Best Pirate Relic Houston 2007 - Spyglass in the Moore Memorial Library
Sometime before the Texas Revolution, James Campbell settled on a point near Galveston Bay in what is now Texas City and took to farming — with a little sideline in smuggling. His past was murky — some called him a privateer, while others said he was a pirate. It all depended on what you thought of his boss — Jean Lafitte. Among his possessions was a spyglass, and he passed it down to his son, and on and on, until it was donated to the Moore Memorial Library about 20 years ago. A legend had blossomed around it — supposedly, Lafitte had given the spyglass to Campbell, his trusted lieutenant. Four years ago, the PBS show The History Detectives investigated the spyglass and determined that it could not have belonged to Lafitte — it had been made in Liverpool after Campbell and Lafitte had parted ways. Still, it did belong to Campbell, and he was a pirate himself. In our book, that's plenty cool enough. If that spyglass could talk, just imagine the tales it could tell.