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(Charles and Jeremiah) Mason and Dixon
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Astronomer
    Charles Mason (April, 1728-October 25, 1786), born in Oakridge Lynch, England
    Jeremiah Dixon (July 27, 1733-January 22, 1779), born in Cockfield, England
    Astronomers and surveyors
    As part of an international effort to gather data to determine the distance from the Earth to the Sun, observed the transit of Venus from the Cape of Good Hope (1761) and Norway (1769)
    Established the boundary lines between the colonies of Pennsylvania (including Delaware) and Maryland (1763-68)
    They were supposed to continue with the border between Pennsylvania and (West) Virginia to the Ohio River, but were unable to complete this part of the job due to conflicts with Native Americans.
    Mason or his descendants lost his original journal from the surveying expedition, which turned up a century later in a trash heap in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
    The border was not called the Mason-Dixon line until 1820.
    The South ended up being called Dixie, but the North did not become Masie.
    They settled a boundary dispute that had occasionally flared into violence, most notably in 1736, when both colonies called out their militias.
    During their stay in the US, they were admitted to the American Philosophic Society, possibly at the invitation of founder Benjamin Franklin.
    A re-survey of the borders by the US Army Engineers praised the 'surprising accuracy' of their original measurements (1849).
    They inspired Thomas Pynchon's critically-praised novel 'Mason & Dixon.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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