Mapping 1849 and 1854

The mapping of the runaway slave ads in the Telegraph 1849, Standard 1849, and Gazette 1854 shows that runaway activity not only heightened dramatically in a matter of six years, but that most of the activity became more and more concentrated to the Austin area. I created three maps: Slave Destination, Place Captured, and Place of Departure. Telegraph 1849 and Standard 1849 were the only data sets that contained relevant information for the suspected slave destination. Gazette 1854 was the only dataset that contained information for the Place Captured Map, and all three newspaper datasets contained information for the Place of Departure map, with Standard with one entry, Telegraph with four entries, and Gazette with nineteen entries. The concentration of runaway slave activity is indicative of broader geopolitical issues as the country moved chronologically further away from the annexation of Texas into the United States—when Texas was supported by a strong federal government, thus strengthened borders—and closer to the outbreak of the Civil War when the notion of legitimate federal power was being challenged by southern states.

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