The History of West Florida
By André K. Partridge
The Official History
British West Florida (1763-1783)
British 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 (1783).
Effective British control had ended in 1781 when Spain had captured Pensacola. The territory subsequently became a colony of Spain, though parts of the territory were gradually annexed by the United States. It comprised the former region of West Florida, now part of the modern US states of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Spanish West Florida (1783-1821)
Spanish West Florida (Spanish: Florida Occidental) was a province of the Spanish Empire from 1783 until 1821, when both it and East Florida were ceded to the United States. It comprised the region of West Florida, and initially had the same borders as the erstwhile British colony, though much of its territory was gradually annexed by the United States in the West Florida controversy. At its greatest extent, the colony included what are now Florida Parishes of Louisiana, the southern parts of Mississippi and Alabama, and the Panhandle of Florida. After their acquisition by the U.S., the remainder of West Florida was merged into the Florida Territory.
The Unofficial History
Republic of West Florida (1810)
The Republic of West Florida was a short-lived unrecognized republic in the region of West Florida which existed in 1810, and was then annexed to the United States.
The United States claimed West Florida as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, a claim disputed by Spain. Spain claimed that West Florida was not part of Louisiana but a part of its Florida colony, and, like the other disputed territory, it had been conquered from England and not received from France. However, before 1762 France had owned the land west of the Perdido River in West Florida. The Louisiana territory had been ceded from France to Spain in 1762, and re-ceded to France in 1800. The United States and Spain held long, inconclusive negotiations on the status of West Florida.
In the meantime, American settlers established a foothold in the area and resisted Spanish control, and the British settlers who had remained after Spanish takeover also resented Spanish rule, leading to a rebellion in 1810 and the establishment of the independent Republic of West Florida, with its capital at St. Francisville, in present-day Louisiana, on a bluff along the Mississippi River.
State of Muskogee (1799-1832)
The State of Muskogee was a proclaimed sovereign nation located in Florida, founded in 1799 and led by William Augustus Bowles, a Loyalist veteran of the American Revolutionary War who lived among the Muscogee, and envisioned uniting the American Indians of the Southeast into a single nation that could resist the expansion of the United States. Bowles enjoyed the support of the Miccosukee(Seminole) and several bands of Muscogee, and envisioned his state as eventually growing to encompass the Cherokee, Upper and Lower Creeks, Choctaw and Chickasaw.