USAboundaries: Historical boundaries of the United States, 1629-2000

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This R package lets you map the United States of America (or the colonies that became the United States) on any date from 1629 to 2000. It contains both county and state/territory level polygons.


First, install devtools. Then install this package from GitHub.



The us_boundaries() function takes a date object and returns a spatial object. That spatial object can then be plotted using the sp package.

map <- us_boundaries(as.Date("1840-03-12"))

if(require(sp)) {

Citation and license

The historical data provided in this package is available under the CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 license from John H. Long, et al., Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture, The Newberry Library, Chicago (2010). Please cite that project if you use this package in your research, but I would also appreciate a citation to the R package itself.

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