Arriving from France in the Spring of 1831 on a mission to learn about America and its unique new government, a young Alexis de Tocqueville - future world renowned writer and philosopher - found many things to excite and inspire him, especially in its third largest city, New Orleans. At the time, the Crescent City was the most wide open of America's cities. It was a thriving melting pot teaming with creativity, intrigue, and heavy on personality. Blood was shed nearly every day beneath the huge spreading oaks of City Park. When war came, New Orleans assumed the mantle of largest city in the Confederacy and the Union's Number One Military Target. Secretly accompanying Tocqueville to America was his brother, Hippolyte. In December of 1831, the two accidently separated, never to see each other again. Alexis returned to France and fame as a world renowned social commentator, Hippolyte stayed on in America and accomplished even more in his own way. This is Hippolyte's story. It is also the story of Abraham Lincoln, steamboating, the pirate Jean Lafitte, a slave named Tom Armstrong, a host of other famous American heroes, of the birth of technology, and of America's Civil War. It is also the story of Longfellow, Louisiana, Huey Long, and a love affair so intense it is commemorated in one of America's most famous pieces of classic literature.