Map Showing the Distribution of the Slave Population of the Southern States, Edwin Hergesheimer, 1861

Mapping Slavery

During Lincoln’s lifetime, the total number of slaves in the United States climbed from roughly 1.2 million to nearly 4 million. This 1861 map, which was sold to raise funds for sick and injured Union troops during the Civil War, identifies the percentage of the enslaved population in each county throughout the South.

During his presidency Lincoln frequently studied this map, using it to track the progress of U.S. troops during the Civil War.