Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Unsung Heroes of Map-Making

Surveying and map making was an important part of westward expansion. In her article, "Which Way Is North?" Judy Rosella Edwards observes, "Genealogists use maps all the time and we trust they are accurate." Her article recounts the early surveying and map-making efforts of Charles Manners and his cohort Joseph Ledlie, who "fixed" the First Guide Meridian and 6th Principal Meridian "so maps would be accurate." She reports, "It is the longest baseline in the United States and . . . was the demarcation line separating slave and free, North and South, during the American Civil War." The article is an opportunity for us to reflect on contributions of those responsible for these maps, large and small that we often take for granted.

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