I'm considering either an Undine or Oread elementalist shifter who is seeking balance and mastery of the four elements. Probably the youngest child, unless that's already taken. The father doted on him, but everyone else in the family considers his ambitions to be frivolous.
Heirloom is a snow-globe of the known world, accentuating the forest, the volcano, and the river.
If you're going to let him have it anyway, why quibble about cost? Either the price tag will be more than he can afford, which is basically saying he can't have it, or he can afford it, and he can recoup the cost in any number of creative ways with effectively infinite wishes.
-Take over the healthcare industry: Charge 5kgp for resurrection services (drive the church out of business!)
-Take over the transportation industry: Charge a reasonable rate for instant shipping of either people or goods.
-Take over the education industry: Give everyone who's willing to pay for it +5 to all mental stats.
1849 America is a thorny time period for racial issues. Will racism, systemic or otherwise, be addressed in this campaign? How does racism, or even slavery for that matter, fit into an America with a wide array of literally different races?