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Date:4/20/2014 1:18:55 PM
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Sam is swabbin' the deck of the Pirate Pearl &
he has worked his way of finishing up right at his perch. Sam leans the mop against the railings & takes his place. With all seriousness he starts his tale once again.

Aye, it was a dark day, a very dark day but Lafitte wasn't a naive dreamer. He always knew the day the walls were first erected at Barataria that an escape plan needed to be in place. And so it was & so it was shared with ALL Baratarians where to go to & how to get there. If ever that day came they knew to re-group on Last Island on Bayou Lafourche, 60 miles west of the Temple. Within a few days the entire community reassembled, hungry, wet, dirty, some bleeding, but alive. And they HATED America.

Jean Lafitte advised them to curb their feelings & with a raised finger reminded them, this was Claiborne's doin' & he weren't the whole nation. There was STILL General Jackson.

Lafitte heard through his friend, Blanque, that Jackson was in Mobile Bay squelching an uprising of Indians there most likely encouraged by the British. Jackson was expected any day to show up to comandeer the defense of New Orleans. The general was a long lanky fella, bone thin. They called him "Old Hickory" because he was hard & tough like a hickory tree. Though he was a gruff character to go toe to toe with, he was known for his straightforwardness & fair play. Lafitte sent word to John Grymes to seek an audience for him when he arrived in New Orleans.

Being very bitter over the country's deceit, Lafitte was determined not to show his feelings in front of his men. He had preached too long about the sanctity of the American ideal to back down now. He was still expecting it to show itself in all its glory. With Barataria smoking in ruins, he knew he could always rebuild. It was not the end of the world. But he needed to prove to his men, & more so, to himself, that there was still a place for them on American shores.

Jackson's arrival on December 2, 1814 brought a sigh of relief to the good people of New Orleans. The army & navy that had been in place at that time, even though was strong enough to rouse out 1,000 pirates, they were not strong enough for the tens of thousands that the British would have sent for a major invasion. (Well-substantiated rumors claimed that a fleet of fifty British warships & 12,000 troops under the command of General Sir Edward Pakenham had left Jamaica & were nearing the Gulf.)
Jackson brought with him only 1,800 men, but he had already contacted other militia units based around Louisiana to expediently join him. An army of 2,000 Kentucky Rifles were hurrying south to meet him.

Immediately, things began to happen. Jackson blockaded all bayous between New Orleans & the Gulf, reassigned customs agents to battle divisions, relayed scouts to check on British movements & established artillery batteries on the outskirts of the city.
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