Percentage of Slaves by U.S. County, 1860

I find the numbers incredible. South Carolina and Mississippi had more slaves than free citizens!

Census of 1860

In September of 1861, the U.S. Coast Survey published a large map, approximately two feet by three feet, titled a “Map showing the distribution of the slave population of the southern states of the United States.” Based on the population statistics gathered in the 1860 Census, and certified by the superintendent of the Census Office, the map depicted the percentage of the population enslaved in each county. At a glance, the viewer could see the large-scale patterns of the economic system that kept nearly 4 million people in bondage: slavery was concentrated along the Chesapeake Bay and in eastern Virginia; along the South Carolina and Georgia coasts; in a crescent of lands in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi; and most of all, in the Mississippi River Valley. With each county labeled with the exact percentage of people enslaved, the map demanded some closer examination.

Smithsonian: These Maps Reveal How Slavery Expanded Across the United States

(via reddit)

Humans and other animals

Distribution of the slave population of the southern United States, 1860

In 1861, in an attempt to raise money for sick and wounded soldiers, the Census Office produced and sold a map that showed the population distribution of slaves in the southern United States. Based on data from the 1860 census, this map was the Census Office’s first attempt to map population density. — census.gov

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2 thoughts on “Distribution of the slave population of the southern United States, 1860

  1. ‘I find the numbers incredible. South Carolina and Mississippi had more slaves than free citizens! ‘

    That’s why the slave states pushed to get them counted for the purpose of congressional representation while the free states didn’t want blacks counted at all, they compromised at 3/5.

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