In the year 1783, as the British surrender to the colonists, Dr. Carlos Morales (Fernando Lamas) is one of many new Americans to rejoice in the victory. But his joy is muted by the impending death of General Victor Darby (Lester Matthews), his benefactor, who raised and educated Morales as though he were his own son. On his deathbed, the general insists that Carlos take over the running of Sangaree, his plantation outside of Savannah. It is a wish that Carlos heartily wishes to avoid carrying out, in part because he can't wholly forget the fact that Sangaree was where his own father toiled as an indentured servant and where aristocratic neighbors still regard him, medical degree or not, as nothing more than an upstart bond-slave; and also because the geeeral's dying wish will put Carlos on a collision course with Nancy Darby (Arlene Dahl), the general's headstrong, British-raised daughter, who expects to control the plantation herself. And sure enough, Nancy and her fiance Harvey Bristol (John Sutton), the son of the wealthy, deeply prejudiced Dr. Bristol (Francis L. Sullivan), do their best to undermine Carlos, challenging her father's will in court and humiliating and belittling him in public at every turn. Carlos prevails, through a mixture of courage, boldness, and good sense, even winning Nancy over, at least in part, but he soon discovers that securing control of Sangaree is only a small battle in the larger war he faces against greed, prejudice and ignorance -- there are pirates to contend with, and the lurking threat of plague, the latter complicated by Dr. Bristol's unaccountabl refusal to allow the inspection of his warehouses. And just as urgent as those larger problems are the lingering vengefulness of Harvey Bristol, who is prepared to kill Carlos by any means at his disposal, and the mysterious machinations of his best friend's wife Martha (Patricia Medina),like Carlos the descendant of a bond-slave; and the enigmatic Frenchman Pagnol (Charles Korvin), who seems to have an agenda of his own that includes piracy.