The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903 Page: 146
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
146 Texas fHistorical Association Qvuaterly.
govermnent, in which Louis de Aury, a Frenchman, sometime com-
mandant-general of the naval forces of New Granada, was appointed
governor, commander of the fleet, and judge of the court of ad-
This extraordinary combination of powers De Aury wielded with
the greatest facility and convenience: as governor of the province.
he issued privateering commissions to his flotilla; swept the Gulf
for Spanish merchantmen, as commodore of the Mexican navy; and
adjudicated the prizes in his own court of admiralty. He plied a
brisk business, and among the vessels captured off the coasts of the
West Indies were many fully laden slavers. The disposition of
these unfortunate cargoes became an urgent problem; for at Gal-
veston there was no need of them, and throughout the rest of Texas,
inhabited as it then was, chiefly by Indians, there was no better
market. The difficulty was settled by some of De Aury's recruits
from the United States, who smuggled the negroes into Louisiana
and sold them even in the suburbs of New Orleans. Thus Texas
began her novitiate in the traffic as a kind of supply house for
Louisiana. Other than human merchandise, too, was introduced in
this way; and perhaps there was collusion between De Aury's men
and the revenue officers. At any rate, on August 1, 1817, the col-
lector of customs at New Orleans, in a report to the secretary of
state, admitted his impotence to remedy "the most shameful viola-
tions of the slave act, as well as our revenue laws, .. . by a
motley mixture of freebooters and smugglers, at Galve ;toh, under
the Mexican flag."2
But, when De Auiry abandoned the island in the summer of 1817
to join Mina's filibustering expedition against Soto la Marina, and
Jean Lafitte pounced upon it for his own headquarters, the smug-
gling of Africans began in earnest. This remarkable man had
already acquired experience and much notoriety as chief of the pirat-
ical establishment of Barrataria, on the Island of Grand Terre,
some sixty miles west of the Mississippi delta. Beginning his op-
erations there in the early days of Jefferson's embargo against
Great Britain and France, he maintained himself for seven years,
despite the repeated efforts of the Louisiana government to dislodge
'Yoakum, History of Texas, I 181.
2Bancroft, North Mexican States and Texas, II 36, note 4.
8Yoakum, History of Texas, I 190.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903, periodical, 1903; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101028/m1/150/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.