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In 1822, former President John Adams wrote to the biographer John Sanderson that Roger Sherman was "one of the most cordial friends which I ever had in my life. Destitute of all literary and scientific education, but such as he acquired by his own exertions, he was one of the most sensible men in the world. The clearest head and steadiest heart. It is praise enough to say that the late Chief Justice Ellsworth told me that he had made Mr. Sherman his model in his youth .... [He] was one of the soundest and strongest pillars of the revolution." Among the important participant~ in the War for Independence, the Constitutional Convention, and the First Federal Congress, few had as much influence on the creation of America's constitutional order as Sherman and Ellsworth. And none of the more famous founders regularly referenced by students of the era represent as well the 50-75 percent of Americans in this era who were Calvinists.


This material has been published as chapter 5 in Great Christian Jurists in American History edited by Daniel L. Dreisbach and Mark David Hall.

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