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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gerry Did More Than Mander

Elbridge Gerry is remembered most for inspiring the invention of the word "gerrymandering" by creatively redrawing the electoral map of Massachusetts to his party's advantage. One of his descendants wishes his other accomplishments were as well remembered.

Elbridge T. "Elbert" Gerry Jr., the great-great-great grandson of the former governor, took exception to the historical pigeonholing of his ancestor as an electoral usurper, pointing out that the late Gerry had signed the Declaration of Independence, was a Bay State delegate to the original Constitutional Convention, and represented the new nation in the XYZ Affair, a diplomatic spat with France that led to the two-year "Quasi-War."
Asked if he has been troubled by the mispronunciation of the family name - pronounced with the hard "g" sound, while "gerrymander" is typically pronounced with a soft "g" - Gerry replied, "Been trying to correct it for years." [Link]

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