was also concerned about protecting the rights of the individual states. This led him to support the creation of a system of federalism, where power would be shared between the central government and the states.
Throughout the course of the convention, Sherman played a key role in shaping many of the key provisions of the Constitution. He was a member of both the Committee of Detail and the Committee of Style, which were responsible for organizing and revising the various proposals that were put forward by the delegates.
Sherman was also instrumental in creating the Connecticut Compromise, which resolved a dispute over representation in Congress that had threatened to derail the entire process. This compromise set up a bicameral legislature with equal representation in the Senate and proportional representation in the House of Representatives, much like the Great Compromise had done for the Articles of Confederation.
Later Life and Legacy
After the Constitutional Convention, Roger Sherman continued to serve in various positions of government. In 1789, he was elected to serve as a representative in the United States House of Representatives, and he served in this capacity until his death in 1793.
Throughout his career, Sherman was known for his honesty, his integrity, and his devotion to the cause of American independence. He was also a deeply religious man, and he believed that the Christian faith was essential to the survival of the American republic.
Today, Roger Sherman is often overshadowed by his more famous contemporaries like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. However, his contributions to American government cannot be overlooked. He played a key role in drafting three of the most important documents in American history – the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution – and he helped to shape the American political system in countless ways.
His legacy lives on today in the form of the Connecticut Compromise, which remains an essential part of the American political system. It is a testament to his vision and his skill as a statesman that the federal government he helped to create is still functioning more than two centuries after its creation.
Founding Father: Roger Sherman
Early Life of Roger Sherman
Roger Sherman was born on April 19, 1721, in Newton, Massachusetts. When he was two years old, his family moved to Stoughton where he attended the country school and began learning how to be a cobbler from his father. As a young boy, Roger Sherman wanted to read and learn and did as much as possible during his spare time.
Two years after his father died in 1743, Roger Sherman moved to New Milford, Connecticut to live with his older brother. Here he worked as a surveyor, purchased a store, and studied law. In 1749, he married Elizabeth Hartwell, with whom he had 7 children. He also became a lawyer in 1754. From here, Roger Sherman began his political career. He was a representative for New Milford in the Connecticut Assembly between 1755 and 1756 and from 1758 to 1761.
In 1761, Roger Sherman decided to stop practicing law and then moved to New Haven, Connecticut. He managed two different stores then and also became a friend and supporter of Yale College. He was also the treasurer of Yale College for many years. 3 years after his wife’s death in 1763, Roger Sherman got married a second time to Rebecca Prescott. He had 8 children with her.
Throughout this time, Roger Sherman was a very important man. He was a justice of the peace and the county judge, but then he became an associate judge of the Superior Court of Connecticut, he represented both houses of the assembly. Although Roger Sherman did not like extremism, he still fought against Great Britain.
Roger Sherman was influential as a member of the Continental Congress between 1774 to 1781 and 1783 to 1784. Roger Sherman was a member of the committees that drafted the Articles of Confederation as well as the Declaration of Independence. He was also involved in other things like Indian affairs or military issues.
When Roger Sherman was in Congress, he still participated in local politics. He was still the judge of the Superior Court of Connecticut. He was also a member of the council of safety. In 1784, Roger Sherman became mayor of New Haven.
The last thing Roger Sherman served as was a representative in the United States House of Representatives from 1789 to 1791 and then the Senate between 1791and 179. Here he supported the Federalists.
Roger Sherman died at the age of 72 in New Haven on July 24, 1793. He is buried in the Grove Street Cemetery.
Facts about Roger Sherman
•Roger Sherman had 15 children.
•Roger Sherman held offices in all three branches of the government.
•Roger Sherman was the second oldest person at the Constitutional Convention.