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The Gerrymander.

Future VP Elbridge Gerry Invents the Gerrymander

Field review by the editors.

Boston, Massachusetts

This is the Birthplace of the Gerrymander.

A tiny plaque is glued to the outside wall of a downtown store. It flags the site of a house where, on February 11, 1812, then-governor Elbridge Gerry came up with the idea of a contorted-shaped electoral district to favor the party in power.

A political cartoon lampooned the invention as a wiggly salamander, hence "gerrymander." But President James Madison evidently liked what he saw, and made Gerry his VP later that same year.

The term is used whenever electoral cartography is unduly manipulated for political gain -- so that's over two centuries of gerrymandering!

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Future VP Elbridge Gerry Invents the Gerrymander

Arch St., Boston, MA
The plaque is cemented to the outside wall facing Arch St. at the northeast corner of Arch and Summer Sts.
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