Boston Public Library
Exhibitions

Expanding the Franchise – Map 1 of 6

Lewis’ Free-Soil, Slavery and Territorial Map of the United States (New York: John Lewis, 1848).
Lewis’ Free-Soil, Slavery and Territorial Map of the United States (New York: John Lewis, 1848).
The war with Mexico changed the country’s contours. Following the war, a major concern was the status of these newly acquired lands – would they be slave or free? And what rights of citizenship would their residents receive? While state boundaries are not shown on the map itself, the presence of state symbols surround the map and underscore its message: Would the tenuous balance of slave and free states, which had held since the country’s founding, continue or be upset as states were carved out of this new territory?

 

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