In July of 1821, the U.S. government dispatched the James Monroe to explore the upper reaches of the western frontier. To complete the journey, the paddlewheel steamboat was loaded with provisions and a cache of 1804 silver dollars. It departed St. Louis, Missouri, never to be heard from again.
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After one hundred fifty years land surveyor Henry Bucotti, dealing with his wife’s abandonment of him and his son, and Tom Kloski, Henry’s employee, are given a clue to the missing steamer’s whereabouts by a farmer using Henry’s services.
But what exactly happened to the James Monroe and its crew? Will Tom’s obsession with finding the steamboat lead Henry and a band of friends to its discovery? Or will Robert, an alcoholic ne’er-do-well, sink the whole project?