July 23

This Day in History

American Revolution

Jul 23, 1793:

Connecticut Patriot Roger Sherman dies

On this day in 1793, Roger Sherman, a Connecticut Patriot and member of the Committee of Five selected to draft the Declaration of Independence, dies of typhoid in New Haven, Connecticut, at age 72. Sherman alone among the Patriots of the American Revolution signed all four documents gradually assigning sovereignty to the new United States: the Continental Association of 1774, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. Thomas Jefferson credited Sherman with having never said a foolish thing in his life.

Although Sherman was a self-educated shoemaker, raised on the western frontier of Massachusetts, he would eventually distinguish himself as a surveyor and astronomer; join the Bar of Litchfield, Connecticut; and serve as both a professor of religion and treasurer of Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut. He served in numerous elective and judicial offices, including in the Second Continental Congress, in the Connecticut General Assembly, and as justice of the peace, justice of the Superior Court of Connecticut and a representative in the first United States Congress. Sherman was the mayor of New Haven and a member of the United States Senate at the time of his death. Sherman was as prolific in his personal life as he was in his political career. He had seven children with his first wife, Elizabeth Hartwell, and eight more with his second wife, Rebecca Minot Prescott.

Sherman was buried near the Yale campus. He is remembered with a statue at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and a street named in his honor in Madison, Wisconsin.

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