James Richardson Forman was born in 1822 at Halifax, and returned from Scotland in 1854 to oversee the construction of the Nova Scotia Railway, the first publicly owned railway in the British Empire. But did he become a victim of Nova Scotia's venal politics? He had been appointed to his post at the request of Reformer Joseph Howe, but was dismissed from office in 1858 by James W. Johnston, who became Conservative premier of the province in 1857. Two years after he left for a brilliant career in Scotland, it was discovered that most of the reasons for his dismissal were the fault of his second-in-command, who was also Johnston's nephew. From Folly to Fortune examines the unfair treatment Forman received at the hands of his Nova Scotia countrymen, and asks the question if it could have been Forman, and not Sandford Fleming, who would later (in 1867 to 1876) have built Canada's Intercolonial Railway from Nova Scotia to Quebec City, had he been allowed to stay on the project. Jay Underwood is a former Nova Scotia journalist. From Folly to Fortune is the second of his books published by Railfare*DC books, and the fourth of his works on Canadian railway history.