11. April 4 – Data Map

For my map, I decided to look at the surrounding counties of the early universities in the United States. I was curious to see how prevalent slavery was in these areas as most colonial universities in the US were built by slaves. I looked at the 9 earliest universities of the US: Harvard, William & Mary, Yale, Rutgers, Columbia, Brown, Penn, Princeton, and Dartmouth. These universities were all completed and operating by 1790, so that was the data set i chose to utilize. I had to research the counties which these universities are located in, and every one except Penn’s was a legally recognized county at that time. Rutgers extends to both York and James City county, so I included both.
My visualization revealed some interesting findings. Harvard’s county, Middlesex, was recorded as having 0 slaves by 1790 (so this may require additional research to prove). There is also a very apparent increase in slave numbers the further south you move down the map. For instance, enslaved peoples recorded numbers increase by over 1000 once you cross the Mason-Dixon line.
What this visualization doesn’t show us, however, is how these counties compare with those nearby. It would have been better to find a way to highlight these counties without removing the others. It also would have been good to see the numbers of enslaved peoples at the time of each universities construction rather than all of them in 1790.

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