DescriptionSamuel Adams and John Avery Document Signed. One page, 8" x 12.25", "Commonwealth of Massachusetts," November 19, 1796. Massachusetts Governor Samuel Adams and John Avery, the first Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, have signed this document certifying that statesman Elbridge Gerry had "been chosen an Elector of President & Vice President of the United States of America, agreeably to Law & a resolve of the Legislature of this Commonwealth." A blind-embossed state seal rests above Adams' signature. The document is addressed to Gerry of Cambridge. Docketed on the address page.
After George Washington made his momentous decision to refuse a third term, the next presidential election-the third in U.S. history and the first contested presidential election-was held three weeks after Adams and Avery signed this document informing Gerry that he was a member of the electoral college. John Adams, cousin to Samuel Adams, received three more electoral votes than Thomas Jefferson-one of those votes coming from Gerry. This document contains smoothed folds and some minor wrinkles. A loss of paper-due to the original tearing of the seal on the address page-has been repaired (no loss of text).
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