As English settlers on ships neared the Carolina coast, the first thing they noticed was the smell. One wrote that it felt like he was in a delicate garden.
Even many miles away from shore, the eastern woodlands smelled sweet. The forests were tall and dense. They stretched from the Atlantic coast all the way west to the Mississippi River. They ran from Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico. Many different animals lived in and around these forests. Thousands of miles of streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes were full of fish.
The American Indians who lived there had plenty. They fished and hunted. They gathered wild foods in the forests. Near rivers, they lived in villages with gardens. The people near the ocean had lots of seafood, like clams and oysters. They were hardly ever hungry.
The forests gave them food and much more. From trees they had firewood. They also used wood and bark for building canoes, houses, weapons, and tools. They could travel far in their canoes on rivers and lakes. The eastern woodlands were indeed a sweet land of plenty.