For Tom Stewart 1850 was the year his dream of owning a plantation came to fruition. With the financial help of his brother David, he was able to buy at auction, Cliveden, a 600 acre property at the edge of the Mississippi Delta. Not fully understanding the depth of responsibility that goes with owning and operating a plantation, he has financial difficulties, which leaves him no alternative but to seek further financial assistance from David.
David wealthy in his own right, owns a shipping dock in Biloxi and half interest in a dock in New Orleans. His primary interest is shipping and trade, but occasionally dips into the institution of the slave trade, a necessity for keeping a plantation going. Realizing Tom's disadvantage, David barters for the beautiful black girl, Elizabeth, who works in the kitchen at Cliveden. Wealthy enough to possess any woman freely, what was the underlying force fueling his overwhelming desire for her? Was taking her to his home in Biloxi worth the scrutiny he was put through that almost cost him his life in a duel? Why did her sworn hatred for David change after being offered her freedom?
With the impending civil war over abolishing slavery, both plantation owners and shippers realize there would be a devastating effect on their businesses of growing cotton and tobacco.
With the collapse of plantations and the blockade of southern ports eminent, David turns to Edward Atchison for advise. Edward, his future father-in-law, and prominent figure in New Orleans and wealthy sugar plantation owner in Cuba, advises him to seek the help of an unassuming character in Havana, by the name of Frank. Little did he realize, Frank wielded such immense international connections, stretching from New York, Washington, D.C., Cuba and beyond. Could he be the the solution to one of David's biggest problems?