“Heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation.”
– Captain John Smith
William Wirt captured an enduring scene when he wrote in 1822 from Cedar Park on the Rhode River of a “broad bay animated with vessels in full sail.” The confluence of the Chesapeake Bay to the east and the area’s numerous creeks and four rivers—Severn, South, Rhode, and West—defined the area’s natural and man-made landscape and shaped the lives of those who settled along its shores. Here, the stories of those who relied on the water for survival, whether through sustenance, commerce, or communication, continue to be revealed. Today, those whose livelihoods come chiefly from the water share the rivers and Bay with those who boat for pleasure.