East Florida

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East Florida
Territory of Great Britain (1763–83), Spain (1783–1821), United States (1821–22)
1763–1822
Red Ensign of Great Britain (1707-1800).svg
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg
Left: Red Ensign of Great Britain
Right: Flag of the Spanish Empire
Capital St. Augustine
Government
Governor  
 1763–1784
5 under Britain
 1784–1821
8 under Spain
 1821
1 U.S. military commissioner
History 
February 10, 1763
1783
1821
 Merged into Florida Territory
March 30, 1822
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of New Spain.svg Spanish Florida
Florida Territory Flag of the United States (1820-1822).svg

East Florida (Spanish: Florida Oriental) was a colony of Great Britain from 1763 to 1783 and a province of Spanish Florida from 1783 to 1821. Consisting of peninsular Florida, East Florida was founded as a colony by the British colonial government in 1763, with its capital at St. Augustine, which had been the capital of Spanish La Florida.

Kingdom of Great Britain Constitutional monarchy in Western Europe between 1707 and 1801

The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 1 January 1801. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". Since its inception the kingdom was in legislative and personal union with Ireland and after the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.

Spanish Florida Former Spanish possession in North America

Spanish Florida was the first major European land claim and attempted settlement in North America during the European Age of Discovery. La Florida formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire during Spanish colonization of the Americas. While its boundaries were never clearly or formally defined, the territory was much larger than the present-day state of Florida, extending over much of what is now the southeastern United States, including all of present-day Florida plus portions of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and southeastern Louisiana. Spain's claim to this vast area was based on several wide-ranging expeditions mounted during the 16th century. A number of missions, settlements, and small forts existed in the 16th and to a lesser extent in the 17th century; eventually they were abandoned due to pressure from the expanding English and French colonial projects, the collapse of the native populations, and the general difficulty in becoming agriculturally or economically self-sufficient. By the 18th century, Spain's control over La Florida did not extend much beyond its forts, all located in present-day Florida: near St. Augustine, St. Marks, and Pensacola.

St. Augustine, Florida City in Florida, United States

St. Augustine is a city in the Southeastern United States, on the Atlantic coast of northeastern Florida. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, it is the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States.

Contents

Britain formed East and West Florida out of territory it had received from Spain and France following the French and Indian War (the Seven Years' War). Finding its new acquisitions in the southeast too large to administer as a single unit, the British divided them into two colonies separated by the Apalachicola River. East Florida comprised the bulk of what had previously been the Spanish territory of Florida.

West Florida region

West Florida was a region on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico that underwent several boundary and sovereignty changes during its history. As its name suggests, it was formed out of the western part of former Spanish Florida, along with lands taken from French Louisiana; Pensacola became West Florida's capital. The colony included about two thirds of what is now the Florida Panhandle, as well as parts of the modern U.S. states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

French and Indian War North American theater of the worldwide Seven Years War

The French and Indian War (1754–1763) pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France, each side supported by military units from the parent country and by American Indian allies. At the start of the war, the French colonies had a population of roughly 60,000 settlers, compared with 2 million in the British colonies. The outnumbered French particularly depended on the Indians.

Seven Years War Global conflict between 1756 and 1763

The Seven Years' War was a global war fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved all five European great powers of the time plus many of the middle powers and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions: one was led by the Kingdom of Great Britain and included the Kingdom of Prussia, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and a few other small German states; while the other was led by the Kingdom of France and included the Austrian-led Holy Roman Empire, including the Electorate of Saxony and most of the smaller German states, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, and Sweden. The Dutch Republic, Denmark-Norway, the Italian States, and the Ottoman Empire did not participate. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal.

Britain ceded both Floridas to Spain following the American Revolutionary War. Spain maintained them as separate colonies, although the majority of West Florida was gradually occupied and annexed by the United States from 1810 to 1813. Spain ceded East Florida and the remainder of West Florida to the U.S. in the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819. In 1822 the United States organized them as a single unit, the Florida Territory.

American Revolutionary War War between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, which won independence as the United States of America

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was a war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies in North America which declared independence in July 1776 as the United States of America.

Adams–Onís Treaty Treaty between the United States and Spain, ceding Florida to the U.S.

The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty, the Florida Purchase Treaty, or the Florida Treaty, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that ceded Florida to the U.S. and defined the boundary between the U.S. and New Spain. It settled a standing border dispute between the two countries and was considered a triumph of American diplomacy. It came in the midst of increasing tensions related to Spain's territorial boundaries in North America against the United States and Great Britain in the aftermath of the American Revolution; it also came during the Latin American wars of independence.

Florida Territory territory of the USA between 1822-1845

The Territory of Florida was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 30, 1822, until March 3, 1845, when it was admitted to the Union as the state of Florida. Originally the Spanish territory of La Florida, and later the provinces of East and West Florida, it was ceded to the United States as part of the 1819 Adams–Onís Treaty. It was governed by the Florida Territorial Council.

British period

East Florida and West Florida during British rule (1763-1783) West Florida Map 1767.jpg
East Florida and West Florida during British rule (1763–1783)

Under the terms of the 1763 Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years' War (the French and Indian War), Spain ceded Spanish Florida to Britain. At the same time, Britain received all of French Louisiana east of the Mississippi River, with the exception of New Orleans, from France. Determining the new territory too large to administer as one unit, Britain divided its new southeastern acquisitions into two new colonies separated by the Apalachicola River: East Florida, with its capital in the old Spanish city of St. Augustine, and West Florida, with its capital at Pensacola.

Treaty of Paris (1763) 1763 treaty that ended the Seven Years War

The Treaty of Paris, also known as the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763 by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement, after Great Britain's victory over France and Spain during the Seven Years' War.

Louisiana (New France) Administrative district of New France

Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control 1682 to 1762 and 1801 (nominally) to 1803, the area was named in honor of King Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. It originally covered an expansive territory that included most of the drainage basin of the Mississippi River and stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains to the Rocky Mountains.

Mississippi River largest river system in North America

The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota, it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

The settlement of East Florida was heavily linked in London with the same interests that controlled Nova Scotia. The East Florida Society of London and the Nova Scotia Society of London had many overlapping members, and Council frequently followed their suggestions on the granting of lands to powerful merchant interests in London.

Perhaps it is strange to think of such dissimilar geographic areas with such opposing climates as having much in common. But if one considers naval and military strategy, one can see that these areas have a common significance, especially when viewed from London by the ministry. Halifax (Nova Scotia) was the command post for both the admiral and general in charge of the American forces.... St. Augustine evoked the same strategic considerations. These posts have been described as the two centers of strength to which the British army was withdrawn in the late 1760s. [1]

The apportionment of lands in the new colonies fell to the same group of English and Scottish entrepreneurs and merchant interests, led chiefly by the Englishman Richard Oswald, later a diplomat, and the British general James Grant, who would later become governor of East Florida. A list of the grantees in both Florida and Canada show that the plums fell to a well-connected—and inter-connected—group. Lincoln's Inn barrister Levett Blackborne, grandson of Sir Richard Levett, a powerful merchant and Lord Mayor of London, came in for grants of 20,000 acres (81 km2) in both locales, for instance. Other aristocrats, nobles and merchants did the same.

Richard Oswald (merchant) Scottish merchant

Richard Oswald of Auchincruive was a Scottish merchant, slave trader, and advisor to the British government on trade regulations and the conduct of the American War of Independence. He is best known as the British peace commissioner who in 1782 negotiated the Peace of Paris.

Lincolns Inn one of the four Inns of Court in London, England

The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. Lincoln's Inn is recognised to be one of the world's most prestigious professional bodies of judges and lawyers.

Richard Levett Lord Mayor of London

Sir Richard Levett, Sheriff, Alderman and Lord Mayor of London, was one of the first directors of the Bank of England, an adventurer with the London East India Company and the proprietor of the trading firm Sir Richard Levett & Company. He had homes at Kew and in London's Cripplegate, close by the Haberdashers Hall. A pioneering British merchant and politician, he counted among his friends and acquaintances Samuel Pepys, Robert Blackborne, John Houblon, physician to the Royal Family and son-in-law Sir Edward Hulse, Lord Mayor Sir William Gore, his brother-in-law Chief Justice Sir John Holt, Robert Hooke, Sir Owen Buckingham, Sir Charles Eyre and others.

The most powerful lubricant between the East Florida speculators and the Nova Scotia speculators was Col. Thomas Thoroton of Flintham, Nottinghamshire. Thoroton, the stepbrother of Levett Blackborne, had married an illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Rutland and often lived at Belvoir Castle, where he acted as principal agent to the Duke, who, along with his son the Marquis of Granby, were heavily involved in overseas ventures. Thoroton frequently acted as the go-between for Richard Oswald and James Grant, particularly after those two gave up their Nova Scotia Grants to focus on East Florida, where a drumbeat of steady speculation (particularly from Dr. Andrew Turnbull and Dr. William Stork) had fanned the flames of interest in London. [1] It was not until March 1781 that the Governor of East Florida, Patrick Tonyn, called elections for a provincial legislature. [2]

Both Floridas remained loyal to Great Britain during the American War of Independence. Spain participated indirectly in the war as an ally of France and captured Pensacola from the British in 1781. In the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, the British ceded both Floridas to Spain. The same treaty recognized the independence of the United States, directly to the north.

Spanish period: Florida Oriental

Map of East and West Florida in 1819, the year that Spain ceded Florida to the United States by the Adams-Onis Treaty Map of East and West Florida in 1819.jpg
Map of East and West Florida in 1819, the year that Spain ceded Florida to the United States by the Adams–Onís Treaty

Under Spanish rule, the provinces of East Florida and West Florida initially remained divided by the Apalachicola River, the boundary established by the British. [3] [4] [5] But Spain in 1785 moved it eastward to the Suwanee River. [6] [7] [8]

"Under Spanish rule, Florida was divided by the natural separation of the Suwanee River into West Florida and East Florida."--University of Florida Historic Florida maps ("Territory of Florida Map 1 1820").gif
"Under Spanish rule, Florida was divided by the natural separation of the Suwanee River into West Florida and East Florida."—University of Florida

Spain continued to administer East and West Florida as separate provinces. The Spanish offered favorable terms for acquiring land, which attracted many settlers from the newly formed United States. There were several territorial disputes between the US and Spain, some resulting in military action.

An American army under Andrew Jackson invaded East Florida during the First Seminole War. Jackson's forces captured San Marcos on 7 April 1818; as well as Fort Barrancas at West Florida's capital, Pensacola, on 24 May 1818.

James Monroe's Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, defined the American position on this issue. Adams accused Spain of breaking Pinckney's Treaty by failing to control the Seminoles. Faced with the prospect of losing control, Spain formally ceded all of its Florida territory to the US under the Adams–Onís Treaty in 1819 (ratified in 1821), in exchange for the US ceding its claims on Texas and the US paying any claims its citizens might have against Spain, up to $5,000,000.

In 1822, the US Congress organized the Florida Territory. In 1845, Florida was admitted as the 27th state of the United States.

Governors

List of governors of East Florida

NameTermNotes
John Hedges 20 Jul 1763 – 30 Jul 1763capital at St. Augustine (acting governor)
Francis Ogilvie 30 Jul 1763 – 29 Aug 1764acting governor
James Grant 29 Aug 1764 – 9 May 1771Considered the inaugural governor.
John Moultrie 9 May 1771 – 1 Mar 1774
Patrick Tonyn 1 Mar 1774 – 12 Jul 1784
Vicente Manuel de Céspedes y Velasco 12 July 1784 – July 1790capital at St. Augustine
Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada y Barnuevo July 1790 – March 1796
Bartolomé Morales March 1796 – June 1796acting governor
Enrique White June 1796 – March 1811
Juan José de Estrada March 1811 – June 1812 Patriot War with U.S.
Sebastián Kindelán y Oregón June 1812 – June 1815 Patriot War with U.S.
Juan José de Estrada June 1815 – January 1816
José María Coppinger January 1816 – 10 July 1821 First Seminole War with U.S.

See also

Related Research Articles

British North America Former British imperial territories

British North America refers to the former territories of the British Empire in North America, not including the Caribbean. The term was first used informally in 1783, but it was uncommon before the Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839), called the Durham Report. These territories today form modern-day Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

Pinckneys Treaty 1795 treaty between the US and Spain

Pinckney's Treaty, also commonly known as the Treaty of San Lorenzo or the Treaty of Madrid, was signed in San Lorenzo de El Escorial on October 27, 1795 and established intentions of friendship between the United States and Spain. It also defined the border between the United States and Spanish Florida, and guaranteed the United States navigation rights on the Mississippi River. With this agreement, the first phase of the ongoing border dispute between the two nations in this region, commonly called the West Florida Controversy, came to a close.

Flag of Florida flag

The flag of Florida consists of a red saltire on a white background, with the state seal superimposed on the center. The design was approved by popular referendum November 6, 1900. The flag's current design has been in use since May 21, 1985, after the state seal was graphically altered and officially sanctioned for use by state officials.

The "Old Southwest" is an informal name for the southwestern frontier territories of the United States from the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) through the early 19th century, at the point when the territorial lands were organized into states.

Apalachee Native American people

The Apalachee are a Native American people who historically lived in the Florida Panhandle. They lived between the Aucilla River and Ochlockonee River, at the head of Apalachee Bay, an area known to Europeans as the Apalachee Province. They spoke a Muskogean language called Apalachee, which is now extinct.

British America former British territories in North America

British America included the British Empire's colonial territories in America from 1607 to 1783. These colonies were formally known as British America and the British West Indies before the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and formed the United States of America. After that, the term British North America described the remainder of Great Britain's continental American possessions. That term was used informally in 1783 by the end of the American Revolution, but it was uncommon before the Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839), called the Durham Report.

Flintham village in the United Kingdom

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Panton, Leslie & Company Scottish merchants in the Bahamas and Spanish Florida

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British West Florida

West Florida was a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1763 until 1783 when it was ceded to Spain as part of the Peace of Paris.

The Floridas

The Floridas was a region of the southeastern United States comprising the historical colonies of East Florida and West Florida. The borders of East and West Florida varied. In 1783, when Spain acquired West Florida and re-acquired East Florida from Great Britain through the Peace of Paris (1783), the eastern British boundary of West Florida was the Apalachicola River, but Spain in 1785 moved it eastward to the Suwannee River. The purpose was to transfer the military post at San Marcos and the district of Apalachee from East Florida to West Florida. From 1810 to 1813, the United States extended piecemeal control over the part of West Florida that comprised the modern-day Gulf coasts of Alabama and Mississippi and the Florida Parishes of Louisiana. After the ratification of the Adams-Onis Treaty in 1821 the United States combined East Florida and what had been the remaining Spanish-controlled rump of West Florida into the territory that comprised modern-day Florida.

Battle of Flint River

The Battle of Flint River was a failed attack by Spanish and Apalachee Indian forces against Creek Indians in October 1702 in what is now the state of Georgia. The battle was a major element in ongoing frontier hostilities between English traders from the Province of Carolina and Spanish Florida, and it was a prelude to more organized military actions of Queen Anne's War.

Timeline of Florida history

This is a timeline of the U.S. state of Florida.

Spanish West Florida

Spanish West Florida was a province of the Spanish Empire from 1783 until 1821, when both it and East Florida were ceded to the United States.

Pedro de Olivera y Fullana, was the governor and captain general of Spanish Florida from July 13 to October 30, 1716. He died at the provincial capital, St. Augustine, just over three months into his term of office.

John Forbes (1767–1823) and his older brother Thomas were Scottish Indian traders in British East Florida, West Florida, Spanish Florida and the southeastern borderlands during the American Colonial and post-Revolutionary period. John Forbes & Company took control of the assets of its precursor trading firm, Panton, Leslie & Company, after William Panton died in 1801, followed by John Leslie in 1803.

References

  1. 1 2 The East Florida Society of London, Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. LIV, No. 4, April 1976 Archived 14 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. The Impact of Loyalists in British East Florida, page 7
  3. Bernard Romans (15 November 1999) [1775]. A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida. University of Alabama Press. p. 43. ISBN   978-0-8173-0876-6.
  4. James Grant Forbes (1821). Sketches, Historical and Topographical, of the Floridas: More Particularly of East Florida. C.S. Van Winkle. p. 120.
  5. A Journal of the Proceedings of the Senate of the Territory of Florida at its Second Session. publisher not identified. 1840. p. 81.
  6. Wright, J. Leitch (1972). "Research Opportunities in the Spanish Borderlands: West Florida, 1781-1821". Latin American Research Review. Latin American Studies Association. 7 (2): 24–34. JSTOR   2502623. When Spain acquired West Florida in 1783, the eastern British boundary was the Apalachicola River, but Spain in 1785 moved it eastward to the Suwanee River.[at Footnote 1:"It was some time after 1785 before it was clearly established that Suwannee was the new eastern boundary of the province of Apalachee."] (Few maps indicate this eastward shift.) The purpose was to transfer San Marcos and the district of Apalachee from East Florida to West Florida.
  7. Weber, David J. (1992). The Spanish Frontier in North America. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. p. 275. ISBN   978-0-300-05917-5. Spain never drew a clear line to separate the two Floridas, but West Florida extended easterly to include Apalachee Bay, which Spain shifted from the jurisdiction of St. Augustine to more accessible Pensacola.
  8. "Territory of Florida Map 1". Historical Florida County Maps. University of Florida. 1936. Under Spanish rule, Florida was divided by the natural separation of the Suwanee River into West Florida and East Florida. Upon the purchase of Florida, (1819) by the United States of America, West Florida and East Florida became two counties: Escambia County and St Johns County, so named and so ordained as counties with respective county governments by Andrew Jackson, Military Governor of the Territory of Florida.