The Survey of the Mason Dixon Line.
Detailed regional map of the Chesapeake and contiguous parts of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, showing the results of Mason & Dixon's survey of the boundaries between Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Following a dispute of nearly 100 years, the Penn and Calvert (Lord Baltimore) families finally settled their dispute over the boundary between the two colonies in the mid 18th Century. Initial attempts to employ local surveyors failed to produce a satisfactory map, which led to the employment of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, to travel to America to lay down a proper survey. The survey resulted in a two sheet manuscript map, of which this is a reduced version of the Eastern sheet.
The map first appeared in the Transactions of the Royal Philosophical Society in early 1769 and was later re-issued in the November 1769 edition of the Gentlemans Magazine.
The Gentleman’s Magazine was a British publication that helped to normalize the use of maps in support of articles and features. It was founded in 1731 by the prominent London publisher Edward Cave, a pioneer in periodical journalism. The magazine continued in print for nearly two centuries, shuttering production in 1922.
This was the publication which first used the word “magazine”, from the French for storehouse. Cave wanted to create a storehouse of knowledge and he employed some of London’s best writers to fill his pages: Samuel Johnson gained his first regular employment by writing for the Gentleman’s Magazine. Other famous contributors included Jonathan Swift.
The publication covered a broad range of topics, from literature to politics, and, from 1739, frequently used maps as illustrations. The first map they printed was a woodcut of Crimea; the second was a fold-out map of Ukraine by Emanuel Bowen. Maps were used to show battle lines, to chronicle voyages, and to educate about areas with which Britain traded. Certain geographers, like Thomas Jefferys, contributed several maps to the publication.