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Gerrymandering lives on

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Elbridge Gerry was just doing what came naturally

By Hal Rhodes

Elbridge Gerry had quite a life. Born on July 17, 1744, in Marblehead, Mass., he died 70 years later in Washington, D.C.
In the intervening years, Gerry graduated from Harvard University, where he immersed himself in classical studies.
A decade later, he was serving in the Colonial House of Delegates before going on to become a member of the Continental Congress.
It would be a dazzling political career that put Elbridge Gerry among that select group of American patriots who signed the Declaration of Independence and later among those who served in the new nation’s First and Second Congresses.
His final triumph came in 1812, when he was elected vice president of the United States under President James Madison.
Yet for all the great moments in American history of which he was part, Gerry is probably best remembered for actions he took during his brief stint (1810-1811) as governor of Massachusetts.
Then, as now, the states were redistricting their legislatures and other elective bodies following a new census.
Gerry was a staunch


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