The life of Ethan Aaron Douglas is chronicled as the ten-year-old joins his grandfather for a life on the Chesapeake Bay. With his grandfather as captain of a steamboat traveling between Norfolk, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, the boy learns quickly about life on the water. From hurricanes to blue crabs, life on the Bay changes quickly.
Learning Shakespeare and witnessing a hanging are just part of the life along the river. Ethan Douglas' life brushes past major events in the United States from slavery to the underground railroad and the days leading up to the civil war. How did those who lived along the Potomac deal with active warfare during the War Between the States? Life was always a war on the water with pirates shooting at each other as well as Maryland and Virginia oyster police. Ethan's younger brothers and sisters soon join him as they grow older and become entrepreneurs - and as the nation's capital city grows and changes.
From buyboats to newspapers, the lives of the Douglas family become part of the history of the young nation. Oysters were the 'white gold' of the east while railroads and shipping competed for freight. This book is the first in the series that will tell the story of life in tidewater Chesapeake Bay region from 1850 to 1950.
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A wonderful book that mixes reality and fiction.
It ranks fairly high near the top due to the interesting topic that is delivered in a very unique way.
I really liked the true news stories that the author presented between the fictional story parts.
He really suits the story.
A great first book in this series that combines the reality of actual newspaper stories with the fictional development of a family that might have lived in that time. This area of the United States was very important at the time that immigrants were coming to find a place in this new world and the story really takes the reader back into that era of history.
- Donna Wiebe
- New Mexico Reader