His Excellency Elbridge Gerry LL.D. governor of Massachusetts
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- Who Counts? A Look at Voter Rights through Political Cartoons
Is this the face that launched the manipulation of countless voting districts to gain political advantage? Some viewers see Elbridge Gerry’s craggy profile, in reverse of this image, under the wing of the monster in the Gerrymander cartoon.
Governor Gerry, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who had refused to sign the Constitution because it lacked protections of personal liberty, became a fiercely partisan Jeffersonian Republican. Whether he was the instigator of the plan to protect his party’s advantage or only the signer of the bill named for him, it offered him no statewide advantage, as he was defeated for reelection in 1812.