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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Francis Drake was the most successful privateer in maritime history.

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Did you know?

  • Pirates thought that having women on board their ship was bad luck.  It's why pirate femmes like Mary Read initially lived a life of piracy as men!

  • Most pirates stole their ships because they couldn't afford them.  Once they'd capture a ship, they'd convert it for pirate life by making more room for sailor living quarters and strengthening the decks to hold heavy cannons.

  • The difference between a pirate and a privateer is that privateers are sanctioned by respective governments and they don't attack ships from their own country. Pirates harass anyone passing by.

  • A galleon ship was armed to the teeth. It typically carried 74 guns, 36 of which were mounted on either side of the ship. The two guns were mounted aft.


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