Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Gerry, Elbridge

(1813-1886), grandson of Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814), was a U.S. Representative who was born in Waterford on December 6, 1813. He pursued an academic course and attended Bridgton Academy, studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1839 and began his practice in Waterford.

Clerk of the Maine House of Representatives in 1840, he was appointed United States commissioner in bankruptcy in 1841. Gerry was prosecuting attorney for Oxford County (1842-1845) and a member of the Maine House of Representatives in 1846.

Elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-first Congress (March 4, 1849-March 3, 1851), he was not a candidate for renomination in 1850. He moved to Portland where he resumed the practice of law. Gerry died in Portland on April 10, 1886, with interment in Evergreen Cemetery.

His grandfather, Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814), was a signer of the Declaration of Independence; Governor of Massachusetts 1810-1811; elected Vice President of the United States on the ticket with James Madison in 1812.  According to the Library of Congress,

In 1812, Jeffersonian Republicans forced through the Massachusetts legislature a bill rearranging district lines to assure them an advantage in the upcoming senatorial elections. Although Governor Elbridge Gerry had only reluctantly signed the law, a Federalist editor is said to have exclaimed upon seeing the new district lines, “Salamander! Call it a Gerrymander.”

From http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trr113.html (accessed December 6, 2011)

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This entry was last modified: March 01, 2014 03:36 PM

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