Catawba County News

Jean Laffite Revealed

Jean Laffite Revealed

Published: June 23, 2022

You wouldn’t think about pirates in the Piedmont of North Carolina but the Claremont Branch Library invites you to find out why you should on Thursday, June 30, 2022.

For those of us that love southern architecture and enjoy the nuances of southern life, you’re probably familiar with the work of Beth Yarbrough. Her storytelling takes us on adventures from the East Coast to Texas, welcoming us into her views of historic homes as one might welcome you to sit by them on the front porch. Joined by her daughter, Historian Dr. Ashley Oliphant, these adventures have taken a strange turn to the world of pirates, specifically the mystery surrounding the last days of Jean Laffite. 

Did Laffite really live out his last days right down the road in Lincolnton? Until now, much mystery surrounded this infamous pirate and privateer. Dr. Ashley Oliphant and Beth Yarbrough will discuss their book, Jean Laffite Revealed: Unraveling One of America’s Longest Running Mysteries, and offer an answer to the questions surrounding the end of this pirate’s life during an author visit to the Claremont Branch Library on Thursday, June 30 at 7 pm. 

This will be the second presentation and author visit Oliphant and Yarbrough have provided for the Catawba County Library System, and it is expected to be a full house just as it was at the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library this past March. Oliphant and Yarbrough will have copies of Jean Laffite Revealed for sale at the event and will accept cash or credit cards.

"We are very excited to offer another presentation about our findings related to the pirate Jean Laffite in the Piedmont of North Carolina because his recently discovered connection to the state is so significant,” shared Dr. Oliphant. “Our research journey, which took us to archival libraries, historical societies, museums and private collections in seven states over the course of two years, established proof that Laffite actually spent the last years of his life in Lincolnton, NC."

This event is being offered by the Claremont Friends of the Library, in partnership with the Catawba County Library System. The library is able to host phenomenal programs like this thanks to the hard work of the friends group. To learn more about them, or join, please visit

“This book offers a deep dive into a lingering mystery in American history. Hero and villain Jean Laffite deserves, and gets, renewed attention, and the authors reveal the last hidden decades of his complicated life. They also give us a history lesson about the times and places surrounding the unfolding drama. A fascinating read!” Myrick Howard, President, Preservation North Carolina. 

We invite you to unravel the mystery of Jean Laffite with us on Thursday, June 30 at 7 pm at the Claremont Branch Library.