Thousands of men and a few women moved into the far western lands at the edge of the Great Lakes in the early eighteenth century. This is a tale of the time: an era marked by political intrigue, commercial exploitation, emerging technology, flourishing eroticism, and pursuit of power. The French had been on the lakes for a hundred and fifty years and the Dutch aristocrats still controlled the political power of the state. But a new world order emerged on the shores of the lakes. Men enjoyed many options, but women's options were limited by the law and customs. Some women, however, achieved their aspirations within the sporting clubs that appeared in the late 17th century and flourished before being banned in 1844. These were the men and women who created the commerce, built the cities, and fostered the lifestyle that became America.