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Washington/Canadian-Media: Out of the 56 signers of the United States Declaration of Independence, only one signer is buried in the Congressional Cemetery in the District of Columbia.. In honor of Independence Day, we’re highlighting the final resting place of Elbridge Gerry, Library of Congress (LoC) reported.
Informational tablet at the gravesite of Elbridge Gerry in Congressional Cemetery. Image credit: Robert Brammer.
Born in Massachusetts in 1744, Gerry attended Harvard and was elected to the Massachusetts legislature in 1772 and in 1976 Gerry was elected to the second Continental Congress, where he signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.
But Gerry, along with two other delegates, George Mason and Edmund Randolph, refused to sign the Constitution because it did not yet contain a Bill of Rights.
Plaque placed by the Sons of the American Revolution with grave marker in front of Gerry’s cenotaph. Image credit: Robert Brammer.
In 1813, Gerry became President James Madison’s vice president, and remained in that role until he died in office in 1814 at the age of 70. Gerry is often remembered as the creator of the Gerrymander.
Gerry’s cenotaph. Image credit: Robert Brammer
Congressional Cemetery consists of 169 cenotaphs and while each commemorates the death of a member of Congress, many of these members are interred elsewhere.
In 1876 Rep. Hoar stated, “the thought of being buried beneath one of those atrocities brought new terror to death," after which the dedication of cenotaphs was discontinued.