In exclusive collaboration with
Lafitte Bridge Cross Pistols
MB Rich Jewelry and Cristy Cali decided to partner and collaborate on producing jewelry designs to not only commemorate the history of this important landmark, but also raise awareness around the safety concerns and monetary funds. The I-10 bridge has been listed by the National Bridge Inventory as Structurally Deficient with a rating of 3 and a Sufficiency Rating of 9.9 out of 100. In March 2017, a report indicated that the sufficiency rating has dropped to 6.6 out of 100. Cristy will donate a portion of the sales from this line of jewelry to the Build Our Bridge non-profit organization to participate and contribute towards the construction a newer and safer bridge.
925 Sterling Silver
14 x 29 mm
Limited quantities available
Ships within 3 business days
When my Lake Charles retail partner, MB Rich Jewelry, asked if I would design and produce a piece of jewelry to commemorate the Calcasieu River Bridge with cross pistols, I was excited about the idea of adding another piece of Louisiana history to my portfolio. This project prompted me to conduct further research into the development of the bridge, some very intriguing facts surrounding the influence of the cross pistol symbolism and the legendary Jean Lafitte himself.
Like most of my designs, my hope is to stimulate and encourage conversations. If you decide to become the proud owner of this nostalgic design, please help educate others, not only about the history behind the bridge and the influence of Jean Lafitte, but also around the safety concerns we face today.
Jean Lafitte, however you perceive him, was a man who lived his life with action and made waves wherever he went. It is not our obligation to judge others, but rather acknowledge and appreciate the great contributions people in history make. Lafitte's battles with the law were legendary. When Louisiana Governor William Claiborne offered a reward for his capture, Lafitte offered an ever larger reward for the governor. Sometimes people who do "bad" things are not inherently evil in nature, they simply stimulate our growth and contribute to the world differently.
For those that are not aware, according to Encyclopedia Britannica,
"Because Barataria Bay was an important approach to New Orleans, the British during the War of 1812 offered Laffite $30,000 and a captaincy in the Royal Navy for his allegiance. Laffite pretended to cooperate, then warned Louisiana officials of New Orleans’s peril. Instead of believing him, Gov. W.C.C. Claiborne summoned the U.S. Army and Navy to wipe out the colony. Some of Laffite’s ships were captured, but his business was not destroyed. Still protesting his loyalty to the United States, Laffite next offered aid to the hard-pressed forces of Gen. Andrew Jackson in defense of New Orleans if he and his men could be granted a full pardon. Jackson accepted, and in the Battle of New Orleans (December 1814–January 1815) the Baratarians, as Laffite and his men came to be known, fought with distinction. Jackson personally commended Laffite as “one of the ablest men” of the battle, and Pres. James Madison issued a public proclamation of pardon for the group."
If you are interested in learning more about Jean Lafitte, I highly recommend this book that my own father gifted me several years ago - Lyle Saxon's Lafitte the Pirate. Lyle Saxon chronicles Lafitte's colorul life and examines some puzzling questions about the famous rogue. Where was he born? Did he really participate in the French Revolution? What was his part in the plot to rescue Napoleon? And where is his treasure hidden?
Separating fact from legend, Saxon paints an entertaining and realistic portrait of a truly remarkable figure in American history. Here's a sneak peek:
"Candles were burning, and there were many men gathered around the table. Mr. Lafitte, "a tall gentleman dressed in black," was standing up with a pistol in his hand. The men had been drinking, and there were silver dishes lying on the floor. One of the men had hold earrings in his ears. The little girl, "trembling like a leaf," went up to the table and the cards were given to her. She drew one from the deck and turned it face up. It was the ten of diamonds. Lafitte laughed and raked up all the gold coins that were lying scattered there. The man with the earrings cursed and went out of the door, and the other men jeered as he went. Lafitte gave the little girl a big gold coin. It was a Spanish piece worth twenty dollars. Marie held it tight in her hand all the way home." (Saxon, 36)