Valley of the Shadow
The Eve of War
Fall 1859–Spring 1861

1860 Census and Summaries

Slaveholders and Soil Quality

A significant majority of both slaveholders and nonslaveholders farmed on the best soil. The largest planter and slaveholder in the Augusta GIS data set resided on medium soil and achieved significantly higher productivity than nonslaveholders and slaveholders on the best soil.

Best Soil Medium Soil Worst Soil Totals
# % # % # % # %
0 slaves 476 79.3 71 11.8 53 8.8 600 100.0

The data are based on the GIS of Augusta and Franklin households—maps are derived from a D.H. Davison map of Franklin County, published in 1858, and Jedediah Hotchkiss map of Augusta County, published in 1870 and based on surveys completed “during the war.” The maps have been georeferenced at the Virginia Center for Digital History, using ESRI Arc Info to produce a Geographic Information Systems map and database of households based on U. S. census data from the population, agricultural, and slaveowners schedules.