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The First Ward

Overview

Volume One of Richard Sullivan's Trilogy is a sweeping historical novel of the Irish-American grab for power in Buffalo NY in the 19th Century and the personalities involved: newspaper editors, politicians, thugs and innocents.

Newlywed Sam Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, was gifted with a spledid home with servants, as well as a part ownership of the Buffalo Express newspaper by his generous father-in-law, yet the Great American Storyteller would ...

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Overview

Volume One of Richard Sullivan's Trilogy is a sweeping historical novel of the Irish-American grab for power in Buffalo NY in the 19th Century and the personalities involved: newspaper editors, politicians, thugs and innocents.

Newlywed Sam Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, was gifted with a spledid home with servants, as well as a part ownership of the Buffalo Express newspaper by his generous father-in-law, yet the Great American Storyteller would find neither happiness nor success in this unruly city.

When First Ward dock-walloper Fingy Conners' family members all died mysteriously within a single year, he inherited everything, including his father's saloon. Using his saloon as the key, he set out to control labor contracting on Buffalo's docks. So overwhelming was his iron-handed saloon-boss system that within a few years he controlled the entirety of shipping on the Great Lakes, ascending to enormous wealth and power in less than a decade, defrauding voters, installing his own puppet politicians, and dominating the entire Buffalo Police Department. By hiring, paying, feeding, watering and boarding laborers out of his saloons, Conners enslaved thousands of families in Buffalo and all around the Great Lakes in misery and hunger for two decades.

After the Sullivan Brothers were placed in an orphanage by their destitute mother following the death of their Union soldier father in the Civil War, poverty, insecurity and violence infected their lives. John P. Sullivan, the city's powerful First Ward alderman, was installed in that office by Fingy Conners and held it for a quarter century. The brothers grew up with Conners and maintained their troubled alliance with the saloon-boss throughout their lives. Brother James' fortuitous encounter with Mark Twain as a boy, soon after the famous author moved to Buffalo to edit the Buffalo Express newspaper, and the friendship it initiated, would have a remarkable influence on James for the rest of his life. As Detective Sergeant James E. Sullivan of the Buffalo Police Department, Jim lacked his brother's blind ambition, and found himself caught up amid forces he could not surmount. He was compelled to follow the orders of his Sheehan-Conners controlled superiors and to rescue his brother from the endless messes the Alderman created for himself.

Jack White, secret murderer and Boston politician, was Buffalo's most powerful alderman, ever. Posing as a Republican, White helped pave the way for the rise of Democrats Sheehan, Sullivan and Conners. But once he'd served his purpose, his former allies swiftly did away with him.

In the middle of this maelstrom are the Sullivan wives; the Alderman's Annie, who is blinded to what's transpiring around her by the perks she enjoys due to her husband's status, and the Detective's Hannah, who is rewarded with little more an endless stream of grief and frustration for standing by her spouse.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781463636586
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/21/2011
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 573,554
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Sullivan is the great grandson of THE FIRST WARD's protagonist, Detective Sergeant James Sullivan of Buffalo Precinct 7. The author's father was born and raised in the First Ward and brought up his nine children on stories of his youth spent there, which at one time terrified them, but in more recent times, fascinates. Volume 2, titled FINGY CONNERS & THE NEW CENTURY, was released in 2012.
Sullivan is the author of two very successful award-winning Hawaii photo-guidebooks, DRIVING & DISCOVERING OAHU and DRIVING & DISCOVERING MAUI & MOLOKAI, as well as a fitness book for people over 40, titled RECLAIM YOUR YOUTH.
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  • Posted September 1, 2012

    This is a story of the hopes and dreams of young people facing


    This is a story of the hopes and dreams of young people facing the unknown many venture from the homes they knew to come to this new land. One of these was Mary McGrady who crossed the Atlantic to be reunited with her brother in Amsterdam. Arriving at the docks a few days earlier was John Sullivan who had also come from Ireland and on his way to Buffalo for a job. John sees Mary is unaccustomed to live on the docks of New York and feels a kinship with her being they are both form Ireland. He helps her get passage to Amsterdam and he offers to accompany her until she is united with her brother.
    On board the sloop up river these two fall in love and when they dock in Amsterdam they are not only in love but want to marry. John stays on in Amsterdam and finds work as does Mary. Soon their family begins to grow and the family does it's best to make ends meet.
    Throughout the story the author has strategically placed not only historical events but the figures that are key players to the events. This adds truth and authenticity to this story as well as an insight to a place called the First Ward.
    The story is excellently done and the author has taken the reader back in time and made us walk in the footsteps of his ancestor's and maybe our own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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