Joseph Francis Xavier Armagh and his two younger siblings Sean and Mary escape a ship on the harbor of New York. The situation ashore is problematic, jobs are scarce and food equally scarce. Aboard the ship their mother has died from disease, but they have a hope; their father is in Philadelphia awaiting them. The siblings run away, and discovers their father to be dead to, and young teenager Joseph places his siblings in an Orphanage while he himself goes to make money, become rich and get them out of poverty. The first episode follows Joseph for a few years through a series of struggles, and how he starts earning his first dollars and setting off into speculation in oil, together with his new-won friend, the Lebanese Haroun Al-Zieff (later: Harry Seff). The beginnings of a true rags-to-riches-story.