Henry Sampson and the Great Galveston St
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Om Henry Sampson and the Great Galveston St
Henry Sampson and the Great Galveston Storm is a historic novel set in Galveston, Texas. All the action takes place in the week before and during the infamous 1900 hurricane, although there are flashbacks the famous privateer, Jean Lafitte, and his men as they bury and then protect a treasure. Galveston in 1900 was a booming, fascinating place. Wealth was being accumulated at amazing rates and new businesses and businessmen were pouring into town. Its hotels, one of which sported a five story atrium, were the finest south of St. Louis. It was also a party town. Galveston had more saloons than New Orleans. Whorehouses and society clubs occupied the same block. Politics and race relations were difficult as the post Civil War Republicans (led by a black Galvestonian) reluctantly gave way to a new majority of white politicians. Black and white unions fought over control of the cotton docks where the aptly nicknamed Octopus of the Gulf, the Galveston Wharves Company, monopolized seaborne trade into all of Texas. Jack Johnson, a native Galvestonian, was beginning his legendary boxing career and famous entertainers, such as Lillie Langtry, regularly performed at Galveston's opera house. The 1900 Galveston business and social environment suit Henry Sampson, a somewhat shady (who wasn't) businessman, who has come to Galveston to seek his fortune. And he's well on his way to riches using his loose assemblage of partners, both black and white, to exploit the greed of the Galveston Wharves Company. Henry dreams of the day he will have enough money to join Galveston's upper crust and marry his girlfriend, Molly Banes. Molly is a complex creature, an uncannily accurate fortuneteller who remains unimpressed with what money (in particular Henry's) can buy. Enter three mysterious siblings (two brothers and a sister) who claim to be Lafitte's descendants and who definitely have an interesting map and some of his famous journals. The materials provide substantial clues but not the exact whereabouts of Lafitte's buried treasure. They offer Henry a piece of the fortune in return for his help in finding the treasure and getting it off the Island. While dancing a fine line with the mysterious and ever scarier siblings, Henry tracks down correspondence, meets with heirs, determines changes in the Island's topography, and reexamines Lafitte's journals. His persistence finally pays off and he determines the treasure's location - just as the 1900 hurricane hits the Island.