State Shapes

Tonight I have been watching a How the States Got Their Shapes marathon on H2.

Most of you know that I am fascinated by maps, and especially the history or data behind maps.

The History Channel series is based off of the book How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein.

I have the book around here someplace and really enjoyed digging into it.

The People Behind the Border LInes, Mark Stein, How the States Got Their Shapes TooBack in September I was at the book store and saw a sequel to the original book. How the States Got Their Shapes Too: The People Behind the Border-Lines was a title that definitely caught my eye so I had to take a closer look.

After opening the cover and looking at the table of contents I knew that it was going home with me.

Lone Journey, Roger Williams, Jeanette Eaton, Newbery Honor BookThe first chapter in the book was about Roger Williams and the boundaries of Rhode Island. Since Roger Williams is my 10th Great Grandfather I decided that I needed to see what they had to say about him. I read the first few chapters, but then set the book aside until I took it along with me on my trip to Tokyo earlier this month.

The picture above is from the cover of another book I read about Roger Williams earlier this year. The book is Lone Journey: The Life of Roger Williams by Jeanette Eaton which was a Newbery Honor book in 1945.

Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul, John M. Barry, Separation of Church and State, Rhode IslandYou can also visit my post The American Soul to find out more about Roger Williams.

While watching the show on H2 I also though about other ancestors or family members that lived near state borders or helped influence our countries map in other ways.

I have even lived very close to several state borders and have seen how an invisible line can affect how people think differently just based on what state they live in.

I wonder about how family members who lived on opposite sides of the Iowa/Missouri border during the Civil War looked at things differently. Many of my ancestors were pioneers who moved across the country as land was opened. I wonder how they felt as territories became states and they gained their identities.

A lot to think about 🙂

Now, back to the marathon.



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1 Response to State Shapes

  1. Like you I like maps and atlases. When I was young I was always intrigued by the shapes of the US States especially those with straight lines which were in contrast to the irregular shapes of our own counties in the UK. In 1995 I went on a coach tour of US National Parks and one morning visited the Four Corners monument where four States meet at one intersection and it is possible to be in all of them, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona at the same time by standing in two and reaching down and touching the others! For some silly reason I enjoyed doing that!

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