The Mystery of the Final Years of Jean Lafitte 

There are many stories about what happened to Lafitte and where he died. According to one account, published in 1885, The Historical Guide to New Orleans, Jean Lafitte died of sickness on the island of Mugeres, off the Yucatan, in 1826.



Woodblock print of the death of Jean Lafitte from The Pirates Own Book, published in 1837. According to this account, Jean died after being boarded by the British. In this account, Jean Lafitte, was born at St. Maloes in France, in 1781, and went to sea at the age of thirteen; after several voyages in Europe, and to the coast of Africa, he was appointed mate of a French East Indiaman, bound for Madras. After a quarrel with the captain, he left and became captain of a pirate vessel, which commandeered the English East India Company Pagoda, before going to New Orleans.


According to another account, Jean Lafitte was killed upon the General Santander, an armed private vessel in the service of Columbia, on Feb. 5, 1823, at the age of 41. In the Gulf of Honduras, the General Santander encountered two Spanish privateers or warships, and was mortally wounded in a brief battle with the vessels and buried at sea . By this time. Columbia and other Latin American countries stopped issuing letters of marque as they were at peace with Spain and pirates were hunted down by American and British squadrons . Pierre died of illness in 1821 in Mexico and was buried in the town of Dzilam de Bravo in the Yucatan. There is a monument to Jean Lafitte in the town today. Dominique You gave up privateering in 1823 and settled in New Orleans. By the time he died in 1830, he was destitute and was buried by the city with a military funeral at  St. Louis Number 2 Cemetery.


According to Lafitte's Journal ( which many believe to be a hoax, claimed to have been found by a great grand son of Lafitte) written by Lafitte himself in 1851, he took the name John Lafflin and died in St. Louis in his 70s.


Lafitte's Treasure 




From 1817 to 1822 the famous pirate Jean LaFitte made Galveston, Texas his home and headquarters for a colorful band of "privateers." He called the island, Campeche. LaFitte and his captains raided merchant ships in the Gulf of Mexico and it is believed by many he left a large treasure behind when he left .




After Lafitte's death, stories of Lafitte's buried treasure grew on the Louisiana and Texas coast . When the brothers left Galveston, they had little more than their three ships .They were said to have made caches of their loot in many different places before they were forced to leave Galveston. The  Calcasieu and Mermentau Rivers were used by Lafitte, according to a slave many caches were made here . There are also stories of  a large cache at the Sabine river near a grove of gum tress, about 3 miles east of the Old Spanish Trail. Coins from the era are found from time to time on Grand Terre, which is accessible only by boat . In 1915 in New Orleans a worker uncovered a chest filled with more than 1,500 doubloons . In Gretna in 1960, across the river from New Orleans, a large number of gold coins were found in an area frequented by Lafitte and his men .According to another story, Laffite buried a large cache on an unnamed island in Lake Borgne .


Dominique You's Grave 

 The tomb of Dominique You (1775-1830) Laffite's half brother who provided great service as an artillerist in the American line at the Battle of New Orleans . You's tomb is located at New Orleans St. Louis Number 2 Cemetery .

 The controversy of Laffite's Journal


In 1948, John Andrechyne Laflin, who claimed to be a great grandson of Laffite, claimed he inherited a trunk containing a journal written by Laffite himself . According to the journal, Laffite retired in the St. Louis area and changed his name to John Laflin, married a woman named  Emma Mortimer, had children  and died in 1854 around the age of 70 . The paper of ink were determined to be of the period by the Library of Congress, but is felt to be a forgery by John Laflin himself due to the handwriting and Laflin's connection to other forgeries . It has not definitely been determined if it is a hoax or not. Perhaps they can obtain some dna from Dominique You tomb above and compare it to relatives of Laflin .

 Lafitte Links


 Jean Lafitte National Historical

Park and Preserve


Searching for Laffite the Pirate


Lafitte, The Louisiana pirate and patriot

Louisiana Historical Society



Pier 21 Theater shows a short film on Lafitte

History and things to do in Grand Isle, LA, an island next

to Laffite's base at Grand Terre


Wikipedia entry on Jean Lafitte

Lafitte sailed under the flag of the new

Mexican Republic at Galveston




 Jean Laffite sailed under letters of marque from

Gran Colombia, where Simon Bolivar was president .


 Other historical Links


Franco Prussian War 1870-71


Sino Japanese War War between China and

Japan over Korea1894-5


Taping Rebellion  

The rebellion that almost toppled the Qing Dynasty, lead

by the younger brother of Christ


Persian Empire  History of the Persian Empires


Sino-Vietnamese War  

China vs Vietnam 1979

Galveston 1817-21