The forest which covers it, consisting chiefly [of] trees that live in excessive moisture, is now decayed and death struck, by the partial draining of the swamp into the great ditch of the canal. ...In spots, where destruction had been riotous, the lanterns showed perhaps a hundred trunks, erect, half overthrown, extended along the ground, resting on their shattered limbs, or tossing them desperately into the darkness, but all of one ashey-white, all naked together, in desolate confusion...The scene was ghost-like -- the very land of unsubstantial things, whither dreams might betake themselves, when they quit the slumberer's brain.

Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Canal Boat
A Description of the Erie Canal
December 1835

Posted by sullivan at 01:21 PM | Comments (0)

Ode to a Chosen People

Indeed to see a forest tree, which had withstood the elements till it attained maturity, torn up by its roots, and bending itself to the earth, in obedience to the command of man, is a spectacle that must awaken feelings of gratitutde to that Being, who has bestowed on his creatures so much power and wisdom.

Cadwallader D. Colden
Grandson of the Canal Visionary

Posted by sullivan at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)

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