Slave Population Distribution 1830 and 1860

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Map Code: Ax01975

According to the US 1830 Census, out of a total population of 12,860,702, 15.6 per cent (2,009,043) were slaves. By 1860, the total population had increased to 23,191,875 and, of these, 12.6 per cent (3,953,761) were slaves. In 1830, the slave population was most densely concentrated in the southeastern seaboard, with many communities with slave populations of over 2,000 in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky. By 1860, the slave population distribution showed a marked trend westwards and northwards, with large slave distributions of 2,000 plus now showing in Texas, Florida, Missouri, the Mississippi River Valley, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, and most of Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee. Cotton plantations were a major factor in the slave distribution westwards and northwards, with cotton farming requiring increasing amounts of land and slaves to maximize production and income. The annexation of Texas, the dispossession of the Indian nations of the southeast and the distribution of public lands created more territories for this expansion.

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