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City of a Million DreamsNew Orleans at Year 300$
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Jason Berry

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469647142

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469647142.001.0001

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Pirates, Black Soldiers, and the War under Jackson

Pirates, Black Soldiers, and the War under Jackson

(p.97) 6 Pirates, Black Soldiers, and the War under Jackson
City of a Million Dreams

Jason Berry

University of North Carolina Press

In 1813, as Claiborne struggled to build a militia to defend against the British in the War of 1812, he also had to deal with slave-smuggling French pirates, led by half-brothers Pierre and John Laffite. When the U.S. declared war on the British in 1812, the Madison administration ordered Andrew Jackson to go to New Orleans with an army of volunteers, before recalling him to Tennessee. Claiborne wrote to Louisiana’s congressional delegation for support, as he had difficulties finding enough men because New Orleans lacked a coherent American identity and allegiance for which to fight. After returning to Tennessee, Jackson was wounded in several duels and participated in a military campaign against the Creek. On August 24, 1814, the British attacked Washington D.C. and set fire to the Capitol. As New Orleans prepared for war, Jean Laffite negotiated with Claiborne and Jackson, who eventually agreed to grant the pirates clemency in exchange for military aid. Lawyer Edward Livingston helped Jackson prepare New Orleans for war. The citizens rallied under Jackson, with pirates and the black militia joining the war effort. New Orleans fended off two British attacks. The War of 1812 ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.

Keywords:   William C.C. Claiborne, Andrew Jackson, War of 1812, Pierre Laffite, John Laffite, Pirates, Black militia

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