Blog Post 6, Flourish Mapping

Blog Six: Map Using Flourish


My map:


I just wanted to start off by saying that I really enjoyed doing this blog post. I decided to do the data map using Flourish. After loading in all the data I was kind of stuck on what I should explore.


I decided on the question: Where and what was the difference between the population of free nonwhites and of enslaved nonwhites in 1850? Through this topic, I wanted to explore the age distributions along with where these people were located in both of these groups.


The first thing that I discovered by using this map was the overall age and life expectancy of nonwhites in 1850. Most free nonwhites were only living until around 60-70, whereas enslaved nonwhites were living until 70-80. This was probably the most surprising fact for me. I was thinking that this was because of segregation and the total lack of resources for free nonwhites. I’m just inferring but I am assuming that most nonwhites had trouble with finding available medical care and work. Assuming that that is the case, I think that enslaved nonwhites were staying alive longer because, in the end, it’s how their owners made money. It was in their best interest financially to keep the slaves alive. Although that sounds incredibly inhumane it makes sense. The owners wouldn’t want to go out and purchase new slaves when keeping them alive was probably cheaper. 


The next question I explored was the location of nonwhite slaves vs the location of free nonwhites. Obviously, almost all of the slaves were located in the deep south which includes, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Alabama. The more interesting question was where the free nonwhites were located. Through the map, I discovered that most free nonwhites were located in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This was unsurprising. What was surprising was the number of slaves that stayed in the south. A majority of these people were located in New Orleans, and Charleston, South Carolina. I think this might be because they found work or they still had a family there. 


The last thing that I noticed is the age of free nonwhites. Most of these people were young. Most of them were aged 20-40 years old. My only answer to this is that they were born out of slavery years before therefore they were free at this time, 


Overall, I learned a lot from this project and I enjoyed it. 

One thought on “Blog Post 6, Flourish Mapping

  1. I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed this project! Your data map turned out amazing and I really like the different layers of data that appear on the map, it looks very impressive. Your research question is open and I think the data (as represented on the map) highlights some important (and even surprising) elements. I agree that I’m not sure what to make of the higher numbers of elderly enslaved people versus free people. I think your assumptions are on the right track, but I also wonder about the number of people (regardless of status) who did not know their own age and guessed. The second part of your research question yielded results that were generally expected, but at the same time, it is definitely surprising to see the number of free people of color in the South at this point in time.

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