The Mason-Dixon Line: The Stories Behind a Geographic Boundary
The Mason-Dixon Line is seen by many as a symbolic dividing line for regional attitudes and customs. Because of a bitter territorial dispute over royal land grants, the Mason-Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 to settle the boundaries for Pennsylvania and Maryland.
After 1820, when the Missouri Compromise created political conditions which made the line important to the history of slavery, it became associated with the division between the free and slave states.
This program seeks to generate a discussion about how, centuries later, the Mason-Dixon still holds our imagination as a geographic boundary that is also a dividing point for political, social and cultural values.
Mike Dixon is an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware and other area colleges where he concentrates on social history with a focus on mass media and criminal justice. He is the historian for Town of Elkton and The Historical Society of Cecil County, and he has provided start-up leadership in the development of a 62-acre living history museum in Cecil County. Mike received his M.A. in history from Washington College, his M.S. in Training and Organizational Development from St. Joseph’s University, and his B.A. in Behavioral Science from Wilmington College.