Love in a Hopeless Place

Map of Predominating Sex - based on 1870 US Census Data

Map of Predominating Sex – based on 1870 US Census Data


Here is another interesting map.

(Have I said that I like maps? I like maps.)

This 1870 map – based on US census data – is like 150-year-old social analytics.  The darker the shaded area, the greater the disparity between the reported male and female populations of a given area.

It is interesting the questions which arise from what, on the face of it, seems just dry data.

Like why NW Pennsylvania had far fewer women than men at the time.

(Answer: The Pennsylvania oil rush)

Or why there were more women than men in Southern Appalachia and the Deep South.

(Answer: Probably the outfall of men lost during the Civil War, without the steady stream of replacement immigration such as that seen in the North)

No one would be surprised to note that areas along the western frontier were very much a man’s world.

Even more extraordinary (or disturbing) are the things we can infer from that fact, when we really think about it…


This boring old map is actually telling us that in 1870, many male Americans were:

1) Going without sex

2) Having sex with other men

3) Sharing women (including sex workers)

4) Taking partners from unenumerated population groups (such as slaves and indigenous women)


The girls in gingham dresses and sunbonnets were yet to arrive…


#BeforeWeWereWhite #history #maps #HistoryOfSex #AmericanFrontier

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