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Elbridge Gerry:
A Vice Presidential Unit

Elbridge Gerry was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts on July 17, 1744 and was selected as the fifth vice president of the United States. Elbridge Gerry was the third of twelve children who once wanted to become a doctor. However, when he worked at his father’s shipping business, he strongly opposed commerce taxes and became a politician. Then, he was elected to the U.S. House under the new national government from 1789 to 1793. After, he became the 9th Governor of Massachusetts and served from June 10, 1810 – March 4, 1812. He was the major political figure of colonial Massachusetts who was the namesake of gerrymandering. He also was the first Vice President not to run for President of the United States due to his death in November 23, 1814.

Political Party: Democratic- Republican

Years Served: March 4, 1813 – November 23, 1814

President: James Madison

Wife's Name: Ann Thompson Gerry

Education: Graduate of Harvard College (Merchant)

State of Birth: Massachusetts

Trivia Questions:

1. What were some of the other government positions that Elbridge Gerry held?
Member, General Court of Massachusetts, 1772; Elected to Massachusetts Legislature, 1773; Provincial Congress, 1774; Continental Congress, 1776-81, 1783-85; Envoy to France, 1797; Governor of Massachusetts, 1810, 1811)

2. What was Elbridge Gerry’s parents’ job?
Merchant business owners

3. Which political figure did he strongly support?
Alexander Hamilton

Of Note:

- "The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are dupes of pretended patriots"
- "What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."
- He was a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.
- Gerry suffered a stroke on November 13, 1814 in the U.S. Capital, died later the same day and was buried in Congressional Cemetery in Washington D.C.


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