Choropleth Map of U.S. Slavery (1860)

Map showing the distribution of slaves in the Southern States

Choropleth Map Depicting Slaves in the Southern U.S. (1860)
Choropleth Map Depicting Slaves in the Southern U.S. (1860) image detail
Date: 1860
Author: A von Steinwehr
Dwnld: Full Size (8.50mb)
Source: Library of Congress
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This map isn't part of any series, but we have other maps of the U.S. South that you might want to check out.

In honor of Juneteenth – and as my (very small) part of an effort to ensure that we in the U.S. never forget our complicity in what was an abominable and evil institution – I present this choropleth map of slaves in the United States in 1860.

Adolph von Steinwehr was a German military officer who emigrated to the U.S., and eventually accepted a commission as a Union General.

He distinguished himself as a geographer and cartographer. Not sure if this map of slave density in the South was an early advertisement of a strong feeling against the institution, but given the little that I know about the backstory, it seems plausible.

Pretty early use of choropleth visualization, all-told... and a good one (data normalized by population, in this case) that many makers of modern-day choropleth maps would do well to emulate.



Map showing the distribution of slaves in the Southern States  wide thumbnail image