Jean Lafitte was a French-American pirate and smuggler in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th century. Little known about his early life. He was born in the late years of the 18th century and became a courageous adventurer and privateer. He is a well-known historical figure, as he interrupted his criminal career and adventures to help the US in the defense of New Orleans in the War of 1812.

Though Lafitte warned the other Baratarians of a possible military attack on their base of operations, an American naval force successfully invaded in September 1814 and captured most of Lafitte's fleet. Later, in return for a legal pardon for the smugglers, Lafitte agreed to help General Andrew Jackson. Lafitte's people fought side by side with Americans, defending New Orleans against the British.

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