Susan Schulten is a professor of history at the University of Denver. Her newest book is A History of America in 100 Maps (2018), published by the British Library Press and the University of Chicago Press. She is also the author of Mapping the Nation: History and Cartography in Nineteenth-Century America (2012), which won the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association's Norris and Carol Hundley Award, and The Geographical Imagination in America, 1880–1950 (2001). Her other recent work includes "The Civil War and the Origins of the Colorado Territory," Western Historical Quarterly (spring 2013), which was named the best article in the journal that year. With Elliott Gorn and Randy Roberts she recently edited Constructing the American Past: A Sourcebook of a People's History (2018). She teaches courses on Lincoln, the Civil War and Reconstruction, America at the turn of the century, the history of American ideas and culture, the Great Depression, the Cold War, war and the presidency, and the methods and philosophy of history. Recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship for her research on the history of cartography, she lectures widely on the Civil War, the history of maps, and American history in general. For four years she also contributed to the New York Times "Disunion" series, which commemorated the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. For more information on her newest book, visit www.america100maps.com.
The sectional crisis generated tremendous attention to maps, as both sides raced to gather intelligence for a military conflict. But the crisis also prompted new and creative uses of cartography, particularly in the effort to map the strength of the rebellion. Maps of cotton production and the slave population were designed to assess not just the landscape but also the population and its resources. These maps reveal much about the Union strategy in the secession crisis and the ensuing war, but they also introduced a fundamentally new approach to cartography that flourished thereafter.