Sunday, September 9, 2012
Seafaring Sunday: Storm of the Century
A storm with equal or perhaps even more power hit the same area - then known as Galvez Town - on or about September 12, 1818. Then the base of Triple P's favorite racketeer, Jean Laffite, Galvez Town was virtually wiped off the map. William C. Davis describes the situation this way in his book The Pirates Laffite:
On Galveston, the hurricane struck with little warning... In all only six houses survived, one of them Laffite's on the higher ground, and scores of panicked people fled to it. The waves continued to climb, destroying six of the vessels at anchor and virtually all of [the nearby colony of] French settlers' provisions. Before the waters started to recede the whole island was inundated except for perhaps an acre on which Laffite's house sat. Laffite either weathered the storm there or in his brig implanted in the sand.
Ever ready to cement his position of power, and perhaps turn a profit besides, Davis begins his next paragraph by frankly stating The Gentleman Laffite's next move:
When the hurricane passed Jean Laffite's control of food and defense made him the only power on the island.
Header: Ships on a Stormy Sea by Willem van de Velde the Younger c 1672 via Terminartors