The son of a white man and Cherokee slave, Joseph Willis, gains his freedom and swims the mighty Mississippi on a mule.
Driven by three winds...
* a wind of freedom driving him from North Carolina
* a mighty rushing wind compelling him across the Mississippi River into the Louisiana Territory
* a wind of war fueled by slavery
Rooted in a time of tradition and chivalry, Joseph discovers a land of innocence lost.
His life converges with Louisiana contemporaries, including Solomon Northup, James Bowie, William Prince Ford, Edwin Epps, John Murrell, John Audubon, Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba, Jean Lafitte and voodoo queen Marie Laveau, as well as Texas Ranger Jack C. Hays.