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James S. Sherman

Interment LocationVisitedSequence in Graves I Have Visited
Utica, NYApril 17, 201018th Vice President visited

Photographed April 17, 2010.

My first gravesite of the 2010s was William Howard Taft’s vice president, James Schoolcraft Sherman. Sherman was the seventh U.S. VP to die in office, and the only one to do so in the twentieth century. He and his wife, Second Lady Carrie Sherman, are entombed in a mausoleum atop elevated ground in Utica’s Forest Hill Cemetery.

Sherman’s mausoleum was also the first of twelve vice presidential graves I saw in 2010, and the first of seven on a seven-day journey. Sherman was on day one, Gerald Ford and Schuyler Colfax were on day four, Richard M. Johnson and John C. Breckindridge on day five, Spiro T. Agnew on day six, and Garret Hobart was the final grave of the 2,500-mile trip on day seven.

Photographed April 17, 2010.
Photographed April 17, 2010.

While only James Sherman’s information is carved into the front of the dual sarcophagus, both the VP and second lady have their names and lifespans inscribed on the lids. The placement of the American flag in this image might lead you to think the vice president is on the right, but that is actually Carrie Sherman’s side.

I did not remember this marker sitting in the northwest corner of the Sherman plot during my first visit. Therefore — although I am not certain — I believe it was added sometime between 2010 and 2016.

Photographed January 6, 2016.

Fast Facts

Born: October 24, 1855 in Utica, New York

Spouse: Carrie Babcock Sherman (m. 1881-1912)

Political Affiliation: Republican Party

Vice Presidential Tenure: 1909-1912 under William Howard Taft

Died: October 30, 1912 in Utica, New York

Cause of Death: Bright’s Disease

Age: 57

Interment: Forest Hill Cemetery, Utica, New York

“You will have to act on your own account. I am to be vice president and acting as a messenger boy is not part of the duties as vice president.”
-James S. Sherman

November 1908 to President-elect William Howard Taft, declining to be an intermediary between him and House Speaker Joseph Gurney Cannon

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Tomaino, Frank. “This Week in History: Washington pleased with ‘matters along the Mohawk River.'” Observer-Dispatch. September 7, 2019. https://www.uticaod.com/story/special/special-sections/2019/09/07/washington-pleased-with-matters-along/3472853007/.

United States Senate. “James S. Sherman, 27th Vice President (1909-1912).” senate.gov. Accessed January 29, 2022. From Internet Archive. https://web.archive.org/web/20190720102010/senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/VP_James_Sherman.htm.

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