Louisiana Institute of Higher Education
Jean Laffite and Governor Claiborne were in continual conflict because of his smuggling enterprise. After the British contacted Laffite, Claiborne became convinced that Laffite could not be trusted and refused his help. He invaded Barataria and destroyed this settlement there. Even General Jackson , a man known for never changing his mind, initially refused to accept the assistance of Laffite and his privateers calling them "Bloody Banditti". He would offer them no pardons for their support.
Suddenly, everything changed. Laffite and his band of brothers were welcomed, became comrades in arms, won their pardons, and even became friends with Jackson. What brought about this surprising change of heart? It appears there was a very deep spiritual connection among all the principles that allowed them to overcome apprehensions and join in a noble cause... the defense of New Orleans.
Ron Chapman is a Professor of History at Nunez Community College in Chalmette, Louisiana. He wrote The Battle of New Orleans: But For a Piece of Wood and has written numerous articles in magazines like Louisiana Life and New Orleans Magazine. He also writes a weekly column for The St. Bernard Voice newspaper, the local official journal, for which he has received eight “Best Regular Column” awards over the past 28 years from the Louisiana Press Association.