Woke up this morning, thinking about Elbridge Gerry, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, which we celebrate today. Or, as I thought it was then, Garry. His signature sure looks like that. So I googled it a few minutes later, and found out it’s Gerry. I had always been puzzled, because Garry is a fairly small Irish clan, and most of us came over at the time of the potato famine, 1846 – 1848.
So the mystery of Elbridge was pretty easily explained. He was born in Marblehead MA in 1744, and went to Harvard to learn to be a merchant. He was governor of Massachusetts, until he became James Madison’s vice president in 1812. While he was governor, he redistricted the state to benefit his own political party (called, if you can believe it, Democrat Republican), from whence came the term gerrymandering.
Sure made me glad he was not a Garry!