Pirate on the coast

An infamous pirate once terrorized the waterways in Orange County. According to Block, Jean Lafitte, the most famous pirate of the Gulf Coast would capture slaves being shipped to America around 1816. He would then get smugglers to sell the slaves to plantation owners in Louisiana. The pirate and his band made headquarters in Galveston. But they also set up a slave camp, or barracks, at Ballew Ferry on the Sabine River, which is about 10 miles north of Orange.

The ferry across the river was owned and operated by Richard Ballew, who had once been Lafitte’s shipmate. Tales of Lafitte’s treasure being buried somewhere in Orange County have remained a mystery but definitely one treasure seekers wish to find.