"For the first time it occurred to me this afternoon what a piece of wonder a river is.-A huge volume of matter ceaselessly rolling through the fields and meadows of this substantial earth making haste from the high places, by stable dwellings of men and Egyptian pyramids, to its restless reservoir. One would think that, by a very natural impulse, the dwellers upon the headwaters of the Mississippi and Amazon would follow in the trail of their waters to see the end of the matter." -Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 1838
"Rivers must have been the guides which conducted the footsteps of the first travellers. They are the constant lure, when they flow by our doors, to distant enterprise and adventure, and, by a natural impulse, the dwellers on their banks will at length accompany their currents to the lowlands of the globe, or explore at their invitation the interior of continents. They are the natural highways of all nations, not only levelling the ground, and removing obstacles from the path of the traveller, quenching his thirst, and bearing him on their bosoms, but conducting him through the most interesting scenery, the most populous portions of the globe, and where the animal and vegetable kingdoms attain their greatest perfection."
-Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, 1849