The early history of Galveston, by Dr. J. O. Dyer Page: 8
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8 The Early History of Galveston.
as those of the submarines today. When prominent newspapers and historians
keep on printing a picture of an Italian bandit with a mustache
and pass it on for Lafitte, who wore neither mustache nor uniform, there
is little wonder that Lafitte, the pirate, and his treasure will live on. The
treasure story likewise was a myth, for there was none of any amount. The
last of Lafitte's vessels was in the harbor in 1822 and will be noticed
1n ter -n.
Lafitte's name was an adopted name, and the romance of his life has
not so far been written, but briefly alluded to by one historian. All the
other stories are legends, like the finding of his treasure, his acts of piracy,
his battles with the Carancahua Indians, and his love affairs. A number
-~T Lafitte's men remained in Galveston and vicinity, and they will be
described in due course. Possibly Galveston County may also have been
the residence and burial place of one of Lafitte's relatives, a man who,
while he disclaimed any connection, nevertheless, knew the details of his
life, and loved to talk about them.
\j Dr. James Long of Tennessee, married Jane Wilkerson, niece of the
adventurer, General Wilkerson. Influenced by this relative he formed the
plan of an empire in Texas. As he had been surgeon in Carrol's brigade at
New Orleans, he soon raised one hundred men at Natchez. In June, 1819,
at Natchitoches, he was joined by two hundred men under Davenport and
Guitierrez. A provisional government was set up, which elected General
Long as President of the Supreme Council. A newspaper was started by
H. Bigelow, and Colonel Gaines sent to San Louis Island to get assistance
from Lafitte. Leaving Natchitoches, Long opened a chain of forts or trading
posts along the Trinity and Brazos. These were commanded by Dan
Smith, David Long, Johnson, Cook and Walker. Perez, the Spanish commrander,
rapidly captured these posts at the Indian villages, killing Long's
brother and capturing half of Long's forces. The remnants, united under
Smith, stood off Perez and finally retreated to Bolivar. Long was at the
lower Coshutta village when he heard the disastrous news. He hurried to
Natchitoches, and crossing the Sabine, he finally reached Alexandria with
his wife, who was left there with relatives. On his return to Natchitoches,
Long was joined by Major Hall, and they went to Boliyr by way of the
coast (Calcasieu), reaching Bolivar January 1, 1820. afitte now refused
to join Long, hearing of the disaster to his forces. Te August preceding
Lafitte had promised Colonel Gaines assistance, and had actually accepted
a commission from the Long government. Lafitte gave as excuse that he
was winding up the affairs of the settlement, having promised Colonel Graham
he would do so. For several weeks both Hall and Long tried to
get Lafitte to change his mind or to leave them his camp. Lafitte liked
Hall, but disliked Long. He gave Hall permission to move any buildings
he desired to Bolivar, but asserted he would destroy the camp. General
Long, early in February, left for New Orleans. Whilst he was gone most
of the men deserted. Some went with the keel boats, others crossed over
to Lafitte's camp, as they were destitute. Lafitte was then thinking of
helping Aury. The last two boats were taken by Captain Daniel Smith
and twenty men. (Smith was later United States Consul at Tampico.) Long
still was absent, and Hall had but ten men left.-\Lafit burned his settle-
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Dyer, Joseph O. The early history of Galveston, by Dr. J. O. Dyer, book, 1916; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24651/m1/11/?rotate=270: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .