Adventure, danger, romance-Mifflin W. Gibbs seemed to invite them in his determination to better himself. He staked out considerable success as an entrepreneur and public voice in the American West before moving on to other frontiers. In California, where he had gone to seek his fortune, he was politically active, protesting the poll tax, editing a newspaper, and generally speaking out. After exile in Canada, necessitated by his civil-rights agitation and the political climate, Gibbs returned to the United States in 1869-to Oberlin, Ohio, where he earned a degree in law. Then he went to Little Rock, Arkansas, serving as a judge until his appointment as U.S. Consul to Madagascar in 1897. Shadow and Light offers many historical sidelights-on the underground railroad young Gibbs knew first hand, the abolition movement, the Spanish-American War, and nineteenth-century race relations. Acting always on his concern for what he called "the progress of the race," Gibbs won the support and friendship of leaders as diverse as Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington.