The History of the Dividing Line

Essay by je14High School, 11th grade September 2004

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The History of the Dividing Line is an account of the surveying trip that William Byrd led to draw the boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina. The History of the Dividing Line is a story about the early travelers' journey to America. In this story, Byrd is writing about the early travelers coming to America. The romantic quality of his writing left the History without a greater context until the nineteenth century when the Romantic Movement began. This single text, and its treatment through the ages, represents the perception of the American wilderness as a concept, both at home and abroad, over the span of three centuries. In this essay, I would be discussing the summary of The History of the Dividing Line.

The History of the Dividing Line is based on account from Byrd's journal. It also reveals the dichotomy of his own identity as well as his perception of America and the American wilderness.

When I examined the text, it was possible to see the relationship between Byrd's colonial views of the wilderness and his more progressive appreciation and even celebration of the wilderness. It shows how they present the American idea of trust, which evolved to become a concept where people respect God, each other, and authority.

On March 14, before nine o'clock in the morning, the early travelers were getting packed and ready to go on their journey through the wilderness. The early travelers were weighed down with heavy backpacks on their back. "Besides their luggage at their backs, they were obliged to measure the distance, mark the trees, and clear the way for the surveyors every step they went." There was a moment when they got a chance to relax and enjoy their accomplishments. They were also traveling for a very long time...