Gerry, Elbridge


Gerry, Elbridge
born July 17, 1744, Marblehead, Mass.
died Nov. 23, 1814, Washington, D.C., U.S.

U.S. statesman.

An early advocate of independence, he was a member of the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence. After serving in the U.S. House of Representatives (1789–93), he was sent to France in 1797 with John Marshall and Charles C. Pinckney to resolve disputes that resulted in the XYZ Affair. During his term as governor of Massachusetts (1810–11) the state legislature redrew district lines to favour Democratic-Republican candidates against the Federalists, a practice that became known as gerrymandering. In 1812 he advocated war with Britain and was elected vice president on a ticket with James Madison.

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▪ vice president of United States
born July 17, 1744, Marblehead, Mass., U.S.
died Nov. 23, 1814, Washington, D.C.
 signer of the American Declaration of Independence and fifth vice president of the United States (1813–14) in the second term of President James Madison (Madison, James). From his name the term gerrymander (gerrymandering) later was derived.

      Gerry was the son of Thomas Gerry, a merchant, and Elizabeth Greenleaf. He graduated from Harvard in 1762 and entered his father's business. He was a member of the Massachusetts legislature and General Court (1772–73), served on a Committee of Correspondence (Correspondence, Committees of), was a member of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress (1774–75), and was a delegate to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia (1776–81), where he was an early advocate of independence. He was also a member of Congress (1783–85) under the Articles of Confederation (Confederation, Articles of) and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia (1787). He was an outspoken opponent of ratification of the United States Constitution (Constitution of the United States of America), fearing that it might give way to aristocratic or monarchical rule. However, he gave it his full support after its ratification, helping to draft the Bill of Rights (Rights, Bill of) and serving as a representative in Congress for two terms (1789–93).

 In 1797 President John Adams (Adams, John) sent Gerry, John Marshall (Marshall, John), and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth) to France on the mission that resulted in the XYZ Affair. The mission, an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a treaty to settle several long-standing disputes, ended early because of the duplicitous treatment of the American negotiators by the French foreign minister, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand (Talleyrand, Charles-Maurice de, prince de Bénévent), and his subordinates. After the French agents demanded bribes, Marshall and Pinckney departed in disgust; however, Gerry remained in Paris in the vain hope that Talleyrand might offer him, a known friend of France, terms that had been refused to Marshall and Pinckney. This action brought a storm of abuse and censure from Federalist (Federalist Party) partisans, from which Gerry never fully cleared himself.

      After four attempts to win election as governor of Massachusetts, Gerry succeeded in 1810 and was reelected in 1811. His administration was notable for its use of what became known as gerrymandering, the division of electoral districts for partisan political advantage.

      In 1812 Gerry, an ardent supporter of war with Great Britain in the War of 1812 (1812, War of), was elected vice president of the United States on the Jeffersonian Republican ticket with Madison. In 1813, while presiding over the Senate, Gerry, who along with Madison was in ill health, refused to yield his chair at the close of the legislative session, thus preventing William Giles, a senator from Virginia and an advocate of peace with Britain, from becoming president pro tempore of the Senate and thereby second in line (after the vice president) to succeed the president under the Presidential Succession Act of 1792. Gerry suffered a hemorrhage of the lungs on his way to the Senate and died in 1814.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gerry,Elbridge — Ger·ry (gĕrʹē), Elbridge. 1744 1814. American politician. A signer of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and a delegate to the Continental Congress (1787), he served as governor of Massachusetts (1810 1811) and as Vice President of the United …   Universalium

  • Gerry, Elbridge — (17 jul. 1744, Marblehead, Mass., EE.UU.–23 nov. 1814, Washington, D.C.) Estadista estadounidense. Uno de los primeros partidarios de la independencia, integró el Congreso continental y firmó la Declaración de Independencia. Luego de desempeñarse …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • GERRY, ELBRIDGE —    American statesman, born in Marblehead, Mass.; in 1773, eight years after graduating at Harvard, he was elected to the Massachusetts Assembly, and in 1789 to the first National Congress; as envoy to France in 1797 he assisted in establishing… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Gerry, Elbridge — (1744 1814)    American statesman.    Index: Bk Governor of Massachusetts, 172.    Bib.: Cyc. Am. Biog …   The makers of Canada

  • Elbridge Gerry — Mandats 4e vice président des États Unis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elbridge Gerry — Elbridge Thomas Gerry [ˈɛlbɹɪdʒ ˈgɛɹɪ] (* 17. Juli 1744 in Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts; † 23. November 1814 in Washington D.C.) war ein US amerikanischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Elbridge Gerry — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Elbridge Gerry …   Wikipedia Español

  • Elbridge Thomas Gerry — Infobox actor bgcolour = silver name = Elbridge Thomas Gerry birthdate = 1837 location = New York City, New York, U.S. deathdate = 1927Elbridge Thomas Gerry (1837 1927) is known as an American reformer. In 1860 he was admitted to the New York bar …   Wikipedia

  • Gerry — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom.  Pour l’article homophone, voir Jerry. Gerry peut faire référence à : Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gerry — /ger ee/, n. 1. Elbridge /el brij/, 1744 1814, U.S. politician: vice president 1813 14. Cf. gerrymander. 2. Also, Gerri. a male or female given name. * * * (as used in expressions) Adams Gerry Gerry Elbridge Mulligan Gerry * * * …   Universalium


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