Introduction to the Project

This project explores the lives of the residents of two nineteenth century American cities: Alexandria, Virginia in 1860 and Newport, Kentucky in 1870. Alexandria was a commercial city based on slave labor; Newport was an industrial city based on immigrant labor. The project was created by Professor Don DeBats who is a political historian based at Flinders University in Australia and the University of Virginia in the United States. The website allows the user to search for individuals, for social groups, and for businesses; the results of searches are displayed on a map of the city showing the residences of individuals and the location of businesses. The information displayed includes demographic details (age, sex, race) as well as occupation, wealth, religious membership, relationship to slavery (in the case of Alexandria), and, most surprisingly, for both cities, the names of the candidates individuals voted for in elections.

A 19th century voting list