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March 4, 1861

Reynolds's political map of the United States, 1856

Reynolds's political map of the United States, 1856

General map of the United States, 1857

General map of the United States, 1857

Figurative map of Europe, 1866

Figurative map of Europe, 1866

Issued during the presidential election campaign of 1856, Reynolds's political map of the United States, designed to exhibit the comparative area of the free and slave states and the territory open to slavery or freedom by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, pictures famous Western explorer John C. Fremont (1813-1890), the first presidential candidate of the Republican Party, and his running mate, William L. Dayton (1807-1864). The map also compares legislative, economic and population statistics of free and slave states in an attempt to argue against the Kansas-Nebraska Act which had been enacted by Congress in 1854 effectively repealing the 1820 Missouri Compromise. This allowed for the extension of slavery into free territory in the West. Despite gaining thirty-three percent of the popular vote, Fremont lost the election to James Buchanan (1791-1868). Four years later, however, the Republican Party succeeded in electing Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), inaugurated March 4, 1861.

Another representation of the political and economic divides in the United States over slavery prior to the outbreak of armed conflict in April 1861, can be found in Henry D. Rogers; 1857 General map of the United States… which graphically depicts the area of the “free” states (green); “slave-holding” states (red); “states importing slaves” (dark red); and “states exporting slaves” (light red). It is important to note that at the time of the publication (1857) no states had formally seceded and that the growing nation had been wrestling with the issue of slavery even before the enactment of the Missouri Compromise of 1820 which prohibited slavery north of the 36° 30´ latitude line. The intent of the Compromise was to prohibit slavery in the new states as the nation expanded westward.

Published in 1866 from data collected by Charles Joseph Minard, this unique thematic map presents a dramatic comparison of cotton exports from the United States to Europe at the beginning and end of the Civil War. The width of the lines represents the amount of cotton exported which fell from 548,000 tons in 1861 to 26,000 tons only one year later.

Map Citations

Reynolds, William C. Reynolds's political map of the United States, designed to exhibit the comparative area of the free and slave states and the territory open to slavery or freedom by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. New York : Wm. C. Reynolds and J.C. Jones, c1856. 1 map : col. ; 48 x 70 cm.
Catalog record: http://lccn.loc.gov/2003627003

Rogers, Henry D. (Henry Darwin). General map of the United States, showing the area and extent of the free & slave-holding states, and the territories of the Union / engraved by W. & A.K. Johnston, Edinburgh. London : John Murray ; Edinburgh : W. & A.K. Johnston, [1857] 1 map : hand col. ; 31 x 39 cm.
Catalog record: http://lccn.loc.gov/95682125

Minard, Charles Joseph. Carte figurative et approximative des quantités de coton brut importées en Europe en 1858, en 1864 et en 1865 / dressée par Mr. Minard, inspecteur général des ponts et chaussées en retraite ; autog. Regnier et Dourdet, Pge. Ste. Marie 8 (r. du Bac). Paris : [s.n.], 1866. 3 maps on one sheet : col. ; 41 x 36 cm. or smaller, sheet 72 x 113 cm. (2 copies)
Catalog record: http://lccn.loc.gov/99463789