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Jean Lafitte was both a pirate and a privateer during the early 1800's. His headquarters were on Grand Terre, a small island in the Gulf of Mexico. He and his brothers grew rich by privateering, or smuggling in goods to Americans, during the British blockade just before and during the War of 1812. He is also known for helping the Americans in the Battle of New Orleans by warning the Americans of the imminent attack of the British. A poem called "The Corsair" by Lord Byron was based on an account of Lafitte's help during the Battle of New Orleans and a 1958 film, "The Buccaneer, starring Yul Brenner as Lafitte was also based on these events. In addition to helping the Americans defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans, Lafitte also ran a lucrative trade in slaves. The last years of his life are shrouded in mystery. Most sources say he was killed in 1823 during a sea battle. Other sources say he changed his name to John Lafflin and died in St. Louis when he was in his 70's.
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