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Filibusters captured at La Bahía

October
08
1821

On this day in 1821, a filibustering army under James Long surrendered at La Bahía to Mexican forces commanded by Colonel Juan Ignacio Pérez. The Long expedition was an early attempt by Anglo-Americans to wrest Texas from Spain. The expedition was mounted by citizens in the Natchez, Mississippi, area who were opposed to the boundary of the Louisiana Purchase as set up in the Adams-Onís Treaty. After initial successes in 1819, the filibusters were driven out by Pérez in October of that year. Long regrouped and joined forces with José Félix Trespalacios, who was organizing an expedition in New Orleans to support the Mexican liberals. Long established his headquarters at Point Bolivar, where he was joined by his wife, Jane Long, the "Mother of Texas." He later broke with Trespalacios, and the expedition led an uncertain existence at Fort Las Casas on Point Bolivar until September 1821, when Long and fifty-two men sailed to capture La Bahía. The town fell easily, but four days later Long was forced to surrender to Pérez. Long was taken prisoner and sent to Mexico City, where about six months later he was shot and killed by a guard. With Long's defeat and capture at La Bahía the early filibustering era in Texas came to an end.

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