Saturday, March 20, 2010

Distribution Maps from the 1870 US Census for the Decades 1830 - 1870

My last blog entry discussed the migration of non-native Americans across the United States from 1790 through 1820. I wondered why the maps would include only these years and not the decades from 1830 through 1870. I revisited the website and found a separate map for each census year from 1830 through 1870.

Between the 1790 and 1820 censuses, people are settled in the original 13 states and are slowly moving westward. This movement was represented on four maps printed on one page of the atlas. However, after 1820 people were moving westward at a faster pace as the
United States acquired more territory in North America. Thus, a larger part of today’s US was represented at each successive decade.

By 1830, people in Maine are migrating toward the north such that half the state is well-populated, and people are moving into western Georgia. The panhandle of
Florida is densely populated by this time but the peninsula portion is still sparse. The State of Tennessee is well settled. Not much is changed between 1820 and 1830 in Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Mississippi.

This decade finds people settled in southern
Wisconsin, much of Michigan, Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi. People are beginning to settle in the northern parts of Florida.

The Cherokees were removed from
Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina in late 1838 to Oklahoma. This left the remaining pockets of Indian territory in these states available for settling. This was evident in the 1850 Population map that showed Georgia and Alabama well-populated throughout each state.

A portion of southwestern
Louisiana was a part of the Republic of Texas. On December 29, 1845, Texas became the 28th state in United States. By 1850, people are settled in eastern Texas south of the Red River to the Gulf coast. The states of Louisiana, Missouri and Arkansas are populated throughout each state.

By this census, people in
Texas are settled in areas in the west around San Antonio and north toward Dallas. Most of Iowa and southeastern Minnesota are settled. People have moved into Kansas and Nebraska and are settled in the southeastern part of Nebraska and the northeastern part of Kansas.

I don’t know why
California, Nevada and Utah were not represented in the maps of 1850 and 1860. These states were a part of a territory that included parts of Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico and most of Arizona that was ceded to the United States in 1847. California’s population by 1850 was large enough to be granted statehood. Utah was settled by the Mormons beginning in 1847.

This map shows the continental
United States. Much has changed in the population of the western parts of the US. Coastal California and much of the mountain region in the eastern part of the state are settled. Other western states are populated in small locations mostly along rivers. The Dakotas, Wyoming, Idaho, Arizona, and Montana have very sparse populations.

Minnesota and Wisconsin are well-populated with the exception of the northern portions of each state. The western part of Maine is still sparse according to the 1870 map. People are moving southward in Florida and are settled north of Orlando and a little farther south of Orlando on the Gulf side of the state.

I am very interested in what changes in population the next decade brings.

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