Civil Engineering

Drawing the Line : How Mason and Dixon Surveyed the Most by Edwin Danson PDF

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By Edwin Danson

ISBN-10: 0471385026

ISBN-13: 9780471385028

ISBN-10: 0471437042

ISBN-13: 9780471437048

The 1st renowned historical past OF THE MAKING OF THE MASON-DIXON LINE

The Mason-Dixon line–surely the main well-known surveyors’ line ever drawn–represents one of many maximum and so much tricky medical achievements of its time. yet in the back of this important triumph is an exhilarating tale, person who has so far eluded either historians and surveyors. during this engrossing narrative, specialist surveyor Edwin Danson takes us on a desirable trip with Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, talented and exuberant English surveyors, during the fields and forests of eighteenth-century the USA. Vividly describing existence within the backwoods and the hardships and risks of frontier surveying, Drawing the road discloses for the 1st time in 250 years many hitherto unknown surveying equipment, revealing how Mason and Dixon succeeded the place the easiest American surveyors of the interval failed. In obtainable, traditional language, Danson masterfully throws the 1st transparent gentle at the surveying of the Mason-Dixon line. Set within the social and ancient context of pre-Revolutionary the United States, this booklet is a spellbinding account of 1 of the good and ancient achievements of its time.

Advance compliment for Drawing the road

''Drawing the road combines a fast-moving tale, a human drama, and a transparent account of surveying within the period of George Washington. An exciting interplay of politics and science.''–CHARLES ROYSTER, Boyd Professor of background, Louisiana country collage, and Winner of the Bancroft Prize in heritage

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

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Meanwhile, the commissioners’ difficulties in agreeing to definitions were referred to the court for resolution. It was ruled that the twelve miles should be a radius and measured horizontally and that the center of the circle should be the point determined by the commissioners. The important midpoint on the peninsula should lie halfway between Cape Henlopen and the Chesapeake waterfront. Another war with France erupted in 1756; nevertheless, by 1760 the legal situation had clarified enough for surveyors, including Reverend Richard Peters, Thomas Penn’s provincial secretary, and John Lukens (1720–1789), who later became surveyor general, to begin the task of setting out the first boundary lines.

He was a consummate and meticulous mathematician and astronomer, publishing a table of refraction in 1720 that allowed the correction of astronomical observations for the light-bending effects of the atmosphere. In 1727 Bradley discovered stellar aberration, explaining why a star’s position in the sky seems to vary during the year. When Halley died in 1742, Bradley was his nat- the transit of venus 45 The Devereux Arms, once the Grecian Coffeehouse, a favorite meeting place for London’s wits and literary figures.

However, it was under the stern and brilliant direction of the third astronomer royal, Dr. James Bradley (1693–1762), that the observatory made its great strides towards an astronomical solution for finding longitude. In 1714, during the reign of Queen Anne, the British government passed an “Act for Providing a Publick Reward for such Person or Persons as shall Discover the Longitude at Sea”; the prize was a queen’s ransom, £20,000. Lunar distances, Bradley reasoned, might provide a means of solving the elusive problem of finding longitude.

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


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