Favorite thing: One of the things that confuses many visitors to New Orleans and southern Louisiana are the terms Acadian (or Acadien); Cajun; and Creole. Acadian refers to descendants of the seventeenth-century French colonists who settled in Acadia (located in the Canadian Maritime provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and in the US state of Maine). About 14,000 Acadians were expelled from the area by the British between 1755 and 1763. Most of these Acadians settled in Louisiana and became known as Cajuns. Creole usually refers to the descendant of people from the French Colonies in the Caribbean Sea (like Guadeloupe and Martinique).
Favorite thing: Much of the life of Jean Lafitte is a mystery. We are not even sure if his name is spelled "Lafitte" or "Laffite". It is believed he was born in the early 1790s in France or St. Domingue (what is now Haiti). He came to Louisiana with his older brother Pierre by 1810. He had some legitimate businesses but was mostly a "privateer". A "privateer" has permission from a government at war to capture enemy ships, or is basically a pirate with the backing of a government. He mostly preyed on Spanish ships for the Colombian Government but was not always so choosy. He mostly operated out of an area of Louisiana called Barataria which had an excellent deep water port and lots of swampland to hide in. In 1814 the British tried to recruit him to help them mount an invasion from the Gulf of Mexico. Lafitte reported the plans to the US who at first did not believe him. Eventually the US accepted his help and Lafitte and his men were instrumental in the US victory in the Battle of New Orleans on 8 January 1815. In return for his assistance the US pardoned Lafitte and his men. Many of his men settled in the Baratarian area or New Orleans. Lafitte resumed his smuggling activities in the Galveston area. Lafitte's date and place of death is as mysterious as most of his life.
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