President Ulysses S. Grant dispatches Justice Department Special Services Officer, U.S. Marshal J.R. Chance to investigate suspected railroad construction fraud. Chance confronts a ruthless conspiracy that will stop at nothing in its quest to monopolize Union Pacific construction contracts and the lucrative right of way land grants that go with them.
Grasshoppers in Summer examines the conflict between Native American plains tribes and the U.S. westward expansion from 1866 to 1876. It begins with the Fetterman massacre and negotiation of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. That treaty ended Red Cloud's war for control of the Bozeman Trail. President Ulysses S. Grant came to office a year later on a reform platform that included Indian peace policy. Relentless cultural, economic, political and religious pressure frustrated Grant's effort to reform Indian policy.
Credit Mobilier mastermind and mysterious majority shareholder Jake Gelb joins Diamond Jim Trask in a plot to corner the gold market. The post Civil War gold market is severely depressed. Short sellers have driven gold into a secular bear market. Trask reasons that given the limited pool of gold in circulation, well financed investors could acquire positions sufficient to control the market and dictate price.