The Crisis was of the utmost interest in Great Britain, where public opinion was deeply divided regarding whether to recognize the Confederacy. Many were appalled by the continued Southern embrace of slavery, which had long since been abolished in the British Empire. Others argued that the states of the Confederacy were a vital supplier of cotton to British manufacturers. It was feared that a failure to recognize would result in the disruption of this flow of raw material, causing economic disruption and social chaos. In any event, though it was at times a close call, Great Britain never recognized the Confederacy. Nonetheless, the question was very much in the air, and this map would have been of considerable interest to its British audience.
This thematic map depicts the eastern half of the United States and the southern extremes of Canada, terminating at 100° west of London. The most prominent feature is the coloring used to delineate state boundaries, with orange for free and blue for slave states, the latter including the border states of Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri. Symbols indicate arsenals, a smattering of arsenals and forts, and railroads. Also worth noting are the confusion regarding boundaries in the Midwest following the statehood of Minnesota (1858) and Kansas (1861), including a fictive Chippewa in the place of modern-day western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota (For another attempt by Wyld to render Chippewa, see this other map of 1861.) Above and below the main map are insets of the “City of Washington and the District of Columbia,” the Country Round Washington,” “Pensacola Bay and Its Fortifications,” and “Charleston and the Harbour.”
The use of the phrase “Southern Confederate States” in the title has the effect, whether intentional or not is hard to say, of conflating slavery and secession: When viewing the slave states on the map prominently outlined in blue, a British observer could be excused for thinking that they had all seceded. In reality, as of the map’s publication on May 1, 1861, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee had not yet seceded, and Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri were never to secede at all.
Rumsey #1246. Stephenson, Civil War Maps, #19.