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Mason a Dixon nakreslia čiaru rozdeľujúcu kolónie

Mason a Dixon nakreslia čiaru rozdeľujúcu kolónie


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18. októbra 1767 Charles Mason a Jeremiah Dixon dokončujú prieskum hranice medzi kolóniami Pensylvánie a Marylandu a tiež oblastí, z ktorých sa nakoniec stanú štáty Delaware a Západná Virgínia. Rodiny Penn a Calvertovcov najali Masona a Dixona, anglických geodetov, aby urovnali svoj spor o hranicu medzi ich dvoma vlastníckymi kolóniami, Pennsylvániou a Marylandom.

V roku 1760, unavená hraničným násilím medzi osadníkmi kolónií, britská koruna požadovala, aby zúčastnené strany dodržali dohodu dosiahnutú v roku 1732. V rámci dodržiavania tohto kráľovského velenia Marylandom a Pensylvániou boli Mason a Dixon požiadaní, aby určili presný miesto hraníc medzi týmito dvoma kolóniami. Napriek tomu, že obe kolónie si nárokovali oblasť medzi 39. a 40. rovnobežkou, to, čo sa teraz nazýva Mason-Dixonova čiara, nakoniec ustálilo hranicu na severnej šírke 39 stupňov a 43 minút. Čiara bola označená kameňmi, pričom na jednej strane bol hrebeň Pensylvánie a na druhej strane Marylandu.

Keď Mason a Dixon v roku 1763 začali svoje úsilie, kolonisti protestovali proti vyhláseniu roku 1763, ktoré malo zabrániť kolonistom usadiť sa za Apalačskom pohorím a rozhnevať pôvodných Američanov. Keď Briti v roku 1767 ukončili svoj prieskum, kolónie sa zapojili do sporu s Parlamentom o aktoch Townshend, ktoré boli navrhnuté tak, aby zvýšili príjmy ríše zdanením bežného dovozu vrátane čaju.

ČÍTAJTE VIAC: 7 udalostí, ktoré viedli k americkej revolúcii

O dvadsať rokov neskôr, na konci 17. storočia, štáty južne od línie Mason-Dixon začali argumentovať za zachovanie otroctva v nových Spojených štátoch, zatiaľ čo štáty severne od tejto línie dúfali, že sa postupne zbaví vlastníctva ľudského hnuteľného majetku. Toto obdobie, ktoré historici považujú za éru „Novej republiky“, sa chýlilo ku koncu kompromisom z Missouri z roku 1820, v ktorom boli štáty južne od línie držané ako otrokyne a štáty severne od línie ako slobodné. Kompromis spolu s tými, ktoré ho nasledovali, nakoniec zlyhal.

Sto rokov po tom, čo Mason a Dixon začali svoje úsilie o vyznačenie hranice, nechali vojaci z opačných strán línie krvou zafarbiť polia Gettysburg v Pensylvánii pri poslednom a smrteľnom pokuse južných štátov o prelomenie línie Mason-Dixon počas občianska vojna. Sto a jeden rok potom, čo Briti dokončili svoju líniu, Spojené štáty konečne ratifikovaním 14. dodatku pripustili mužov akejkoľvek pleti narodených v rámci národa k občianskemu právu.


Mason – Dixonova čiara

The Mason – Dixonova čiara, tiež nazývaný Masonova a Dixonova línia, pôvodne určujúci hranicu medzi Marylandom a Pensylvániou, bol skúmaný a označený v rokoch 1763 až 1767. [1] Rodiny Pennovcov a Calvertovcov najali dvoch anglických geodetov Charlesa Masona a Jeremiáša Dixona na urovnanie hraničného sporu. [2] V roku 1760 britská koruna, unavená násilím medzi oboma kolóniami, požadovala urovnanie sporu o hranicu medzi Marylandom a Pensylvániou podľa dohody z roku 1732. [2] Hranica, s ktorou obaja geodeti prišli, bola tak presný, že je stále považovaný za zázrak. [3] Merania GPS ukazujú, že čiara je na niektorých miestach o palec alebo menšia a na iných nie viac ako 240 stôp (240 stôp). [4]


This Day In Histroy: The Mason-Dixon Line is Established (1767)

V tento deň roku 1767 Charles Mason a Jeremiah Dixon ukončili prieskum. Skúmali hranicu medzi kolóniami Maryland a Pennsylvania a oblasťami, ktoré sa stanú Delaware a Západná Virgínia. Mason a Dixon boli dvaja anglickí geodeti a najali ich dve bohaté rodiny vlastniace pôdu, aby vyriešili dlhotrvajúci hraničný spor. Rodina Pennovcov vlastnila veľkú časť dnešnej Pennsylvánie a rodina Calvertovcov vlastnila veľkú časť Marylandu a najala dvoch anglických geodetov, aby sa raz a navždy usadili na hranici medzi ich majetkom.

Medzi osadníkmi v Pensylvánii a Marylande prebiehalo mnoho rokov často násilných hraničných sporov, pretože neboli náležite ohraničené. Briti nariadili rodinám Pennovcov a Calvertovcov, aby najali dvoch anglických geodetov, aby určili hranicu a ukončili spor.

Chodník Mason-Dixon pomenovaný po anglických geodetoch

Po mnohých mesiacoch práce a mnohých nebezpečných dobrodružstvách Mason a Dixon vytvorili líniu na severnej šírke 39 stupňov a 43 minút. Hranica bola označená kameňmi, ktoré boli na jednej strane označené hrebeňom Pensylvánie a na druhej strane Maryland & rsquos. Linka ukončila spor medzi ľuďmi a vlastníkmi pôdy, ale v Amerike sa vynárali ďalšie spory, ktoré mali zmeniť chod dejín.

Keď Mason a Dixon robili svoj prieskum, osadníci protestovali proti rozhodnutiu Kráľovskej administratívy a rsquos zakázať ďalšie osídľovanie západne od Appalachian. Len čo títo dvaja geodeti skončili svoj prieskum, Townsendove zákony spôsobovali v kolóniách veľké kontroverzie. Tieto spory nakoniec viedli k americkej vojne za nezávislosť.

Po americkej revolúcii sa južné štáty snažili zachovať otroctvo, proti ktorému sa severné štáty postavili. Južné štáty potrebovali otroctvo, aby udržali svoje agrárne hospodárstvo a najmä bavlnársky priemysel. Problematika otroctva viedla k viacerým kontroverziám a dokonca hrozila rozdelením mladej republiky. Kompromis bol dosiahnutý až kompromisom z Missouri z roku 1820. Mason Dixonova línia sa stala kultúrnou hranicou medzi štátmi, ktoré povolili otroctvo, a tými, ktoré ho zakázali. Tento kompromis znamenal, že Spojené štáty môžu o niekoľko rokov odložiť otázku otroctva, ale neposkytol riešenie kontroverzie ohľadom práva vlastniť otrokov. Asi o štyridsať rokov neskôr však kompromis v Missouri začal zlyhávať, čo viedlo k obnoveniu napätia medzi severom a juhom. Tieto napätia mali neskôr prerásť do otvorenej vojny medzi nimi. Čoskoro bola linka Mason Dixon

Sto rokov potom, čo Mason a Dixon začali svoje úsilie o vytvorenie hranice, sa ich línia stala prednou líniou medzi severom a juhom v americkej občianskej vojne. Vojna sa niekoľko rokov viedla tam a späť cez líniu, ktorá rozdeľovala Úniu a Konfederáciu. Obe strany sa niekoľkokrát pokúsili prelomiť Mason Dixonovu líniu a získať prevahu vo vojne. Únia zvíťazila až po štyroch rokoch boja. To, čo sa pôvodne začalo ako prieskum na ukončenie hraničného sporu, sa nakoniec stalo deliacou čiarou medzi severom a juhom. Dnes Mason Dixonova čiara označuje hranicu štyroch štátov.

Sto rokov potom, čo sa Mason a Dixon začali snažiť o vyznačenie hraníc, nechali vojaci z opačných strán línie krvou zafarbiť polia Gettysburgu v Pensylvánii v južných štátoch a rsquo posledný a smrteľný pokus o prelomenie Mason-Dixonovej línie počas Občianska vojna. Sto a jeden rok potom, čo Briti dokončili svoju líniu, Spojené štáty konečne ratifikovaním 14. dodatku pripustili mužov akejkoľvek pleti narodených v rámci národa k občianskemu právu.


Dnes v histórii sa to stalo

18. októbra 1867 sa USA formálne zmocňujú Aljašky.

Britské jednotky okupujúce Peking v Číne,

USA preberajú kontrolu nad Portorikom

Johna Lennona a Yoko Ono zatkli za držanie drog

Mason a Dixon nakreslia čiaru rozdeľujúcu kolónie

Páni, John a Yoko boli naozaj STARÍ!

Yoko musí byť teraz skamenelinou.

Mal som ku každej udalosti pridať roky, neskôr sa potrestám a budem sa snažiť robiť príliš veľa vecí naraz

SnF len za smiech, ktorý som dostal bez ďalších rokov.

S mojou demenciou robím niekedy veľa vecí naraz. Môj mozog mi hovoril, aby som do každého riadku pridal roky, ale myslel som si, do pekla, toto je ATS, oni na to prídu.

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Preskúmanie

[A] bohato vrstvená, dôkladne preskúmaná história Mason-Dixonovej línie. Walker odhaľuje fascinujúcu a komplikovanú históriu skúmania, rodinných sporov, prenasledovania, ideologických konfliktov, vedeckých experimentov a pokroku a vytvárania národnej identity. . Premyslená, bystrá, náročná a rozsiahle skúmaná kronika histórie USA a formovania národnej identity z jedinečnej perspektívy.
— Recenzie na Kirkus (s hviezdičkou)

Walkerova správa o konfliktoch pozdĺž spornej hranice, doplnená mnohými ilustráciami a mapami, a inovatívne metódy vedeckého prieskumu Masona a Dixona sú komplexné a objektívne. Jej dôraz na prieskum poskytuje perspektívu, ktorá chýba v názvoch, ako sú John C. Davenport ’s ' The Mason-Dixon Line & quot; medzi severom a juhom. . Dôležitosť [témy] v americkej histórii robí z tejto knihy silnú voľbu správy o hraniciach, ktoré formovali náš národ alebo vedu na začiatku Ameriky.
—Školský denník knižnice

Tento dôkladne preskúmaný popis Mason –Dixon Line zahŕňa široký rozsah času a miesta, od Anglicka šestnásteho storočia až po Ameriku dvadsiateho storočia. . Walkerova najnovšia kniha ponúka množstvo relevantných informácií o danej problematike a niekoľko zaujímavých postrehov z americkej histórie.
—Knižný zoznam

Užitočný informačný text so silným prepojením na vedu a matematiku pre stredné a vysoké školy a verejné knižnice.
—VOYA

Walker sa charakteristickým spôsobom ponorí do svojej témy a poskytne podrobné informácie nielen o geodézii, ale aj o sociopolitike koloniálnej éry. Na záver diskutuje o kultúrnom význame Mason-Dixonovej línie na severe a juhu a o súčasnom záujme o zachovanie jej histórie. . Pútavý príbeh môže inšpirovať budúcu generáciu geografov, kartografov a astronómov.
—Hornova kniha

Vedecké a matematické koncepty sú jasne prezentované a dobre definované.
— Vydavatelia týždenne

Mnoho historických kníh pre mládež glosuje vedu a matematiku v prospech prístupu založeného výlučne na záujmoch ľudí, ale Walker zahŕňa oblasti a sprevádza čitateľov teóriou výpočtov i vyčerpávajúcou (a nákladnou) prácou v teréne, ktorá bola potrebná na dosiahnutie výsledkov. Text podporuje množstvo máp a diagramov a dokonca aj čitatelia odolní voči matematike sa môžu dozvedieť, že sa dozvedia viac, ako očakávali. Najvďačnejšie publikum však budú deti, ktoré si do dejepisu doodle do svojich notebookov číhajú a čakajú, kým zazvoní matematika.
— Bulletin Centra pre detské knihy


Geografia

Skutočná línia prieskumu Masona a Dixona začala na juh od Philadelphie v Pensylvánii a siahala od východného štandardu k rieke Delaware a na západ k vtedajšej hranici so západnou Virgíniou.

Inšpektori tiež stanovili hranicu medzi Delaware a Pensylvániou a približne severo-južnú časť hranice medzi Delaware a Marylandom. Väčšina hranice medzi Delaware a Pensylvániou je kruhový oblúk a hranica Delaware-Maryland nevedie skutočne severo-južne, pretože mala skôr rozdeliť polostrov Delmarva, ako sledovať poludník.

Hranica Maryland-Pensylvánia je východo-západná čiara s približnou priemernou šírkou 39 ÂÂ ° 43 '20 "severnej šírky (Datum WGS 84). V skutočnosti nie je východo-západná čiara Mason-Dixona skutočnou čiarou v geometrický zmysel, ale namiesto toho je sériou mnohých priľahlých čiar, ktoré vedú po ceste medzi 39 °#194 ° 43 '15 "severnej šírky a 39 ° 194 ° 23' 23" severnej šírky, geodet alebo mapovač by to mohol nazvať približnou loxodrónou. taká čiara sa približuje k segmentu malého kruhu na povrchu (tiež približne) sférickej Zeme. Pozorovateľ stojaci na takejto čiare a pozerajúci sa na jej cestu smerom k nerušenému horizontu by vnímal, ako by sa odklonil od svojho zorného poľa, efekt nerovnosti medzi veľkosťou zakrivenia vľavo a vpravo. Medzi rovnobežkami zemepisnej šírky je veľký rovník iba rovník a tento účinok by nevykazoval.

Linka Mason-Dixon bola označená kameňmi každú míľu a „korunnými kameňmi“ každých päť míľ pomocou kameňa dodávaného z Anglicka. Strana Maryland hovorí (M) a strany Delaware a Pennsylvania hovoria (P). Medzi korunné kamene patria dva erby. Dnes, hoci množstvo pôvodných kameňov chýba alebo je pochovaných, mnohé sú stále viditeľné, spočívajúce na verejnom pozemku a chránené železnými klietkami.

Mason a Dixon potvrdili predchádzajúce prieskumné práce, ktoré vymedzovali južnú hranicu Delaware od Atlantického oceánu po kameň „Middle Point“ (pozdĺž toho, čo je dnes známe ako Transpeninsular Line). Postupovali takmer priamo na sever od tejto hranice k Pensylvánii.

Neskôr bola čiara na niektorých miestach vyznačená ďalšími referenčnými hodnotami a značkami prieskumu. Línie boli v priebehu storočí opakovane skúmané bez podstatných zmien v práci Masona a Dixona. Kamene môžu byť niekoľko až niekoľko stoviek stôp východne alebo západne od bodu, o ktorom si Mason a Dixon mysleli, že v každom prípade sú, čiara vedená z kameňa do kameňa tvorí zákonnú hranicu.

Podľa Davea Doyla z Národného geodetického prieskumu, ktorý je súčasťou Národnej správy oceánov a atmosféry, je spoločný kútik Pennsylvánie, Marylandu a Delaware v stredisku The Wedge označený Boundary Monument #87. Značkovač "MDP Corner" pochádza z roku 1935 a je účelovo odsadený.

Doyle povedal, že Maryland-Pennsylvania Mason-Dixonova línia je presne:

39 ÂÂ ° 43%u2032 19,92216%u2033 N.

a Hraničný pamätník č. 87 je na tej rovnobežke, na adrese:

075 Â ° 47%u2032 18,93851%u2033 W.

Návštevníkom trojbodového servera sa dôrazne odporúča, aby najskôr získali povolenie od najbližšieho vlastníka pozemku, alebo použili cestu z pamätníka oblúkového rohu, ktorý je po väčšinu cesty ohraničený parkom Delaware a parkom Pennslyvania.


Obsah

Rozsah románu zahŕňa aspekty zavedenej koloniálnej americkej histórie vrátane volania Západu, histórie žien, Severoameričanov a otrokov a exkurzie do geomantie, deizmu, dutej Zeme a - možno - únosu mimozemšťanov. Román tiež obsahuje filozofické diskusie a podobenstvá o automatoch/robotoch, o živote po smrti, jedenástich dňoch stratených pre gregoriánsky kalendár, otroctve, feng shui a ďalších. Vystupujú George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Nevil Maskelyne, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Jefferson a námorný chronometer Johna Harrisona. Pynchon poskytuje zložitú konšpiračnú teóriu zahŕňajúcu jezuitov a ich čínskych konvertitov, ktorá sa môže, ale nemusí vyskytovať v rámci vnorenej a v konečnom dôsledku nepresnej naratívnej štruktúry.

Táto naratívna štruktúra je skôr ako omyl alebo chyba na strane Pynchona postavená tak, aby bola nepresná a presná, ale ukazuje krehkosť, a nie spoľahlivé základy, akéhokoľvek historického záznamu a v skutočnosti samotnej histórie. Príbeh Cherrycoke sa vnútorne presúva z jedného uhla pohľadu na druhý, často súvisiace udalosti z pohľadu ľudí, s ktorými sa Cherrycoke nikdy nestretol. Jeho príbeh presúva dôraz tým, že v miestnosti sú členovia jeho rodiny-smeruje k dobrodružno-hrdinskému počúvaniu chlapcov-dvojčiat, pričom sa odvracia od erotiky na naliehanie obozretnejších (a bohatších) príbuzných. Paralelný príbeh, ktorý čítali dvaja bratranci, erotický príbeh zachytený indiánmi, sa dostáva do hlavného vlákna Cherrycokeho príbehu, ďalej rozmazáva a nakoniec vymazáva hranicu medzi objektívnou históriou a subjektivitou - to, čo sa „skutočne stalo“, nie je nič. viac ako konštrukcia niekoľkých rozprávačov, z ktorých jeden je pravdepodobne autorom.

Pynchon používa prehnanú verziu pravopisu, gramatiky a syntaxe aktuálneho dokumentu z konca 18. storočia, pričom ešte viac zdôrazňuje zamýšľaný anachronizmus románu.

John Krewson, píše pre Cibuľa 's A.V. Klub, poznamenal: „Akékoľvek významy a komplexné správy môžu byť skryté v Pynchonovom texte, sa nateraz môžu nechať podvedome vyvíjať, pretože čitateľ si užíva bezprostrednejšie odmeny za prácu dokonalého rozprávača. Pynchon je jedným z nich a nikdy to celkom nedovolí. zabúdate, že aj keď to môže byť epický príbeh, je to epický príbeh rozprávaný deťom s vyvalenými očami, ktoré už majú pred spaním. “ [1]

Jeden: Zemepisné šírky a odchody

Reverend Wicks Cherrycoke vo Philadelphii, kde sídli jeho sestra Elizabeth LeSpark, si zarába na izbu a stravovanie rozprávaním príbehov svojej neteri a synovcom. Román sa otvára v zime roku 1786, keď sa reverend na žiadosť svojich synovcov vydáva na svoj prvý príbeh odohrávajúci sa v Amerike, ktorý sa začína jeho spomienkou na prvé stretnutie Charlesa Masona a Jeremiáša Dixona, ktoré mu povedali obaja muži. .

Krátka epizóda, v ktorej si Mason a Dixon vymieňajú príslušné úvodné listy.

V námornom meste Portsmouth v Anglicku v roku 1761 sa Mason & amp Dixon stretávajú prvýkrát. Po krátkych diskusiách o svojom pôvode sa obaja pobrali do pivnice, aby si pohovorili pred odchodom na fregatu HMS. Morský koník pozorovať tranzit Venuše zo Sumatry podľa nariadenia Kráľovskej spoločnosti. V priebehu večera sa prvýkrát stretnú s učeným anglickým psom a Fender-Belly Bodine, čoskoro spolucestujúcou na palube lode. Morský koník. Hovorí sa o hrozbe možnej francúzskej námornej agresie voči relatívne poddimenzovanej fregate.

Reverend opisuje odchod Morský koník z Portsmouthu a jeho prechod Lamanšským prielivom. Na otvorenom mori, pri pobreží Francúzska, je morský koník prenasledovaný a napadnutý francúzskou vojnovou loďou Grand. Po bitke, počas ktorej Mason a Dixon zostávajú v podpalubí a reverend pôsobí ako chirurgický učeň, Francúzi nečakane a nevysvetliteľne prerušili útok. Morský koník s viac ako tridsiatimi obeťami a zlomenými stožiarmi limpuje späť do Plymouthu na opravu.

Pitie a paranoja dominujú diskusii na pobreží medzi Masonom a Dixonom. Bez možnosti vysvetliť, ako útok prežili a prečo Francúzi prerušili útok na vyradeného Seahorse, dvojica zvažuje dôvody útoku vrátane možnosti, že cieľom boli oni sami. So svojimi obavami pripravia list Kráľovskej spoločnosti a dostanú rýchlu a výhražnú odpoveď, v ktorej zopakujú svoje pôvodné rozkazy.

Objednané ešte raz do Bencoolenu, napriek tomu, že je v súčasnosti obsadené francúzskymi jednotkami, Mason, Dixon a Reverend sa ocitnú na palube novo opraveného Seahorse, teraz sprevádzaného druhou fregatou až na otvorené more. Počas prechodu na Tenerife a nakoniec do južných šírok si Mason pripomína druhé výročie smrti svojej manželky a cestujúci a posádka znášajú palubnú nudu a izoláciu.

The Morský koník prichádza na pobyt do Kapského Mesta, kde Masona a Dixona víta člen miestnej polície, ktorý ich varuje pred šírením politických myšlienok medzi otrokmi kolónie. Keď sa Mason stravoval v domácnosti Vroomovcov, zdráhal sa dosiahnuť pokroky od krásnych dcér hostiteľa. Ich úsilie vedie ich matka, ktorá si želá, aby sa Mason natoľko rozpálil v túžbe, že bude súhlasiť so sexom s otrokom Austrou a oplodniť ju, čím sa na trhu s otrokmi narodí potomok svetlej pleti. Zdesený touto predstavou sa Mason snaží udržať sa a začína vnímať kolóniu ako svet pekelnej nočnej mory. Dixon však má na kolóniu liberálnejší pohľad a priepasť medzi ich vnímaním vedie dvoch paranoidných astronómov k otázke, ako sa vôbec dostali k spárovaniu.

V krátkej epizóde obsadenej zmyselnými začali obaja astronómovia hľadať lepšie jedlo mimo domu Vrooma. Prehliadka rôznych kuchárskych stanov a kuchýň sa končí stretnutím na trhu s reverendom Cherrycoke. Duchovenstvo, ktoré nie je vítané v oblastiach, do ktorých sa plaví, ich reverend informuje o čerstvo nazbieranom mangu, že Morský koník pokračovala na východ a nechala mužov pozorovať tranzit Venuše z mysu.

Obdobie dažďov začína búrkou trvajúcou tri dni. Keď bol ich otec Cornelius uväznený mimo mesta, jeho dcéry obnovili svoj koketný útok na Masona. Prenasledujú jeho a Dixona do observatória, ktoré postavilo Morský koník posádky pred ich odchodom. Mason a Dixon, uväznení vo vnútri observatória ďalšou búrkou, ponúkajú krátke vysvetlenie dôvodov pozorovania tranzitu z rôznych oblastí zemegule.

Úvod epizódy sa vracia do Philadelphie, kde reverend pomocou orrery prednáša o tranzite Venuše a slnečnej paralaxe. V Kapskom Meste sa obloha dosť dlho čistí, aby Mason a Dixon mohli uskutočniť svoje pozorovania. Po kolónii zostupuje niekoľko týždňov podivná chabosť, ale bežné rutiny sa čoskoro obnovia, aj keď Vroomove dcéry nachádzajú nové objekty pre svoju pozornosť. Po niekoľkých mesiacoch Mason a Dixon odchádzajú z Kapského Mesta na palubu HMS Ortuť. Reverend ukončuje epizódu zamyslením sa nad tým, či astronómov po celom svete privádza k ich pozorovaniam niečo iné ako filozofická alebo vedecká túžba.

Kým sa reverend plaví do Britskej Indie, Merkúr je prístavom na ostrove Svätej Heleny, ktorý je znázornený ako surrealistické a pusté miesto. Počas večernej prechádzky, ktorá ich zavedie do vzdialenosti viditeľnosti šibenice ostrova, sa Mason a Dixon stretnú s Lady Florindou, s ktorou si Mason krátko po smrti svojej manželky vyskúšal. V retrospektíve je zachytené ich stretnutie spred roka na obesení Lorda Ferrersa v Londýne predtým, ako sa epizóda skončí predstavením Florindinho snúbenca.

Títo dvaja astronómovia trávia čas s Nevilom Maskelynom, ktorý je na ostrove, aby robil pozorovania, ale trpí chybným vybavením. Napriek politickým a osobným rozdielom oneskorene oslavujú 29. narodeniny Maskelyne. Dixon dostane príkaz vrátiť sa sám do Kapského Mesta, zatiaľ čo Mason sa zmieri so svojimi príkazmi zostať na Svätej Helene. Dva hodiny, jeden, ktorý bol s Maskelyne počas tranzitu, druhý s Masonom a Dixonom, diskutujú o rozdieloch medzi týmito dvoma miestami a konkrétnom správaní titulárnych hrdinov. Epizóda sa končí tým, že Dixon odíde k mysu s hodinami, ktoré predtým uchovával Maskelyne, pričom necháva za sebou Masona a ďalšie hodiny.

Lunárne spojenia a narážky prechádzajú epizódou. Keď bol Dixon preč k mysu, Mason upriamil svoju pozornosť na svoje nové poslanie - pomáhať Maskelyne pri jeho pokusoch stanoviť pozorovania mesačnej vzdialenosti ako preferovaný spôsob získania zemepisnej dĺžky na mori. Znepokojuje ho Maskelynov príbeh o jeho bývalom asistentovi a nevyrovnané a paranoidné správanie šialeného astronóma. Maskelyne je ostražitý pred politickými nepriateľmi doma a sprisahaniami na ostrove, ktoré sa týkajú jeho vymenovania a výhod spojenia s Cliveom z Indie, významnou postavou obchodu s východnou Indiou. Masonova vlastná paranoja a melancholický vosk, keď zostáva na ostrove, dokáže si však zachovať dostatok perspektívy na to, aby sfalšoval lichotivú interpretáciu Maskelynovho horoskopu počas jednej noci popíjania v Maskelynovom obľúbenom bare The Moon.

Táto epizóda hrá relativitu, simultánnosť a konjunkciu. Na vysokom hrebeni Svätej Heleny putuje Mason a pýta sa, či Dixon bezpečne pristál na Mysu a o čom v tej chvíli mohol byť. Ukazuje sa, že Dixon trávi veľa času vyhýbaním sa následkom fascinácie Vroomových dcér s Masonom, ktorý, ako sa v meste hovorí, sa počas svojho pobytu zaplietol so všetkými dcérami, matkou a otrokom na Kapsku. Dixon dokáže zabrániť Corneliusovi Vroomovi, aby ho zastrelil ako náhradu za Masona, a obaja strávia večer v The World's End, Vroomovom miestnom napájadle. Tam Dixon robí pozorovania z prvej ruky o zhýralosti, ktorá preniká Holanďanmi z Kapského Mesta a zamýšľa sa nad dôsledkami pre čiernu populáciu kolónie. Nesie opitého Corneliusa domov a dcéra Gret ho varuje, aby skryla hodiny, ktoré si priniesol so sebou, kvôli súčasnej fascinácii a paranoji ohľadne náročnosti času a fungovania mechanických hodín.

Prvá z troch epizód, ktoré sa striedajú medzi časom Masona na ostrove, ktorý pracoval s frustrovaným a možno šialeným Maskelyne, a jeho rozprávaním udalostí Dixonovi po ich spoločnom návrate do Anglicka. Mason a Maskelyne, ktorých posadnutosť jeho chybnými nástrojmi len narastá, navštevujú strašidelnú Náveternú stranu ostrova na pozorovanie. Maskelyne hovorí Masonovi, ako vojak, ktorého zachránil pred vrhnutím sa z blízkeho útesu, teraz skrýva nádej, že Maskelynovo spojenie s Clive ho dostane z ďalšej služby na bohom opustenom ostrove. Uprostred neutíchajúceho vetra má Mason podozrenie, že vojak je v skutočnosti duch, a duch Masonovej zosnulej manželky Rebeky ho prvýkrát navštívi.

Mason hovorí Dixonovi, ako sa prvýkrát stretol so svojou manželkou Rebekou na festivale valcovania syrov v Randwicku, ale jeho rozprávanie na chvíľu preruší reverendovo publikum, ktoré protestuje proti rozporom s historickými záznamami. Návraty na ostrove Rebeka pokračujú a Mason sa čoskoro s istotou dozvie, že aj Dieter, vojak, je duch a Maskelyneov súkromný prízrak. Uteká na pobrežie a nakupuje transport späť do mesta na palube lode dhow.

Po príchode späť do Jamestownu Masona odkloní Florindin bývalý snúbenec Mournival, ktorý vedie Masona na prehliadke jeho nového podniku, múzea venovaného Jenkinsovu uchu. Mason, predstavený samotným uchom, o ktorom sa hovorí, že má magické vlastnosti splnenia želaní, začne žiadať návrat svojej manželky, ale namiesto toho praje Dixonovi bezpečnú cestu do Svätej Heleny. Dixon neskôr odhalil, že keď bol ešte v Kapskom Meste, krátko pred jeho odchodom sa mu zapáčilo počuť v hlasu vetra Masonove prianie. Títo dvaja premýšľajú o možnostiach a zamýšľajú sa nad možným šialenstvom Maskeylna pri návrate do Anglicka.

Po návrate do Anglicka v júni sa obaja astronómovia rozchádzajú, pričom Dixon odchádza na sever k svojej rodine a Mason otáľa s jeho návštevou. Krátko po ceste domov však Masonov mentor a dobrodinec James Bradley ochorie a zomrie, čo mu prinúti zamyslieť sa nad svojimi začiatkami v astronómii a nad skutočnými okolnosťami jeho dvorenia s Rebekou.

Smrť Bradleyho je témou diskusie v miestnej krčme s názvom „The George“ a otvára diskusiu o konverzii Anglicka na gregoriánsky kalendár v roku 1752 a následných jedenástich dňoch „chýbajúcich“. Veľa sa robí o tom, ako by sa dali preč dni, a o časovom účinku na tých, ktorí v tom čase žili. Diskusia sa postupne rozprúdi a je vedecká a prináša knihe nové územie s odhalením, že Macclesfield prijal káder „ázijských Pygmejov“, aby kolonizovali chýbajúci čas a zachovali časové prúdenie. Pygmeji, uvádza Mason, teraz žijú večne v minulosti, jedenásť dní za zvyškom britskej spoločnosti a v súčasnosti sa im môže občas zdať, že sa pohybujú ako duchovia.

Mason navštívi dom svojho otca a prvýkrát sa nám predstaví s jeho dvoma synmi. Mason sa tiež stretáva s Deliciou Quall, susedkou, ktorá verí, že Mason by sa mal vzdať astronómie, zostať v Anglicku so svojimi synmi, prestať smútiť za Rebekou a oženiť sa s ňou. Prítomný je aj Masonov otec, pekár a dozvedáme sa o jeho počiatočnom opozícii voči Masonovej kariére pri hľadaní hviezd. Mladší Mason prezrádza, že jeho ďalšou destináciou bude pravdepodobne Amerika.

Mason si spomína na svoje začiatky s Rebekou, na jej návrh pre ňu a na svoje nadšenie, že neodmieta jeho profesiu. Odpovedá na otázky svojich synov o Amerike a tamojšom zámere. Potom, v lete 1763, sa vracia do Londýna, aby začal s prípravami na svoju cestu, a má ďalšie krátke stretnutie s Maskelyne, teraz sa vrátil zo Svätej Heleny a čoskoro smeroval do Západnej Indie.

Epizóda sa otvára v Hurworthovom dome Williama Emersona, Dixonovho dlhoročného mentora a bývalého inštruktora. Po krátkom prerušení publika reverenda Cherrycoka diskutujúceho o mágii a obchodných perspektívach v Amerike sa Dixonovi predstaví otec Christopher Maire, jezuitský kňaz a známy z Emersonu. Dixon's early apprenticeship to Emerson is recounted, including Emerson's disappointment that Dixon would choose an earth-bound profession such as surveying, before Maire and Emerson appeal to him to accept the commission in America and to agree to regular contact with the Jesuits regarding the progress of the mission. Dixon is reluctant to become associated with the Jesuits, fearing retaliation, but agrees to consider the idea as the episode closes and all three make their way to Emerson's local pub, The Cudgel and Throck.

At Emerson's local pub, with Maire disguising his Jesuit connections under civilian clothes, the trio discusses a variety of topics including China, Feng Shui, ley lines, and a network of ancient tunnels that lies beneath County Durham. Dixon and Emerson recount various expeditions into the tunnels and offer explanations to their use and meaning. Maire's admission that he has spent time in Italy heightens suspicion of his identity but he quickly deflects it by offering to cook the first pizza in England, a ghastly concoction of tough bread, ketchup brought back from the Cape by Dixon, and stilton cheese.

In a reflection of Mason's recollections in Episode 21, Dixon describes the early days of the courtship and relationship between his father, George, and his mother, Mary. Dixon also dwells on the death of his father several years before and the impact it had on his personal and professional trajectory. While journeying down the Thames River, where he will meet Mason to sign the contract that will send them to America, Dixon and the boat's crew encounter a heavy fog that mystically, but briefly, transports them to the hostile shores of Delaware.

After a year and a half apart, Mason & Dixon meet again in London in 1763. Over ale, Dixon conveys his sympathy for the loss of Bradley and Mason reveals that Bradley had been en route to Plymouth to see them off on their ill-fated first journey aboard the Morský koník. The two consider the prospect of danger in America and wonder whether the work they performed since sending the Royal Society their letter of concern after the attack by the l'Grand in some way smoothed over any doubts about their fitness. The two men indulge in paranoid discussion regarding the reasons Bradley may have wanted to see them, hidden purposes for their new undertaking, as well as the various interests that attach importance to their previous and current endeavors.

Episode 26 The intrepid duo arrive in America and are promptly greeted by the sights, smells, and sounds thereof. The Rev'd Cherrycoke's audience interrupts to discuss the variety of evangelical religions that have sprung up under the ministrations of one MacClenaghan and its reflections on the musical influences of the day. The episode concludes with a demonstration of new musical themes upon a clavier and its effect upon revolutionary impulses.

Visiting an apothecary in Philadelphia, the two men meet Benjamin Franklin, who invites them to a coffee-house, a veritable hot-bed of insurrection and revolutionary talk. There, Dr. Franklin introduces them to Molly and Dolly (women of questionable reputation) and proceeds to quiz Mason on Dixon's association with the Jesuits and Dixon on Mason's association with Bradley and the East India Company. The episode concludes with Franklin ushering the two men into a carriage that will convey them to Virginia and a meeting with one Colonel Washington.

At Mt. Vernon, the two men enjoy a late afternoon drink, snacks, and some marijuana with George Washington. The discussion ranges between Judaism, Chief Pontiac, the demarcation of western lines by the French and British, and the telluric plates left by one Celeron de Bienville in his efforts to claim territory. Upon their return to Philadelphia, they engage Dr. Franklin anew and he speculates on their shared goals and the Sino-Jesuit connection that Franklin and others believe is intent on creating a communications network across the continent.

A brief episode that finds Mason indulging in paranoid worry over the Commissioners of the Boundary Line, their roots in secret organizations, and the size of bugs in America. The episode concludes in an ale-house where Dr. Franklin, in the guise of Poor Richard entertains the crowd with an electric dazzle before rushing outside to capture the power of a fresh thunderstorm.

In late December 1763, the astronomers complete the first of their tasks as assigned by the Commissioners: establish the southernmost limit of the city of Philadelphia. Erecting an observatory near Cedar Street they mark the line of the city, and the latitude they will follow west, as 15 miles south of the city. Dixon, in yet another coffee house, falls into conversation with Dolly over Mason's and Molly's shared melancholic personalities, and a series of puzzling measurements that seem to suggest Pennsylvania is moving by degrees each year.

The duo awake one morning and find the city abuzz with news of the Paxton Boys' massacre of Native Americans at Lancaster, not far from Philadelphia. Reminded of the violence on the Cape, and spooked by the militant attitude of the local citizenry, the two men wonder aloud how they might avoid both Paxtons and Indians during their journey west. The Reverend Cherrycoke and his audience debate the original meaning of 'liberty' and the barbaric treatment of Indians by both the British and Americans before the episode returns to find a highly caffeinated Mason and Dixon discussing the origins of violence in America. Dixon likens the current situation of hide-and-seek from various forces to his own childhood reminiscences of the Jacobite networks in Durham.

A brief opening featuring the Reverend's audience is followed by a lengthy episode centering once more on time and time-keeping devices. Dixon reveals that before their departure from England he was given a chronometer watch by Emerson, the major feature of which is the perpetual motion of its inner workings and the consequent lack of need to wind it. The peculiarities of the watch lead to discussions on Newton's Principia and the laws of motion. Charged with preserving the timepiece by Emerson, Dixon is dismayed when it is swallowed whole by the obsessed R.C., a surveyor linked to a tangent on Mason & Dixon's line. Emerson, informed of the news via a letter which Mason suggests may release Dixon from his obligations, celebrates wildly.

The episode covers a full year of work by the astronomers, opening in January 1764 with the reverberations of the massacre and the attack on Fort Pitt still being felt. Mason & Dixon make their base of operations south of the city near the house of John Harland. There, they erect a new base of observation and proceed to mark off the Tangent Line. The work occasions a discussion of the history of the boundary dispute and various mathematical and political attempts to set the line.

Mason & Dixon make separate journeys to the site of the Lancaster massacre and endure the specter of racial violence and the suspicion of the locals.

The Reverend's audience once more raises objections to his story based on historical facts, while the Rev'd himself maintains that history is preserved not in universal acceptance of one story but in the propagation of different interpretations by novelists, playwrights, and poets. Thus armed, the good Rev'd sets the scene for his reunion with the astronomers in a Philadelphia watering hole known as The India Queen. There, the Reverend encounters locals much concerned with religion since the revelation experienced by one of their members who now wanders the west in an attempt to convert others to his vision.

During a nor'easter, Mason & Dixon seek refuge in an inn called "The India Queen" and discover the presence of Reverend Cherrycoke, who now bears a commission as chaplain of the expedition. Decidedly nonplussed by this revelation, the duo welcome his company and proceed to spend the night at the inn drinking, talking, and observing the variety of clientele brought in by the storm while they enjoy the food of its exiled French chef, Armand Allegre. The next morning, before the assembled guests, Allegre embarks on a recollection of his story, dubbed the Iliad of Inconvenience.

Allegre recounts his long apprenticeship to one of the great chefs in Paris, culminating in his own fame throughout France for his various preparations of duck. His fame brings him to the attention of the Mechanical Duck, the invention of one Jacques de Vaucanson. By reasons not entirely understood, the Duck attains consciousness and an exponential leap in its physical abilities far beyond human ingenuity. Thus imbued, it now holds Allegre responsible for the death of all fellow ducks prepared for the dining room table and demands as payment that he assist the Duck by rescuing another of Vauscanon's automaton, a counterpart duck. Ever-persecuted by the Duck, Allegre flees to America.

Back in the India Queen, Allegre's story is challenged by a Mr. Dimdown, but the potential duel is interrupted by the Duck when Dimdown's sword is flung from his hand by an invisible force. A discussion on the Duck's continued ascent beyond the simple physics of its design and Allegre's wonder at the foods in America eventually turns to serious discussion of Christian rituals of communion versus heathen beliefs about cannibalism. Dimdown and Allegre reconcile over comparisons between the layers of pastry and the layered Damascus steel of Dimdown's blade.

Still trapped by the snow, Mason & Dixon open the episode in a quarrel over Mason's melancholy and its best remedy. While Dixon grows fat eating the baked goods of his amorous object, Mason steadfastly refuses to enjoy sensual delights. When a break in the weather permits their departure, the two ride in separate directions: Mason to the north, and Dixon to the south. Dixon journeys to Virginia where Thomas Jefferson offers a brief history on Virginia's own border.

Six years after Rebekah's passing, Mason journeys north into Manhattan and eventually Long Island where he is nearly attacked by a gang of thieves. He pretends briefly to be French rather than British and ends up avoiding unpleasantness by helping to fix the band's telescope. During the course of his work he and the gang discuss actual slavery versus the virtual slavery of contemporary wage-labor, the lack of colonial representation in the House of Commons, and how the British image of America contrasts with the reality. Leaving the group and headed towards Philadelphia again, Mason begins to sense for the first time how public sentiment in the colonies is shaping the future of the world.

The Reverend's brother-in-law, LeSpark, reveals that he briefly encountered the astronomers in the private ridotto of the iron-monger, slave-holder, and inveterate gambler Lord Lepton. Lepton, who fled England to escape his gambling debts, entertains the surveyors at his private castle in the Pennsylvania country side. With concubines purchased from the Canadian convent the Widows of Christ, Lepton's debauched party takes on a hellish air that unnerves the surveyors and makes them anxious to flee.

Dixon proposes to steal one of Lepton's iron bath tubs as compensation for the twenty pounds he believes were unfairly taken from him during a night of gambling. Using magnetic principles taught to him by Emerson, he and Mason attempt to steal the tub but are distracted first by one of Lepton's servants who reminds them of a previous acquaintance and then by the appearance of a pentacle that unpleasantly connects Lepton to the massacre at Lancaster. They make a hasty departure, having taken on new party members, including an electric ray they presently begin to use as a compass.

After several months of surveying, Mason & Dixon return to Newark. They retrieve their correspondence from the previous months and Mason learns that Maskelyne has been appointed Astronomer Royal, replacing Mason's departed mentor, James Bradley. In typical fashion, Dixon consoles Mason who, despite his common background, had hoped his association with Bradley and the work done on the Transit might make him a candidate for the post.

The episode's epigraph quotes the Reverend on the properties of ley lines and recalls Dixon's own scholarship on the topic under Emerson's guidance as the crew speculates on the effects of placing crystal markers exactly upon these mystical points. Several ax-men, many of Swedish origin, are added to the crew and in April the surveyors begin to move west, dividing north and south and even a house as they go.

The Mechanical Duck continues to follow Allegre and the rest of the crew as they survey west. Allegre proposes that the Duck's obsession with him is tied to its paradoxical evolution, in which it both ascends beyond the realm of limited physical ability and is simultaneously bound to more earthly motivations. Mason inevitably and perhaps subconsciously links the Duck's passage from one world to the next, and Vaucanson's efforts to understand the resulting change, to his own feelings on Rebekah's passing.

A morning revue of the crew occasions an opportunity for Mason & Dixon to hear various grievances and offer solutions. One common complaint is the extortion practiced by the prostitutes following the camp. The episode is extended by negotiations between the camp pimp, Nathanael McLean, and the head girl, Mrs. Eggslap.

A heavy thunderstorm is the backdrop for the first half of the episode, which features the standard bickering between Mason & Dixon and some notes on the drawing of Arcs and Tangents on the line. Ordered to extend the Tangent and Meridian, the crew passes into dairy country and young Nathanael in particular is smitten by one of the plethora of fair milk-maids.

The surveyors continue to draw their line, moving back eastward at the opening of the section but always near the Susquehanna River which serves as a boundary of more than one type. In their efforts to close off the Tangent line they discover some anomalies in previous measurements as well as legal inconsistencies that leave a small "Wedge" of ambiguous territory neither in Maryland or Pennsylvania, creating yet another of the novel's uncharted alternate domains. Two "Chain-men", Darby and Cope, attract some attention for impersonating Mason & Dixon in order to seduce the locals. The chapter closes with the discovery of their subterfuge, Squire Haligast warning that the party will soon encounter "China-men," and the delivery of a package from Maskelyne telling of geographical interferences with measurements that forces Mason to recall the windward side of St. Helena.

As they cross the Susquehanna and the colonist population begins to thin, the camp's retinue grows increasingly large and lengthens behind them. The near-Eden of unspoiled country, mystical and mesmerizing, prompts reflection and some paranoia over the future on the part of the duo. Acknowledging their obligations and the compulsory nature of their work, the two wonder whether they are not being used, each favoring their usual conspiracy: religion and the Jesuits for Mason, commerce and the East India Co. for Dixon. They draw near the Redzinger farm and discover that Peter, the wandering apostle, has returned, claiming Christ has abandoned him. The Reverend and his audience close the episode with speculation on the mathematical shape of heaven and hell.

As fall approaches, Mason and Dixon adopt a habit of exploring local roads for taverns and inns at the end of each day's surveying. The episode's main action takes place in one such locale, The Rabbi of Prague, whose denizens consist of Kabbalistic individuals and whose habits and bearings resemble, among others, those of Popeye and Mr. Spock. Passing the evening in their company, Dixon learns of a local golem created by Native Americans and of theories that the American continent was "discovered" as a result of God's retreat at the dawn of the Enlightenment.

An opening that features the two main characters playing practical jokes on one another is followed by a night of heavy rain and fearful talk of Indian attack and The Black Dog, the latest fearsome-fantastic rumored to stalk the wilderness and a possible stand-in for Cerberus. On September 21, the first day of autumn, Mason & Dixon pass over South Mountain on their way toward Antietam Creek. There, they tour a cave system with spectacular formations and some ancient and undecipherable writings that produce profoundly different reactions in the polar temperaments of the surveyors.

With the summer of surveying drawing to a close, the camp passes over the west branch of Conococheague Creek, a territory claimed by the Black Boys and echoing with their deeds. Turning back East for the winter, the crew pass near the site of General Braddock's defeat some years earlier. The scenery and passing of the seasons moves their thoughts to the past, causing Mason and Dixon to wonder on the relation between this defeat and the treatment of British weavers rebelling against wage reduction by James Wolfe, hero of the Abraham Plains. The episode closes during winter and New Year with sledding, drinking, and discussions of altitude and unbounded space.

An apparent captivity narrative begins, telling of how an unidentified colonial American woman is taken from her farmstead by nonviolent Indians across the Susquehanna River and north to a Jesuit college in Quebec. There, she begins training to become a Widow of Christ, encounters the intricacies of Jesuit telegraphy, and meets a Chinese Feng-shui master.

The captivity narrative continues, and is revealed as a detour of the story by the potentially amorous young cousins, Tenebrae and Ethelmer, who thus far have listened to Cherrycoke's tale, but are now in Ethelmer's room reading passages from The Ghastly Fop, a pulp series. Tenebrae falls asleep after the American Woman and the Chinese Feng-shui master escape the Widows of Christ, and this narrative merges with Cherrycoke's story of Mason & Dixon, where Mason sees an uncanny resemblance between the woman and his departed wife, Rebekah. A discussion of metempsychosis ensues. Mason then has strange dreams of Rebekah, and decides the American Woman is not so like her after all.

Captain Zhang the Chinese Feng-shui master, convinced the party is being tracked by Jesuits, ignites discussion within the company of various conspiracy theories concerning the line. Included are the possibilities that they are being used by Jesuits to rid the earth of Feng-shui (the line being a terrible example of it, according to Zhang), or guided, perhaps magnetically, to secret ore deposits cherished by the Indians and required for the manufacture of ammunition. Captain Zhang's paranoia turns maniacal he becomes convinced he himself is in fact the Jesuit spy until debunked by the other members of the party. Meanwhile, the amorous cousins part unrequited, she having fallen asleep, and the main narrative returns to Cherrycoke's telling.

Mason tells Dixon how he visited the missing eleven days that were canceled when England adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752. He found himself "alone in the material World", without any people, and visited Oxford, finding the city completely empty. He perused the Bodleian Library, and felt that other entities, possibly intelligent, were searching the volumes there.

Early 1766. Mason & Dixon again depart in opposite directions for a winter break, this time Dixon heading north to New York, where he runs into the same gang Mason previously encountered there, though they are now somewhat transformed by revolutionary sentiment. Dimdown, similarly transformed, re-enters and Dixon marvels at the breadth of the movement and the possibility of insurrection, discussing grievances against the crown before engaging in a friendly debate over the quality of American versus British beer.

Mason travels south to Virginia, where he revisits with George Washington in a billiard hall and, much like Dixon in New York, discovers conversation monopolized by pre-revolutionary indignation. Mason is then questioned by Nathanael McLean, a former member of his party turned slothful student, about the repercussions, karmic or otherwise, of the line.

The surveyors return to camp in spring from their respective winter destinations to find it in disarray. An episode involving Captain Shelby, a member of their party, performing a shotgun wedding, including details of the preceding fighting and ensuing partying, is related to them.

Shelby, also a surveyor and possibly unstable, accompanies the party westward and questions Dixon about the line. Dixon and Zhang then converse and arrive at the subject of dragons, whence Dixon relates the long tale of the Lambton Worm, conquered by a returning crusader who, following the battle, broke the oath he swore with God in order to achieve victory—an act that left his family cursed for nine generations. The party discuss and interpret the tale, and Shelby suggests, perhaps menacingly, that the surveyors accompany him to a "serpent mound" whose design can only be appreciated from far above, alluding to Dixon's past with Emerson and the ley-lines.

Shelby takes Mason & Dixon to investigate the "serpent mound", which turns out to be a perfect cone, designed and constructed much in the manner of a Leyden Jar. Shelby insists it is of both Welsh and Native American origin, and that cryptic markings scratched into its side are warnings to the surveyors, who discover their compasses malfunction while in its vicinity. Back in camp with Zhang, they discuss Jesuit machinations and their possible connection to extraterrestrials, in conjunction with a debate over hollow-earth theories. The chapter ends with a humorous episode in which either Death or The Devil, following the party as a "third surveyor", tries to hire a lawyer.

Stig, an axman in the party, is exposed as spy working on behalf of a group Dixon dubs "Swedish Jacobites", who Stig claims descended from the far north and were the first to arrive at Philadelphia, where they lived in peace with the natives, irking the Americans with their claim to the land and thus somehow leading to the boundary dispute and the line. All this is thrown into relief by Stig's own admission he may not even be Swedish, that he may be a mercenary, and that he believes an armed attack against Philadelphia an imminent possibility. Meanwhile, the party continues west Dixon, in discussion with Mason and Zhang, notes the only true difference between the individual colonies, and the expedition is confronted by bushmen.

A brief episode involving Zepho Beck, owner of a farmhouse near the line, who, upon the emergence of the full moon, becomes a were-beaver—leading him to enter into a moonlit tree-felling contest with Stig the axman. Zepho takes a massive lead, only to lose his beaver form mid-contest as a result of a lunar eclipse the astronomers had forgotten was taking place. Gamblers betting on Zepho suggest a lawsuit should be brought against them, could it be proven they knew it would happen. Zhang tells them he knows of just such an incident, and begins to relate the story.

Zhang tells the story of Hsi and Ho, ancient Chinese astronomers, who are forced to flee when they fail to predict an eclipse, embarrassing their master the emperor who should have intimate knowledge of all "divine" occurrences. They escape via flying apparatus, bickering all the while, and crash into the estate of a wealthy lord with a "harem" of nubile daughters, who hires them so he can have foreknowledge of celestial events and gain an advantage in business and war. In one version of the story their neglect of their profession leads him to banish them to the desert in another it leads to his death and their appropriation of his lands, wealth, and daughters.

The surveyors run the line, while Zhang questions the effect of the lost 11 days on the Chinese calendar, and whether it has created inconsistencies and error among all historical time-keeping, leading to discourse on the correct dating of the birth of Christ.

The story carries into 1767, the surveyor's "last year upon the line". First Stig is bizarrely interrogated, and they hear ghosts in the wind, before stumbling upon a barn-raising party where characters including Armand and The Duck resurface. Later they arrive in Cumberland, where they meet Thomas Cresap and his family, hear stories of Cresap's exploits, and discover the town to be essentially lawless and somewhat reminiscent of the wild west, complete with lone sheriff. Mason attempts to converse with a dog, who understands his questions but chooses to ignore him.

The party is joined by a delegation of Indians, who partake in further discussion between the surveyors and Zhang regarding Jesuit methods of forming boundaries. The party is informed by the Indians they will soon reach a mystical "Warrior-Path" they will not be allowed to cross, heralding the end of their journey. The Indians then regale them with tales of an area to the west filled with giant produce and containing a marijuana plant so large its branches support settlements, perhaps as a coded effort to sell the surveyors some of that latter substance. Eventually they are taken there, and discover huge tomatoes and beets, which they reason cannot be God's work and must be the legacy of departed giants.

The surveyors release most of the party, keeping their retinue of Indians and a few others, and continue west with the line, taking a ferry across the Youghiogheny river-lake. The stygian captain of the ferry discusses with them the ghost-fish in the river, his personal tragedies, America's propensity for war, and, to the dismay of the surveyors, points out and makes personal use of the correlation between war and business. The party then ponders what awaits them on the other side.

The Duck, its powers augmented by the negative energy of the line and obsessed with a decoy the party have created and placed upon it, becomes a permanent resident of it. Dixon meanwhile becomes obsessed with infinite westward expansion, and the party approaches the Monongahela River. Meanwhile, two "axmen" are killed by a falling tree. A wide variety of Indian nations take an interest in the party as it passes through their lands, where the surveyors eventually travel upon the "Warrior-Path" amid feuding war-parties. Lastly, Mason & Dixon share a dream of pursuing their path further west.

The surveyors finish the line, and deciding to take their chances, leave the party and cross the "Warrior-Path" in the dead of night to ride to the river, all the while suffering from various ailments and delusions, as well as paranoia they will encounter a similar fate to Edward Braddock. They reach the river and are discovered there by Indians familiar to them, who are returning from scalping Lord Lepton, proving it by displaying his rifle, complete with its menacing and possibly satanic insignia. The party then commences the return journey, heading east amid hardship and difficult weather.

Back in Delaware, the surveyors argue over the significance of the line and its planography while tavern-crawling. They then stay the following year in America, busy with the degree of latitude, chaining a Meridian Line through boggy terrain. Meanwhile, it is intimated that Dixon might prefer to remain in America, and they reflect on their voyages, the commonality of slavery in all their destinations, and the voyage home and what may await them there.

The surveyors complete the meridian line and venture to Baltimore, where Dixon interferes with a slave-driver, first berating him in a tavern before beating him in the street, liberating his slaves, and escaping with Mason, who admires him for his action. They ride north, converse with Zhang, and reach New York, from where they will depart the colonies. Mason is visited again by Rebekah, who presses him upon his duty to her. In New York they are unable to find previous acquaintances, are accosted by a cryptic stranger upon the docks, and set sail.

In an episode conceived in the form of an Italian opera, an alternate, imaginary version of the surveyors' final days in America is relayed where they continue west past the Ohio River, cross the Mississippi, encounter a variety of carnivalesque inhabitants of the interior, and become the first to discover Uranus. Again Dixon wishes to remain, but Mason sees the "new" planet as a ticket to acceptance and a life of ease, so they return east, making all those they met and passed while going west uneasy. In the end Dixon imagines continuing east with the line, and drawing it straight across the Atlantic.

Mason & Dixon return to London, where they decline, for various possible reasons, to accept another assignment together. Dixon is sent to the North Cape, Norway to observe the return Transit of Venus, while Mason is sent to Ireland to do the same. There, he is conscripted into helping deal with a peat-flow, given to temperamental behavior, and visited again by Rebekah. Upon his return to London he argues with Maskelyne, who assures him their office is no longer what it once was, and accepts another assignment to travel to Scotland.

Mason visits Dixon, who is now home from his assignment, on his way North to Scotland. The two friends fish and drink, admitting finally the strength of their relationship without quite putting it into words. Dixon relates to Mason his trip to the North Cape, and claims to have visited the civilization inside the earth, entering through the north pole, one of many openings to a massive hollow chamber with upside-down seas. The episode then concludes with Mason promising to visit again—Dixon being unable to travel, having come down with a case of gout.

Mason meets Samuel Johnson at an inn on the border of Scotland (a meeting dismissed as fictitious by Cherrycoke's audience), and the two discuss Scotland and America, as well as men like Cherrycoke, and Johnson's biographer, James Boswell, who are always "scribbling things down". The brief episode ends with a vision of Mason's later life.

Mason visits Dixon who is recently married and suffering from gout. Dixon laments that the recent death of his mother and the political turbulence in America have forced him to abandon his hopes of emigration, deciding instead to profit from the Britain's growing coal dependency. Mason, himself remarried, confesses that his newborn son unpleasantly resembles his father who has himself remarried a Mary. The Learned English Dog makes another appearance, though he refrains from speech except to declare that he will next visit when the two surveyors are together once again. The two men share a dream of a performance where, in Mason's version, he attempts to introduce Dixon to Bradley, whilst Dixon envisions a duet based on their adventures.

Upon hearing of Dixon's death, Mason and his son Doctor Isaac make a pilgrimage to his grave reminiscent of the journeys the two surveyors previously embarked upon together. The Learned English Dog fails to make a bodily appearance. However, a cat lurks around Dixon's grave with a keen interest in the two Masons. Slipping into senility, Mason finally lets Maskelyne have it, as the two engage in a heated squabble over astrology and the events after Bradley's passing. Mason, now settled in America, is visited by the elderly Benjamin Franklin who is accosted by rantings of Mason's in regards to hidden messages in Bradley's contentious observations. Mason's second wife Mary prays for her husband and returns to England with their younger children, while Doctor Isaac and William, Rebekah's sons, stay in America and see out their father's final days. The story ends as the two brothers reminisce on how they as boys always wished for the day their father would take them to America.

Mason & Dixon was one of the most acclaimed novels of the 1990s. According to Harold Bloom, "Pynchon always has been wildly inventive, and gorgeously funny when he surpasses himself: the marvels of this book are extravagant and unexpected." Bloom has also called the novel "Pynchon’s late masterpiece." [2] John Fowles wrote: "As a fellow-novelist I could only envy it and the culture that permits the creation and success of such intricate masterpieces." In his review for The New York Times Book Review, T. Coraghessan Boyle wrote, "This is the old Pynchon, the true Pynchon, the best Pynchon of all. Mason & Dixon is a groundbreaking book, a book of heart and fire and genius, and there is nothing quite like it in our literature. " [3] New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani said, "It is a book that testifies to [Pynchon's] remarkable powers of invention and his sheer power as a storyteller, a storyteller who this time demonstrates that he can write a novel that is as moving as it is cerebral, as poignant as it is daring." [4]

During a conversation with Leonard Pierce of the A.V. Club, Harold Bloom said, "I don't know what I would choose if I had to select a single work of sublime fiction from the last century. it would probably be Mason & Dixon, if it were a full-scale book, or if it were a short novel it would probably be The Crying of Lot 49. Pynchon has the same relation to fiction, I think, that my friend John Ashbery has to poetry: he is beyond compare." [5]

Pynchon's work is part of the genre evaluated by Amy J. Elias in Sublime Desire: History and Post-1960s Fiction.

Mark Knopfler wrote a song about the book called "Sailing to Philadelphia,” originally performed as a duet with James Taylor.


Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon - First Tasks Upon Arrival

Charles Mason was an astronomer, working at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. Jeremiah Dixon was a skilled surveyor, who had worked with Mason for many years prior to their arrival in Philadelphia in November, 1763. The first task upon arrival was the determination of the exact, absolute location of Philadelphia, as this was the point from which they would begin to survey the north-south line. This line divided the Delmarva Peninsula into the properties of the Penn and Calvert families. Once they completed the job, they started to mark the line running east-west, which divided Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The first result of their work was a point located fifteen miles south of Philadelphia. Next, they started the measurements to the east of that point.


Mason and Dixon

  • They were the subject of a 1997 novel by American author Thomas Pynchon
  • John Bird's fragile Zenith Sector, used for celestial measurements, had to be carried around by the surveyors' team on a mattress
  • Some historians suggest the word Dixie - a historical nickname for the South - derives from Jeremiah Dixon
  • Mark Knopfler's 2000 song Sailing to Philadelphia is about the surveyors
  • Mason has a moon crater named after him

Mason and Dixon began their return journey eastward on 20 October 1767 and later submitted a bill for £3,516.9s - estimated as the equivalent of about £500,000 today. But, according to David Thaler, neither died rich men.

"It was certainly a substantial amount for a world-class scientific effort," he said.

"But it wasn't enough to retire on."

Mason and Dixon are unlikely to have seen their names directly associated with their achievement, as the official report on the survey did not mention them.

The term "Mason-Dixon Line" would become more widely used when the Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820 to allow slave-owning Missouri and free Maine to join the union.

And of course the line's enduring symbolism was firmly established after the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, representing that demarcation between the North and South - and freedom over enslavement.

After the mammoth project was completed, Mason returned to England to work again at the Greenwich Observatory but he ended his days virtually penniless back in America in 1786.

"Many years after the Mason-Dixon line was made, Mason returned to Philadelphia, but became sick during the journey," said John Hopkins, who oversees the burial ground at the city's Christ Church.

"When he got here he knew pretty much that he was close to death, so he wrote to Benjamin Franklin, who he knew, and asked him to give him a place to be buried so he didn't have to burden his wife and family.

"We don't know where he is. If he had a stone it's been lost over time.

"We have a plaque that a bunch of surveyors from around the country paid for with text close to what the inscription might have been at that time."

Dixon returned to County Durham to ply his trade.

"For the last 10 years of his life he did work for Lord Barnard at Raby Castle and surveyed Auckland Castle for the Bishop of Durham," his relative John Dixon said:

"He died at the young age of 45 in 1779. There was no death certificate. We know heɽ been quite a steady drinker through his life and there were rumours he died from pneumonia.

"We presume that after having been put out of the Quakers they reconciled and accepted him back. He is buried in the Quaker burial ground at Staindrop.

"We don't know exactly where he is because it was the convention at that time for Quakers not mark their gravestones."

Find out about musician Mark Knopfler's fascination with Mason and Dixon on Inside Out on BBC1 at 1930 BST on 4 September.


Pozri si video: MasonDixon Line (December 2022).

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