Roger Sherman is the only man to sign all four great historical American documents: Articles of Association in 1774, Declaration of Independence in 1776, Articles of Confederation in 1777, and United States Constitution in 1787. He was born on April 19, 1721, near Boston in Newton, Massachusetts.
Sherman studied law and was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1754. He published a series of almanacs (1750-1761) and then became prominent in business and politics. He served as the first mayor of New Haven, Connecticut and served on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence. He was the person who kept the peace at the Constitutional Convention when he helped to resolve differences between the small state and the large states on the question of how the states would be represented in the national legislature. This situation is known as the “Connecticut Compromise.” Sherman served in the U.S. Congress as both a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1789-1791) and as a Senator (1791-1793).
It is said that Roger Sherman was the father of fifteen children, seven by his first wife Elizabeth Hartwell (died in 1760) and eight by his second wife Rebecca Minot Prescott. The children included Roger Sherman, Jr. (1768-1856), Rebecca Sherman (married Simeon Baldwin), Elizabeth Sherman Burr (married Simeon Baldwin after Elizabeth’s death), Sarah Sherman (married Samuel Hoar), and Martha Sherman (married Jeremiah Day). Sherman died in New Haven on July 23, 1793.
Thomas Jefferson said of Sherman “That is Mr. Sherman, of Connecticut, a man who never said a foolish thing in his life.”