James is delivering a cargo to the Southern states of America but the Civil War is raging and the North are blockading ports. With him are Anne, who dislikes the idea of helping slave-owning states to profit, and Albert. A nervous pilot is not keen to run the blockade so James decides to run it himself. He is captured by Captain Ferguson, a Northern captain but fortunately for him Ferguson has a great enthusiasm for steam-ships, and, impressed by Albert's plans for a new steam vessel, the 'Golden Nugget', not only allows James to go about his business but defects to join Albert.
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