The famous pirate of Jean Laffite.


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.

Jean Laffite

Jean Laffite.

 The famous pirate of Jean Laffite.

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