Wednesday, May 26, 2010
A Line We Drew
It reminded me of one of my favorite songs, Sailing to Philadelphia by Mark Knopfler and James Taylor. Or maybe I was just looking for an excuse to work an approximation of the song title into my story!
The song is about Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, the Englishmen who surveyed the boundary line in a border dispute between the British colonies of Maryland and Pennsylvania between 1763 and 1767.
I was born in Virginia, like generations of my maternal ancestors going back to around 1700, but I grew up in Maryland, just to the south of that gold star in the center of the map. The Mason-Dixon line was a term I'd heard in school and elsewhere frequently enough, but always associated it with the Civil War era. North of the line was freedom, south of the line was slavery. It wasn't until I heard this song several years ago that the actual men who surveyed this boundary, nearly 100 years before it became the demarcation line of freedom, piqued my interest.
Have a listen. I wish it was an interesting video. The only other options were live concert performances without James Taylor. Just not the same. So close your eyes and think about Last of the Mohicans, or something. :-)
Note: I've had to initiate comment moderation due to a spam attack. I've always hated spam. Nasty stuff.