Based on incomplete information on a congressional website, a graphic with a Page One story about a plaque commemorating the origins of gerrymandering wrongly said Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry and state Senator Israel Thorndike attempted to keep their Republican friends in power. They were members of the Democratic-Republican Party, also known as the Jeffersonian Democrats. The Republican Party was not founded until the 1850s.
The Globe’s error originated in the first version of the story that was posted on boston.com and reported:
In 1812, on the corner of Summer and Arch streets, Governor Elbridge Gerry and State Senator Israel Thorndike drew legislative districts -- one shaped like a salamander -- designed to keep their Republican friends in power. Gerrymandering was born.
The Republican Party was founded in 1854 and thus Republicans were as rare in 1812 as they are today in the Globe newsroom. This mistake was corrected in the story before it was later published in the Globe, but the error propagated to the caption of the graphic.
It is simply childish for the Globe to blame “incomplete information on a congressional website” for an error such as this, which could have been detected by a few seconds of fact-checking at Wikipedia (or by greater familiarity with 19th century US history). Why can't the Globe organization simply accept responsibility for their own mistake, even in something so small?