Roger Sherman, an American statesman, born in Newton, Mass., April 19, 1721, died in New Haven, Conn., July 23, 1793. He was a shoemaker till after he was 22 years old. In 1743 he removed to New Milford, Conn., where with a brother he kept a small store. In 1745 he was appointed surveyor of lands for the county, and for several years after 1748 he furnished the astronomical calculations for an almanac published in New York. He was admitted to the bar in 1754, was several times elected to the colonial assembly, and in 1759 was appointed judge of the court of common pleas. Having removed to New Haven in 1761, he became judge of common pleas there in 1765, and the next year an assistant or member of the upper house in the legislature (a body consisting of 12 persons), both which offices he held for about 19 years, and his judgeship till 1789, the latter portion of the time on the bench of the superior court. He was a member of the continental and the United States congress from 1774 to 1791, when he was elected United States senator. He was also a member of the governor's council of safety, and from 1784 till his death mayor of New Haven; and he was for many years treasurer of Yale college.
In 1776. he was a member of the committee appointed to draft the declaration of independence, of which he was one of the signers; and during the war he performed important services on committees and boards. In 1783 he was associated with another judge in codifying the laws of Connecticut. He had been one of the committee which framed the old articles of confederation; and he was one of the most efficient members of the constitutional convention of 1787, and was chiefly instrumental in securing the ratification of the constitution by the state convention of Connecticut.