Published Date : October 9, 2009
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In Destiny’s Children, historian Roger Herst delivers a novel uniting east and west through the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and the convergence of two dramatically dissimilar families. Manchu artillery deserter Wong Po-ching survives execution, escapes to America, and makes his way to California’s Sierra Nevada, where he finds work on the Central Pacific Railroad. Irishman Theo Gallager, superintendent of construction, is a proud man who eschews authority. As a result of their mutual success laying track through the tortuous granite of the high Sierra, the two men are awarded join ownership of a previously worked gold mine and become reluctant partners. Harriet Horn, a transplanted Boston Brahman, and Theo come to Wong’s aid, eventually marry, then along with Wong and his new Chinese wife, form a lasting family bond. Throughout this novel readers are introduced to larger-than-life historical figures, including Leland Stanford and Mark Twain. Scorned immigrants during this hostile era survive to charter a new chapter in California’s destiny.