Shades of slavery (circa 1861)

According to Gareth Cook’s fascinating essay on the history of “infographics,” this was President’s Lincoln favorite map. Here is the opening paragraph of Mr Cook’s essay (emphasis ours):

Near the end of 1861, with the American Union crumbling, President Abraham Lincoln became obsessed with an unusual document. Nearly three feet in length, it appeared at first to be a map of the southern states. But it was covered with finely rendered shading, with the darkness of each county reflecting the number of slaves who lived there. South Carolina, the first to secede from the Union, featured a particularly dark coastline. Yet other parts of the South (like western Virginia) appeared as islands of lightness.

By the way, is the word “infographic” a useful or helpful term? Isn’t every map or image an “infographic” to a lesser or greater extent, depending on the purpose of the person who created it?

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