THE LONGEST LIST OF THE LONGEST
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Who was Jean Laffite?
Presumably born France in 1780, Jean Lafitte or Laffite
had a Sephardi background, the son of a French father and a Spanish mother; he
was raised in a Jewish household after his family had to move from Spain to
French due to activities associated against the Spanish Inquisition.
Married to Christiana Levine, a girl from a Jewish
family in Denmark, Jean Laffite became a businessman before becoming a pirate.
Laffite traveled extensively through various worldwide coastal ports, but more
often to New Orleans an ideal place for practicing pirating with his brother and
eventually winning rewards from British officials to whom he helped to attack
this American port.
Jean Laffite established his own Pirate Kingdom in
Louisiana participating in all kinds of illegal activities including slave
trade. However, in the American War of 1812, Laffite aided the United States and
this action granted him an official pardon for all his pirate crimes, but he had
to leave his Louisiana Kingdom established on Barataria Bay.
Jean Laffite moved to what was then the Mexican
State of Texas and continued his piracy activities in the Gulf of Mexico, taking
over Galveston as his new pirating center. Over time he was ran out of Texas
too, but this time he burned his settlement before taking his brother with him
moving throughout the ports of Central America. In the 1820’s, he established a
New Kingdom in Isla Mujeres, near Yucatan, Mexico, place where he died on an
unconfirmed date between 1821 and 1825.
Contrary to other pirates, Jean Laffite was never
hidden away from the government’s eyes and he always conducted his pirating
activities as any other ordinary business, but unlawfully. Agent in the Spanish
Secret Service for some time while being a pirate, Laffite was known among
common people as the Gentleman Pirate of New Orleans and Prince of the Pirates
between his outlaw colleagues.
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