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Luis Aury was a French Corsair, who operated in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean during the early 19th century. Born in Paris, France, around 1788, Aury served in the French Navy before working on privateer ships and becoming master of his own vessel.

Aury supported the Spanish colonies in South America in their fight for independence from Spain, sailing with Venezuelan letters of marque to attack Spanish ships. In 1817, he helped Scottish adventurer, Gregor MacGregor, a self-styled "Brigadier-General of the United Provinces of the New Granada and Venezuela and General-in-Chief of the armies of the two Floridas", in attacking Spanish Florida from Amelia Island.

Amelia Island lies on the northeastern coast of Florida and Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Jean Lafitte and Aury have at one time or another used it as their center of operations. Some $170,000 in treasures has already been found there--only a small portion compared to what is still buried!

In 1817, Aury proclaimed Amelia Island an independent republic and is said to have secreted a chest there with about $60,000 in treasure. But after surrendering to U.S. forces, he was given only 24 hours to leave Amelia Island and was unable to retrieve this hoard.

Aury went on to capture Old Providence Island in the western Caribbean in 1818 and began a settlement with a thriving economy based on captured Spanish cargo. He was reportedly thrown from a horse and killed in 1821.

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Did you know?

  • At the height of its popularity, Port Royal, Jamaica had one drinking house for every ten residents. In July 1661 alone, 41 new licenses were granted to taverns.

  • Pirates wore an earring to ensure they died with at least one piece of treasure to buy their way into 'Fiddler's Green' (sailor's paradise in heaven).

  • The reason you've heard of most well known pirates is that they were captured and killed, or brought to trial where their exploits were recorded. But pirate captain Henry Every was made famous because he evaded capture after his piratical exploits.

  • Many pirates had eye patches, peg legs, or hooks. Ships in the 17th and 18th century were extremely dangerous places to work, so pirates would commonly lose limbs or even eyes during battle. 

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