Pirate resigns as ruler of Galveston Island

July 31st, 1817

On this day in 1817, pirate Louis Michel Aury resigned his Mexican commission to rule Galveston Island. Aury, born in Paris about 1788, served in the French navy and on French privateers from 1802 or 1803 until 1810, when he became master of his own vessels, which cruised the Caribbean in search of prizes. He joined a group of New Orleans associates who were planning a Mexican revolt against Spain in 1816. Rebel envoy José Manuel de Herrera proclaimed Galveston a port of the Mexican republic, made Aury resident commissioner, and raised the rebel flag on September 13 of that year. Aury's tenure was stormy. Henry Perry, who commanded troops sent by the New Orleans associates for the invasion of Texas, refused obedience to Aury, who also initially refused to cooperate with Francisco Xavier Mina, leader of a filibustering expedition that reached Galveston in November. In the spring of 1817, while Aury was convoying Mina's forces to the Santander River, Jean Laffite seized the opportunity to undermine the skeleton "government" left behind. After resigning his commission, Aury sailed to Florida. He is believed to have died in 1821, though some sources claim he was living in Havana in 1845.

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Pirate resigns as ruler of Galveston Island

July 31st, 1817

On this day in 1817, pirate Louis Michel Aury resigned his Mexican commission to rule Galveston Island. Aury, born in Paris about 1788, served in the French navy and on French privateers from 1802 or 1803 until 1810, when he became master of his own vessels, which cruised the Caribbean in search of prizes. He joined a group of New Orleans associates who were planning a Mexican revolt against Spain in 1816. Rebel envoy José Manuel de Herrera proclaimed Galveston a port of the Mexican republic, made Aury resident commissioner, and raised the rebel flag on September 13 of that year. Aury's tenure was stormy. Henry Perry, who commanded troops sent by the New Orleans associates for the invasion of Texas, refused obedience to Aury, who also initially refused to cooperate with Francisco Xavier Mina, leader of a filibustering expedition that reached Galveston in November. In the spring of 1817, while Aury was convoying Mina's forces to the Santander River, Jean Laffite seized the opportunity to undermine the skeleton "government" left behind. After resigning his commission, Aury sailed to Florida. He is believed to have died in 1821, though some sources claim he was living in Havana in 1845.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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