The Religious Affiliation of
a Signer of the Declaration of Independence,
Delegate at the Constitutional Convention in 1787,
a U.S. Representative in the First Federal Congress (1789-1791),
and a Vice-President of the United States
Elbridge Gerry is regarded as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was a delegate from Massachusetts.
Elbridge Gerry was also a delegate at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, although he was not one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution. Elbridge Gerry later represented Massachusetts as on of the U.S. Representatives in the First U.S. Federal Congress (1789-1791).
Elbridge Gerry was an Episcopalian.
He was identified as an Episcopalian by the A Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution by M. E. Bradford. (Source: Ian Dorion, "Table of the Religious Affiliations of American Founders", 1997).
From: Political Graveyard website (http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/gerry.html#R9M0IXWKX; viewed 23 November 2005):
Gerry, Elbridge (1744-1814) of Massachusetts. Born in Marblehead, Essex County, Mass., July 17, 1744. Grandfather of Elbridge Gerry (1813-1886); great-grandfather of Peter Goelet Gerry. Delegate to Continental Congress from Massachusetts, 1776-80, 1782-85; signer, Declaration of Independence, 1776; signer, Articles of Confederation, 1777; member of Massachusetts state house of representatives, 1786; member, U.S. Constitutional Convention, 1787; U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 3rd District, 1789-93; Governor of Massachusetts, 1810-12; defeated, 1801, 1812; Vice President of the United States, 1813-14; died in office 1814. Episcopalian. The word gerrymander ("Gerry" plus "salamander") was coined to describe an oddly shaped Massachusetts senate district his party created in 1811, and later came to mean any unfair districting. Died in Washington, D.C., November 23, 1814. Interment at Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
From: Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Declaration: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1975), pages 61-62:
In 1800-03 Gerry, never very popular among the Massachusetts electorate because of his aristocratic haughtiness, met defeat in four bids for the Massachusetts governorship, but finally triumphed in 1810-02. Near the end of his two terms, scarred by partisan controversy, the Democratic-Republicans passed a devious redistricting measure to insure their domination of the State senate. In response, the Federalists heaped ridicule on Gerry and punningly coined the germ "gerrymander" to describe the salamander-like shape of one of the redistricted areas.
Despite his advanced age, frail health, and the threat of poverty brought on by neglect of personal affairs, in 1813 Gerry accepted the Vice-Presidency in James Madison's Democratic-Republican administration. In the fall of 1814, the 70-year-old politician was stricken fatally while on the way to the Senate. He left his wife, who was to live until 1849, the last surviving widow of a signer, as well as three sons and four daughters. Gerry is buried in Congressional Cemetery at Washington, D.C.
From: Peter Roberts, "Elbridge Gerry" page in "God and Country" section of "Science Resources on the Net" website (http://www.geocities.com/peterroberts.geo/Relig-Politics/EGerry.html; viewed 23 November 2005):
Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian
Views on Religion and Politics: Gerry was a strong supporter of the separation of church and state. He proposed a more strongly worded religion clause for the First Amendment than was finally adopted, and, while he was Governor of Massachusetts, successfully pushed for the passage of that state's Religious Freedoms Act.
Note that numerous sources and authoritative references have been consulted in order to ascertain the religious affiliation of the American Founding Fathers. Note that the excerpts and references mentioned on this page are not the only references used in order to identify this person's religious affiliation.
Portrait: from Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Declaration: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1975).
Webpage created 17 November 2005. Last modified 23 November 2005.
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