Mason and Dixon Line

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The original charters granted to the Penn and Calvert families stated unclearly the boundaries between the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland. The dispute caused considerable friction over the years and was eventually submitted to an English court.

In 1760, the families compromised and selected two English astronomers, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, to survey the common border. In the years between 1763 and 1767, the surveyors ran a line west from the Delaware border for 244 miles. Every fifth milestone bore a replica of the Penn and Calvert coats of arms.

The line was later extended to delineate the border between Pennsylvania and Virginia. In later times, the term "Mason-Dixon Line" connoted the boundary between slave and free states or between North and South.

- - - Books You May Like Include: ----

Frederick in the Civil War Battle and Honor in the Spired City by John W. Schildt.
Just south of the Mason-Dixon line, Frederick, Maryland, was poised at the crossroads of the Civil War. Here, Confederate troops passed west to the Ba...
The Mind of the South by W.J. Cash.
Ever since its publication in 1941, The Mind of the South has been recognized as a path-breaking work of scholarship and as a literary achievement of ...
Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea by Noah Andre Trudeau.
Civil War historian Noah Andre Trudeau has written a new account that will stand as the last word on General William Tecumseh Sherman's epic march - a...
The Siege of Washington: The Untold Story of the Twelve Days That Shook the Union by John Lockwood.
On April 14, 1861, the day Fort Sumter fell to Confederate forces, Washington, DC was ripe for invasion. Located 60 miles south of the Mason-Dixon Lin...
Secession Debated: Georgia's Showdown in 1860 by William W. Freehling.
The critical northern antebellum debate matched the rhetorical skills of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in an historic argument over the futur...