Vice President Elbridge Gerry

(b. 17 Jul 1744 - d. 23 Nov 1814) Range 29 Site 9-10

A Delegate and a Representative from Massachusetts and a Vice President of the United States. Graduated from Harvard College in 1762 and engaged in commercial pursuits. Member of the Continental Congress 1776-1781 and 1782-1785. A signer of the Declaration of Independence and delegate to the constitutional convention of the United States held in Philadelphia in 1787. Elected as an Anti-Federalist to the 1st and 2nd Congresses (1789-1793). Governor of Massachusetts in 1810 and 1811. Elected Vice President of the United States as a Democrat on the ticket with James Madison in 1812 and served from 1813 until his death.
 

The National Intelligencer, Thursday, November 24, 1814
 
This day we have a melancholy duty to perform. Another of the Worthies of the Revolution, the tried Patriot and consistent Politician, the second Officer of our Government, the venerable Gerry, is no more! Yesterday, between the hours of ten and eleven, he breathed his last.

His death was as sudden as it was unexpected. In apparent health he presided in the Senate during an arduous sitting on the preceding day; fifteen minutes before his death, although in his seventieth year, he bade fair to outlive many of those who read these lines. At a few minutes warning, the thread of life was cut, and his spirit winged its flight to happier realms.

The circumstances of the Death of our lamented fellow-citizen, Elbridge Gerry, were nearly these. He breakfasted at the common table at his boarding house, at the usual hour, in apparent health, with the exception of a transient complaint of slight oppression at his breast. A short time afterwards, he went out on business to one of the public offices, a few yards distant only from his lodgings, where after a few minutes, he found himself indisposed, and intimated a wish to return to his residence. Being placed again in the carriage, he was reconveyed to his lodgings. On the arrival of the carriage there, he was found to be insensible, and expired immediately after, almost without a groan or sigh.

In consequence of the death of the Vice President of the United States, no business was yesterday done in Senate, and but little in the House of Representatives. None will be done in either house today. The Funeral is expected to take place at three o'clock this day.

In Senate., Wednesday, November 23
About the hour of meeting a report having reached the Senate Chamber of the death of the Vice President of the United States, the Members from Massachusetts, Mr. Varnum and Mr. Gore, proceeded to his lodgings to ascertain the fact; and on their return, having announced the fact to the Senate, the following proceeding took place, on motion of Mr. Bledsoe.

The Senate, being informed of the Death of their distinguished fellow-citizen, Elbridge Gerry, Vice President of the United States, Do Resolve, That a committee be appointed, jointly with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the House of Representatives, to consider and report measures most proper to manifest the public respect for the memory of the deceased, and expressive of the deep regret of the Congress of the United States for the loss of a citizen so highly respected and revered.

Ordered, that Mr. Gore, Mr. Varnum, Mr. Smith, Mr. Anderson and Mr. Gaillard by the committee.
On motion of Mr. Bledsoe, Ordered that the Secretary inform the House of Representatives of the decease of the Vice President of the United States, and communicate the foregoing resolution.

House of Representatives, Wednesday, November 23 
... The Secretary of the Senate was announced, and, in becoming terms, informed the house of the decease of the Vice President of the United States, and the resolution the Senate had thereupon adopted.

On motion of Mr. Findley of Pa. the business on hand was ordered to lie on the table.

On motion of Mr. Wm. Reed, Resolved unanimously, That this house doth concur in the resolution of the Senate for the appointment of a joint committee "to consider and report measures proper to manifest the public respect for the memory of the deceased," and expressive the deep regret of the Congress of the United States, for the loss of a citizen so highly respected and revered. And then the house adjourned. 



The National Intelligencer, Friday, November 25, 1814
 
The Funeral
In conformity with previous arrangements, the corpse of the late Vice President was, about one o'clock on yesterday, conveyed from Mrs. Wilson's to Congress Hall, in charge of the Committee of Arrangement (consisting of Messrs. Gore, Varnum, Smith, Anderson and Gaillard of the Senate, and Messrs. Wm. Reed, Findley, Macon, Tallmadge and Nelson, on the part of the House) and the Sergeant-at-arms and Door Keepers of both Houses.

At two o'clock, the Funeral moved from Congress Hall to the place of interment, in the following order: 


Order of Procession:

The Chaplains to both Houses of Congress

Physicians who attended the deceased

Pall Holders

Mr. Tallmadge
Mr. Wright
Mr. Macon
Mr. Findley
Mr. Brown
Mr. Nelson
Mr. Sevier   
Mr. Brigham

The President of the United States (Madison)

The Sergeant-at-arms of the Senate of the United States

Secretary of the Senate

The Senate of the United States, as chief mourners

The Sergeant-at-arms of the House of Representatives

Speaker and Clerk of the House of Representatives

The House of Representatives of the United States

The Heads of Departments

Foreign Ministers

The Officers of Government

Citizens and Strangers
 

On the arrival at the grave yard, an appropriate discourse was delivered by the Rev. Obadiah B. Brown, when the mortal remains of the deceased Patriot were committed to the earth. He has departed from among us "loaded with honors and crowned with the blessings of his country."

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