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Date:10/22/2014 7:01:22 AM
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At a town session in the Cabildo, Jackson demanded that the city fathers appropriate funds & materials for defense. He also insisted that the French Creoles, as well as other non-unionists living within the city, be convinced that this is their war, too. Those flames that the English vowed they would subject New Orleans to knew no distinction of race, creed or color.

Jackson deliberated. He could not & would not put up with dissenters. In essence, "Old Hickory" was taking over. That was the way he was used to & that was the way it was to be. Suffering from a bout of malaria contracted in the swamps of Alabama, he was jaundiced, gaunt & haggard, but his determination was as strong as the "old hickory" tree that weathered so many storms it no longer feared the gales.

Mayor Nicholas Girod, who because he was a Frenchman himself, maintained he could convince the French citizens to lend support where needed.

This brought up the subject of Lafitte. Jackson scoffed. Admitting that he had already received a request from Lafitte imploring his attention, he went on to say that he had declined the offer from "that hellish banditti." The soldier was his 40s, had seen war & devastation; had served his State of Tennessee as representative in peace & his country as warrior in times of conflict. He had seen heroes & cowards, he had experienced victory & defeat. But, he refused to pander the whims of a pirate seeking absolution from crimes he should have known better not to commit. "We don't need nor want Lafitte," Jackson summarized. Subject closed.

The corsair, having heard this response from lawyer Grymes, decided to take action into his own hands. Jackson's opinion of him was, no doubt, based on only one source of information. That no good Claiborne. The general needed to hear the truth for himself & for the good of the country. History doesn't know for sure how Lafitte made contact with him; the most colorful story is that he simply barged into the general's headquarters one day at Maspero's warehouse. But made contact he did, sometime around December 17, according to Edwin Adams Davis in Louisiana - A Narrative History. By the time their meeting adjourned, Jackson had completely reshaped his opinion of the buccaneer.

Jackson needed men & he needed ammunition. His army was a frayed militia straight from months of fighting Indians at Mobile &, without pause, were yanked to New Orleans. Tired & without time to re-provision, their powder horns were dry & their flint boxes empty. And no matter how good the musket man, their weapons were useless without flint chip & gunpowder. Twelve thousand British troops were disembarking at Barataria Bay & would not recoil from slingshot. Jackson required firepower of the deadliest kind.

Lafitte had what the general needed. Even though his warehouses had been dissipated at Barataria, he had storehouses-full of both materials as well as armament of all kinds in warehouses hidden throughout the swamps.
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