Original Author: E. Hergesheimer, mapmaker; C. B. Graham, lithographer; Library of Virginia overlay
Created: 1861; twenty-first century overlay
Medium: Lithographed map with overlay
Delegates Who Voted for and Against Secession on April 17, 1861
The dots on this map indicate the votes cast on April 17, 1861, by delegates to the Virginia Convention of 1861 on the question of whether Virginia should secede. Yellow dots indicate an affirmative vote, blue dots a negative vote. The Library of Virginia placed the overlay of dots on an 1861 map that charted the number of slaves in Virginia on the eve of the Civil War. The population numbers for the 1861 map were based on the federal census figures of 1860, which contained the last official count of enslaved African Americans in the United States. The map, created by the United States Coast Survey, made use of shading to indicate the density of the slave population in each county—the darker the county, the more slaves it contained. A breakdown of the precise numbers of whites and slaves in each county, as well as the percentage of the population that was enslaved, is shown in the table at left.
The dots indicate a pattern of voting at the convention, with delegates from counties with the heaviest concentration of slaves generally voting for secession, while delegates from counties with fewer slaves (particularly western Virginia) voting against secession.