Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Massachusetts (1744-1814) who later served as vice president under James Madison. His name entered the language as a result of his support of politically advantageous redistricting, which became known as 'gerrymandering.' ALS signed “E. Gerry,” one page, 7.25 x 9.25, June 13, 1801. Letter to Reverend Jenks, a recent Harvard graduate who at the time was working as a private tutor to Gerry’s children, thanking him for the fine instruction his children are receiving, forwarding him specific instructions on maintaining his estate to his household staff, and offering news on family and friends. In full: "I was highly gratified by your letter of the 6th. The property it affords of a speedy recovery of our lovely infamy, from her misfortune; of health & happiness in our family, during our absence; of an inviolable attachment on the part of the children, to Mr. Skinner; of her being able, with only too much care & fatigue, to execute the kind office which she has undertaken, thus relieving us from anxiety & sweetened the interview with our friend & acquaintance in this quarter. In regard to the white & yellow washing, & painting, I have no doubt Fuller, under your direction, & with such assistance as the gardener will be able to afford him, will easily accomplish the object. The chimneys should be whitewashed. Pray inform our lovely pets, that if they knew how much pleasure & gratification they have given us, by their good conduct & attention to yourself Mr. Skinner, & their other instruction, they would expect themselves to continue to merit your appreciation. We are delighted with Mr. Lee’s success; he will be the bearer of this, & give you the information. We are sorry to learn that your father is still low in health; his diet should be stimulating & cordial. The bottom of the boiler should be weighed, in order after it is completed to ascertain by the weight of the whole, that if the top, thus you can order, when in Boston, & take the weight. Pray inform Mr. Skinner, that when the weather will not admit of whitewashing, Fuller may bring the brush from the pastures. Mrs. Gerry & Miss Catherine desire to be remembered in the most friendly terms, to yourself & Mrs. Jenks, & you’ll please both of you to accept my best wishes." In fine condition, with multiple intersecting folds.
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