Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Meet Roger Sherman

Roger Sherman statue in Signers Hall,
National Constitution Center, Philadelphia
In anticipation of Independence Day, I am going to take it on faith that most people have at least a passing familiarity with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and a few others as being among those we call "The Founders".  But do you know who was there at every written step along the way?  Mr. Roger Sherman of Connecticut is the most prolific "signer" of them all.  He is the only man to have affixed his signature to all four of what are considered our founding documents: The Articles of Association (1774), The Declaration of Independence (1776), The Articles of Confederation (1777) and The Constitution (1787).

Roger Sherman was a self-educated shopkeeper and shoe-maker who studied extensively on his own eventually was appointed or elected at various times as clerk, mayor, surveyor, judge, U.S. Congressman and professor of religion.

Despite his lack of formal learning, Sherman won the respect of those more well-known and well-educated men for his excellent judgment and temperament, perhaps best summed up by Jefferson himself: "That is Mr. Sherman, of Connecticut, a man who never said a foolish thing in his life."

In a more fun aside, the musical "1776" (music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards - ha-ha..."Sherman" - nice coincidence!) features a song called "But, Mr. Adams" in which it is fun to see how many words Sherman (Edwards) came up with during (Roger) Sherman's part of the song to rhyme with "Connecticut".  Check it out!

No comments:

Post a Comment