In July 1835, after two years in Mexico, part of that time confined to a jail cell, Stephen F. Austin received a passport issued by the Mexican government. Austin had gone to Mexico on a diplomatic mission, when Texas was still under Mexican rule, but set off to return home to Texas, where the political climate had shifted and tolerance for Mexican rule had deteriorated. On his way back, he spent time in New Orleans, purchasing several books that might provide clues to his state of mind.
Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian immigrant turned US citizen, owned a home repair and painting business with his wife, Kathy, in New Orleans in 2005. When Hurricane Katrina hit the city on August 29 of that year, Kathy and their three children fled the city for Baton Rouge.