Tag Archives: history

Stolen Native Lands or the Invasion of America Map

2 Feb


How the United States took over an eighth of the world

While executive orders are all the rage, this map shows how the US stole Native land, often by executive order. In one of Trump’s first acts as president, putting his views of Native Americans and the oil/gas industry in plain view, he carried on this tradition and signed an Executive Order to move the Dakota Access Pipeline forward.

While everything below the Allegheny was “seized by colonists before 1776,” anything North of the Allegheny was taken from the Six Nations of New York from a treaty in 1784. If you go to the map, you can turn on a layer of the source maps, as well as click on an area and find a direct link to things like: the related treaty, description of the tract, and the source map.

“In the 1850s, US presidents began using a second legal instrument to secure land, the executive order, and this prerogative grew in importance after 1871, when the federal government unilaterally stopped making treaties with native peoples. The power of the president to seize land by executive order may appear contrary to the sanctity of private property, one of the great legacies of the American Revolution, but white Americans never set Indian land title on the same footing as their own. Nor did they recognize the irony of their presumptions.”

Check out this incredible map here. It truly is an amazing map.



Labor History Sites from Fight Back Pittsburgh

2 Nov


A nicely designed map of labor history overlaid on an antique map.

Strikes, Unions, abolition – “the cradle of the American labor movement” -it’s all here in an easy to use interface.

Dig in, you’ll need a minute.


Mapping inequality – Redlining in New Deal America

2 Nov


Fantastic! Fascinating! Sad! Enlightening!

This has been making the rounds on the internet, but it’s definitely worth digging in to. This is bigly important in understanding institutional racism, classism, and xenophobia.

I’ll just let the creators of the map and website explain:

Mapping Inequality updates the study of New Deal America, the federal government, housing, and inequality for the twenty-first century. It offers unprecedented online access to the national collection of “security maps” and area descriptions produced between 1935 and 1940 by one of the New Deal’s most important agencies, the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation or HOLC (pronounced “holk”).

HOLC recruited mortgage lenders, developers, and real estate appraisers in nearly 250 cities to create maps that color-coded credit worthiness and risk on neighborhood and metropolitan levels. These maps and their accompanying documentation helped set the rules for nearly a century of real estate practice…

Through offering a digital library of the state’s role in housing development, Mapping Inequality illustrates vividly the interplay between racism, administrative culture, economics, and the built environment.

Check out Pittsburgh’s map here

Colonial survey of the land south of Coal Hill (Mount Washington), 1769

30 Jan
This map traces the path of Saw Mill Run creek from the Monongahela River to a point near present-day Whited Street. Click to make BIG.

Found this on a cute site dedicated to the history of Brookline.

In 1769, John Penn ordered the first official survey of a 5000 acre tract of land around Fort Pitt. This included the Golden Triangle, the North Side, Mount Washington and a portion of the South Hills along Saw Mill Run Creek.

The map itself lists the boundaries of the territory as “beginning at a marked Spanish Oak standing on the South side of the Monongahela River Thence South 800 perches to a marked Hickory thence West 150 perches to a marked White Oak, thence N 35 W144 perches to a marked White Oak”…and on and on.  So cool.

The page where this map comes from features the original survey maps of the South Hills.

Despite looking like it’s from the days of internet past, complete with waving American flag gifs, it’s a really cool, informative site featuring everything you never thought you needed to know about Brookline.


Plan of Ft Duquesne, 1846

17 Dec


Click to make BIG

The British Library just released a million images on flickr that are now in the public domain.  This gem of a map was on it, as well as a bunch of other old images from Pittsburgh.

This one is taken from a book entitled, Early history of western Pennsylvania, and of the West, and of western expeditions and campaigns, 1846.

I can’t quite figure out what’s going on in the map, as it appears the confluence is of the Mon and the Ohio.

General Map of the Pittsburgh District – a dot = 200 persons

23 Nov


Click to make BIG

Not sure when this was made, mid 1800s? It looks like it was created by Fredrick Law Olmstead’s planning company, who you may know from such places as Central Park, as well as the town of Vandergrift.

A dot = 200 people.

Interactive Pittsburgh Historic Maps and Places, 1835 to present

22 Nov


The Historic Pittsburgh site comes in handy once again.  This interactive map allows viewers to inspect an area of old plat maps and satellite images, and using a slider, view what it looks like through the years.  For instance, you can zoom in on your street, and then see how it’s changed over time. You’ll be able to narrow down when your house was built, and even see if your street had a different name. In addition, using data from the National Registry of Historic places, you can research the history of specific buildings, then see how the neighborhood changed around it.

A+ site.  Check it out!

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