Is the frontier as the existence of free land in the West really a viable cultural concept since reclamation was so prevalent in the east?
During the eighteenth century two very distinct & antithetical visions of reality were nurtured by settlement and growth.
Widespread changes in landscape by coastal engineering
slave labor and
both created literally new land and redirected waters of the early American nation.
ideology of agrarianism
pace of reclamation versus artists and writers who stopped to look
positive returns form reclamation
naturalists most important bequest was to catalog what is now going, gone
Du Pont "the face of the country is changed"
shift in how estuaries and marshes were used
Utilitarianism a theory of how to measure social conditions
Oliver Evans an inventive genius in Philadelphia
Schuylkill river dredge
Health and sanitation
Steam dredges -- pumping and vessel safety
five million population to 32 million in _____ years;
10 is double
20 is quadruple
32 is more than sextuple
Urban growth outpaced the capacity existing institutions and technology to handle silt, garbage, and sanitation.
Agrarianism and Jeffersonian democracy
Articles of Confederation -- public domain -Compromise of 1785
Encouraging settlement, Hamiltonian sale of public domain
Establishment of the Public Domain
Policies promoted the sale of public lands to acquire revenue to fund government.
Western lands were the national government's to sell at auction or grant to veterans.
Tidelands more complex than the land survey system because these are submerged lands and exposed areas depending on the time of the year and the extremity of the tides.
submerged land that lies beneath navigable water bodies is sovereign land
Jefferson's varied ideas include opposition to fishery subsidies in favor of markets and tariffs.
1807, Survey of Coasts was in the Lewis and Clark tradition
1815 -- during the war of 1812-1814; lessons were learned -- it USCS began only to die 1818
1832, Coast Survey was revived
Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury under Jefferson, had a vision of an interconnected "network" for a coastal nation.
Report on the Internal Improvements needed to create the commercial viability of the nation.
conversion of tidal basins due to commerce
Boston constructing the Long Wharf and mill pond
Back Bay fill 1844
Railroads and filling south Cove1861
carts of rubbish and scavengers
regular steamer service on rivers brought people to the mountains and the seashores.
Profound appreciation for the seashoreĞis evident at Nahant, north of Boston.
even marshes were pretty for this visitor of the seashore
The romantic poets and writers developed a preoccupation with nature "unspoiled"
the natural history of the Americas: the geology, botany and zoological portrait of the place.
1765-Florida and the Carolina
wild areas were sanctuaries -- Bartram sees the wilds of Florida as a garden and Adam Seybert saw the northern marshes as a balancing landscape, necessary for creation to function as God intended.
Bartam's extraordinary insights:
timeless scenic qualities
earth to man at creation
unfinished landscapes in need of improved reclamation
frightened by the ocean
John Singleton Copley
Thomas Cole: Mt Desert Island
Cole and a companion visited Maine's coast to paint and capture the ambiance of the place.
Martin Johnson Heade's luminists revealing the play of light and dark
Emerson "nature a wild delight," Essay on Nature
Melville "Water and meditation are wedded."
George Gordon Lord Byron, romantic poet
Byron's Childe HaroldÕs Pilgrimage
Sea's picturesque beauty
Astor and the Critics of industry Washington Irving -- literature of place
Irony of Astor's wealth -- 9/11 site actually
Materialist view of the developing nation --meaning a focus on only commercial measures of the worth of people or land.
Mitchell 1801-1813 The Congressional Dictionary
formative period under-financed and ridiculed
science and protection were partners
Heath Hen protection and preserving the varied fishes of New York
Childe Hassam, Rocks at Mt. Desert Island.
The roots of ecological thinking
John James Audubon
Florida and LA - Newfoundland
Audubon and Bartram
observant naturalists and birds painted in native settings
tropical shoreline vegetation
biological understanding of the estuarine fringe
literature and lore
naturalists part of an ambivalent heritageĞa two-sided way of approaching preservation.
Two pioneers of ecological concepts:
Edmund Ruffin on the North Carolina outer banks
Henry David Thoreau about Massachusetts, Cape Cod
Pioneering species, succession and soil improvement
loblolly pine forests and soil creation
high salinity and oyster reefs
rice spread with malaria
Ruffin as critic of improvements
removal of water affected flood plains downstream
laissez-faire behavior questioned!
Ruffin's depiction for a dredge "tearing" at the land
Thoreau and Cape Cod, 1849
Plains of Nauset , left mid-ground.
Superstitions as to fish declines
Indians and land as palimpsest we erase at our ignorance
Force of the ocean in shaping the landscape
Cape Cod was home to timber, sands, marshes and fisheries
Thoreau had both a
Mystical reverence and scientific eye zonation vegetative association
Poor shad -- "Who hears the fishes when they cry?"
Henry David Thoreau tied to Adam Seybert
Philosophical idealism, transcendentalism and descriptive nature study
Recreation and relax growth of with urbanism
Origins of coastal conservation
Growing sentiment expressed in Marshes of Glynn
Poem explained in terms of the salt grasslands
Peaceful contemplative place poems stanzas -- liberal marshes of Glynn
reveal the "Greatness of God"
Martin Johnson Heade, "Winding RIver." 1863 Oil on Canvas, American.
Heade and Bryant "the picturesque"