Roger Sherman was an early American statesman and lawyer, as well as a Founding Father of the United States. He is the only person to have signed all four great state papers of the United States: the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution. Born in Newton, Sherman established a legal career in Litchfield County, Connecticut despite a lack of formal education. After a period in the Connecticut House of Representatives, he served as a Justice of the Superior Court of Connecticut from 1766 to 1789, he represented Connecticut at the Continental Congress and signed the Continental Association, which provided for a boycott against Britain following the imposition of the Intolerable Acts. He was a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, he signed both the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. In 1784, he was elected as the first mayor of Connecticut. Sherman served as a delegate to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, which produced the United States Constitution.
After Benjamin Franklin, he was the oldest delegate present at the convention. He favored granting the federal government power to raise revenue and regulate commerce, but opposed efforts to supplant the Articles of Confederation with a new constitution, he came to support the establishment of a new constitution, proposed the Connecticut Compromise, which won the approval of both the larger states and the smaller states. After the ratification of the Constitution, Sherman represented Connecticut in the United States House of Representatives from 1789 to 1791, he served in the United States Senate from 1791 to his death in 1793. Sherman was born into a farm family located in Newton, near Boston, his father was mother Mehetabel Sherman. Mehetabel's father was Benjamin Wellington and her mother was Elizabeth Sweetman, whose christening date was March 4, 1687, she died on April 12, 1776. William and Mehetabel had seven children, William Jr. Mehetabel, Elizabeth, Nathaniel and Rebecca. After Elizabeth was born, the Shermans left Newton and settled in the south precinct of Dorchester, that three years became the township of Stoughton and located 17 miles south of Boston, when Roger was two.
William married Rebecca Cutler on July 15, 1714. Josiah was Chaplain of the 7th Connecticut from January 1 to December 6, 1777; the part of Stoughton where Sherman grew up became part of Canton in 1797. Sherman's education did not extend beyond his father's library and grammar school, his early career was spent as a shoe-maker. However, he had an aptitude for learning, access to a good library owned by his father, as well as a Harvard-educated parish minister, the Rev. Samuel Dunbar, who took him under his wing. In 1743, due to his father's death, Sherman moved with his mother and siblings to New Milford, where in partnership with his brother William, he opened the town's first store, he quickly introduced himself in civil and religious affairs becoming one of the town's leading citizens and town clerk of New Milford. Due to his mathematical skill he became county surveyor of New Haven County in 1745, began providing astronomical calculations for almanacs in 1759. Roger Sherman was married two times and had a total of fifteen children with thirteen reaching adulthood.
Sherman married Elizabeth on November 17, 1749. She was born August 31, 1726, in Stoughton, her father was Deacon Joseph Hartwell and her mother was Mary Hartwell, born on October 4, 1697, died on November 10, 1782, they had seven children. Elizabeth died on October 19, 1760. Sherman married Rebecca Prescott on May 12, 1763, she was born on May 1742, in Danvers, Essex County, Massachusetts. They had Rebecca; the first Mehitabel and Oliver both died in infancy. Rebecca died in August 1814. A son, Roger Sherman Jr. a 1787 graduate of Yale College served in the Connecticut General Assembly in 1810–1811. A daughter, Rebeca Sherman, was married to Simeon Baldwin, whose career included service in the United States Congress, as an Associate Judge of the Connecticut Superior Court, 1806–1817, who became Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, in 1826. Following the death of Rebecca Sherman, Baldwin married another of Roger Sherman's daughters, Elizabeth Sherman Burr, his daughter, Mehetabel Sherman Barnes married Jeremiah Evarts, who served as treasurer and secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
His daughter Martha Sherman married Jeremiah Day, President of Yale University from 1817 to 1846. Another daughter, Sarah Sherman, married Samuel Hoar, a member of the Massachusetts state legislature and the U. S. Congress. Grandfathers before Henry Sherman were Thomas and Thomas Sherman. Henry Sherman born about 1512, married Agnes around 1539 died October 1580, in Dedham, England. Henry Sherman: great-great-great-grandfather John Sherman: great-great-grandfather, John Sherman Jr.: great-grandfather, whose christening date was September 3, 1612, married Martha Palmer, a
Thomas Mifflin was an American merchant and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served in a variety of roles during and after the American Revolution, several of which qualify him to be counted among the Founding Fathers, he was the first Governor of Pennsylvania, serving from 1790 to 1799. Born in Philadelphia, Mifflin became a merchant after graduating from the College of Philadelphia, he joined the Continental Army after serving in the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly and the Continental Congress. During the American Revolutionary War, he served as an aide to General George Washington and as the Continental Army's Quartermaster General, rising to the rank of major general. Mifflin returned to Congress in 1782 and was elected President of the Continental Congress in 1783, he served as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1785 to 1787 and as President of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council from 1788 to 1790. Mifflin was a delegate to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention and signed the United States Constitution.
He presided over the committee that wrote Pennsylvania's 1790 constitution and became the state's first governor after the ratification of the new state constitution. Mifflin died the following year. Thomas Mifflin was born January 1744 in Philadelphia in the Province of Pennsylvania, he was the son of Elizabeth Bagnall. His great-grandfather John Mifflin Jr. was born in Warminster, Wiltshire and settled in the Province of Pennsylvania. In 1760, Thomas Mifflin graduated from the College of Philadelphia and joined the mercantile business of William Biddle. After returning from a trip to Europe in 1765, he established a commercial business partnership with his brother, George Mifflin, he married a second cousin, Sarah Morris, on March 4, 1767. They had no children. Early in the Revolutionary War, Mifflin left the Continental Congress to serve in the Continental Army, he was commissioned as a major became an aide-de-camp of George Washington. On August 14, 1775, Washington appointed him to become the army's first Quartermaster General, under order of Congress.
Although it has been said that he was good at the job despite preferring to be on the front lines, questions were raised regarding his failure to properly supply Washington and the troops at Valley Forge, alleging that he had instead warehoused and sold supplies intended for Valley Forge to the highest bidder. After Washington confronted him about this, Mifflin asked to be relieved of the job of Quartermaster General, but was persuaded to resume those duties because Congress was having difficulty finding a replacement. Mifflin's leadership in the Battle of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton led to a promotion to major general. In Congress, there was debate regarding whether a national army was more efficient or if individual states should maintain their own forces; as a result of this debate the Congressional Board of War was created, on which Mifflin served from 1777 to 1778. He rejoined the army but took little active role, following criticism of his service as quartermaster general, he welcomed an inquiry.
He resigned his commission—by as a major general—but Congress continued to ask his advice after accepting his resignation. Prior to American independence, Thomas Mifflin was a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, he served two terms in the Continental Congress, including seven months as that body's presiding officer. Mifflin's most important duty as president was to accept on behalf of Congress the resignation of General George Washington on December 23, 1783. After the war, the importance of Congress declined so precipitously that Mifflin found it difficult to convince the states to send enough delegates to Congress to ratify the Treaty of Paris, which took place on January 14, 1784 at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, he appointed Thomas Jefferson as a minister to France on May 7, 1784, he appointed his former aide, Colonel Josiah Harmar, to be the commander of the First American Regiment. Mifflin served as a delegate to the United States Constitutional Convention in 1787, he was a signatory to the Constitution.
He served in the house of Pennsylvania General Assembly. He was a member of the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on November 5, 1788, he was elected President of the Council, replacing Benjamin Franklin, he was unanimously reelected to the Presidency on November 11, 1789. He presided over the committee; that document did away with the Executive Council. On December 21, 1790, Mifflin became the last President of Pennsylvania and the first Governor of the Commonwealth, he held the latter office until December 1799, when he was succeeded by Thomas McKean. He returned to the state legislature, where he served until his death the following month. Although Mifflin's family had been Quakers for four generations, he was expelled from the Religious Society of Friends upon joining the Continental Army, because his involvement with a military force contradicted that faith's pacifistic doctrines. Mifflin became a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1768, served for two years as its secretary.
He served from 1773 to 1791 as a trustee of the College and Academy of Philadelphia, including two years as treasurer. Mifflin died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on January 23, 1800, he is interred at the burial grounds
A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used in portions of the United States – principally in New England – since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government. This is a town- or city-level meeting where decisions are made, in contrast with town hall meetings held by state and national politicians to answer questions from their constituents, which have no decision-making power. Town meeting is a form of local government practiced in the U. S. region of New England since colonial times, in some western states since at least the late 19th century. Conducted by New England towns, town meeting can refer to meetings of other governmental bodies, such as school districts or water districts. While the uses and laws vary from state to state, the general form is for residents of the town or school district to gather once a year and act as a legislative body, voting on operating budgets and other matters for the community's operation over the following 12 months.
In 1854, Henry David Thoreau said, in a speech entitled "Slavery in Massachusetts": When, in some obscure country town, the farmers come together to a special town-meeting, to express their opinion on some subject, vexing the land, that, I think, is the true Congress, the most respectable one, assembled in the United States. The painting Freedom of Speech depicts a scene from a town meeting; the Puritans, whose churches used the Congregationalist church governance sysytem, established town meetings when they established the various New England colonies. Its usage in the English language can cause confusion, since it is both an event, as in "Freetown had its town meeting last Tuesday", an entity, as in "Last Tuesday, Town Meeting decided to repave Howland Road." In modern times, "town meeting" has been used by political groups and political candidates as a label for moderated discussion group in which a large audience is invited. To avoid confusion, this sort of event is called a "town hall meeting."
Connecticut town meetings are bound to a published agenda. For example, in Connecticut, a Town Meeting may discuss, but not alter, an article placed before them, nor may they place new items on the agenda. If a Town Meeting rejects a budget, a new Town Meeting must be called to consider the next proposed budget. State Law allows the Board of Selectmen to adopt an estimated tax rate and continue operating based on the previous budget in the event a Town Meeting has not adopted a new budget in time, they do not exercise the scope of legislative powers as is seen in Massachusetts. A moderator is chosen at each meeting. Meetings are held in school auditoriums, however they may be moved to larger venues as needed. Town meetings can physically meet in another town if necessary to find a proper space to host the attendance. Votes are taken by voice, if close by show of hands. Meetings on controversial topics are adjourned to a referendum conducted by machine vote on a date in the future; such adjournment may come from the floor of the meeting, or by a petition for a paper or machine ballot filed before the meeting.
In towns with an Open Town Meeting, all registered voters of a town, all persons owning at least $1,000 of taxable property, are eligible to participate in and vote at Town Meetings, with the exception of the election of officials. Representative Town Meetings used by some larger towns consist of a large number of members elected to office; some towns utilize a so-called Financial Town Meeting, where an Open Town Meeting exists with limited jurisdiction to only vote on financial affairs and the town's legislative powers have been vested in a Town Council. In Maine, the town meeting system originated during the period when Maine was a district of Massachusetts. Most cities and towns operate under a modified version of it. Maine annual town meetings traditionally are held in March. Special town meetings may be called from time to time; the executive agency of town government is an elected, part-time board, known as the Board of Selectmen or Select Board, having three, five, or seven members. Between sessions, the board of selectmen interprets the policy set at Town Meeting and is assigned numerous duties including: approving all town non-school expenditures, authorizing highway construction and repair, serving as town purchasing agent for non-school items, issuing licenses, overseeing the conduct of all town activities.
The part-time selectmen serve as town assessors, overseers of the poor, as road commissioners. There are other elected town officers whose duties are specified by law; these may include clerks, tax collector, school committee and others. In 1927 the town of Camden adopted a special charter, became the first Maine town to apply the manager concept to the town meeting-selectmen framework. Under this system, the manager is administrative head of town government, responsible to the select board for the administration of all departments under its control; the manager's duties include acting as purchasing agent, seeing that laws and ordinances are enforced, making appointments and removals, fixing the compensation of appointees. From 1927 to 1939, eleven other Maine towns adopted special act town meeting-selectmen-
First Continental Congress
The First Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from twelve of the Thirteen Colonies who met from September 5 to October 26, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, early in the American Revolution. It was called in response to the Intolerable Acts passed by the British Parliament, which the British referred to as the Coercive Acts, with which the British intended to punish Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party; the Congress met to consider options, including an economic boycott of British trade and drawing up a list of rights and grievances. The Congress called for another Continental Congress in the event that their petition was unsuccessful in halting enforcement of the Intolerable Acts, their appeal to the Crown had no effect, so the Second Continental Congress was convened the following year to organize the defense of the colonies at the onset of the American Revolutionary War. The delegates urged each colony to set up and train its own militia; the Congress met from September 5 to October 26, 1774.
Peyton Randolph presided over the proceedings. Charles Thomson, leader of the Philadelphia Committee of Correspondence, was selected to be Secretary of the Continental Congress; the delegates who attended were not of one mind concerning. Conservatives such as Joseph Galloway, John Dickinson, John Jay, Edward Rutledge believed their task to be forging policies to pressure Parliament to rescind its unreasonable acts, their ultimate goal was to develop a reasonable solution to the difficulties and bring about reconciliation between the Colonies and Great Britain. Others such as Patrick Henry, Roger Sherman, Samuel Adams, John Adams believed their task to be developing a decisive statement of the rights and liberties of the Colonies, their ultimate goal was to end what they felt to be the abuses of parliamentary authority, to retain their rights, guaranteed under both Colonial charters and the English constitution. Roger Sherman denied the legislative authority of Parliament, Patrick Henry believed that the Congress needed to develop a new system of government, independent from Great Britain, for the existing Colonial governments were dissolved.
In contrast to these ideas, Joseph Galloway put forward a "Plan of Union" which suggested that an American legislative body be formed with some authority, whose consent would be required for imperial measures. In the end, the voices of compromise carried the day. Rather than calling for independence, the First Continental Congress passed and signed the Continental Association in its Declaration and Resolves, which called for a boycott of British goods to take effect in December 1774, it requested that local Committees of Safety enforce the boycott and regulate local prices for goods. These resolutions adopted by the Congress did not endorse any legal power of Parliament to regulate trade, but consented, nonetheless, to the operation of acts for that purpose. Furthermore, they did not repudiate control by the royal prerogative, explicitly acknowledged in the Petition to the King a few days later; the Congress had two primary accomplishments. The first was a compact among the Colonies to boycott British goods beginning on December 1, 1774.
The West Indies were threatened with a boycott unless the islands agreed to non-importation of British goods. Imports from Britain dropped by 97 percent compared with the previous year. Committees of observation and inspection were to be formed in each Colony to ensure compliance with the boycott. All of the Colonial Houses of Assembly approved the proceedings of the Congress, with the exception of New York. If the Intolerable Acts were not repealed, the Colonies would cease exports to Britain after September 10, 1775; the boycott was implemented, but its potential for altering British colonial policy was cut off by the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The second accomplishment of the Congress was to provide for a Second Continental Congress to meet on May 10, 1775. In addition to the Colonies which had sent delegates to the First Continental Congress, the Congress resolved on October 21, 1774, to send letters of invitation to Quebec, Saint John's Island, Nova Scotia, East Florida, West Florida.
However, letters appear to have been sent only to Quebec. None of these other colonies sent delegates to the opening of the Second Congress, though a delegation from Georgia arrived the following July. List of delegates to the Continental and Confederation congresses Papers of the Continental Congress Timeline of United States revolutionary history Bancroft, George. History of the United States of America, from the discovery of the American continent. Vol 4-10 online edition Burnett, Edmund C.. The Continental Congress. Greenwood Publishing. ISBN 0-8371-8386-3. Henderson, H. James. Party Politics in the Continental Congress. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8191-6525-5. Launitz-Schurer, Loyal Whigs and Revolutionaries, The making of the revolution in New York, 1765-1776, 1980, ISBN 0-8147-4994-1 Ketchum, Divided Loyalties, How the American Revolution came to New York, 2002, ISBN 0-8050-6120-7 Miller, John C. Origins of the American Revolution online edition Puls, Samuel Adams, father of the American Revolution, 2006, ISBN 1-4039-7582-5 Montross, Lynn.
The Reluctant Rebels. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-389-03973-X. Primary sourcesPeter Force, ed. American Archives, 9 vol 1837-1853, major compilation of documents 1774-1776
Robert Treat Paine
Robert Treat Paine was a Massachusetts lawyer and politician, best known as a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Massachusetts. He served as the state's first attorney general, served as an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the state's highest court. Robert Treat Paine was born in Boston, British America on March 11, 1731, he was one of five children of the Rev. Thomas Eunice Paine, his father was pastor of Franklin Road Baptist Church in Weymouth but moved his family to Boston in 1730 and subsequently became a merchant there. His mother was the daughter of Rev. Samuel Treat, whose father Maj. Robert Treat was one of the principal founders of Newark, New Jersey; the Treat family in particular had a long history in the British colonies dating back to the Mayflower. Paine attended the Boston Latin School and at the age of fourteen entered Harvard College, from which institution he graduated in 1749 at age 18, he was engaged in teaching school for several years back at the Boston Latin and at Lunenburg, Massachusetts.
He attempted a merchant career with journeys to the Carolinas, the Azores, to Spain, as well as a whaling voyage to Greenland. He began the study of law in 1755 with his mother's cousin in Massachusetts. Paine was unsuccessful in gaining an officer's commission in that regiment and so volunteered to serve as chaplain; when he returned from a brief military campaign to Lake George, he did some occasional preaching and returned to his legal studies. In 1756 he returned to Boston to continue his legal preparations with Samuel Prat, he was admitted to the bar in 1757, he first considered establishing his law practice at Portland, but instead in 1761 moved to Taunton, Massachusetts back to Boston in 1780. In 1768 he was a delegate to the provincial convention, called to meet in Boston and along with Samuel Quincy conducted the prosecution of Captain Thomas Preston and his British soldiers following the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770. John Adams was opposing counsel, his arguments won the jury's sway, most of the troops were let off.
Paine served in the Massachusetts General Court from 1773 to 1774, in the Provincial Congress from 1774 to 1775, represented Massachusetts at the Continental Congress from 1774 through 1776. In Congress, he signed the final appeal to the king, helped frame the rules of debate and acquire gunpowder for the coming war, in 1776 was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, he returned to Massachusetts at the end of December 1776 and was speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1777, a member of the executive council in 1779, a member of the committee that drafted the state constitution in 1780. He was Massachusetts Attorney General from 1777 to 1790 and prosecuted the treason trials following Shays' Rebellion. In 1780, he was a charter member of the American Academy of Sciences, he served as a justice of the state supreme court from 1790 to 1804 when he retired. When he died at the age of 83 in 1814 he was buried in Boston's Granary Burying Ground. Robert Treat Paine was a devout Christian.
When his church, the First Church of Boston, moved into Unitarianism, Paine followed that path. Paine married Sally Cobb, the daughter of Thomas and Lydia Cobb and a sister of General David Cobb, on March 15, 1770, she was born May 15, 1744 and died June 6, 1816. They were the parents of eight children: Robert Paine, b. May 14, 1770. July 28, 1798, died unmarried. Graduate of Harvard College, 1789. Sally Paine, b. March 7, 1772. January 26, 1823, died unmarried. Thomas Paine, b. December 9, 1773. November 13, 1811. Graduate of Harvard College, 1792. Charles Paine, b. August 30, 1775. February 15, 1810. Graduate of Harvard College, 1793. M. Sarah Sumner Cushing. Issue. Grandfather of Robert Treat Paine Henry Paine, b. October 20, 1777. June 8, 1814. Issue. Mary Paine, b. February 9, 1780. February 27, 1842. Maria Antoinetta Paine, b. December 2, 1782. March 26, 1842. Deacon Samuel Greele, no issue. Lucretia Paine, b. April 30, 1785. Aug. 27, 1823, died unmarried. Some of his notable descendants include, he married, in 1926, Ruth Forbes of the distinguished Forbes family and a great-granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson Sumner Paine Michael Paine, husband of Ruth Paine Robert "Bob" Treat Paine III, Zoologist A statue of Paine by Richard E. Brooks was erected at Taunton's Church Green in 1904.
United States Congress. "Robert Treat Paine". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Biography by Rev. Charles A. Goodrich, 1856
Matthew Tilghman was an American planter and Revolutionary leader from Maryland, who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1776. Matthew was born on the family plantation, The Hermitage, near Centreville in Queen Anne's County, Maryland, he was educated through private tutoring before moving to Talbot County on the Eastern Shore. Tilghman married Anne Lloyd on April 6, 1741; the couple took up residence on a large plantation in Maryland known as Rich Neck Manor. Tilghman's first public service was as a Justice of the Peace for Talbot County. In 1751 he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, he would serve there through the remainder of its service to the Colony, although in 1760 and 1761 he represented Queen Anne's County. He was elected the Speaker of the House from 1773 to its end in 1775. In the early days of the American Revolution, Tilghman was in the forefront of the political revolution in Maryland, he was an early member of the colony's committee of correspondence.
For three years he headed the revolution in Maryland. He was the chairman of the Committee of Safety, president of the revolutionary assembly known as the Annapolis Convention, the head of the Maryland delegation to the Continental Congress. While in the Congress, Tilghman supported the Declaration of Independence, he voted for its final approval, but was replaced in the Congress by Charles Carroll of Carrollton before a copy was signed. Matthew had to return home to preside over a longer session of the Annapolis Convention that established a new government for Maryland. Besides being President of the Convention, he headed the Committee that drafted the Charter of Rights and Plan of Government, Maryland's first constitution; when the new state government went into effect in 1776, Tilghman was elected to the state Senate. He would serve there until 1783, from 1780 to 1783 he was President of the Senate. In 1783 he retired from public life, attended to his properties. Matthew died at his home Rich Neck Manor, near Claiborne, Maryland on May 4, 1790 and was buried in a family cemetery there.
His home still stands on Rich Neck Road north of Claiborne. In 1771 Tilghman acquired another nearby property on Sherwood's Neck. Tilghman's son, Lloyd Tilghman built his own home on Sherwood's Neck, known as Sherwood Manor. Sherwood Manor was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Both Rich Neck Manor and Sherwood Manor are private property. Matthew Tilghman was the grandson of one of the early settlers in Maryland, his grandfather, Richard Tilghman had been a surgeon in the British navy and established the family plantation at the Hermitage. His father was named Richard Tilghman was a planter. Matthew and his wife Anna Lloyd Tilghman had five children: Margaret, Matthew Ward, Richard and Anna Maria. Margaret married Barrister. Richard served as a major in militia of Queen Anne's County during the Revolution. Anna Maria married her cousin Tench Tilghman on June 9, 1783. United States Congress. "Matthew Tilghman". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress