Colonial Hall -- Biographies of America's Founding Fathers

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Elizabeth Hartwell Sherman


Wife of Roger Sherman

Elizabeth Hartwell, daughter of Deacon Joseph Hartwell, of Stoughton, Mass., was married to Roger Sherman, in 1749 and went to live with him in New Milford, Conn., where he held the office of County Surveyor for New Haven County. Roger Sherman was twenty-eight years old at the time. Six years before he had removed from Stoughton to New Milford with his widowed mother and her little family, and worked at his calling as shoemaker. The young man was limited as to education, but he had ambition, a decided bent for mathematics, and great powers of application. In 1745, he began land surveying, and three years before his marriage we find him making the yearly calculations of an almanac that was published in New York. We know little about Elizabeth Hartwell Sherman beyond the fact that she became the mother of seven children and that she died in 1760, highly respected by all who knew her for her gentle nature and Christian character. At the time of her death, her husband was serving his fifth year as a member of Assembly, and was studying law. Their children were John, William, Isaac, Chloe, Oliver, Chloe, and Elizabeth. Chloe (the first), and Oliver died in infancy.

Source: Wives of the Signers: The Women Behind the Declaration of Independence, by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. (Aledo, TX: Wallbuilder Press, 1997). Orignaly Published in 1912 as volume 3 of The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons). Pages 92-93. (Some minor spelling changes may have been made.)


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Last modified January 5, 2004