"The Gerry-Mander.
A new species of Monster which appeared in Essex South District in Jan. 1812"
[The broadside includes an image of the "Monster;" please refer to the page image. The caption for the image reads: "O generation of VIPERS! who hath warned you of the wrath to come?"]

THE horrid Monster of which this drawing is a correct representation, appeared in the County of Essex, during
the last session of the Legislature. Various and manifold have been the speculations and conjectures, among learned
naturalists respecting the genus and origin of this astonishing production. Some believe it to be the real Basilisk, a crea-
ture which had been supposed to exist only in the poet's imagination. Others pronounce it the Serpens Monocephalus
of Pliny, or single-headed Hydra, a terrible animal of pagan extraction. Many are of opinion that it is the Griffin or
Hippogriff of romance, which flourished in the dark ages, and has come hither to assist the knight of the rueful counte-
nance in restoring that gloomy period of ignorance, fiction and imposition. Some think it the great Red Dragon, or Bun-
yun's Apollyon or the Monsirum Horrendum of Virgil, and all believe it a creature of infernal origin, both from its aspect,
and from the circumstance of its birth.

But the learned Doctor Watergruel who is famous for peeping under the skirts of nature, has decided that it be-
longs to the Salamander tribe, and gives many plausible reasons for this opinion. He says though the Devil himself
must undoubtedly have been concerned, either directly or indirectly in the procreation of this monster, yet many powerful
causes must have concurred to give it existence, amongst which must be reckoned the present combustible and venemous
state of affairs. There have been, (says the Doctor) many fiery ebullitions of party spirit, many explosions of democratic
wrath and fulminations of gubernatorial vengeance within the year past, which would naturally produce an uncommon de-
gree of inflammation and acrimony in the body politic. But as the Salamander cannot be generated except in the most po-
tent degree of heat, he thinks these malignant causes, could not alone have produced such diabolical effects. He therefore
ascribes the real birth and material existence of this monster, in all its horrors, to the alarm which his Excellency the
Governor and his friends experienced last season, while they were under the influence of the Dog-star and the Comet--and
while his Excellency was pregnant with his last speech, his libellous message, and a numerous litter of new judges and
other animals, of which he has since been happily delivered. This fright and purturbation was occasioned by an incendiary
letter threatening him with fire-brands, arrows and death; (if his proclamation is to be credited) which was sent to him
by some mischevious wight, probably some rogue of his own party, to try the strength of his Excellency's mind. Now
thrown into a most fearful panic, extremely dangerous to persons in their situation, and calculated to produce the most
disastrous effects upon their unborn progeny.

From these premises the sagacious Doctor most solemnly avers there can be no doubt that this monster is a genuine
Salamnder, though by no means perfect in all its members; a circumstance however which goes far to prove its illegiti-
macy. But as this creature has been engendered and brought forth under the sublimest auspices, he proposes that a name
should be given to it, expressive of its genus, at the same time conveying an elegant and very appropriate compliment to
his Excellency the Governor, who is known to be the zealous patron and promoter of whatever is new, astonishing and
erratic, especially of domestic growth and manufacture. For these reasons and other valuable considerations, the Doctor
has decreed that the monster shall be denominated a Gerry-mander, a name that must exceedingly gratify the parental
bosom of our worthy Chief Magistrate, and prove so highly flattering to his ambition, that the Doctor may confidently
expect in return for his ingenuity and fidelity, some benefits a little more substantial than the common reward of virtue.

That asstute naturalist Lucricostus however in the 26th section of his invaluable notes upon the Salamander, clearly
shews that this word is a corruption of the Latin Salimania, expressing the characteristic dislike and almost hydrophobic
antipathy of that animal for sea salt: "Oweinge (to use the words of the author) to the properties and virtues of the sayde
"mineralle, as is well knowen to most folke, in dampeinge the heate of that elemente of fyre, wherin the sayde beaste
"doth abide, so that if a piece of salt, or any marine thinge be placed neare it, it dothe fret it sorely, and enrage it to such
"madnesse that it dothe incontinently throw from its mouthe a venemous spittle, which dothe tarnishe and destroy all that
"is of worth or value that it fallethe upon. A further and most manyfest proofe of which deadlie hatred appearethe in
"that, whereas, on and neare the renouned salt mountayne, so called, amydst alle the marvells and wonders with which
"it dothe abounde, not any of this Lizarde species hath been discoverable thereyne." We therefore propose, with the ut-
most deference to the ingenious Doctor's opinion, that the term Gerry-mania be substituted for Gerry-mander, as highly
descriptive both of the singular ferocity of the monster in question, and the influence which the moon at certain periods,
more especially on the approach of April, is supposed to exert over it.

A friend of ours has further suggested that there is a peculiar felicity at the present time in adopting the term
Gerry-mania, as according to his definition, Gerry is derived from the French Guerre, or the Italian, Guerra, (war) and
that it therefore possesses the double advantage of expressing the characteristic ferocity of this monster, and that magnan-
imous rage for war which seems to have taken such possession of our worthy Chief Magistrate and his friends. But we men-
tion this merely as an ingenious speculation, being well convinced ourselves, notwithstanding appearances, of the truly
pacific sentiments of that great man, whose mild and charitable denunciations of his political opponents have had such
wonderful effect in convincing their reason, allaying the spirit of party, and in reconciling all conflicting opinions.


40 cm x 18 cm.

[Salem, Mass: 1812]