Drawing the Line: How Mason and Dixon Surveyed the Most Famous Border in America

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John Wiley and Sons, 2001 - History - 232 pages
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THE FIRST POPULAR HISTORY OF THE MAKING OF THE MASON-DIXON LINE

The Mason-Dixon line-surely the most famous surveyors' line ever drawn-represents one of the greatest and most difficult scientific achievements of its time. But behind this significant triumph is a thrilling story, one that has thus far eluded both historians and surveyors. In this engrossing narrative, professional surveyor Edwin Danson takes us on a fascinating journey with Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, two gifted and exuberant English surveyors, through the fields and forests of eighteenth-century America. Vividly describing life in the backwoods and the hardships and dangers of frontier surveying, Drawing the Line discloses for the first time in 250 years many hitherto unknown surveying methods, revealing how Mason and Dixon succeeded where the best American surveyors of the period failed. In accessible, ordinary language, Danson masterfully throws the first clear light on the surveying of the Mason-Dixon line. Set in the social and historical context of pre-Revolutionary America, this book is a spellbinding account of one of the great and historic achievements of its time.

Advance Praise for Drawing the Line

"Drawing the Line combines a fast-moving story, a human drama, and a clear account of surveying in the era of George Washington. An intriguing interaction of politics and science."-CHARLES ROYSTER, Boyd Professor of History, Louisiana State University, and Winner of the Bancroft Prize in History
 

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Contents

I
1
II
5
III
10
IV
18
VI
27
VII
40
VIII
60
X
71
XVIII
125
XIX
135
XX
144
XXII
155
XXIII
162
XXIV
172
XXV
184
XXVII
192

XII
79
XIII
93
XV
103
XVI
110
XVII
115
XXVIII
197
XXIX
207
XXX
219
XXXI
223
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About the author (2001)

EDWIN DANSON is a geodetic surveyor with some 35 years of experience working on assignments in many countries, including the United States. He is a Chartered Surveyor of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors. He has made many contributions to professional journals and books and is a prominent authority in his field. He lives near London, England.

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