By Bill Federer, staff writer
Roger Sherman was the only person to sign all four of America’s founding documents:
the Articles of Association-1774,
the Declaration of Independence-1776,
the Articles of Confederation-1777, and
the U.S. Constitution-1787.
At age 19, Roger Sherman’s father died and he supported his family as a shoe cobbler, helping two younger brothers attend college and become clergymen.
Roger Sherman was a surveyor and merchant, but when a neighbor needed legal advice, he studied to help, only to be inspired to be a lawyer.
Roger Sherman was elected a state senator, a judge and a delegate to the Continental Congress.
He was on the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. He gave instructions to an embassy to Canada:
“That all civil rights and the right to hold office were to be extended to persons of any Christian denomination.”
Roger Sherman made 138 speeches at the Constitutional Convention, and helped draft the New Jersey Plan and the Connecticut Compromise, which broke the deadlock between how the large States and small States would be represented.
He helped Connecticut to ratify the Constitution and was elected to the first session of Congress, where he thought a First Amendment unnecessary, as religion was under each individual States’ jurisdiction.
Elected a U.S. Senator at age 70, Roger Sherman died JULY 23, 1793.
Inscribed on his tomb is:
“He ever adorned the profession of Christianity which he made in youth and…died in the prospect of a blessed immortality.”
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