|[Federal Land Grants for the Construction of Railroads and Wagon Roads, 1823-1871, snapshot taken from the New York Times article.]|
Released just over a year ago by the team at Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond (Virginia), this "Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States" (1932) is an amazing resource for visualizing American history. According to the website:
Here you will find one of the greatest historical atlases: Charles O. Paullin and John K. Wright's Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, first published in 1932. This digital edition reproduces all of the atlas's nearly 700 maps. Many of these beautiful maps are enhanced here in ways impossible in print, animated to show change over time or made clickable to view the underlying data—remarkable maps produced eight decades ago with the functionality of the twenty-first century.The New York Times noted that the atlas is especially useful in understanding the broad historical patterns and shifts throughout our history. Map images include animation when there are a series of maps over times, and the option to view the original text as well as a relevant blog post or other details (when available). An interesting example of the clicking on the map for more detail is the "Free Negroes, 1810" map. The Charleston District in South Carolina had 1,783 people who were free African Americans (2.8% of the district's total population), and neighboring Colleton District had 211 people were free African Americans (0.8% of the district's total population), while a Effingham County, Georgia only had 1 free African American (I'm always a little surprised there were any in the South).
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