Through the story of one family, we learn how white settlers moved into the Florida territory, taking it from the natives with false treaties and finally all-out war. The natives in Florida had arrived there not long before, coming to fill the area left by earlier natives who had died off after the first contact with Europeans. Most of the arriving white settlers had been lured there by a federal government anxious to expand its territory. Thus, both sides were newcomers anxious to "take Florida" and found themselves in conflict with each other. Paul Varnes has created a sweeping and believable story of early Florida derived from the experiences of his own ancestors. The characters in Black Creek are based on his family members a generation before those he used for his first novel, Confederate Money.