Cambridge Roots of Gerrymandering

Did you know that the term Gerrymandering is named for Cambridge's own Elbridge Gerry? Gerry lived in the house built by the loyalist Lt. Gov. Thomas Oliver that is today known as Elmwood (named by James Russell Lowell, this house has been the home of the President of Harvard since the early 1970s). Gerry was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation and later became the Governor of Massachusetts and the Vice President of the United States under Madison. The term Gerrymandering comes from an 1812 article in the Boston Gazette that discussed a bill signed by then Governor Gerry that redistricted Massachusetts Senate Election Districts into a contorted district, the article suggested had the shape of a salamander.