In 1984, the author and a group of his archaeology students discovered fragments of Chinese porcelain at the site of a Pomo Indian village on the Mendocino coast north of San Francisco. How did these hundred year old ceramics find their way to this remote area? And what of the local legend that told of Pomo women wearing Chinese silk shawls in the 1850s? In seeking the answers to these questions, The Voyage of the 'Frolic' navigates a journey through the lives of nineteenth-century Boston merchants, Baltimore shipbuilders, Bombay opium brokers, newly rich businessmen in gold rush San Francisco, and a woman who burned her father's papers in 1942 in an attempt to conceal the truth about his voyages as captain of the 'Frolic' almost a century before. A truly fascinating picture of the politics, finance and logistics of the nineteenth century opium trade.