Who were charles mason and jeremiah dixon

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who were charles mason and jeremiah dixon

Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon

The New York Times Best Book of the Year, 1997
Time Magazine Best Book of the Year 1997

Charles Mason (1728-1786) and Jeremiah Dixon (1733-1779) were the British surveyors best remembered for running the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland that we know today as the Mason-Dixon Line. Here is their story as re-imagined by Thomas Pynchon, featuring Native Americans and frontier folk, ripped bodices, naval warfare, conspiracies erotic and political, major caffeine abuse. We follow the mismatchd pair--one rollicking, the other depressive; one Gothic, the other pre-Romantic--from their first journey together to the Cape of Good Hope, to pre-Revolutionary America and back, through the strange yet redemptive turns of fortune in their later lives, on a grand tour of the Enlightenments dark hemisphere, as they observe and participate in the many opportunities for insanity presented them by the Age of Reason.
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Published 20.12.2018

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The border between Delaware and Maryland is also defined by a part of the Mason—Dixon line. Mason's early career was spent at the Royal Greenwich Observatory near London.
Thomas Pynchon

Jeremiah Dixon

Jeremiah Dixon , died , Durham , Durham, Eng. In the two were selected by the Royal Astronomical Society to travel to Sumatra in order to observe the transit of Venus. They got no further than the Cape of Good Hope , however where they did make some observations , before returning to England. In Mason and Dixon were commissioned by the heirs of William Penn and Lord Baltimore to settle an old dispute over the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Arriving in Philadelphia in November, they began work the following month at the northeastern corner of Maryland. Hostile Indians prevented Mason and Dixon from marking the final 36 miles, and in they returned to Philadelphia.

Seahorse, in which they embarked in the autumn of , was compelled by an attack from a French frigate to put back to Plymouth to refit, and they reached the Cape of Good Hope on 27 April, too late to proceed further. They, however, successfully observed the transit there, and on 16 Oct reached St. Helena, where Mason co-operated with Nevil Maskelyne until Dec in collecting tidal data. Mason and Dixon were next engaged by Lord Baltimore and Mr. Penn to settle the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania. Mason and Dixon's line was long famous as separating the slave from the free States. No triangulation was employed; the line was measured directly with deal rods, the latitudes being determined with a zenith-sector by Bird.


Sep 2, Baker's son Charles Mason and lapsed Quaker Jeremiah Dixon were established scientists when commissioned to settle a land dispute in the.
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3 thoughts on “Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon

  1. On this day in , Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon complete their survey of the boundary between the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as areas that would eventually become the states of Delaware and West Virginia.

  2. Jeremiah Dixon FRS 27 July — 22 January [1] was an English surveyor and astronomer who is best known for his work with Charles Mason , from to , in determining what was later called the Mason—Dixon line.

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