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Date:7/27/2014 10:20:32 PM
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Sam whittles on a stick as you approach him.
Good-day to ye! Ready fer learnin' more about this legend of old? Arrrhh...grab ye a perch and takes to listenin'!


Lafitte's lieutenants were a colorful & leathery lot of stalwarts who managed their own crew & were seasoned veterans of warfare in the sea lanes of the world. These included two former members of Napoleon's navy, Renato Beluche & Dominique Youx. The latter, who it was said adored his bos, was a squarely built, eagle-faced pirate from Santo Domingo known among his peers for his artillery expertise. He had a blistering sense of humor &, it was said, was the only man from whom Lafitte would take sarcasm. There was also Louis Chighizola, whose nose was half gone, slashed from an earlier duel, & the chronically pouting Vincent Gambi. Because the Baratarians lived under a strict "one-for-all, all-for-one" structure of gain, each of these lieutenants upon their return from plundering would equally share with his peers all monies obtained, monies that each lieutenant would then divvy up further among his
respective crew or invest in maintenance of his vessel.

Jean Lafitte would laugh at the talk that his colony would be dismantled. The United States was in its infancy as a nation. It just didn't have the manpower or ships to guard its coastlines.
The Louisana Purchase had just occurred & besides, they were technically not pirates. Being men of the open sea, open to allegiance to whomever patronized them, Lafitte's buccaneers contracted out under "letters of marque" issued by Cartagena, a Spanish republic of Columbia fighting for its independence from the mother country. Because these letters of marque were, by definition, licenses issued by any country or recognized domain to freelance soldiers of fortune allowing them to destroy its enemies' ships by proxy in times of conflict, Lafitte & his crew were, in all actuality, privateers. (Arrgg ye remembers these, they were respected as valid. In fact, the 13 colonies practiced this industry during the American Revolution when they had virtually no navy in which to combat England.)

Lafitte's Baratarians flew the Cartagena flag on their island as well as on their ships just above the crow's nests. In Lafitte's mind this gave them the legal pretext for plundering Spanish shipping along with his letters of marque fer all his men & of course, his brother.
There was one rule Lafitte was adamant about & it was they were never, ever to attack any American shipping. It was his Bible! "Attack American shipping & DIE!" has been quoted over & over again by historians. Lafitte was a practical man & of course, he didn't want the wrath of the United States turned on them. But the other reason was very personal. Lafitte enjoyed the freedom of speech & open opportunities offered here, opportunities that didn't exist in other countries.
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