Campaigning Through the Ages
In this 1812 political cartoon lies the origin of the modern day term "gerrymandering." Fearing for his re-election, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry and his Democratic-Republican legislature redrew electoral districts to favor his odds. "The newspapers and politicians at the time were up in arms of how this district looked and so you get that dragon shape, in essence, a caricature," explained Georgia Higley, head of the Library of Congress Newspapers Division. "Gerry becomes linked with this image of the salamander shaped district and so the two words were combined to form gerry-mander." Maunder, meaning to act or wander aimlessly, also adds to the relevancy of the cartoon.