Elbridge Gerry (Maine)

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Elbridge Gerry
Elbridge Gerry (Maine Congressman).jpg
From 1880's History of Cumberland Co., Maine.
Member of U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1851
Preceded by David Hammons
Succeeded by Moses Macdonald
Member of the Maine House of Representatives
In office
1846[1] – 1847[1]
Preceded by Josiah Monroe[1]
Succeeded by John Hill[1]
Prosecuting Attorney for Oxford County
In office
Clerk of the Maine House of Representatives
In office
1840[2] – 1841[2]
Preceded by George Robinson[2]
Succeeded by George C. Getchell[2]
Personal details
Born (1813-12-16)December 16, 1813
Waterford, Maine
Died April 10, 1886(1886-04-10) (aged 72)
Portland, Maine
Resting place Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, Maine
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anna St. Clair Jenness (m. 1849)
Children 3
Profession Attorney

Elbridge Gerry (December 6, 1813 – April 10, 1886) was an American lawyer, who served as a U.S. Congressman from Maine from 1849 to 1851.


Gerry was born on December 6, 1813 in Waterford, Maine; he was the son of Peter and Mary "Polly" (Cutler) Gerry.[3] He attended Bridgton Academy, and studied law with Judge Stephen Emery (who also served as Maine's Attorney General).[3] Gerry was admitted to the bar in 1839 and established a practice in Waterford.[3]

Gerry's father served in the Maine House of Representatives and in local offices including selectman and town meeting moderator.[1] Gerry also served in local offices in Waterford, including town clerk (1842-1843), and town meeting moderator (1847, 1852).[1]

He was clerk of the Maine House of Representatives in 1840, and was appointed a United States commissioner in bankruptcy in 1841.[3] From 1842 to 1845 he was prosecuting attorney for Oxford County.[3] In 1846 he served in the Maine House of Representatives, including holding the post of Speaker Pro tempore during the absence of Speaker Ebenezer Knowlton.[3]

He was elected to a single term in Congress as a Democrat in 1848, and served from March 4, 1849 to March 3, 1851.[3] He did not run for reelection in 1850, and moved to Portland to continue the practice of law.[3]

He died in Portland on April 10, 1886,[4] and was buried at Portland's Evergreen Cemetery.[5]


In 1849, Gerry married Anna St. Clair Jenness, the daughter of Richard and Caroline Jenness of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.[3] They were the parents of three children: Alice, Elbridge, and Elizabeth.[3]

Alice Gerry (1850-1921) was the wife of Arthur Melville Patterson of Baltimore, Maryland.[3][6] After his death, she married John Stewart, the grandson of David Stewart.[6] After her 1913 divorce, she married Francis B. Griswold.[7]

Elbridge Gerry (1853-1907) graduated from Bowdoin College and Harvard Law School.[8] He practiced law in Maine and New York City before accepting appointment as vice consul in Le Havre, France in 1885.[8] He remained in Europe after resigning in 1887, and died in Siena, Italy.[8]

Elizabeth Jenness Gerry (1852-1912), was the wife of Greek diplomat Constantin Pangiris.[9]


Many sources indicate that Elbridge Gerry (1813-1886) was the grandson of Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814).[5] This seems to be in error; the ancestry of Elbridge Gerry (1813-1886) can be traced to his father Peter (1776-1847);[10] Peter's father Nathaniel Gerry (or Geary) (1733-1791);[10] Nathaniel's father Thomas;[11] Nathaniel's grandfather, also named Thomas;[11] and Nathaniel's great-grandfather Thomas Gery (or Gary).[11]





External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
David Hammons
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1849–March 3, 1851
Succeeded by
Moses Macdonald