Mason-Dixon line???

  1. I was just listening to the Mark Knophler song, Sailing to Philadelphia, and was wondering what is the Mason-Dixon line?

    I tried to look it up on the net, but I found far to many sites to check, and I can not narrow the search down anymore as I don't have a clue as to whether the line is a geographic line, a mountain range or a train line! Plus I was supposed to be doing research for an essay

    So I hope someone can help, and thanks in advance.

    Whisper
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   CATHYW
    Well, the best I recollect, it was an imaginary line along the top of Virginia during the Civil War. North of that line was Yankee land, and south of it, including Maryland, was the SOUTH!

    If anyone can explain it better, please do...
  4. by   kristi915
    I just went through a whole section on slavery and stuff, the mason-dixon line was an imaginary line that seperated the free states from the slave states. The southern states were slave and and the northern states were free. It was a boundary between the north and the south.
  5. by   kristi915
    actually it started between maryland and pennsylvania, and continued to run along the Ohio River, after the Ohio River it continues on in a straight line all the way across the united states. If a new state entered the union and the state was split in half because of the mason-dixon line, they could decide which they wanted to be, a free or slave state.
  6. by   kristi915
    Do you notice that most african american people live in the south???
  7. by   Fgr8Out
    The Mason-Dixon Line
    Dateline: 04/19/99
    Though the Mason-Dixon line is most commonly associated with the division between the northern and southern (free and slave, respectively) states during the 1800s and American Civil War-era, the line was delineated in the mid-1700s to settle a property dispute. The two surveyors who mapped the line, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, will always be known for their famous boundary.

    In 1632, King Charles I of England gave the first Lord Baltimore, George Calvert, the colony of Maryland. Fifty years later, in 1682, King Charles II gave William Penn the territory to the north, which later became Pennsylvania. A year later, Charles II gave Penn land on the Delmarva Peninsula (the peninsula that includes the eastern portion of modern Maryland and all of Delaware).

    The description of the boundaries in the grants to Calvert and Penn did not match and there was a great deal of confusion as to where the boundary (supposedly along 40° north) lay. The Calvert and Penn families took the matter to the British court and England's chief justice declared in 1750 that the boundary between southern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland should lie 15 miles south of Philadelphia. A decade later, the two families agreed on the compromise and set out to have the new boundary surveyed. Unfortunately, colonial surveyors were no match for the difficult job and two experts from England had to be recruited.

    Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon arrived in Philadelphia in November 1763. Mason was an astronomer who had worked at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich and Dixon was a renowned surveyor. The two had worked together as a team prior to their assignment to the colonies.

    After arriving in Philadelphia, their first task was to determine the exact absolute location of Philadelphia. From there, they began to survey the north-south line that divided the Delmarva Peninsula into the Calvert and Penn properties. Only after the Delmarva portion of the line had been completed did the duo move to mark the east-west running line between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

    They precisely established the point fifteen miles south of Philadelphia and since the beginning of their line was west of Philadelphia, they had to begin their measurement to the east of the beginning of their line. They erected a limestone benchmark at their point of origin.

    Travel and surveying in the rugged "west" was difficult and slow going. The surveyors had to deal with many different hazards, one of the most dangerous to the men being the indigenous Native Americans living in the region. The duo did have Native American guides although once the survey team reached a point 36 miles east of the end point of the boundary, their guides told them not to travel any farther. Hostile residents kept the survey from reaching its end goal. Thus, on October 9, 1767, almost four years after they began their surveying, the 233 mile-long Mason-Dixon had (almost) been completely surveyed.

    Over fifty years later, the boundary between the two states came into the spotlight with the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The Compromise established a boundary between the slave states of the south and the free states of the north (however it's seperation of Maryland and Delaware is a bit confusing since Delaware was a slave state that stayed in the Union). This boundary became referred to as the Mason-Dixon line because it began in the east along the Mason-Dixon line and headed westward to the Ohio River and along the Ohio to its mouth at the Mississippi River and then west along 36° 30' North.

    This line was very symbolic in the minds of the people of the young nation struggling over slavery and the names of the two surveyors who created it will evermore be associated with that struggle and its geographic association.


    http://geography.about.com/library/w...htm?once=true&

    :: retaping her nerdy glasses and flicking the tv onto Star Trek::

    Peace
  8. by   kids
    Originally posted by Fgr8Out
    ...the 233 mile-long Mason-Dixon had (almost) been completely surveyed...
    Thank you!
    I knew the 'splanation you gave was out there somewhere, I learned it somewhere along the years.

    An my Mama has always insisted the Mason-Dixon line doesnt extend west of the Mississippi river.

    -nancy
  9. by   Whisper
    Thank you all, When I searched for it I was getting too many hits, for the Dixon car garages!

    The Mason-Dixon line sounds very important for American history, however I had never heard of it before, I'll put some American history books on my reading list for the fortnight gap between semesters, has anyone got any suggestions??
  10. by   Fgr8Out
    Originally posted by Whisper
    Thank you all, When I searched for it I was getting too many hits, for the Dixon car garages!

    The Mason-Dixon line sounds very important for American history, however I had never heard of it before, I'll put some American history books on my reading list for the fortnight gap between semesters, has anyone got any suggestions??

    Ummm.... you're going to read HISTORY on your school break?!?!?!?

    I suggest a trashy novel with lots of that icky love stuff... or something by Stephen King or Dean Koontz... Or Steinbeck, you can't go wrong with Steinbeck.

    Enjoy your break!! :hatparty:

    Peace
  11. by   prn nurse
    You will never , never, never regret time spent with Hemingway!
  12. by   Fgr8Out
    Originally posted by prn nurse
    You will never , never, never regret time spent with Hemingway!


    Yeah.... him too!! :roll :roll :roll :roll
  13. by   MPHkatie
    Ok, so I am a nerd, really, I have a BA in American History. Kinda of depends on what you want to read, there are lots of interesting books regarding the civil war, which would probably most effectively cover the Mason-Dixon line. (I was born in a hospital which is sitting smack bad on top of the line, I'm told, so I take a personal interest in it.) But I might also suggest "Wartime" by Fussell and "My Soul is rested" by Howell Raines, Wartime is a very easy and interesting read about WWII and the other is on the civil rights movement of the 60's. so now I am done, probably these won't top your list for "good reads" but interesting anyway, and very surprising the stuff in them. Have a nice break....
  14. by   Whisper
    I like reading, pretty much anything, well except for mills and boons, and I am probably a nerd, actually I KNOW I am a nerd! I mean I love sci-fi, and history which meant I loved shows like highlander !!
    If history was something I had to learn, I wouldn't even consider reading it on my break, but now it is something to look foward too

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