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xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> Chapter 28: 275-288 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Mason & Dixon

Chapter 28: 275-288

Page 275

Mount Vernon
located here.

Page 276

Gershom
In the novel, this is the Washington's house slave. According to the Bible, Gershom was the firstborn son of Moses and Zipporah. The name appears to mean a sojourner there, which the text argues was a reference to Moses' flight from Egypt; biblical scholars regard the name as being essentially the same as Gershon, and it is Gershom rather than Gershon who is sometimes listed by the Book of Chronicles, as a founder of one of the principal Levite factions... The passage in Exodus concerning Moses and Zipporah reaching an inn, contain four of the most ambiguous and awkward sentences in Biblical text; the text appears to suggest that something, possibly God or an angel, attacks either Gershom or Moses, until a circumcision is carried out by Zipporah on whichever of the two men it was that was being attacked. From WIKI

Pontiac
Pontiac or Obwandiyag (c. 1720 – April 20, 1769), was the Ottawa tribe leader who became famous for his role in Pontiac's Rebellion (1763–1766), an American Indian struggle against the British military occupation of the Great Lakes region following the British and Iroquois victory in the French and Indian War. Historians disagree about Pontiac's importance in the war that bears his name. Nineteenth century accounts portrayed him as the mastermind and leader of the revolt, while some subsequent interpretations have depicted him as a local leader with limited overall influence. From WIKI

Page 277

General Bouquet's Proclamation
Henry Bouquet (1719 – September 2, 1765) was a prominent British Army officer in the French and Indian War and Pontiac's War: Bouquet then moved his army from the Tuscarawas River to the Muskingum River at modern-day Coshocton, Ohio. This placed him in the heart of tribal lands and would allow him to quickly strike the natives' villages if they refused to cooperate. As part of the peace treaty, Bouquet demanded the return of all white captives in exchange for a promise not to destroy the Indian villages or seize any of their land. The return of the captives caused much bitterness among the tribesmen, because many of them had been forcibly adopted into Indian families as small children, and living among the Native Americans had been the only life they remembered. Some 'white Indians' managed to escape back into the native villages; many others were never exchanged. Bouquet was responsible for the return more than 200 white captives to the settlements back east. From WIKI

Mr. Cresap

Cresap was a ferry operator in the disputed territory claimed by both Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Sometime in late October, 1730, Cresap was attacked on his ferry boat by two Pennsylvanians. According to Cresap's Maryland deposition, Cresap and one of his workmen were hailed by the Pennsylvanians and began rowing the two men from the east to the west. Sixty yards into the trip, the Pennsylvanians turned their guns on the Marylanders and a fight ensued with Cresap attempting to use the oars to defend himself. After a short struggle, both Marylanders ended up in the water, holding on to the boat to keep from drowning. The Pennsylvanians tried to force Cresap to let go of the boat, and when Cresap asked if they intended to murder him, one swore that he did. Cresap eventually escaped when the boat drifted to shallow water near a large rock where Cresap was stranded for several hours until rescued by a friendly Indian. From Cresap's War WIKI

as he was not offering his Services out of love for those inexpensive Tokens with which he is synonymous.
From WASTE-L: "the "inexpensive Tokens" line is a reference to a bouquet, as in a compliment or show of praise (i.e. "bouquets and brickbats"). So, Bouquet "was not offering his Services" just for the greater glory of colonial America at all, according to George."

Lord ever Merciful, as in Bengal, sent us a Deliverer
Reference to Robert Clive, Maskelyne's brother-in-law. He effectively conquered Bengal at the Battle of Plassey

Ulster Scots
Refers to a Scottish people who settled in Ireland in the early 17th century and who later migrated to America in the early 18th century. Ulster Scots fought with Williamite forces against the Jacobites in the Williamite War in Ireland (1689-91). Many (Presbyterian) Ulster Scots then migrated to the British Colonies in America. WIKI

Mr. Grenville
George Grenville (14 October 1712 – 13 November 1770), was a British Whig statesman who served in government for the relatively short period of seven years, reaching the position of Prime Minister of Great Britain. He was one of the few prime ministers (others include William Pitt the Younger, Sir Winston Churchill, George Canning, Spencer Percival, and William Gladstone) who never acceded to the peerage. From WIKI

Page 278

Lancaster County Rifles
The Longrifle (or alternately Pennsylvania or "Kentucky" Rifle) is a type of rifle used in early America by both the military and civilians. It is characterized by an unusually long barrel, sometimes more than four feet in length, which is felt to be in large part a unique development of American rifles... Although experts argue the fine points of origin and lineage, it is accepted that the long rifle was the product of German gunsmiths who immigrated to new settlements in Pennsylvania and Virginia as early as the 1740s. From WIKI

Male and Fimble
Fimble is the male plant of hemp, which makes 'Male and Fimble' a rare error. It should be 'Carl and Fimble' - because the female plant is bushier and stronger, it is perversely considered to have male properties, therefore 'Carl' from Kerl (German, a man) while the weaker, early flowering male plant is considered 'female' or Fimble. As a plant breeder, Washington would be well aware of the actual sex of the plants.

Parge 279

Kasha Varnishkies
Kasha varnishkas or kasha varnishkes is a traditional Jewish dish that combines kasha (buckwheat groats) with noodles, typically with bow-tie pasta. From WIKI

Joe Miller
Joe Miller (Joseph or Josias) (1684 - August 16, 1738), English actor, first appears in the cast of Sir Robert Howard's Committee at Drury Lane in 1709 as Teague. Trinculo in The Tempest, the First Grave-digger in Hamlet and Marplot in The Busybody, were among his many favourite parts. He is said to have been a friend of Hogarth. From WIKI

Dismal Swamp Land Company
The Great Dismal Swamp is a marshy area on the Coastal Plain of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina between Norfolk, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina in the United States... George Washington visited the swamp and then formed the Dismal Swamp Land Company in 1763, which proceeded to drain and harvest timber from part of the area. A five-mile (8 km) ditch on the west side of the current refuge there still bears his name. In 1805, the Dismal Swamp Canal began serving as a commercial highway for timber coming out of the swamp. From WIKI

Page 280

mee-shugginah
Mashugana - From Yiddish משוגענער ‎(meshugener) - nonsense, someone who is nuts.

Page 281

Ohio Company
The Ohio Company, formally known as the Ohio Company of Virginia, was a land speculation company organized for the colonization of the Ohio Country. The activities of the company helped to provoke the outbreak of the French and Indian War. From WIKI

Page 282

Bishop-of-Durham Clause

Contextually, The "Bishop-of-Durham Clause" refers to the great powers given to the proprietors of proprietary colonies. From http://www.answers.com/topic/proprietary-colony :

"Proprietary Colonies were grants of land in the form of a charter, or a license to rule, for individuals or groups. They were used to settle areas rapidly with British subjects at the proprietors' expense during the costly settlement years. Also, they could be used by the Crown to repay a debt to, or bestow a favor upon, a highly placed person. Charters replaced the trading company as the dominant settlement device, beginning with Maryland's royal grant in 1632.

The land was titled in the proprietors' name, not the king's. The proprietors could appoint all officials; create courts, hear appeals, and pardon offenders; make laws and issue decrees; raise and command militia; and establish churches, ports, and towns. Proprietors had the opportunity to recoup their investment by collecting quitrents—annual land fees—from the settlers who had purchased land within these colonies. These vast powers were encapsulated in the Bishop of Durham clause, so-called because they were reflective of powers granted to the Lord Bishop of Durham when Scots invaders threatened his northern lands in fourteenth-century England. Proprietary colonies were the predominant form of colony in the seventeenth century, when the Carolinas, the Jerseys, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania were handed down through hereditary proprietorship."

Alphabetical Entry

a likeness... between your Indians West of the Allegheny Ridge... and their Scots beyond Hadrian's Wall

The Bishop of Durham was granted powers in his northern lands in exchange for his defense from hostile Scots (see above, "Bishop of Durham Clause")

the 'Forty-five
See page 232.

Monongahela
The Monongahela River is a river on the Allegheny Plateau in North-Central West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania in the United States. At Pittsburgh, it meets the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River. From WIKI

Glaucon
Glaucon (born circa 445 BC) son of Ariston, was the philosopher Plato's older brother. He is primarily known as a major conversant with Socrates in the Republic, and the questioner during the Allegory of the Cave. He is also referenced briefly in the beginnings of two dialogues of Plato: Parmenides and the Symposium. From WIKI

Page 283

Cilial Excursion
A fluttering of eyelashes.

Pelhams
See page 209.

Page 285

Celeron de Bienville
Pierre-Joseph Céloron de Blainville (also known as Celeron de Bienville, or Céleron or Céloron, etc.) was a French Canadian officer. In 1739-1740 he led a detachment to Louisiana to fight the Chickasaw in the abortive Chickasaw Campaign of 1739. In 1749 he led the 'Lead Plate Expedition' to advance France's territorial claim on the Ohio Valley. From WIKI

Battoe
A bateau or batteau is a shallow-draft, flat-bottomed boat which was used extensively across North America, especially in the colonial period and in the fur trade. It was traditionally pointed at both ends but came in a wide variety of sizes. From WIKI

Page 286

Torpedo
See Alphabetical Entry Torpedo

Page 287

Masonick Password
The exchange between Washington and Dixon is apparently a pre-arranged code by which Freemasons recognize each other. Freemasonry is a secretive fraternity whose regional groupings are classified as lodges. George Washington was a member of a lodge in Virginia. From WIKI

Report ev'rything to the Lodge
The Roman Catholic church opposed Freemasonry from the eighteenth century onwards. Pynchon alludes to this in imparting anti-Jesuit sentiments to Washington and the local Lodge.

Jesuit Telegraph
An anachronism if taken technically: the telegraph didnt appear until the late 18th century, invented by Claude Chappe, who along with his brother, had been educated at what USED to be the Jesuit College (Jesuits were expelled from the university a number of years before).

HOWEVER, the first telegraphs came in the form of optical telegraphs, including the use of smoke signals, beacons or reflected light, which have existed since ancient times. A semaphore network invented by Claude Chappe operated in France from 1792 through 1846. It helped Napoleon enough to be widely imitated in Europe and the U.S. The Prussian system was put into effect in the 1830s. The last commercial semaphore link ceased operation in Sweden in 1880. From WIKI

A friend suggested a name meaning a far writer, telegraph. In 1792, the first messages were successfully sent between Paris and Lille. In 1794 the semaphore line informed Parisians of the capture of Condé-sur-l'Escaut from the Austrians less than an hour after it occurred. Other lines were built, including a line from Paris to Toulon. The system was widely copied by other European states, and was used by Napoleon to coordinate his empire and army. From WIKI

See page 515.

Page 288

Sino-Jesuit
The first missionaries of the Society of Jesus arrived in China in 1565. The Jesuits were men whose vision went far beyond the Macau status quo, priests serving churches on the fringes of a pagan society. They were possessed by a dream - the creation of a Sino-Christian civilization that would match the Roman-Christian civilization of the West. From WIKI

Annotation Index

One:
Latitudes and Departures

1: 5-11, 2: 12-13, 3: 14-29, 4: 30-41, 5: 42-46, 6: 47-57, 7: 58-76, 8: 77-86, 9: 87-93, 10: 94-104, 11: 105-115, 12: 116-124, 13: 125-145, 14: 146-157, 15: 158-166, 16: 167-174, 17: 175-182, 18: 183-189, 19: 190-198, 20: 199-206, 21: 207-214, 22: 215-227, 23: 228-237, 24: 238-245, 25: 245-253


Two:
America

26: 257-265, 27: 266-274, 28: 275-288, 29: 289-295, 30: 296-301, 31: 302-314, 32: 315-326, 33: 327-340, 34: 341-348, 35: 349-361, 36: 362-370, 37: 371-381, 38: 382-390, 39: 391-398, 40: 399-409, 41: 410-421, 42: 422-435, 43: 436-439, 44: 440-447, 45: 448-451, 46: 452-459, 47: 460-465, 48: 466-475, 49: 476-483, 50: 484-490, 51: 491-498, 52: 499-510, 53: 511-524, 54: 525-541, 55: 542-553, 56: 554-561, 57: 562-569, 58: 570-574, 59: 575-584, 60: 585-596, 61: 597-607, 62: 608-617, 63: 618-622, 64: 623-628, 65: 629-632, 66: 633-645, 67: 646-657, 68: 658-664, 69: 665-677, 70: 678-686, 71: 687-693, 72: 694-705, 73: 706-713

Three:
Last Transit

74: 717-732, 75: 733-743, 76: 744-748, 77: 749-757, 78: 758-773

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