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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