Mason-Dixon Line

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Mason-Dixon Line,

boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland (running between lat. 39°43'26.3"N and lat. 39°43'17.6"N), surveyed by the English team of Charles Mason, a mathematician and astronomer, and Jeremiah Dixon, a mathematician and land surveyor, between 1763 and 1767. The ambiguous description of the boundaries in the Maryland and Pennsylvania charters led to a protracted disagreement between the proprietors of the two colonies, the Penns of Pennsylvania and the Calverts of Maryland. The dispute was submitted to the English court of chancery in 1735. A compromise between two families in 1760 resulted in the appointment of Mason and Dixon. By 1767 the surveyors had run their line 244 mi (393 km) west from the Delaware border, every fifth milestone bearing the Penn and Calvert arms. The survey was completed to the western limit of Maryland in 1773; in 1779 the line was extended to mark the southern boundary of Pennsylvania with Virginia (present-day West Virginia). Before the Civil War the term "Mason-Dixon Line" popularly designated the boundary dividing the slave states from the free states, and it is still used to distinguish the South from the North.


See study by E. Danson (2001).

Mason-Dixon Line

boundary between Pennsylvania and Mary-land that came to divide the slave (southern) states from the free (northern) states. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1714]
References in periodicals archive ?
In producing their own "Tale[s] about America" (7), colonists culturally map the space of this continent alongside the ongoing bureaucratic and administrative mapping, of which the Mason-Dixon Line is a prime example.
The task was finally completed, however, and the book concludes with a reflection on the public perception of the Mason-Dixon Line as a larger boundary between the slave and free states.
Romantic Spirits is an intriguing account of an art movement from the mid to late 1800s below the Mason-Dixon line.
After all, south of that famous Mason-Dixon line there remains a tendency to hire six words when four would do the job.
His surveying items were used to chart the Mason-Dixon Line.
public high schools are below the Mason-Dixon line.
I'm trying to trace a song called The Mason-Dixon Line.
economics, and geographical differences, no one south of the Mason-Dixon Line ever imagined that the Confederacy could survive if slavery were ended.
African Americans continue to relocate to areas below the Mason-Dixon Line in search of a better quality of life and career opportunities," says Editor-At-Large Carolyn M.
Nowhere was the road towards emancipation from slavery as chaotic as in the US, where the risk of breaking up the Union into two bordering nations separated by the Mason-Dixon Line took a dramatic turn at the height of the crisis in the second half of the 19th century.
Written by Ray Mulesky, Thunder From a Clear Sky is the breathtaking true story of Confederate cavalry officer Adam "Stovepipe" Johnson, who led the first Confederate raid across the Mason-Dixon Line to seize the river-port community of Newburgh, Indiana during the American Civil War.
When it comes to tracing the roots of American music, there's just no place like the South: jazz, rhythm & blues, rock & roll, gospel--most music that comes with a "made in America" stamp originated south of the Mason-Dixon line.