Mason and Dixon's Line of Fire

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Familiar history is combined with little-known yet engrossing facts to create an illuminating volume about the Civil War dividing line. St. George ( The Amazing Voyage of the New Orleans ; The Brooklyn Bridge: They Said It Couldn't Be Built ) lays out in lively prose the events and causes that made the line a symbolic landmark of the nation's growth. Thanks to her sound, extensive research, all points are admirably covered--the colonial border dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland; George Washington's military stand to enforce federal laws in a new nation; manifest destiny and the extension of the line westward; and the Civil War and the question of slavery. But the book's true strength lies in the obscure information seamlessly blended with textbook material. The account of Mason and Dixon's actual survey, done over the course of many years and at some peril to their lives, makes for intriguing reading all on its own. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-- A book that will inform those who mistakenly believe that the Mason-Dixon line was created as a dividing line between slave and free states during the Civil War. From 1763 to 1767 two Englishmen, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, were hired by the sixth Lord Baltimore and William Penn's descendants to survey and establish the line between Pennsylvania and Maryland to settle border disputes. During four years of grueling work in hilly, heavily forested country thick with Indians and some cantankerous settlers, Mason and Dixon established the line--which was later extended to the Mississippi River. This work is historically important but a brief story; therefore, St. George expands that coverage to include events such as the American Revolution, the Whiskey Rebellion, the New Madrid earthquake, and the War of 1812. Profusely illustrated with period photographs, it is an attractive offering. Unfortunately, it reads more like a research paper than a children's book. --George Gleason, Department of English, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399222405
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/31/1991
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 20.00 (w) x 20.00 (h) x 20.00 (d)

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