General Xavier Mina, hoping to establish a settlement at what is now the Galveston County mainland, arrived and set up breastworks at Virginia Point in 1816.
Between 1815 and 1817, three leaders of expeditions against Spanish Mexico, Mina, Henry Perry and Luis Aury, joined forces at Galveston. Their subsequent expedition ended in failure. Mina was put to death before a firing squad and Perry took his own life.
The first printing in Texas, Mina's orders of February 22, 1817, were prepared by Samuel Bangs who later established the Galveston News.
Aury returned to Galveston Island where he found the notorious Pirate Jean Laffite firmly established. Laffite, while occupying the island, entertained many notables on his ship "The Pride" and his fortress home, The Maison Rouge.
In 1821, James Campbell left Laffite's company and established a settlement on the mainland at what is now Campbell's Bayou. Austinia, at the mouth of Moses Lake, was granted a charter for a railroad by the Republic of Texas in 1839.
Laffitte abandoned Galveston Island in 1821 on orders of the U.S. Government and sailed away and became a legend.
In 1820, Jane Long, who later became known as the Mother of Texas, maintained a camp and fort at Port Bolivar. With only a newborn child and a servant, she remained there for several years. Her husband, James Long, unsuccessfully tried to raise an army against Spanish forces in Texas and later was taken prisoner and died in Mexico. Independence was finally won from Mexico by General Sam Houston and his forces at nearby San Jacinto in 1836.