Sand Mansions backdrop - In 1876, a close presidential contest was tilted by means of a few stuffed ballot boxes, one of which came from the village of Archer, Florida. That fraud is the departure point for Norman Gilliland's historical novel, Sand Mansions, a remarkable story of carpetbag politics, get-rich-quick schemes, and hasty justice--a story based closely on events that shaped the history of northern Florida and the nation in the years 1876 to 1905. The book tells the story of Nathaniel Larrabee, a young fugitive on his way to the gold fields of North Dakota, who finds himself, instead, in Florida, where he decides to make his fortune. Gilliland uses Larrabee's story to escort his readers through the yellow fever epidemic, the presidential election contest between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford Hayes and the wildly fluctuating economy of the late 19th century. Softcover, 572 pages, 6.75" x 9.6".