Interactive map: Loss of Indian land
The Vault is Slate's history blog. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @slatevault, and find us on Tumblr. Find out more about what this space is all about here. This interactive map, produced by University of Georgia historian Claudio Saunt to accompany his new book West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776, offers a time-lapse vision of the transfer of Indian land between 1776 and 1887. As blue “Indian homelands” disappear, small red areas appear, indicating the establishment of reservations. The project’s source data is a set of maps produced in 1899 by the Bureau of American Ethnology. While the time-lapse function is the most visually impressive aspect of this interactive, the “source map” option (available on the map's site) offers a deep level of detail. In the site’s “About” section (reachable by clicking on the question mark), Saunt is careful to point out that the westward-moving boundaries could sometimes be vague.
Related: First North Americans