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

ISBN: 978-1-119-14187-7
280 pages
May 2016, Wiley-Blackwell
Drawing the Line: How Mason and Dixon Surveyed the Most Famous Border in America, Revised Edition (1119141877) cover image

Description

The second edition of Drawing the Line: How Mason and Dixon Surveyed the Most Famous Border in America updates Edwin Danson’s definitive history of the creation of the Mason - Dixon Line to reflect new research and archival documents that have come to light in recent years.
  • Features numerous updates and revisions reflecting new information that has come to light on surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon
  • Reveals the true origin of the survey’s starting point and the actual location of the surveyors’ observatory in Embreeville
  • Offers expanded information on Mason and Dixon’s transit of Venus adventures, which would be an important influence on their future work, and on Mason’s final years pursuing a share of the fabulous Longitude prize, and his death in Philadelphia
  • Includes a new, more comprehensive appendix describing the surveying methods utilized to establish the Mason-Dixon Line
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Table of Contents

List of Figures ix

Acknowledgments for the Revised Edition xii

Introduction to the Revised Edition xiii

1 In the Reign of George the Third 1

2 The Fortieth Degree 6

3 Kings and Queens 14

4 Entirely at a Stand 20

5 Curious Knowing People 34

6 The Transit of Venus 51

7 Mr. Bird’s Contrivances 65

8 Persons Intirely Accomplished 71

9 The Southernmost Point of the City 80

10 15 Statute Miles, Horizontal 98

11 The Tail of Ursae Minoris 109

12 Fine Sport for the Boys 116

13 From the Post mark’d West 123

14 The Pencil of Time 131

15 King of the Tuscarawa 140

16 From Hence; to the Summit 150

17 At a Council of the Royal Society 160

18 Vibration of the Pendulum 167

19 Not One Step Further 176

20 A Degree of Latitude 189

21 The Last Transit 196

22 A Very Helpless Condition 202

23 Finishing the Job 216

Appendix 225

Astronomy 225

Longitude, Latitude, and the Shape of Earth 228

Surveying Methods 230

Degrees of Latitude: A Short History 239

The Mystery of the Mason–Dixon Mile 242

Bibliography 245

Index 251

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Author Information

Edwin Danson is a geodetic surveyor with over 45 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 Bristol, England.
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