river valleys of the Atlantic Shore
seawater moves upriver on flood tides, fresh water moves down on the ebb tides
fishing and hunting were principle uses of tidal areas
Indigenous people had more than a merely economic dependence on the estuaries.
Viking, Basque & Breton fishers journeyed first to the American shores for cod fish
Verrazano charted the Chesapeake, Delaware, and Long Island, New York shores.
Arthur Barlowe favorable reports of Carolina and the Virginia shore 1584.
Henry Hudson, 1609 New York Bay
John Smith, Chesapeake Bay
Optimism, utility & perseverance John Smith's land of opportunity 1614
Nathaniel Butler, 1622 -- "unsound and unhealthy"
Ambivalent attitudes, meaning that colonists had two opposing ideas as to estuarine wetlands and marshes.
but Robert Beverly disagreed and pointed out the necessity of estuaries because of the infestation of damaging ship worms that required fresh water of estuaries for ships to rid themselves of the Teredo worms that drilled into the ship's hulls.
Robert Beverly, Virginia marshes well-stocked with game
pasturage and rice -- agrarian seashore cultures
triangular trade sustained tidewater plantations,
Boston, town cove reclaimed for wharfs and corn mills, for grinding grain
long wharf 1710
water bailiffs -were appointed in Massachusetts
General court granted access 1647 ruling to hunt, fish, clam and harvest tidal marshes.
Baltimore, 1730 -- "high water mark" silted up due to erosion from tobacco planting
New Amsterdam, 1626 -- "good edible fish."
In lower Manhattan was the site of the largest reclamation 1664-1675
Early reclamation -- preindustrial urban landscapes -- enhanced by poor waste disposal and river erosion
Matthew Hale, "a duty to protect" people from ponding of water 1677 --
Count Buffon 1749 equated drainage with progress.
The use of mechanical power to drain, dredge and reclaim (turn wetlands into dryland) marshes
1645 a lade dredger -- Sunderland Harbor application of Boulton's & Watt's steam engine in 1794.
changing the very shapes of . . . tidal shores
Royal Society 1662, dispersed reclamation - engineering educational materials
Seacoast swamps were vast
Thomas Gilpin, Chesapeake & Delaware Canal
A later painting of the canal Gilpin had wanted in the 1700s.
lack of capital & expertise delayed plans for canals
Canals were built in the Carolinas and the north
1793 - the Boston and Lowell canal 1804
Canal building dominated 18th century -- drainage, dredging were seen as improvements
Franklin, promoted practical science for benefit of public commerce and manufactures.
Benjamin Rush, the physician, marshes were unhealthy - causing Yellow fever epidemics
Joseph Priestley in 1772 discovered oxygen; and Linneaus popularized the "economy of nature"
Thomas Malthus commented on the unhealthiness of marshes
1794, Thomas Wright, surgeon
1798, Adam Seybert, aquatic plants made the air healthy
climax -- Seybert's balance of nature. "ere long . . . gifts from heaven"
"physio-chemical necessity of marshes" That means there are chemical and physical reasons to protect estuaries.
Jared Eliot -- soil conservationist -- represented the dominant, reclamationist view; "Product of Skill & Industry"
Coastal reclamation -- image of the garden
"taming and cultivating wild landscapes"