Visualizing the Union in 1861

Slate’s history blog, the Vault, has come through again with another incredible primary source from our Civil War. You may remember a couple of weeks ago I shared a Civil War board game. For those Americans who had trouble comprehending the relationship between the federal government and the states, along with the overarching importance of the Constitution, Cincinnati lawyer N. Mendal Shafer created the infographic below in 1861. Notice that all of the states are included. The diagram was clearly intended not only as a primer for schoolchildren, but also as an argument for the preservation of the Union.

It’s an incredible find and one that I will definitely have my students analyze when we get to the Civil War. You can click on the image to expand it, which reveals an incredible amount of detail.


2 thoughts on “Visualizing the Union in 1861

  1. Neil Hamilton


    What an absolutely amazing find!

    Thanks for posting this. Made for a very interesting read.

    Neil Hamilton


Now that you've read the post, share your thoughts.