Governor Gerry Gains Ground

the-gerry-mander-by-elkanah-tisdale-as-published-in-the-boston-centinel-1812

On this date in 1812, the Boston Gazette publishes a political cartoon that coins the term “gerrymander.” Gerrymander refers to the practice of establishing oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win reelection. The term is a mash up of Governor Elbridge Gerry, whose candidates benefited from the practice, and the word “salamander,” which newspaper editors used to describe the district’s shape.

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