First is a collaboration with Michael Ralph on the history of slave insurance in the US. Most insured slaves were highly skilled, and they were disproportionately urban. They were usually rented to others — especially on Ohio River steamboats, in Virginia coal mines, and in skilled trades in Atlantic port cities. In many ways, what we see on the map is an unfree version of the emerging relationship between life insurance and wage labor in the north. And we know their names.
Second is a new version of my map of world railways, updated with new data and a much-higher-resolution download!