Rebecca Minot Prescott

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Rebecca Minot Prescott

Birthdate: (70)
Birthplace: Danvers, Essex, Massachusetts
Death: April 19, 1813 (70)
New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Place of Burial: New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Benjamin Prescott; Benjamin Prescott, Jr.; Rebecca Prescott and Rebecca Prescott
Wife of Hon. Roger Sherman, signer of the "Declaration of Independence"
Mother of Rebecca Baldwin; Elizabeth Burr Baldwin; Roger Sherman, Jr.; Mehetabel Sherman; Mehetabel Prescott Sherman and 3 others
Sister of Martha Goodhue; Benjamin Prescott; James Prescott; Elizabeth Daggett; Mercy Gibbs and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rebecca Minot Prescott

1. Rebecca Prescott

  • b. May 20, 1742;
  • m. May 12, 1763 the Hon. Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
    • He was born at Newton, Mass. April 19, 1721.
    • He was the son of William Sherman of Newton and
    • the grandson of Joseph Sherman and
    • the great-grandson of Capt. John Sherman who came from Dedham, England to Watertown, Mass. in 1634 or 1635.
  • Roger Sherman had m. (1) about 1749, Elizabeth Hartwell of Stoughton, Mass.
    • whom he had seven children
    • She died October, 1760 and
  • he m. (2) Rebecca Prescott 'and
    • by her had eight children.



Rebecca Prescott Sherman (1742-1813):

  • A skilled equestrian who
  • was among the few to sew stars on the first American flag with Betsy Ross.
  • Because of her success in this role, Rebecca was picked to create the first flag of Connecticut.
  • Husband: Roger Sherman (1721-1793) - of Connecticut and signed BOTH the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
  • It was well-known that her husband did not like to make decisions about his business, his politics, or his beliefs without discussing it with her first, and as he was away very often for public affairs,
  • she ran the household and raised her eight biological children and her five stepchildren from her husband’s first marriage.
  • She was also referred to by George Washington as the "most beautiful of the Cabinet ladies."

Rebecca Prescott Sherman 1742-1813 [1]

  • Wife of Roger Sherman
  • Rebecca Prescott Sherman,
  • the gifted woman who became the second wife of Roger Sherman,
  • the patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence,
  • was born in Salem, the first child of Benjamin Prescott and Rebecca Minot Prescott.
  • Of her early life there is little to tell.
  • She came of a long line of distinguished men and women and was a highly cultured and beautiful girl of great spirit.
  • Her story is best told in the words of a gifted descendant, Katharine Prescott Bennett, who in a recent number of the Journal of American History, quoting a niece of Rebecca Prescott Sherman, writes:
    • "She was born in Salem, and nothing in particular happened to her until she was about seventeen, when something very particular indeed happened.
    • You know that her aunt had married Rev. Josiah Sherman of Woburn, Massachusetts, and one bright morning, Aunt Rebecca started on horseback to visit her, little dreaming toward what she was riding so serenely.
    • Roger Sherman, meanwhile, had just finished a visit to his brother Josiah, who determined to ride a short distance toward New Haven with him.
    • They were about to say goodbye when Aunt Rebecca's horse, with its fair rider, came galloping down the road.
    • Aunt Rebecca was a great beauty and a fine horsewoman, and she must have ridden straight into Roger Sherman's heart, for concluding to prolong his visit, he turned his horse and rode back with her.
    • His courtship prospered, as we know, and
    • they were married, May 12, 1763, when she was twenty and he was forty-two -- twenty-two years her senior.
    • She was his second wife and entered the life of this wonderfully gifted but plain man just at the time when her beauty, grace, and wit were of the greatest help in his career.
    • "We always have been a patriotic race, and this marriage brought Aunt Rebecca into still more active touch with all matters pertaining to the interests of the Colonies at this stirring period; and
    • when at last the Declaration of Independence was promulgated, you can fancy the excitement and enthusiasm of the wife of Roger Sherman, the man who had so much to do with the momentous document.
    • When, a little later, George Washington designed and ordered the new flag to be made by Betsy Ross, nothing would satisfy Aunt Rebecca but to go and see it in the works, and there she had the privilege of sewing some of the stars on the very first flag of a Young Nation.
    • Perhaps because of this experience, she was chosen and requested to make the first flag ever made in the State of Connecticut--which she did, assisted by Mrs. Wooster. This fact is officially recorded."
    • The grey-haired and stately old lady, niece of Rebecca Prescott Sherman, being importuned for further reminiscences, continued:
    • "A short story came to Uncle Roger's ears, which it amused him to tell, to Aunt Rebecca's consternation.
    • When independence was declared, she was only thirty-four years old, and the lovely girl had developed into what George Washington considered the most beautiful of what we now call the Cabinet ladies.
      • At a dinner given by General Washington to the political leaders and their wives, he took Aunt Rebecca out, thus making her the guest of honour.
      • Madam Hancock was much piqued and afterward said to some one, that she was entitled to that distinction.
      • A rumour of her displeasure came to the ear of George Washington, and to have his actions criticised was not at all to his liking.
      • He drew himself up to his full height and sternly said: 'Whatever may be Mrs. Hancock's sentiments in the matter, I had the honour of escorting to dinner the handsomest lady in the room.'
      • If Mrs. Hancock heard of this I do not think it would have tended to restore her tranquillity.
    • I remember Aunt Rebecca coming into the room just as Uncle Roger was finishing this story and exclaiming half laughing, half vexed: 'Oh! Roger, why will you tell the child such nonsense?' Then turning to me, she said: 'Always remember, that handsome is as handsome does.' 'Well!' Uncle Roger retorted gallantly, 'you looked handsome and acted handsome too, Rebecca, so I am making an example of you. Surely you cannot find fault with that.'"
    • It was a saying of Roger Sherman that he never liked to decide a perplexing question without submitting it for the opinion of some intelligent woman, and as a usual thing, Mrs. Sherman was the woman whose opinion he desired.
      • It is said that he consulted her not only in regard to his business affairs, which were of intimate concern to both of them, but in regard to public matters as well, and he placed great reliance on her judgment.
    • For years Roger Sherman's connection with public affairs took him from home a great deal of his time, and to her fell the care of the family, not only her own eight children but of his children by his first wife.
      • That she met these responsibilities with ability and good judgment was attested by the high position which the children held.
    • It is also evident that although Rebecca Sherman bore no part in the Revolution,
      • she was a worthy companion to the only man who signed all four of the great state papers: The Address to the King, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution.
    • Rebecca Prescott Sherman became the mother of eight children, all but one of whom arrived at the age of maturity.
      • Their names were as follows: Rebecca, Elizabeth, Roger, Mehitable, Oliver, Martha, and Sarah.
        • Of these seven children, one daughter became the mother of United States Senator Hoar; another the mother of Roger Sherman Baldwin, Governor of Connecticut and United States Senator; still another the mother of the Honorable William M. Evarts.
        • These are but a few of the many eminent descendants of this illustrious woman.[*1]


  • 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 93-98. (Some minor spelling changes may have been made.)
    • [*1] [from pg 150] James Schoolcraft Sherman, Vice-President of the United States, is a lineal descendant of Roger Sherman.
  • 1 According to the Sherman Genealogy by Thomas Townsend Sherman (New York: Tobias A. Wright, 1920), pg. 151, Rebecca Prescott Sherman died on April 19, 1813, in New Haven, Connecticut.
    • The May 11, 1813 edition of the Connecticut Courant (1791-1837) (ProQuest Historical Newspapers Hartford Courant (1764 - 1922)), says that Rebecca Sherman died at the age of 71. Thanks is due to Cynthia Harbeson, Reference Librarian and Assistant Archivist at the Connecticut Historical Society. And a special thanks is due to John B. Harker, author of Betsy Ross's Five Pointed Star, for bringing this to my attention and for supplying me with this information from the Connecticut Historical Society. 

Designed and Edited by John Vinci 
Last modified September 14, 2008


Rebekah Prescott Sherman

  • Birth: May 20, 1742
  • Death: Apr. 19, 1813
  • Family links:
    • Spouse: Roger Sherman (1721 - 1793)
    • Children:
      • Rebecca Sherman Baldwin (1764 - 1795)*
      • Elizabeth Sherman Baldwin (1765 - 1850)*
      • Roger Sherman (1768 - 1856)*
      • Mehitable Prescott Sherman Evarts (1774 - 1851)*
      • Sarah Sherman Hoar (1783 - 1866)*
  • Burial: Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA, Plot: 32 Maple Ave

She was the daughter of Benjamin and Rebecca Minot Prescott from Salem, Massachusetts; the niece of Roger Sherman’s brother Rev. Josiah Sherman and the second cousin once removed of Colonel William Prescott.

Rebecca married Roger Sherman on May 12, 1763. She was his second wife. His first wife, Elizabeth Hartwell, died during childbirth.

US flag designer Betsy Ross allowed Rebecca Sherman the privilege of sewing on three of the flag’s stars. Rebecca then requested, and was chosen to make the first official flag of the State of Connecticut.[2]

Rebecca Sherman became the mother of eight of Roger's fifteen children: Rebecca, Elizabeth, Roger, Mehitabel, Mehitabel, Oliver, Martha, and Sarah. Of those eight children:

Rebecca (Sherman) Baldwin, wife of Simeon Baldwin, the mother of Roger Sherman Baldwin, a Governor of Connecticut and a United States Senator, and grandmother of Simeon Eben Baldwin a Governor of Connecticut and Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Elizabeth (Sherman) Burr Baldwin, the second wife of Simeon Baldwin. Roger Sherman, Jr. was a 1787 graduate of Yale College and served in the Connecticut General Assembly, 1810–1811. Mehitabel (Sherman) Barnes Evarts, wife of Jeremiah Evarts, became the mother of William Maxwell Evarts, a United States Attorney General, Secretary of State and Senator for New York Martha (Sherman) Day, wife of Jeremiah Day, became the mother of California State Senator and University of California founding trustee Sherman Day. Sarah (Sherman) Hoar, wife of Samuel Hoar, was the mother of George Frisbie Hoar a United States Senator for Massachusetts, and Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar also a United States Attorney General and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice.

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Rebecca Minot Prescott's Timeline

May 20, 1742
Danvers, Essex, Massachusetts
February 22, 1764
Age 21
New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut
December 31, 1765
Age 23
New Haven, CT, USA
July 16, 1768
Age 26
New Haven, Connecticut,USA
February 20, 1772
Age 29
New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut
January 28, 1774
Age 31
New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut
January 19, 1777
Age 34
New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut
September 24, 1779
Age 37
New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut
January 11, 1783
Age 40
New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut