Thoreau on the Mississippi
Consider this excerpt from 1851 with regard to our opening, how the American Renaissance relates to European Romanticism:
"...the steamboats wooding up, counted the rising cities, gazed on the fresh ruins of Nauvoo ... I saw that this was a Rhine stream of a different Kind; that .. the famous bridges were yet to be thrown over the river; and I felt that this was the heroic age itself, though we know it not, for the hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men."
Compare this to the attitude of Carlyle toward heroes and the common man, for example, or Byron.