ROGER SHERMAN BALDWIN, grandson of Roger Sherman, the only man to sign all of America’s founding papers, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on January 4, 1793. He graduated from Yale University in 1811, and the following year studied at the Litchfield Law School. Baldwin’s most notable legal case was the Amistad trials, where he eventually won the freedom for the slaves who had revolted on the Spanish ship, the Amistad. He first entered politics in 1837 and 1838, when he was elected to the Connecticut Senate. He also served in the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1840 and 1841. Baldwin won the 1844 Whig gubernatorial nomination, and was elected Governor of Connecticut by a legislative vote of 116 to 93. He was reelected to a second term in 1845. During his tenure, legislation was enacted to eliminate the property qualification for voting, and he tried, but was unsuccessful, to have black suffrage legislation passed. Baldwin did not run for reelection, and on November 1, 1847, he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate, a position he held until 1851. He also was a delegate to the Washington Peace Conference in 1861. Governor Roger Sherman Baldwin died on February 19, 1863, and is buried at the Grove Street Cemetery. His son, Simeon Eben Baldwin, was Governor of Connecticut from 1911-1915)
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.