My Neighbor, Jean Lafitte

jean laffite

There’s a side of me that is a treasure hunter, conspiracy theorist, cryptozoologist, historian and someone who has other varied, weird interests. I often don’t share about them because I don’t want people to think I’m weird and I don’t want to get into arguments. I mean, if you want to have a conversation and consider all possibilities about those things we don’t have proof of and would like to wonder and wander with me, then let’s go. But, if you’re going to argue like you really know that Bigfoot doesn’t exist or that pirate treasure cannot be found, then let’s talk about the weather.

So, now that I’m here in Texas it is incumbent upon me to look into the local legends and local lore. I could talk about how Bigfoot encounters are rampant here in northeast Texas but for now, I’d like to talk about pirates.

I grew up in North Carolina hearing stories of Blackbeard and other pirates who sailed along the Outer Banks. When you are there, you can witness an eerie fog that rolls in at nightfall and you almost expect to see a brigantine or a man o’ war flying the Jolly Roger break through the mist. The Queen Ann’s Revenge sank at Beaufort, NC and there are rumors that you can see Blackbeard’s Lights: a ball of fire as big as a man’s head (Blackbeard was beheaded)  sail back and forth between two points.

I lived for many years in Georgia where pirates still haunt the coast at Savannah and Tybee Island. The place is webbed with underground tunnels for smuggling. It is rumored that Blackbeard buried treasure there.

So, of course, now that I’m near the Texas coast I must find out what pirates sailed the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Well, it seems that Jean Lafitte comes up first. He is most well known for living and working from Louisianna and even joined forces with Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812 fighting in the Battle of New Orleans, becoming a local hero.

Later, however, when his heroic fame became boring to him, he returned to life as a privateer. He stationed himself in Galveston and worked from there until one of his ships attacked a US vessel and Lafitte and his operation became the object of scrutiny. In fabulous pirate fashion, Lafitte burned the town and sailed away to plunder the Spanish Main.

Galveston is in my “neighborhood.” At least, it’s a 2-hour drive which is practically my neighborhood. I must get to know Jean.

I’m reading a book called, “Lafitte the Pirate” by Lyle Saxon. And I will be making a trip to visit his historic home in Galveston as soon as possible!

lafitte

There is a legend that Lafitte buried his treasure somewhere on his property.

Santa, I want a metal detector for Christmas! Is that possible? Please!

Peace out,

Jill

 

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