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The Facade of Unity

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022430/00001

Material Information

Title: The Facade of Unity British East Florida's War for Dependence
Physical Description: 1 online resource (138 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Smith, Roger
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: augustine, cowkeeper, drayton, east, florida, prevost, saint, st, tonyn, turnbull
History -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: History thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: On August 11, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud in the market plaza in St. Augustine, East Florida. The throng of common folk and elites alike became so enraged that they burned John Hancock and Samuel Adams in effigy. The following day, proclamations of loyalty for King George III flowed from the colony?s civil leadership. Over one hundred letters can be found in the George Washington Papers mentioning St. Augustine or East Florida. As early as December 18, 1775, the Commander in Chief was calling for the capture of St. Augustine and its large cache of powder and munitions stored in the Castillo de San Marcos. However, not only did the American army fail to take East Florida after three invasion attempts, but the royal governor did not evacuate the colony until November 19, 1785. The significance of these events is mysteriously lost on generations of historians. The historical omissions that have left the memory of East Florida and the evacuation of St. Augustine relatively unknown are inexplicable. The Revolutionary War involved not only the present state of Florida, but circumstances in St. Augustine were significant in the shaping of southern Revolutionary events. The plight of Loyalists and blacks in East Florida is no less a part of the American narrative than those of other southern colonies, especially considering how many of those Loyalists, free-blacks, and slaves from the traditional southern colonies found their way to East Florida during the war. This study is an effort to restore their place in American history and to return East Florida from the shadows of marginalization.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Roger Smith.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Sensbach, Jon.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022430:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022430/00001

Material Information

Title: The Facade of Unity British East Florida's War for Dependence
Physical Description: 1 online resource (138 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Smith, Roger
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: augustine, cowkeeper, drayton, east, florida, prevost, saint, st, tonyn, turnbull
History -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: History thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: On August 11, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud in the market plaza in St. Augustine, East Florida. The throng of common folk and elites alike became so enraged that they burned John Hancock and Samuel Adams in effigy. The following day, proclamations of loyalty for King George III flowed from the colony?s civil leadership. Over one hundred letters can be found in the George Washington Papers mentioning St. Augustine or East Florida. As early as December 18, 1775, the Commander in Chief was calling for the capture of St. Augustine and its large cache of powder and munitions stored in the Castillo de San Marcos. However, not only did the American army fail to take East Florida after three invasion attempts, but the royal governor did not evacuate the colony until November 19, 1785. The significance of these events is mysteriously lost on generations of historians. The historical omissions that have left the memory of East Florida and the evacuation of St. Augustine relatively unknown are inexplicable. The Revolutionary War involved not only the present state of Florida, but circumstances in St. Augustine were significant in the shaping of southern Revolutionary events. The plight of Loyalists and blacks in East Florida is no less a part of the American narrative than those of other southern colonies, especially considering how many of those Loyalists, free-blacks, and slaves from the traditional southern colonies found their way to East Florida during the war. This study is an effort to restore their place in American history and to return East Florida from the shadows of marginalization.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Roger Smith.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Sensbach, Jon.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022430:00001


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e3cfd734b466696c7424bc6385a9740d74611720







THE FACADE OF UNITY:
BRITISH EAST FLORIDA'S WAR FOR DEPENDENCE

















By

ROGER C. SMITH


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008



































2008 Roger C. Smith









TABLE OF CONTENTS



A B S T R A C T ............................................ .............................. 4

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N ........................................................................................... ................ .. 6

2 BRITISH EAST FLORIDA AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.............................20

3 SO N S O F L IB E R T Y ......... ... ..... .. .. .. ...... .................................................... ..

4 THE REVOLUTION'S SOUTHERN-MOST THEATER.................................... ...............50

5 REVOLUTIONARY LIFE FOR BLACKS IN EAST FLORIDA................ ..... ..............65

6 L O Y A L IST R E F U G E ................................................................................... ....................80

7 N O M A N 'S LA N D ...................... ....................................... .. .. .. .... ................. 94

8 EV A CU A TION ............... .............................................. ....................... 106

9 CON CLU SION .......... ......... .................................... .... ... ............. 121

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ..................................................................................... ...................13 1

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ............................................................................... ............... ..... 138









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

THE FACADE OF UNITY:
BRITISH EAST FLORIDA'S WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE

By

Roger C. Smith

August 2008

Chair: Jon Sensbach
Major: History

On August 11, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud in the market plaza

in St. Augustine, East Florida. The throng of common folk and elites alike became so enraged

that they burned John Hancock and Samuel Adams in effigy. The following day, proclamations

of loyalty for King George III flowed from the colony's civil leadership. Over one hundred

letters can be found in the George Washington Papers mentioning St. Augustine or East Florida.

As early as December 18, 1775, the Commander in Chief was calling for the capture of St.

Augustine and its large cache of powder and munitions stored in the Castillo de San Marcos.

However, not only did the American army fail to take East Florida after three invasion attempts,

but the royal governor did not evacuate the colony until November 19, 1785.

The significance of these events is mysteriously lost on generations of historians. The

historical omissions that have left the memory of East Florida and the evacuation of St.

Augustine relatively unknown are inexplicable. The Revolutionary War involved not only the

present state of Florida, but circumstances in St. Augustine were significant in the shaping of

southern Revolutionary events. The plight of Loyalists and blacks in East Florida is no less a part

of the American narrative than those of other southern colonies, especially considering how

many of those Loyalists, free-blacks, and slaves from the traditional southern colonies found









their way to East Florida during the war. This study is an effort to restore their place in American

history and to return East Florida from the shadows of marginalization.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

On November 19, 1785, with the wind finally in its sails, the HMS Cyrus put the coast of

East Florida to her stern and carried the last remnants of a weary, but loyal, colony back to

England-though not necessarily back home. Many of these last few refugees from the Floridas,

Georgia, and the Carolinas were born in North America and never known an English sunset.

Some left behind the only hopes they possessed for a new life, in a new home, on the shores of a

land they diligently toiled to make prosperous-only to have it voluntarily abandoned by

politicians and diplomats who never experienced the cypress-lined banks of the St. John's River

or felt the warmth of a January afternoon sun in this moderate climate. It was a colony that

boasted the rich soils and long planting seasons of the Caribbean without the deadly plagues of

malaria and yellow fever. East Florida had become home, with St. Augustine at the heart, for

every loyal British subject who was forced to leave its splendor. On this day the last British

evacuation vessel in all of North America sailed with the loyal refugees of a long and bitter

humiliation at the hands of "civilized allies and unnatural colonists [who] are ungrateful to

British designs."1 The author of these words was Major General Patrick Tonyn, governor of East

Florida-Great Britain's last colony in what is now the United States.

To both amateur and professional historians alike, the preceding paragraph has all the

plausibility of an imaginative novel based upon "what-ifs" and "maybes," surrounded by wild


1 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, P36, p. 8. In several passages
located in the documents of the Public Records of the Colonial Office in Kew, England, the word "unnatural" can be
found in reference to rebellious actions in the British colonies. During this era of the British Empire, it was viewed
that the relationship between the metropole and its colonies was similar to that of a mother and child. Therefore, an
act of rebellion was deemed "unnatural" to the propriety of the relationship. Historian J. Leitch Wright contends that
whenhn East Florida had refused to revolt in 1775, it had followed precedents, because loyalty to the mother
country was the colonial norm. It was the thirteen colonies who, by rebelling, had broken with tradition." J. Leitch
Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 54, Issue 4 (April 1976), 435.









conjectures of historical fiction. The idea that there was an American colony inside what is today

the geographic borders of the United States that remained loyal to Great Britain throughout the

course of the American Revolution-holding steadfastly to its grip on the North American

continent long after the Battle of Yorktown or the Treaty of Paris-seems ludicrous. The fact

remains that this scenario actually occurred and, like many other misplaced pieces of information

on the war, is perplexingly absent from the familiar canon of American history. I will argue that

historians are thus forced to reconsider the traditional interpretations and memory of a united

War of Independence. Closer scrutiny teaches us that from the town meeting to the state

legislature to the Continental Congress, American colonists were rarely unified on any subject-

what historian John S. Pancake calls a "facade of unity"-forcing many significant questions to

be asked concerning what we as a nation know, and are told, about the American Revolution.2

The clarifications of these seemingly hushed topics are readily available, but Americans must be

willing to contextualize the discussion from a British perspective.

For over two centuries Loyalism during the American Revolution has been viewed

primarily from an American standpoint, lending to the vilification of Tories as traitors,

dissentionists, and enemies of American liberty. But such a general analysis is far from

comprehensive, as the representation of British East Florida for the opposing conscience of the

Loyalist discussion will demonstrate. American colonists were equally passionate for loyalty to a

British form of democratic government as Patriots were to the Founding Fathers. Loyalists

struggled for their own rights and liberties, and the freedom to remain steadfast to their current

way of life. They too were Sons of Liberty-British liberty; and they fought for the centuries-old

British freedoms that had been won many times on many battlefields. But that's not the story


2 John S. Pancake, 1777: The Year of the Hangman (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1977), 131.









historians have propagated upon the American public. The discussion of Loyalist East Florida is

removed from Revolutionary dialogue-erasing the story of every human being on the North

American continent who faced these Loyalists on the battlefields, smoked the pipe with them in

the longhouses, or peered through the bars at them from the slave pens.

To marginalize East Florida in the American Revolution into nonexistence is to expunge

the memory of a significant portion of early American history. For example, American

schoolchildren are taught from an early age that it was George Washington's rag-tag Continental

Army of Yankee farmers and Boston malcontents that shocked the world as they confounded

Great Britain's powerful military machine into submission during the Revolutionary War. But

they hear little or nothing of the efforts of America's southern army-a wholly distinct

department from the Minute Men and Continental regulars who fought in New England and

other points north. From George Washington's correspondence with the Continental Congress,

the southern army's existence is verified as early as December 18, 1775, as well as Washington's

concerns for British fortifications in East Florida.3

The American Southern Department's military leadership throughout the war included

such notable patriots as Charles Lee, Robert Howe, Benjamin Lincoln, Horatio Gates, and

Nathaniel Greene-some of them heroes, all of them major-generals in the Continental Amy,

commissioned by congress and assigned to the southern department personally by George

Washington. Yet, until 1780, when Sir Henry Clinton and Charles Lord Cornwallis landed the

main North American body of British troops in Charleston, South Carolina, the efforts of the

3 On December 17, 1775, the British packet ship Betsey was taken off the coast of New England. Her confiscated
correspondence revealed St. Augustine's build of powder and arms, which prompted Washington's request to
Congress for action. The George Washington Papers, "George Washington to Continental Congress, Cambridge,
December 18, 1775." December 17, see also Gerorge E. Buker, Richard Apley Martin, "Governor Tony's Brown-Water Navy: East
Florida During the American Revolution, 1775-1778." Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 58, Issue 1 (July 1979),
58.









Southern Army are largely overlooked in American textbooks. Most timelines for the

Revolution-including those of the Library of Congress, the National Parks Service, and the

Public Broadcasting System-consistently assert that the war was conducted primarily in the

northern colonies until 1780, moving into the south almost exclusively from that point forward.

This simple division of dates and geography-the result of the traditional practice of

military history being recorded by the victors-does not hold up to scrutiny. Great Britain was

rich in its history of international warfare and certainly aware of the impending disaster of

ignoring the entire southern region of the American colonies. For this reason, Sir Henry Clinton

viewed Charleston as a prize as early as June 1776, and the Loyalist colonies of East and West

Florida steadily built up troops, munitions, powder, and gunboats to protect the valuable shipping

lanes of the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean's Gulf Stream. But in

order to make sense of such strategies one must first understand that East and West Florida

indeed remained loyal British colonies from 1775-1783 and 1781, respectively. This will require

setting aside the traditional American textbook and viewing the war not only from the other side

of the Atlantic, but from a pre-1781 mindset.

But if Americans insist on such time-lines, one should ask these questions: what was the

Southern Department of the Continental Army doing for the first five years of the war, if not

engaging British troops in combat? If there was no significant threat from British forces in the

south until Comwallis' juggernaut arrived in Charleston in 1780, then who manned the British

warships that were repulsed at Fort Sullivan in Charleston Harbor in 1776? It certainly was not

the Spanish who chased General Howe's American troops out of Savannah on December 29,

1778. And what army, if not the British, repelled a combined American/French force led by

General Benjamin Lincoln, Admiral Count d'Estaing, and Count Casimir Pulaski as they









attempted to recapture Savannah in 1779-all prior to the appearance of Cornwallis' main

army?4 Furthermore, if there was no significant military activity in the south from 1775-1780,

then why was this body of southern Continental regulars never utilized in the early stages of the

war to bolster Washington's oft-depleted, half-starved, battle-worn army in the North?

These questions are supposedly confounded by a lack of documentation concerning the

war's early years in the south due to the fact that an inordinate number of early America's

historians were from New England. Had Joseph Plumb Martin been from Georgia or South

Carolina rather than Connecticut, one might also presume the southern conflicts would have

received more acknowledgements, as well.5 As a result, very little is known about the southern

theater of the war prior to 1780, and what we do know seems to have only gained interest on a

regional basis due to an absence of preeminent Revolutionary figures. But it is naive to presume

that a lack of early American authorship on the subject resulted from a scarcity of Revolutionary

activity in the south.

In all fairness, even Parliament presumed that "the trouble in America was the work of a

small number of dissident radicals who had no considerable popular support, and who were

confined largely to New England."6 However, in 1774 and earlier, documented Sons of Liberty

activity was prevalent in Charleston, Savannah, and St. Augustine. There is also documentation

that from 1776-1780, considerable military activity occurred in the south, much of it orchestrated


4 Savannah was Britain's first objective of the shift to the southern theater, not Charleston. The main invasion
arrived only once troops from Florida and New York secured the territory between Savannah and St. Augustine. W.
Calvin Smith, "Mermaids Riding Alligators: Divided Command on the Southern Frontier, 1776-1778," Florida
Historical Quarterly, Vol. 54, Issue 4 (April 1976), 462.

5 Joseph Plumb Martin was a common soldier in the northern Continental Army who wrote a memoir of his eight-
year service to the revolutionary cause. It is from this memoir that historians know as much detailed information
concerning the northern campaigns of the war as they do. James Kirby Martin, ed., Ordinary Courage: The
Revolutionary War Adventures ofJoseph Plumb Martin (St. James, N.Y.: Brandywine Press, 1993).
6 Pancake, 1777, p. 18.









from a distance by George Washington, which involved Continental regulars, British infantry,

and Spanish military personnel from New York, Virginia, Georgia, both Carolina's, both

Florida's, New Orleans, and Havana. It would be negligent to presume that such a dearth of early

American historical works concerning the southern colonies indicates that these events were

never put to paper. A more accurate depiction of the southern region during these years was not

one of inactivity until Cornwallis arrived, but rather that it took Washington's southern generals

until after 1780 to develop a winning strategy. Centuries of ignoring American military failures

in the southern theater by American historians have created a vacuum of information concerning

almost all southern Revolutionary activity.

Volumes of British primary documents reveal an abundance of information on this topic

and have been available for the world's perusal since the Treaty of Paris. Therefore, this study

will rely heavily upon official British correspondence especially that of East Florida's royal

governor, Major General Patrick Tonyn, to better understand the southern theater of the

American Revolution and contextualize those events within the historical discussion of East

Florida's Revolutionary War effort. Governor Tonyn's correspondence with politicians,

dignitaries, and military commanders of the empire exposes a unique British perspective on the

war. The "pugnacious Irishman" takes the reader behind British lines as he denounced high

ranking officials within the colony-most specifically Chief Justice William Drayton and

Secretary of the Colony Dr. Andrew Tumbull-as Sons of Liberty, loyal to the American

rebellion.7 British records also enable the reader to understand the diplomatically explosive

atmosphere of the province as civil and military authorities strove to maintain a judicious

relationship with Creek and Seminole war chiefs, while simultaneously quashing an attempt

7 Bernard Bailyn, Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the Peopling ofAmerica on the Eve of the Revolution (New
York: Knopf Publications, 1986), 60.









within the colony to defraud these nations of millions of acres of ancestral lands. As governor,

General Tonyn was directly involved with the political turmoil and southern military campaigns

of this region.

In addition to multiple altercations with factious elitists within the colony, Revolutionary

events include facing down three failed attempts by the American Continental Army to invade

East Florida in 1776, 1777, and 1778, and the constant threat of Spanish invasion from New

Orleans and Havana. When East Florida's military units were not concentrating on the colony's

defenses, continuous skirmishes, raids, and intelligence-gathering sorties flowed from St.

Augustine into the back countries and chief municipalities of Georgia and South Carolina by the

East Florida Rangers. Over 5,000 regular British troops under Major General Augustine Prevost

utilized the asylum of Loyalist East Florida to launch successful invasions against Savannah,

Augusta, Ninety-Six, and ultimately Charleston. As early as December 1775, George

Washington brought attention to St. Augustine, with its large cache of powder and munitions,

fearing that East Florida would serve as a base for a southern campaign. After 1778, subordinate

generals and French commanding officers repeatedly coerced Washington to focus his attention

away from further invasions of East Florida.8

The fact that this information continues to elude American history books creates many of

questions concerning this neglected portion of the Revolution. Why, for example, must the

exploits of an American southern army be ascertained from the writings of British Loyalists?



8 The George Washington Papers, "George Washington to Continental Congress, Cambridge, December 18, 1775."
for late 1778, but plans were abandoned when congress learned of the British siege of Savannah. A fifth invasion
was stymied in 1780 by the counsel of French General Jean B. Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau. Martha
Condray Searcy, The G,. ;,,i-ii ... i Contest in the American Revolution, 1776-1778 (Tuscaloosa: University of
Alabama Press, 1985), 157-59; see also the George Washington Papers, "George Washington to Jean B. Donatien de
Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, and and Charles Louis d'Arsac, Chevalier de Ternay, New Windsor, December 15,
1780." (gwl80288)









Why are American school children not told that no American armies, or those of their European

allies, ever occupied any portion of East Florida and the colony remained dogmatically loyal to

Great Britain until the war's end. For American historians, East Florida appears to be an anomaly

best forgotten; their silence on the subject allows conjecture and presumption to replace fact and

actuality. As a result, East Florida and the American Southern Department sink into an age old

abyss, which simply denies the existence of unpopular history.

Unfortunately, Britons would also like to forget the tumultuous circumstances of the

poorly orchestrated evacuation of ten thousand loyal British citizens from St. Augustine. It is

documented that as many as 40,000 Tories fled New York and Charleston at the war's end, but

most accounts fail to mention that the primary destination of those from Charleston was an

already refugee-swollen St. Augustine-the closest safe haven for southern British Loyalists.9

Nor do British historians discuss that eighteenth-century protocol then forced British Loyalists in

East Florida to wait out the definitive terms of the Treaty of Paris, not hearing of the colony's

cession to Spain until April 24, 1783. Then came the unpleasant task of supervising the ill-

devised mass departure of the dumbfounded Loyalists. To complicate the evacuation, the treaty

dictated that Governor Tonyn acquiesce to the new Spanish governor in St. Augustine,

maintaining a politically impotent administration from July 12, 1784, until the evacuation was

completed on November 19, 1785-over four years after the Battle of Yorktown and two years

after the war officially ended.

The historiography of this study is as fascinating as the events themselves. Wilbur H.

Siebert wrote the definitive tome on the Loyalist evacuees of East Florida in 1913, but a great


9 Loyalists from Savannah, and the back-countries of Georgia and the Carolinas had already made their way to St.
Augustine six months earlier, uncomfortably overcrowding the town's hospitalities. Wilbur H. Siebert, ed, Loyalists
in East Florida: The Narrative (Deland: Publications of the Florida State Historical Society, No.9, Vol. I and II,
1929.Loyalists in East Florida), 1:7.









deal of information has surfaced in the last ninety-five years. Siebert wrote several follow-up

articles for the Florida Historical Quarterly over the next three decades, but nothing that

encompassed the entire Revolutionary period-and certainly nothing pertaining to the military

activity in and around East Florida. For that information this study looks to the primary

documents for information in the extreme southeast, and to military historian John S. Pancake for

the rest. Articles and dissertations by graduate students ranging from the University of Florida to

Northwestern University were located, but the topics are narrow enough to constitute a piece or

two of a much larger puzzle. Since the concept of an Atlantic world study was not yet born

during the tenure of Dr. Siebert and his contemporaries, no one had developed and promoted the

notion that the American Revolution reached as far south as it did north, or the importance of

such information. The American invasion of Canada gained notoriety because of the

participation of a highly recognizable historic figure in Benedict Arnold, but what of the multiple

American invasions of East Florida? A significant amount of American history has been either

ignored or forgotten due to the political circumstances of East Florida during the war which

involves every aspect of an Atlantic world study for which one could hope.

In 1985, Martha Condray Searcy wrote The Georgia-Florida Contest in the American

Revolution, 1776-1778, which was found to be one of the most useful resources available on this

topic. Searcy located landmark information concerning four all-black companies of regular

British troops that were formed in St. Augustine, and gave the most in-depth information on the

three invasions of East Florida by the American army. The only drawback with Searcy's book

for the purposes of this study was that she covered but a few years of the Revolutionary era and

the author restricted her efforts to the military conflicts between Georgia and East Florida. In

reality, East Florida's role in the American Revolutionary era is an epic, multi-faceted story that









must be revealed in total, but flounders because it is being told piecemeal and to small, regional

audiences. It is a fascinating story that involves more than just the military aspects of the region.

Each facet of the account is equally vital for the purpose of contextualizing East Florida into the

Atlantic world discussion, especially during this most crucial period.

Two historians have sought to bring East Florida to the forefront in broad views of general

history. Charles Mowat brings a great deal of detail to the William Drayton affair, a critical topic

in this discussion that many have completely overlooked, but his other works on East Florida are

basic over-views of narrative history covering larger periods of time. Daniel Schafer's research

on Governor James Grant's administration from 1763-1770 is worthy of emulation and his on-

line information on the British colonial period of East Florida outstanding. But Schafer has not as

thoroughly investigated the administration East Florida's second British governor, Patrick

Tonyn, who governed the colony from 1774-1785 and supervised the British evacuation after the

American Revolution. As a result, his coverage of the Revolutionary period leaves room for

further investigation.

The works of historians such as Jane Landers, Carol Watterson Troxler, and J. Leitch

Wright, who have investigated the many records of white business transactions, slave issues

unique to the region, court cases, proclamations of international import, and claims for loss of

property after the Revolution are imperative to the social facets of this study and utilized

frequently. Several renowned scholars, including Joseph Byrne Lockey, William S. Coker, and

Patrick Riordan provide insight to official government correspondence relating to the state of the

colony, military service of slaves and free-blacks, slave conditions on East Florida plantations,

and complicated Native American alliances. Other noted historians such as Sylvia Frey and

Simon Schama draw British East Florida into the overarching conversation of the American









Revolution as they provide insight to the on-going conditions within the traditional southern

theater of the war. These circumstances held major implications for the thousands of slaves and

free blacks forced to flee these regions and crowd into the tiny provincial capital of St.

Augustine. This portion of the research confirmed initial conclusions from the primary

documents that East Florida was an integral part of the entire Revolutionary conversation,

especially concerning southern American history. What was confusing was why both of these

authors made such great strides to demonstrate an enslaved population moving out of the

traditional southern colonies in search of refuge, but both stopped short of bringing East Florida

into the central discussion.

Helen Hombeck Tanner, Rafael Altimira, and Richard Herr lead a myriad of authors

utilized in this study who offer a specifically Spanish perspective of what took place before,

during, and after the American Revolution, and how Spanish edicts and proclamations affected

the colonies of the Americas. Jane Landers asserts her expertise in these discussions, as well,

providing her unique and extensive insight to the plight of slaves during both the first and second

Spanish periods in Florida. From these historians one is able to understand the political and

military mood of the Spanish Empire toward Great Britain from the days of Ponce de Leon

through the retro-cession of the Floridas to Spain in 1783. It is now understood why Spain was

experiencing an era of prosperity in 1784, but the new Spanish Governor of East Florida had

insufficient funds to travel from Havana to St. Augustine. This was an important aspect of the

project so that the full perspective of the transition from English to Spanish control of East

Florida in 1784 could be realized.

The only thing lacking was for someone to bring the entire array of specific discussions

concerning British East Florida into one complete conversation. It was also felt that the story









must be presented from a British perspective since there are few if any American primary

documents on the subject. Attention was then turned to the British for secondary materials. If

anyone would honor their dead with proper pomp and circumstance it would be the British. This

theory led to Schama, but, surprisingly, finding a book on the topic of East Florida by a British

historian was even less fruitful than with American scholars. Schama is a storehouse of

information on East Florida compared to other British historians.

A classic example of British efforts on the history of East Florida can be found in a work

by Richard Holmes. Holmes, who focused fourteen books on British military history, included a

map of North America illustrating the major cities and battle sites of the American Revolution in

his book, Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket.10 Yet there are no

indicators on this map showing war-time involvement in St Augustine, Pensacola, Mobile, Baton

Rouge, or Natchez, all of which were East or West Florida provincial capitals and/or important

battles sites for the British army against American or Spanish regular infantry during the

Revolution. While each location in West Florida omitted from this map depicts a significant

defeat for the British military, East Florida is an epic tale of undaunted loyalism. Yet, like

Holmes' conspicuously incomplete map, neither passages of historical note for the defenders of

St. Augustine nor biographical essays of her inhabitants flow from the British side of the Atlantic

either. Such historiographical silence unwittingly perpetuates the vilification of British Loyalists

by American historians and students alike. Few historians visit the American Revolution from a

Loyalist perspective, much less portray Loyalists as heroes of the British Empire. Literature on

British loyalism during the Revolution has been discussed by such historians as Wilbur H.

Siebert, Robert S. Lambert, Robert M. Calhoon, and North Callahan, to name but a few. But

10 Richard Holmes, Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket (London: W.W. Norton &
Company, 2001), p. xxv.









those who have done so have not generated as much interest in the United States or Great Britain

as the topic deserves. Americans view Tories and Loyalists as no better than traitors and simply

do not care what happened to them after war. And like so many lost causes in the annals of

military history, British accounts of the American Revolution are understandably lacking. Tales

of empires lost and refugees fleeing for their lives rarely embody the glamour of a Dunkirk-an

escape-to-the-sea that might not have been so ardently revered had the British military not

concluded World War II victoriously.

Florida did not "bob" like a cork to the surface of the Atlantic Ocean at some mysterious

moment during the nineteenth century. Florida possesses the oldest European-based history on

the North American continent and played a significant role in many aspects of this continent's

history prior to its "emergence" as a Confederate state. The story of British East Florida during

the American Revolution is one of a forgotten colony in an indistinct theater of one of the most

important wars in world history. These scarcely noticed British documents expand North

American history and present a unique analysis of the Atlantic world perspective of the

American Revolution through the eyes of British Tories, and Spanish and American conquerors.

It is a story which also highlights Native American loyalties and the ever-volatile status of

African-Americans-both free and enslaved-as European intentions would once again prove

suspect.

But this study is much more than just the discovery of a royal governor's inimitable

contributions to the missing military history of the American Revolution. The war served as but

intermittent background music to the daily strains of internal factions, wholesale charges of

sedition, great financial ruin, a calamitous end to a bitter struggle, and the potential re-

enslavement of thousands of free blacks. It is a unique look inside the electrically charged










atmosphere in what George Washington perceived to be a critical sector of the war, and an

opportunity to consider a wholly British perspective of the political chaos that enshrouded

eighteenth-century North America. Official British correspondence allows us to observe the

inner workings of one of the most dynamic anomalies of the American Revolution: a Loyalist

American colonial government at war, militarily undefeated, with the whole of its populace

adamantly loyal to King George III and stubbornly clinging to North American soil two years

after most modern historians profess they evacuated.1


































1 Example: "In 1783, the Union Jack was lowered, Florida returned to Spain, and British inhabitants of St.
Augustine crowded aboard ships headed for the West Indies, the British Isles, or Nova Scotia." Colin G. Calloway,
The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of .i.. America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006),
157.









CHAPTER 2
BRITISH EAST FLORIDA AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

After the Treaty of Paris, 1763, Great Britain seized control of all of Spanish Florida, from

the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean, and divided it into two colonies simply called East

Florida and West Florida. West Florida's borders ran from the Mississippi River in the west to

the Apalachicola River in the east. In 1764, Parliament expanded its northern boundary from the

31st parallel to 320 28', with Pensacola as the provincial capital. East Florida contained the same

boundaries as modem day Florida, less the panhandle, therefore, ending at the Apalachicola

River in the west rather than the modern day western border of the Perdido River. The capital

remained in the former Spanish garrison town of St. Augustine, the only municipality in the

colony. Control of East and West Florida gave Great Britain command of the shipping lanes

from Havana to New Orleans.1 Anglo/Spanish aggravations now reached new levels as Spain

walked away from two hundred and fifty years of tenure on the North American continent, losing

control of valuable sea lanes from Havana to New Orleans and a protective port for the treasure

fleets in St. Augustine.

East Florida's first governor, a politically well-placed Scotsman named James Grant,

hoped to avoid the large scale endowing of massive land grants to court favorites. However, his

pleas fell on deaf ears as the vast majority of the colony's habitable land was handed out in

10,000-20,000 acre lots-100,000 acres to Lord Dartmouth and his heirs, alone. While some of

these lands were cultivated, most grantees planned to leave the land idle until the colony's

property values increased enough to sell off for large, easy profits. But a new colony required

laborers, physicians, merchants, and craftsmen of every variety in order to survive. Governor

Grant enticed "five hundred industrious and successful settlers," including some religious-

1 William S. Coker, Jerrell H. Shofner, Florida: From the Beginning (Houston: Pioneer Publications, 1991), 41, 47.










freedom seeking French Protestants, to begin the re-population process of the colony.2 The

Royal Proclamation of 1763 was designed to enhance this effort, but the colony found little favor

within the common population of the other North American British colonies.

Historian Linda Colley details the progression of status for Scottish citizens in British

society; from savage tribesmen north of Hadrian's Wall to important members of a united

empire. Colley notes the accomplishments of these previously marginalized people through

intellectual enlightenment, prolific economic endeavors, and military service as she traces their

ascendancy in British society. Though the author's emphasis is on Scotland, Colley includes

Irish Protestants and the Welsh in her study of the evolutionary process for which the peripheral

members of the "island kingdom" became "peers of the English."3 The succession of eighteenth-

century imperial wars greatly enhanced an Irishman or Scot's "prospects of rapid advancement

through the ranks and their opportunities for booty... securing British victories could be the

means of securing their own."4 As the Scottish gentry broke through national political barriers in

London during the 1750s, a rash of nepotistic appointments followed to insure the longevity of

this new-found prestige. When Lord Bute, a Scotsman and future Prime Minister, was Secretary

of State of the Northern Department he "ensured that his countrymen got the lion's share of the





2 Daniel L. Schafer, "St. Augustine's British Years, 1763-1785," El Scribano: The St. ln,, ,r,,.- Journal of History
(St. Augustine: The St. Augustine Historical Society, Vol. 38, 2001), 17, 18. In 1763 Madrid dispatched aides to the
governors of St. Augustine and Pensacola to assist with the evacuation process and establish fair market values for
personal property. All Spanish citizens were strongly encouraged to leave Florida permanently with compensations
of free land elsewhere within the empire. Calloway, Scratch of a Pen, 152-53.

3 As one proof of this peer status, Colley writes that "[t]he English and foreign are still all to inclined today to refer
to the island of Great Britain as 'England.' But at no time have they ever customarily referred to an English empire."
Colley, Britons, 130.

4 Ibid, 127. As a profound example of just such opportunities for an Irish Protestant, Colley cites the careers of such
Anglo/Irish proconsuls as Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, and his brother, Marquess Charles Colley
Wellesley. Ibid, 132.









crown appointments in East and West Florida, colonies only acquired in the Seven Years War

and therefore singularly free of any prior English stranglehold."5

Given this atmosphere, one can imagine the air of tension in 1774 surrounding the arrival

in St. Augustine of an imperial governor of Irish birth. Many of East Florida's elites were

politically well-placed Scotsmen and there were some who were highly insulted by the selection

of an Irishman from outside the colony as their new chief administrator. When Patrick Tonyn

arrived in St. Augustine the air was thick with tension over local political appointments and the

constant jockeying for position by East Florida's elites. Tonyn was not the least interested in the

jockeying for position by such sycophantic elitists, as issues of sedition and rebellion were of

primary concern.6 It was an era of tempestuous political turmoil in North America and the new

governor's initial dealings with the people of the colony attest that he was neither concerned with

his popularity nor allowing the seeds of dissention to germinate into unrest as the result of

administrative ineptitudes. Political and social errors of judgment by novice governors who

acquired their positions through various degrees of nepotism created a great many of the current

tribulations in the American colonies, and Tonyn would not step into those traps easily.

Tonyn's predecessor did not avoid such mistakes. From the beginning of his tenure as

governor of East Florida in 1763, Governor Grant gained immense popularity in St. Augustine,

due largely to the extravagant parties and banquets he would host several nights each week.

Grant, a bachelor, boasted North America's most voluminous selections of wine, beer and





5 Colley, Britons, 128.
6 As previously mentioned, Tonyn's last will and testament later tells us that he was pre-deceased by two of his
daughters, but it is not known if they died prior to his arrival in St. Augustine or at a later date. From the historical
records, the only known fact is that the two children did not die while Tonyn was governor of East Florida. "Will of
Patrick Tonyn, General of His Majesty's Forces of Saint George Hanover Square, Middlesex," National Archives of
the United Kingdom, Catalogue Reference: prob 11/1424,









liquor-as well as three "'French Negroes' already trained in the arts of French cuisine."' This

lavish lifestyle prompted the boisterous governor to boast, "There is not so gay a town in

America as this is at present, the People Mason[ic], Musick and Dancing mad."8 Grant's

popularity waned by 1770, prompting him to make his most astute political move and return to

London, leaving Lt. Governor John Moultrie as the acting governor from 1771 to 1774. During

this interim, various members of the colony's Grand Council felt slighted by Moultrie's

appointment, as factions developed. Chief Justice William Drayton's hostile outbursts during

council meetings and public conflicts with Moultrie became fodder for rumor throughout the

colony.9 The news of Patrick Tonyn's appointment to permanently replace Grant heaped fuel on

an already inflamed situation. As a result, John Moultrie, the wealthiest planter in the colony,

returned once again to his position of Lt. Governor and became one of Tonyn's most trusted

political associates. This alliance would serve Tonyn well with the people, as well as in future

political upheavals.

Little is known about Governor Tonyn's life prior to his arrival in St. Augustine on March

1, 1774, other than he was born the son of a British colonel near Belfast, Ireland, and served

admirably in the Seven Years War.10 In 1767, married and with his regiment stationed back in

England, Lt. Colonel Tonyn's fortunes took the kind of turn of which most people only dream.


7Schafer, "St. Augustine's British Years," 41.

8 Ibid, 45.

9 Ibid, 170-77.

10 Tonyn served first with his father's regiment, the 6t (Inniskilling) Dragoons at the battles of Warburg and Kloster
Kamp (1760), then in Martinique (1762) with the 104th Regiment of Foot. After the Treaty of Paris, 1763, the 104th
was absorbed into the 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot, with which Tonyn ultimately achieved the rank of
general and remained commissioned until his death in 1804. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, "Patrick
Tonyn (1725-1804)." http://www.oxforddnb.com/articles; Mark Mayo Boatner, Encyclopedia of the American
Revolution (New York: D. McKay Co., 1966), 119; Robert Stansbury Lambert, South Carolina loyalists in the
American Revolution (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1987), 262. T.F. Mills, Land Forces of Great
Britain, the Empire, and Commonwealth. lihp \ \\ \\ .regiments.org










His brother-in-law, Francis Levett, Sr., arranged for Richard Oswald, a wealthy London

merchant, to convince the governor of East Florida to set aside 10,000 acres of pristine forests

for Levett along the Julington Creek near the St. John's River for a "'worthy friend' to whom he

owed 'particular obligations.'"11 Somewhere in the negotiations, Oswald also counseled

Governor Grant to assign a claim for 20,000 acres on the east bank of Black Creek, a tributary of

the St. John's River, to Levett's brother-in-law, Patrick Tonyn.12 Though Tonyn remained an

absentee land holder for seven more years, the forty-two year old British officer-who did not

come from noble birth or a privileged rank in English aristocracy-was among an exclusive and

elite cadre of the largest landholders in one of Great Britain's newest North American colonies. 13

In 1773, Tonyn's regiment moved to the West Indies to provide a military presence to what

was becoming the most politically charged hemisphere of the British Empire. The details behind

Patrick Tonyn's appointment are unclear, but it is known that Tonyn solicited the position by

writing to the Earl of Dartmouth, Secretary of State of the American colonies. 14 What may have

ultimately made Patrick Tonyn the King's choice for such a prestigious assignment was a

combination of the future governor's military background during such turbulent times in North



1 Richard Oswald made much of his fortune as a slave trader, heavily involved with the .Li\ iIg entrep6t of Bance
Island at the mouth of the Sierra Leone River, where he bought captives from the Temne people." Oswald was one
of the British representatives who signed the Treaty of Paris, sitting across from Henry Laurens of South Carolina-
the man who would pocket ten percent of all Oswald's slave transactions in Charleston prior to the Revolution.
Simon Schama, Rough Crossings: The Slaves, the British, and the American Revolution (New York: HarperCollins
Publishing, 2006), 137-38.
12 Daniel L. Schafer, "Florida History On-Line," with special acknowledgment to the James Grant Papers and the
Florida Claims Commission.


13 There were 27 land grantees of 20,000 acres or more: among them are Lord Grenville, The Earl of Dartmouth,
Charles Legge, Lord Egmont, Sir William Duncan, Denys Rolls, Richard Oswald, Peter Taylor, Francis Levett, Sr.,
and Patrick Tonyn. "The Turnbull Letters, 3:1; "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, January 19, 1778,"
PRO CO 5/546, pp.227-28; see also Schafer, "Florida History On-Line,"


14Schafer, "St. Augustine's British Years," 178.









America, Tonyn's vested interest in colonial matters due to his large land holdings in East

Florida, and the officer's current proximity to North America. Having Lord Dartmouth in one's

corner was a definite boon to Tonyn's prospects, as well.

There were several factors that would help East Florida maintain its loyalty to British

interests as rebellion loomed on the horizon. Among them was geographic seclusion from the

other provinces, and the fact that East Florida possessed the smallest overall population in the

North American colonial system. Some of the colony's elites were concerned that no political

assembly had been called due to the infancy of the province, but there were also no taxes yet

levied on the inhabitants of East Florida as a direct result of its small size and lack of commercial

production. Therefore the populace had no complaints of taxation without representation. Also,

having never set foot on American soil, East Florida's new governor had viewed the American

colonies from a European perspective his entire life. His military analysis of colonial politics

made him well aware of the powder keg that was threatening British North America.

Though sedition was spreading in New England during the spring of 1774, in East Florida

the immediate concern was the need to ensure peace with the Creek and Seminole nations-

specifically through the Seminole chief, Cow Keeper. On March 13, 1774, British military and

civil authorities sponsored a council near the St. Marys River with Cow Keeper, Okonee King,

Long Warrior, and several minor chiefs for the purpose of introducing the new governor and re-

establishing a good rapport. Though this was Tonyn's first documented meeting with an

indigenous people, his preparation for the event clearly demonstrated a gift for diplomacy under

such circumstances. After making several conciliatory gestures, the new governor casually

reminded the chiefs of the magnitude of the "Great King" across the ocean: "altho his warriors

and people are in numbers like the leaves on the trees, and his Ships like the trees in the woods,









and altho he is able with these to fight the whole world; for neither the strength of his enemies,

nor the Mountains nor Rivers, nor Sea can stop him when he goes to War against them." Tonyn

then manipulated the conversation effectively into a discussion which emphasized that the all-

powerful king loved peace more than war, and was happiest when "[Indians] and his white

children are like Brothers and children under one Father."15 Whether the Seminole chief trusted

the sincerity of the new governor's oratorical display or a veiled British threat had its intended

effect, Cow Keeper's pledge of unending loyalty to Great Britain remained a solid fixture in East

Florida's Revolutionary-era policies and military strategies.

Anglo relations with southern Native Americans were historically dubious, at best, since

the British arrived in East Florida in 1763. Small scale hostilities and killings which disrupted the

peace in the past began to resurface in the summer of 1774. On August 5, Georgia's governor,

Sir James Wright, and Governor Tonyn agreed to stop trading with various tribes until the

aggression ceased. This was successful for only a few weeks, as in early September renewed

killings of Indian warriors by whites near Savannah threatened to start a full-scale war. Governor

Tonyn sent what few uniformed British troops he could spare on a hastened march from the

southern regions of the colony near New Smyrna, up and down the St. John's River, and across

the northern borders of Georgia along the St. Mary's River. Such an artificial show of force-

with strict orders to "observe peace and good order"-had a calming effect on Creek and

Seminole tempers. 16 The British display of presumed strength brought peace to the colony and

was a rousing success for East Florida, both militarily and economically, as planters could return

to the plantations they had been forced to abandon out of fear of uprisings.


15 "Address of Patrick Tonyn to Cow Keeper, St. Marys, March 13, 1774," PRO CO 5/554, pp. 21-22.
16 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, September 16, 1774," PRO CO 5/554, pp. 26-29.









With the mood of the colony relaxing, agriculture production increased, and the governor

was able to focus on more mundane, but highly essential tasks such as lowering the cost of corn

by purchasing large quantities in Philadelphia to flood East Florida's market. Tonyn also

resolved the problem of St. Augustine's hazardous sand bar which covered the width of the St.

Augustine Inlet into Matanzas Bay, the town's harbor, by purchasing a launch "with 16 oars

double banked." The craft could function as a tug boat to tow smaller vessels into port or act as a

personnel and cargo transport for those that could not enter. 17 There may have been no raucous

parties at the governor's home, as was before, but the economy was healthy, the land could be

worked safely year round, and the harbor was capable of handling larger shipments of commerce

directly in and out of St. Augustine. For a colony that was established on the premise of bringing

large profits to a select few, this was indeed good news in very high places.

But the turmoil of rebellion in North America soon consumed the serenity in East Florida,

leaving civil authorities but one objective-to quash any hint of dissent at home that was

currently enveloping East Florida's sister colonies, thereby securing the colony's new-found

prosperity. Just as historian Rhys Isaac describes American revolutionary interests in colonial

Virginia as a "gentry-led patriot movement," so East Florida's circumstances might be viewed as

a gentry-led defense of British liberties. 18




17 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, September 16, 1774," PRO CO 5/554, pp. 30-31. Wilbur H.
Siebert tells us this of St. Augustine's sand bar: "Ordinarily the bar could be crossed by three channels, often by two
only. Admitting nothing but small and light vessels, the channels were narrow and crooked and shifted in stormy
weather. Ships were often kept from eight to fourteen days unable to pass the bar on account of wind and weather."
Wilbur H. Siebert, "The Port of St. Augustine during the British Regime, Part II," Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol.
25, Issue 1 (July 1946), 92.

18 Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia: 1740-1790 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982),
270. This protective spirit of a planter elite class for status quo was not unusual and would be seen again on the
North American continent many years after the Revolution, specifically in nineteenth-century South Carolina.
Catherine Clinton, Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2005), 165.









Governor Tonyn's tenure in East Florida virtually coincided with the outbreak of the

American Revolution. Parliament initiated the Coercive Acts only two weeks after the new

governor's arrival in St. Augustine, and just thirteen months later shots were fired at Lexington

and Concord. 19 In April 1775, all pretenses were removed; the discord was now a rebellion.

Tonyn-a man who spent the last thirty-three years of his life in military service to king and

country-would not remain idle if he believed that his colony was leaning toward joining the

revolt. In a letter to Lord George Germain, Tonyn emphasized what he perceived as his ultimate

responsibility: "The Good of His Majesty's service and the protection & defense of this province

are the main objects I have constantly in view."20 These were difficult times, on a very turbulent

continent, for a colony to preserve the Loyalist status quo.

Chief Justice William Drayton and Dr. Andrew Turnbull were among the first casualties.

Prior to Tonyn's arrival, Drayton was removed from office on more than one occasion as the

result of recalcitrant political conflicts with acting-governor John Moultrie. Each time he was

ultimately reinstated by the London connections of his colleague, Dr. Andrew Turnbull.21 One

might speculate that Moultrie took great pleasure relating to his new superior the many instances

of insubordination and political shenanigans Turnbull and Drayton had inflicted on East

Florida's Grand Council. Drayton made a powerful enemy in John Moultrie, one who was deeply

respected throughout the province. Moultrie's political alliance with the rigid Tonyn brought a

degree of empathy for the people to the administration. But with Moultrie came his umbrage for




19 Smith, "Mermaids Riding Alligators," 446.
20 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, January 19, 1778," British Colonial Office Records, held at the
P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History University of Florida (Gainesville: University of Florida, Vol. I & II, 1984),
2:482
21 Schafer, "St. Augustine's British Years," 170-77.









anyone suspected of self-serving motives which might weaken the colony's fiber during this time

of rebellion.

Revolutionary-era St. Augustine was home to a "cabal" of dissentionists and agitators-a

political luxury for men in calm surroundings, but the American colonies were anything but

stable in 1774. Drayton and Dr. Turnbull were listed prominently among these men, along with

James Penman, Lt. Colonel Robert Bissettt, Arthur Gordon, Lt. Colonel Lewis Fuser, Spencer

Mann, and the colony's attorney general, Arthur Gordon.22 Governor Tonyn was as intolerant of

such factions as he was of the idea of a Colonial General Assembly. England was headed to war

with its own colonies, and Tonyn believed that legislatures were boiling pots for treason,

promoted by men who designed factions against the crown. From a Loyalist perspective of

contemporary colonial events it is hard to deny that such despotic attitudes were not justified, as

that is almost precisely what happened in New England and the other American colonies. That

there had never been a General Assembly in British East Florida was a major point of contention

for Dr. Turnbull and Chief Justice Drayton, who were "advocates of the rights of Englishmen in

the colonies."23 As early as 1768, Drayton "warned that proclamations of the [East Florida]

Royal Council were potential violations of English law unless sanctioned by an elective

assembly."24 But Tonyn regarded general assemblies in the American colonies of the 1770s as a

"source of sedition, the great bulwark of American liberty," which only encouraged his belief

that Turnbull, Drayton, and their cohorts were Sons of Liberty, sympathetic to the rebel Patriots

of Boston and Virginia. The governor accused Drayton of being a "Leveler," and ultimately a

22 Spencer Mann's last name is often found spelled with just one "n." Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, Vol. I, 17,
80; see also Charles Loch Mowat, East Florida as a British Province, 1763-1784 (Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1943), 87.
23 Schafer, "St. Augustine's British Years," 170.

24 Ibid, 170.









traitor; in Tonyn's mind only those bent on treason would openly argue for the existence of a

legislature. Determined to keep such factions from developing in East Florida, the governor's

first strike against seditious activity came, unintentionally, just seven months after his arrival in

St. Augustine.25

On October 1, 1774, Patriot sympathizers hijacked a shipload of various goods in

Charleston Harbor, including two chests of infamous East Indian tea. The proprietor, James

Penman, complained vociferously that the crown owed him for his losses. But the details

concerning the theft made it clear to Tonyn and Moultrie that the ship never reported to the

proper customs house, anchoring instead far out into the harbor. East Florida authorities wanted

to know why such a valuable cargo was not properly processed, but sat out at such a distance

awaiting transfer to a ship heading directly to St. Augustine. Tonyn's report to Lord Dartmouth

on this affair acknowledged his belief that Penman was attempting to smuggle the goods into

East Florida without paying the proper taxes.26 To Loyalist sentiments, these actions were no less

criminal than those of rebels in New England, and Penman was pegged as a potential threat to

the harmony in St. Augustine. Penman immediately recruited his colleagues, who complained

determinedly to their contacts in London, but to no avail. Smuggling became rampant in the

American colonies soon after Parliament passed the old Townshend Acts in 1767, and were a

sore subject among London's elites. Penman avoided prosecution, but was forced to consider the

cargo lost. The incident made the new governor acutely aware of whom his adversaries were.27

Just one month later Chief Justice William Drayton attempted to pass a land scheme,

developed by Jonathan Bryan of South Carolina, under the new governor's nose. The conspiracy

25 Mowat, East Florida as a British Province, 85.
26 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, October 1, 1774," PRO CO 5/555, pp. 1-2.

27 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, August 1, 1774," PRO CO 5/555, pp. 1-3.










involved bilking the Creek nation out of hundreds of thousands of acres of land in East Florida

by securing the signatures of lower ranked Creek chiefs on deeds to the land. Jonathan Bryan

was introduced to Drayton in South Carolina while the magistrate was visiting his uncle, William

Henry Drayton. The younger Drayton saw the financial opportunities of this venture but knew

that he would need the backing of well-placed elites in London-associations which he did not

personally possess. But, as mentioned before, his ally, Dr. Tumbull, was in good standing with

several members of British aristocracy who were the financiers of Tumbull's experimental

settlement in New Smyrna.28 With this guarantee all but secured, Bryan welcomed Drayton and

Tumbull into the world of high-stakes real estate swindling.

Bryan later informed Drayton that Governor Wright of Georgia had torn up the Creek

leases once it was determined that the signatures were illegally acquired.29 What Drayton did not

know was that Governor Wright had already informed his East Florida counterpart of the land

scheme and had issued a warrant for Bryan's arrest.30 Later, when Revolutionary fighting

reached East Florida's borders, George Washington appointed Jonathan Bryan to command a

militia brigade during two of the three invasion attempts against East Florida. Tonyn suspected

that one of the primary objectives of Bryan's land scheme was to stir up another Anglo/Indian

war to divert valuable British troops during the war with the colonies.


28 Dr. Turnbull had convinced a group of prestigious financial backers that the Greek and Minorcan farmers were
better suited to agricultural labor in the Florida climate, due to their natural acclamation to what was presumed to be
similar latitudes in Mediterranean region. Turnbull founded New Smyrna in 1767 with 1,400 of these people signed
on as indentured servants. By 1775, the numbers were down to 600, though none of the contracts had matured.
Records do not indicate a reason for the plummeting population, but natural attrition due a "seasoning" period may
have occurred. However, in eight years one would presume that such an occurrence would have run its course. In
1777, atrocities committed against the indentured population, many of which resulted in death, were reported by
escapees from New Smyrna to authorities in St. Augustine. Such events may have also been responsible for the
declining population. George R. Fairbanks, The History and Antiquities of the City ofSt. i ,, or i ,. (New York:
C.B. Norton, 1858), pp. 169-70.
29 "The Turnbull Letters," Vol. I, pp.106-07; PRO CO 5/555, p. 281.

30 Ibid, p.lll; PRO CO 5/555, pp. 277-81.









Meanwhile, Governor Tonyn described in a letter to Lord Dartmouth how Drayton called

on him one night to explain the nature of the speculative land deal. "I made no reply, but silent

amazement," Tonyn wrote, as Drayton, with the assistance of Andrew Tumbull "who said he

would join with him, and support it with his interest at home," presented the land conspiracy as a

means of obtaining a finder's fee from the British government of at least 20,000 acres.31

Allowing Drayton enough leeway to orchestrate his own arrest for treasonous activities, Tonyn

ordered the magistrate to proceed immediately with a legal injunction against Jonathan Bryan.

Drayton's next move confirmed the governor's suspicions. The Chief Justice returned to the

governor's office the next morning to discuss the proceedings against Bryan in hopes of

convincing Tonyn to reconsider his decision in this matter. Tonyn wrote to Lord Dartmouth that

"[Drayton] said, he found this affair, required a good deal of consideration: he advised the

proceedings against Bryan, to be put off, for a little time...this affair might be turned to a public

benefit, he recommended to me, to adopt Bryan's plan."32 By presuming that this was nothing

more than another opportunistic business negotiation, Chief Justice Drayton failed to consider

the governor's overall perspective of the volatile political atmosphere in the colonies-not to

mention the enormous amount of work Tonyn had ahead of him in hopes of smoothing relations

with the Creeks.

Tonyn's stance was unmovable, as the governor also considered Drayton's intentions to be

reprehensively illegal. He wrote, "I replied, I never would give countenance to a fellow, that, had

the impudence to fly in the face of the Kings proclamation, had daringly violated his prerogative;



31 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, November 23, 1774," PRO CO 5/555, pp. 53-60; "The
Turnbull Letters," 1:115-16.
32 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, November 23, 1774," PRO CO 5/555, pp. 53-60; "The
Turnbull Letters," 1:116.









was doing all in his power to rob His Majesty of his land, and to get into possession of it."33

Upon hearing from governors Wright and Tonyn, Lord Dartmouth proclaimed that the Bryan

conspiracy "is big with the greatest Mischiefs, and being subversion of every Principle, upon

which the Crown claims a Right to the Disposal of all unappropriated lands, it cannot be too

strenuously opposed, and I have the satisfaction to acquaint you, that the King approves every

Step you have taken in that Business." Dartmouth went on to write about Drayton's role in the

affair and referred to his actions as conductut so diametrically opposed to the Duty he owes the

King & which his Character & situation required of him."34

This land scheme has no real equivalent in the modern era. The plan was a direct violation

of the Proclamation of 1763-an edict, though unpopular with the people, was still very much in

effect.35 In 1774, a well-understood propriety of land ownership existed in the British American

colonies. The land in question belonged to the Creek nation, but only if the British crown chose

not to take it, whether by negotiation or by force. The ultimate owner of the land, according to

the mindset of the metropole, was King George III. Landholders in East Florida, for example,

were granted their property and allowed to possess it only by the grace of their monarch. Bryan,

Drayton, and Turnbull were behaving as if this land did not belong to the king until the Indians

relinquished it, and only then it would be English soil. The three conspirators then hoped to be

rewarded with a sizable portion of the land as a commission for their services.

Just as the world had never witnessed the likes of colonial mobs confronting British troops

in Boston, or defiantly ransacking the houses and property of royal officials who were about the


33 Tonyn was referring to the Royal Proclamation of 1763. "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine,
November 23, 1774," PRO CO 5/555, pp.53-60; "The Turnbull Letters," 1:116.
34 "Lord Dartmouth to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, May 3, 1775," PRO CO 5/555, pp. 124-25.

35 Charles L. Mowat, "The Enigma of William Drayton." Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 22, Issue 1 (July 1943),
20.









king's business, there was an audacity in Bryan's plot that was abhorrent to eighteenth-century

British culture. Drayton hoped to find in Governor Tonyn sense of ego over duty, as he

suggested that this land scheme would dramatically increase the population of East Florida

virtually overnight. By Jonathan Bryan's promise, Drayton claimed that there were thousands of

eager inhabitants in Georgia awaiting such an opportunity for new lands. That Tonyn would ever

"injure a Royal Colony to build up [his] own" was an insult to the governor's integrity and his

honor as a servant of the crown, further fueling Tonyn's repulsion.36

Less than one month later, Tonyn's case against Drayton suffered a severe blow when

Lord Dartmouth resigned his position as Secretary of State of the American Colonies and was

replaced by George Lord Germain. A former soldier, Germain (born George Lord Sackville) was

disgraced at the battle of Minden during the Seven Years War and banished from the army by

King George II. Now, with a new king, and a newly inherited title, Lord Germain would be the

East Florida governor's immediate superior.37 Tonyn gave no indication of animosity toward a

man with Germain's stained military reputation, but the new Secretary of State was more

calculated in his decisions than was the irrepressible Dartmouth. Tonyn's campaign against

Drayton sputtered during the first year of Germain's appointment, but the governor's tenacity

was relentless, feeling justified in his actions.

In the meantime, the earliest opportunity for a council with members of the Creek Nation

did not avail itself until December 1775. Therefore, the governor found it necessary to keep a lid

on any potential disruptions to the delicate relationship with the Indians until then. Tonyn called

36 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germaine, St. Augustine, January 14, 1775," PRO CO 5/556, p. 133.

3 "During these critical phases of the battle Prince Ferdinand sent four separate orders to Sackville to attack with his
powerful cavalry force. Every time Sackville refused to obey the order. Sackville's deputy commander, the Earl of
Granby attempted to lead the force forward but was ordered to halt by Sackville. It has been said that if the British
and Hanoverian cavalry had charged the overthrow of the French army would have been complete."










on Lt. Colonel Thomas Brown for assistance. Brown was the commander of the East Florida

Rangers, a special military unit drawn from former Georgia and South Carolina backwoodsmen

and small planters, refugees from revolutionary upheaval in their home colonies. Governor

Tonyn hand-picked these rugged men for the purpose of performing what would be called today

"Special Units" functions, or "Black Ops." Brown earned a strong reputation with the various

Indian nations and eventually became East Florida's Agent of Indian Affairs in 1779.38 Under

Brown's guidance, and General Thomas Gage's authorization, East Florida civil authorities

maintained a strong support of the Native American tribes with gifts of munitions, essentials, and

presents. Both Gage and Brown determined not to repeat the negative Anglo/Indian relations that

existed during the French and Indian War, in which the Native Americans enjoyed great benefits

from playing one European power against another. 39 Brown utilized the influence of British

Indian agents to help organize the Seminoles and Creeks for war against possible rebel incursions

into East Florida.40 Though historians often lampoon this strategy as ineffective, Britain's goal in

East Florida was to exploit the psychological affect that Native American war parties had on the

colonists of Georgia and the Carolinas.


After spending the first nine months of 1775 attempting to overcome the political

nightmare with the Creeks that Bryan, Drayton, and Turnbull created, Tonyn took the offensive

and held a series of small councils with various Native American leaders. When the brother of

Cupite King came to St. Augustine to inquire about an overdue shipment of gunpowder, he

38 John Stuart had been the Southern Region Indian Agent, previously stationed in Charleston until forced to
evacuate to St. Augustine in 1775. His sudden death in 1779 allowed Brown to fill the position. Siebert "Loyalists in
East Florida," 1:24, 76.
39 "Thomas Brown to Patrick Tonyn, St. Augustine, May 8, 1775," PRO CO 5/555, p. 176; "General Gage to Patrick
Tonyn, Boston, September 12, 1775," PRO CO 5/555, p. 181.
40 J. Leitch Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 54, Issue 4 (April 1976),
431.









learned that one-hundred and eleven barrels of gunpowder-all slated for Creek villages-were

stolen from the sloop St. John by American pirates as the boat lay anchored across the bar from

Matanzas Bay. In a moving speech in which Tonyn swore on his life that he would never deceive

the Indians, he then instructed them to seek their lost gunpowder from the thieving "Virginians"

who stole it.41 A large council between British officials and Creek leaders was finally arranged

from December 6-8, 1775. During this congress Jonathan Bryan's plot to swindle the Creeks out

of their lands was exposed. Documentation shows that this address carefully avoided the

inclusion of Bryan's British cohorts, thus safe-guarding East Florida from potential Native

American wrath. Tonyn equated Bryan's devious nature to all Americans who stole British gifts

destined for Creek villages. He promised that "[t]he Great King is now sending great armies of

his Land and Sea Warriors, like the trees in the Woods, for the guard and protection of His good

white subjects, that have not joined with these bad unnatural Subjects...when they are punished

it will all be peace."42 As a result of this council, Kaligie and The Pumpkin King, both exalted

head men of the Creek nation, swore oaths of allegiance to Great Britain. They asked Brown to

orchestrate a council between them and the Seminole chiefs to discuss gifting the land in

question to the British as reward for their faithfulness to their Indian allies. The Pumpkin King

added, however, that "it cannot be done unless all consent."43

By December 18, the East Florida emissaries had not only secured relations with the

Creeks, but also authorized the merchant William Panton to meet with Seminole chiefs to

determine the best locations for storehouses. Panton was then invited to St. Augustine to


41 "Virginian" was a term of derision among many Southeastern Native Americans for the Americans fighting for
independence. Governor Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, September 15, 1775," PRO CO 5/555, pp. 65-67.
42 "Address of Patrick Tonyn to Creek Leaders, Cowford, December 6, 1775," PRO CO 5/556, pp 54-57.

43 "Address of Creek Chiefs to Patrick Tonyn, Cowford, December 7-8, 1775," PRO CO 5/556, pp .60-61.









organize the first shipments of supplies to these locations. With Seminole and Creek relations

smoothed, Governor Tonyn turned his full attention to the men who nearly brought Great Britain

to war with both Indian nations.









CHAPTER 3
SONS OF LIBERTY

William Drayton's connections to rebellious factions in South Carolina became strikingly

evident as he was investigated more thoroughly. His uncle, William Henry Drayton, was an

ardent leader in the Revolutionary movement in South Carolina, "who stiles himself, 'A member

of the [American] Congress, the general Committee, the Council of Safety, the secret

Committee, and the Committee of Intelligence, which last acts as Secretary of State [of South

Carolina]."'1 In a fit of rage, the younger Drayton once told Captain F.G. Mulcaster, Surveyor

General of East Florida and the illegitimate half-brother of King George III, that "not one of the

King's Governors did not deserve hanging...that from the machiavellian Administration of

H[aldimand] in the North down to the blundering tyranny of T[onyn] in the South."2

Patriots in Charleston intercepted a royal mail packet in June 1775. After reading Governor

Tonyn's official correspondence from London, William Henry Drayton forwarded the letters to

his nephew in St. Augustine, along with a personal letter of explanation dated July 4. When

Drayton presented the packet of letters to Governor Tonyn on July 21, he also read aloud a

portion of his uncle's message for the purpose of assuring the governor that there was nothing in

the letter beyond family correspondence. After insisting upon seeing the entire letter, Tonyn

discovered a tone rife with rebellious rhetoric, which included, "Georgia shall not be a place of

Refuge for any Person whose Public conduct has rendered them obnoxious to the censure of any

part of the united Continent." Though written exactly one year prior to the signing of the

Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary leader boasted that "Peace, Peace, is now, not

even an Idea. A Civil War, in my opinion, is absolutely unavoidable-We already have an Army


1 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, July 21, 1775," PRO CO 5/555, p 50-57; see also "William
Henry Drayton to the Honorable William Drayton, Charleston, July 4, 1775," PRO CO 5/555, p. 255.
2 Mowat, East Florida as a British Province, 86.









and a Treasury with a million of Money. In short a new Government is in effect erected."3 Over

three pages of such language filled this document, yet Drayton, a magistrate of his king's court,

concealed them from the colonial authority, claiming all the while he had not acted improperly.

Jonathan Bryan, as previously mentioned, was a very suspicious political bedfellow for

men such as Drayton and Turnbull-men who insisted on being revered as loyal subjects of the

king. In 1776 Bryan led the American attack on Tybee Island, Georgia, one of the preliminary

battles conducted by Patriot troops during the first invasion attempt of East Florida.4 Later, on

March 17, 1777, George Washington wrote a personal letter to Jonathan Bryan saying, "I have

wrote to General Howe who Commands in Georgia, to consult with you and the President of

South Carolina, the Propriety of making [a second] Attempt on St. Augustine... [t]he good

consequences that will certainly result from such an Expedition, if attended with success, are too

obvious to escape your notice."5 Washington's confirmation of an individual's patriotic

dependability is hailed as heroic in the United States. However, putting this letter in perspective

with Great Britain's view of Atlantic world politics, Washington simply corroborated the initial

distrust of Bryan by all British authorities involved in the case-except, of course Chief Justice

Drayton and Dr. Turnbull.

Andrew Tumbull's antagonistic relationship with Governor Tonyn was only beginning.

The Scottish physician was not a landholder, per se, though he carried himself throughout the

colony as such. The financial connections in London which fed Turnbull's arrogance in East

Florida were tied to the peculiar system of absentee land ownership of the era. Though Turnbull


3 "William Henry Drayton to the Honorable William Drayton, Charleston, July 4, 1775," PRO CO 5/555, pp. 255-
57.
4 "Patrick Tonyn to David Tait, St. Augustine, April 20, 1776," PRO CO 5/556, p. 161.

5 The George Washington Papers, "George Washington to Jonathan Bryan, Morris Town in Jersey, March 17,
1777."









received a grant from his financial backers in London to initiate the plantation's formation, he

would receive no proceeds from the colony until his benefactors recouped their initial

investments. Until that time, Tumbull acted as their agent in East Florida and was wholly

subordinate to their decisions. The only influence that Dr. Tumbull truly possessed lay in his

promises to reap large profits from the enormously expensive venture of the plantation of New

Smyrna, in which several British aristocrats invested heavily. As the result of a patrons' limited

options to do much other than back their chosen representatives, men in Turnbull's position in

the colonies possessed a great deal of clout, by proxy, due to the precarious position they held

over their financiers fortunes.

Dr. Turnbull's disdain for the new governor was clear after Drayton's censure by a grand

jury on December 20, 1775.6 The grand jury reconvened on February 13, 1776, as the governor

brought official charges of treason against Drayton and suspended him from office. This allowed

the Chief Justice the opportunity to defend his honor and refute the allegations. Two weeks later,

a clandestine meeting took place on February 27 at Wood's Tavern in St. Augustine-a locale

which catered to men of all stations of life in the small provincial capital. According to

Tumbull's later testimony, it was an impromptu gathering of citizens who were concerned about

the leadership of the despotic new governor.

One might presume it was no small coincidence that Dr. Turnbull just happened to be in St.

Augustine, seventy miles from his home in New Smyrna, on the night of this surreptitious

assembly. Turnbull insisted that the crowd prevailed upon him to officially conduct the meeting

so that their protests might be brought before King George III. When the people in attendance

demanded to know the result of Drayton's trial, Turnbull, who was a member of the grand jury,


6 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, December 20, 1775," PRO CO 5/556, pp. 21-24.









produced a written declaration of Drayton's testimony which was not yet officially cleared for

public access. Turnbull not only revealed the contents of the document, but when asked for his

opinion as to whether Drayton sufficiently argued his case, Turnbull replied, "I believe he has."7

Such a proclamation by one whose status was so much greater than the average patron of

Wood's Tavern had a profound impact on the crowd to act out against the royal governor. The

result was a written declaration-signed by all seventy-four men who were present-to be

delivered personally to the king by Dr. Turnbull.8 On February 28, Turnbull called on Tonyn,

seeking an authorized passage to leave the colony (a customary requirement at this time in all

British colonies). Turnbull was bold enough to inform the governor of his intentions as he

presented him with the document signed at Wood's Tavern the night before. Tonyn was amused

that a private citizen thought so highly of himself to attempt breaking all protocol by subverting

the proper procedures for delivering such a request before the crown. But when Tonyn asked to

see the document and realized that it was a merely a copy which did not include the signatures of

the complainants he was outraged at the audacity of the insult and summarily dismissed Turnbull

by turning his back-a significant gesture of disrespect in this era.9

Less than a week later, on March 4, 1776, Governor Tonyn, with battles already in

progress with Penman and Drayton, brought charges of sedition against Dr. Turnbull and sought

his suspension from colonial office. 10 Through the years these charges have caused some to label

Tonyn as paranoid of any gathering of more than a few people. But again, one must remember

that such tavern meetings in Boston produced the Sons of Liberty movement which engulfed the


S"The Turnbull Letters," February 17, 1777, 2:168-177, PRO CO 5/546, pp. 77-85.
8 Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, 1:34; see also "The Turnbull Letters," 1:127-30.
9 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, March 22, 1776," PRO CO 5/556, pp. 25-28.
10 "The Turnbull Letters," 1:126.










colonies, spreading wildfires of sedition and rebellion. It is plausible that Tonyn, with his

ardently loyal British outlook concerning the groundswell of independence coursing through the

American colonies since the Stamp Act in 1765, was greatly alarmed by the news of such a

meeting in St. Augustine at a time of armed rebellion in thirteen of the North American colonies.

What choice would any competent administrator have but to presume that the revolt was making

its way into East Florida, via Andrew Tumbull and his colleagues? Prior to all of this activity,

Tonyn wrote to Lord Dartmouth on November 1, 1775, stating that "I am perfectly informed that

Doctor Turnbull, Mr. Penman, with a few more of the Chief Justice's Creatures, are intriguing

and endeavouring to raise a Faction... [t]he Chief Justice and Clerk of the Crown [Turnbull]

compose the Juries of such men, as always to have a Majority.""1 The meeting at Wood's Tavern

simply confirmed in the governor's mind what he already believed to be true: Dr. Turnbull was

East Florida's Samuel Adams, and the governor would have none of that taking place at Wood's

or any other tavern.12

An even more audacious turn of events was Turnbull's course of defense for his actions.

He plainly stated in a letter to the governor exactly what had taken place, admitted his role in the

meeting, and proceeded to inform Tonyn that he had done nothing wrong. Turnbull went on to

remind the governor of his connections in London, and his importance in the colony due to the


11 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, November 1, 1775," PRO CO 5/556, P.39, p. 118.
12 As a royal governor, Tonyn was kept abreast of the events of the day by frequent correspondence from Whitehall.
As there was no newspaper in the colony until the early 1780's, printed news of colonial events reached St.
Augustine via the South Carolina Gazette. Given the volatility of that colony, these stories would be inclined to
relate news of seditious activities from both viewsdepending on which army governed the colony at the time of
print. Governor Tonyn accused William Drayton of using the Gazette to reveal important information to the
American Patriots concerning East Florida. An example of the broad scope of information concerning news in the
colonies for which Tonyn accused Drayton of utilizing in the Gazette, Samuel Adams' reputation in East Florida as
an agitator of American Patriot politics was acknowledged fully on August 11, 1776 when citizens of St. Augustine
burned him in effigy, along with John Hancock, after hearing the news of the signing of the Declaration of
Independence. Since Adams was not a signer of that document, this action could only be the result of news of his
many revolutionary activities reaching St. Augustine by printed or spoken medium. Searcy, The Georgia-Florida
Contest, 54.









size of the project of New Smyrna, and he cautioned that Tonyn should "let not the hasty Anger

of a Moment counteract his Majesty's most gracious Intention towards me, nor carry you out of

the line of Government."13 In short, Dr. Tumbull threatened Tonyn's position as governor,

boasting that he not only had the ear of the King, but the clout to cause unpleasant men like

Tonyn to be recalled to London. Turnbull's ego was clearly out of control, but in an era of

patronage and cronyism this did not mean that his financial supporters in London would not

support him in order to protect their investments in East Florida. However, the eighteenth

century was also an era of manners and protocol, where effrontery resulted in duels to the death

to defend one's honor. 14 Governor Tonyn's response on March 18 was basically a verbal

doubling of his fists, which let Tumbull know that he was not so easily intimidated. 15 Tonyn, as

governor and a large landholder in the colony, was Turnbull's social superior in every way, and

it was just a matter of time before he would exact his pound of flesh.

On March 22, 1776, Tonyn officially accused Dr. Turnbull of forming a faction to hinder

the government in time of war, but by March 30 both Tumbull and Drayton bribed a ship's

captain and fled to London without official passes. 16 While not every nuance of the on-going

dispute between these proud and arrogant men will be recounted here, a multitude of documents

in the collection of Joseph Byrne Lockey elucidate Tonyn's perspective on the growing strife in

St. Augustine-especially considering what was taking place at this time in the other colonies.

13 "Dr. Andrew Turnbull to Patrick Tonyn, St. Augustine, March 15, 1776," PRO CO 5/556 pp. 89-93; see also "The
Turnbull Letters," 1:128-30.
14 A classic example of this is found in the letter of one Joseph Purcell upon being accused of perjury by Dr.
Turnbull, referring to the charge as a "cruel attempt made to destroy the character of one who has but, that precious
Jewel to recommend him through life." "Joseph Purcell to Patrick Tonyn, St. Augustine, May 4, 1778," PRO CO
5/558, p. 495; see also "The Turnbull Letters," 2:256.
15 "Patrick Tonyn to Dr. Andrew Turnbull, St. Augustine, March 18, 1776," PRO CO 5/556, pp. 97-100; "The
Turnbull Letters," 1:132-35.

16 Ibid, 143.









These documents demonstrate Tonyn's fanatical determination to suppress what he considered

flagrant disloyalty and challenges to his authority as a royal governor. It should be noted that Dr.

Tumbull did indeed bring charges against Governor Tonyn before Parliament, putting Lord

Germain in the politically uncomfortable position of arbiter. 17 Germain's next four

correspondences with Tonyn on this subject were rife with castigations and rebuke. 18 The

governor was on extremely thin ice.

Turnbull returned to St. Augustine in September 1777, only to find that the Minorcan and

Greek indentured servants of New Smyrna brought charges of cruelty and testified of horrendous

conditions at the plantation. Tonyn, in bold defiance of multiple, explicit orders from Lord

Germain to appease Dr. Turnbull upon his return, used this opportunity to dissolve the plantation

at New Smyrna, exposing the scandal to all of London. Though Tumbull returned with orders

from Germain to resume his office as Secretary of the Colony, Tonyn took advantage of the

aforementioned scandal to suspend the good doctor once again, on January 30, 1778. The

charges against Dr. Turnbull had all the appearances of being nothing more than trumped up

allegations to satisfy the governor's wounded ego, but the financial crisis now inflicted upon

New Smyrna forced Turnbull's supporters in London to turn their backs on the doctor and sue

him in court for their losses. It was a move indicative of Governor Tonyn's fixated tenacity to

prosecute-even persecute-any who would defy him in his charge to defend the colony as he

saw fit.

The end result of the governor's actions was not only to ruin Tumbull financially but to

expose the fragility of the doctor's relationships among the aristocracy in London, the



17 "Dr. Andrew Turnbull before the British Parliament, London, February 17, 1777," PRO CO 5/546, pp. 77-85.
18 "The Turnbull Letters," 1:151-52, 154, 164, 176-77.









consequence of which was numerous law suits filed by well placed aristocrats, including the

widow of former Prime Minister George Lord Grenville. Turnbull was forced to await trial in the

St. Augustine jail where he stayed until March 10, 1780.19 Turnbull rightfully complained of the

structure of his trial as Tonyn established himself as the judge, chief prosecutor, and primary

witness for the prosecution. The governor had no intention of seeing Turnbull go free.20 William

Drayton, Dr. Turnbull and family, James Penman, and several other associates fled to Charleston

to escape Tonyn's dogged legal pursuits. Two years later when the British evacuation of

Charleston was completed, Dr. Turnbull and James Penman were unable to remove themselves

to St. Augustine with the other British Loyalists and remained under American sovereignty until

their deaths. Much to their honor and to Tonyn's discredit, "after the evacuation of Charleston,

Dr. Turnbull and Mr. James Penman were required to become [American] Citizens, which they

refused] to do," yet they were allowed to remain in Charleston. It is believed to be the only such

case in South Carolina granted to Loyalists after the war.21 While these men were guilty as

charged for being outrageously arrogant, unscrupulous businessmen, and even cowards in the

face of the enemy, as will be discussed later, it cannot be proven that they were ever traitors to

their king.

Prior to all of this, Chief Justice Drayton had returned to St. Augustine in December 1776,

also with orders from Lord Germain to resume his office in the colony. However, Drayton began

releasing American P.O.W.'s on March 9, 1777-especially any who were personally

19 Turnbull wrote a letter of complaint to Lord Shelburne from his cell with the date of May 10, 1780 ("The Turnbull
Letters," 1:272-76). However, a sudden turn of events must have taken place for on that very same day Josiah Smith
records in his diary that Dr. Turnbull and family left for Charleston on the Sloop Swift, captained by James Wallace,
loaded with personal property and slaves belonging to Turnbull, Spencer Mann and family, and William Drayton.
Josiah Smith, Mabel L. Webber, ed., "Josiah Smith's Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.)." The South Carolina Historical
Magazine, Vol. 33, No. 2 (April 1932), 115.
20 "Lord Germaine to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, July 2, 1777," PRO CO 5/557, pp. 297-98.

21 "Lord Germain to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, July 2, 1777," PRO CO 5/557, p. 376.









imprisoned by the decree of Governor Tonyn-according to English laws of Habeas Corpus. He

went as far as to arrest George Osborne, to whom Tonyn granted a letter of marque, for "100

damages for carrying off some hogs and a small bit of beef' from Little Tybee Island, Georgia-

an American settlement.22 This was Drayton's obvious attempt to deny the governor the power

to issue letters of marque in the wartime defense of the colony-one of the responsibilities

historically bestowed upon all colonial governors. Once this news reached London, Drayton's

defenses-and Parliament's patience-were exhausted.23 In May 1777 Governor Tonyn, now

vindicated on both sides of the Atlantic, suspended Drayton from colonial office a final time.

Chief Justice William Drayton was most likely the actual ringleader of factious activities in

St. Augustine; Turnbull's verbosity simply conferred upon Drayton the appearance of being the

doctor's toady. Like his colleague, Drayton left for Charleston in 1780, as the result of Tonyn's

relentless prosecution, but unlike Dr. Turnbull and James Penman, Drayton preferred to stay in

Charleston after the American occupation.24 It is well established that in 1790 this same William

Drayton became the first Federal Judge elected to represent South Carolina, and his son, William

Drayton, Jr., became a U.S. Congressman from South Carolina.25 This is a far cry from Tumbull

and Penman's refusals to swear allegiance to the United States under threat of being sent back to

St. Augustine and Governor Tonyn's wrath. It was Drayton, not Turnbull, who first became

associated with Jonathan Bryan, and Drayton who withheld valuable war-time information from

22 Mowat, "The Enigma of William Drayton," 28.

23 Drayton also jailed "Mr. Mackie," the surgeon of the East Florida Rangers and former resident of South Carolina,
for reporting Drayton as being "a friend to the cause of America." Drayton then issued a warrant for Lt. Col.
Thomas Brown's arrest on the same trumped-up charge as Mackie. "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine,
May 8, 1777," PRO CO 5/557, p. 105; see also "Lord Germaine to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, July 2, 1777," PRO
CO 5/557, p. 103.
24 Schafer, Florida History Online,

25 Congressional Biographies, William Drayton, Jr.,










Governor Tonyn in a letter written by a politically well placed American Patriot. As early as

October 25, 1775, Governor Tonyn wrote Lord Germain to explain that he must rely upon the

local Anglican minister, John Forbes, to take depositions-a task which would normally fall

within Drayton's job description-because "one cannot let go ones breath, in this place, that a

report of it is not made to Rebel Committees of Carolina and Georgia."26 It would be easy to

make the claim that this was simply evidence of Tonyn's paranoia; however, Dr. Tumbull, in his

accusations against the governor before Parliament claimed to know that Tonyn was plotting

against him because "I was informed of this intention by a man of Truth & Honour," indicating

that there was indeed an informer in Tonyn's cabinet.27 Either Tumbull was lying or Governor

Tonyn's suspicion of a mole in his midst was accurate. It should also be noted that in another

letter to Lord Germain, Tonyn stated that the entire colony incorporated into the militia, with the

exception of Drayton and the attorney general, Arthur Gordon-whom Tonyn referred to as "the

image of wax of Drayton and his creatures."28

Two letters written by Lord Germain on April 2 and April 14, 1776, completely vindicated

Governor Tonyn was for his persecution of the Drayton/Turnbull cabal. In the first letter

Germain profusely apologized to the Tonyn for his harsh stance in previous correspondence

concerning the hostilities between the two parties involved. Germain admitted his own

assumption that the strife was "more the colour of personal dislike than public delinquency."

However, he then stated that if "there should appear sufficient ground to suspect [Drayton] of



26 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, October 25, 1775," PRO CO 5/555, p. 81.

27 Turnbull's attitude on the social classes would not have allowed him to refer to a house servant or commoner as
someone of "Truth and Honour." (The Turnbull Letters," 2:173; see also "Dr. Andrew Turnbull before the British
Parliament, London, February 17, 1777," PRO CO 5/546, pp. 77-85.
28 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germaine, St. Augustine, February 19, 1777," PRO CO 5/558, p. 167; see also Siebert,
Loyalists in East Florida, 1:17.









disaffection to His Majesty, or want of attachment to the Constitution I shall not hesitate to

submit my humble Opinion to the King that he is no longer fit to serve His Majesty as Chief

Justice of East Florida."29 That "sufficient ground to suspect him" came to fruition once the news

of Drayton's habeas-corpus-prisoner-release program reached London.

The second letter gave continued warnings to Governor Tonyn of Turnbull's supporters in

England and explained why he pushed the governor so intensely to settle the dispute with

Tumbull quietly. Germain feared that Parliament would recall Tonyn to London to defend

himself, forcing the Secretary of State to send out a replacement-a circumstance which usually

resulted in a permanent change.30 Germain explained that he would not have "the same Reliance

as I have upon [Tonyn]. To avoid the Necessity of so disagreeable a Step, I thought it best to

endeavour to get rid of the whole Matter."31

Governor Tonyn faced down the most challenging political attacks of his career during the

Drayton/Turnbull ordeal and crushed his opposition with relentless, if not unscrupulous,

determination. It was perhaps this same furor against rebellion that fueled East Florida's resolve

during the three invasion attempts by American armies and the constant threat of a large scale

Spanish offensive. To the British, the American Revolution was about honor and loyalty, and

Tonyn's actions prove that he believed the rebels possessed neither. What man in his position

would? Some might say his attacks on Turnbull and Drayton were the actions of a tyrant

quashing any challenge to his authority. Tonyn's evidence of treasonous activities was never

proven beyond what can be defined as circumstantial. However, in eighteenth-century North

29 "Lord Germain to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, April 2, 1777," PRO CO 5/557, p. 112.

30 Lord Germain's concerns were not unprecedented. In 1766 Governor James Murray of Quebec was recalled to
London as the result of disturbances in Montreal and general complaints pertaining to his administration. Murray
never returned to Quebec, though all charges against him were dismissed. Calloway, Scratch of a Pen, 121.
31 "Lord Germain to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, April 14, 1777," PRO CO 5/557, pp. 116-17.









America it was the duty of a colonial governor to take whatever measures necessary for the safe-

keeping of his charge and to defend the honor of king and country. This was not the first case of

individual rights being sacrificed for the sake of a nation's war effort on this continent, nor

would it be the last.









CHAPTER 4
THE REVOLUTION'S SOUTHERN-MOST THEATER

Traditionally, the American Revolution is viewed as a New England war, fought primarily

by Yankee Minute Men and Massachusetts Sons of Liberty, though historians fully understand

that blood was shed by men and women throughout North America. However, the great

historiographical error committed by generations of American ideologists is the notion that every

British colony rallied behind George Washington for the unified cause of American liberty. In

addition to the two Canadian provinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia, neither of the two Floridas

sent representatives to the 1774 Continental Congress in Philadelphia, nor did they ever desire to

declare themselves independent of Great Britain. On October 19, 1770, as the rest of the

American colonies dealt with the fallout from the Boston Massacre, East Florida governor James

Grant stated, "We have nothing of the Spirit of Dissention which rages all over America."1

Nor did the tumultuous years ahead alter this sentiment, as is evidenced on August 11,

1776, when news of the signing of the Declaration of Independence reached St. Augustine. That

night a large throng of jeering citizens burned the effigies of John Hancock and Samuel Adams

in the town square as a public condemnation by loyal British citizens of all walks of life toward

the rebellion.2 Common folk and elites alike proudly exalted their local chief citizens who

refused to join the Revolution as delegates, "though strongly solicited."3 Document after


1 Schafer, "St. Augustine's British Years," 169. J. Leitch Wright contends that whenhn East Florida had refused to
revolt in 1775, it had followed precedents, because loyalty to the mother country was the colonial norm. It was the
thirteen colonies who, by rebelling, had broken with tradition." Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 435.
Military historian John S. Pancake reminds us that the French Canadians of Quebec did not follow the route of
revolution because they were a separate ancestry from their American neighbors and felt endeared to their new
British citizenship having recently received approval to maintain their Catholic traditions as a result of the Quebec
Act. John S. Pancake, 1777, p. 34.
2 Searcy, The G,. i*,-i ..- 1i Contest, 54.

3 After being warned by Lord Dartmouth of a circular, dated January 4, 1775, inviting men to attend the Continental
Congress in Philadelphia, Governor Tonyn assures Dartmouth that there are no sympathizers in East Florida.
"Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, May 29, 1775," PRO CO 5/555, p. 35; see also John Wells, The









document proclaiming the colony's profound loyalty to the King-affirmations penned by the

inhabitants, not royal officials-were signed and issued in 1774, 1776, and again in 1781 after

the formation of the first General Assembly. East Floridian oaths of loyalty rang out with strong

sentiments of condemnation for the actions of their rebellious countrymen to the north, such as:

"one of the first steps leading to the unnatural revolution, was a refusal of the rebel colonies to

acknowledge the supreme right and authority of the British Parliament." East Florida

assemblymen also made declarations that it was their honor bound duty to "recognize our

allegiance to the blessed Prince on the throne, and the supremacy of Parliament; and be

establishing on the most solid foundation, our constitution, liberties and dependence."4

It is an uncanny irony that both the American Loyalists and their Patriot adversaries

believed in the exact same virtues of sound government-a strong constitution guaranteeing

certain liberties-but from opposing perspectives: the sanctity of dependence as opposed to

independence. Historian Gordon S. Wood contends that "American patriot leaders insisted that

they were rebelling not against the principles of the English constitution, but on behalf of them...

By emphasizing that it was the letter and spirit of the English constitution that justified their

resistance, Americans could easily believe that they were simply protecting what Englishmen

had valued from the beginning of their history."5 From the historian's advantage of 20/20

hindsight, there is little question that the lines drawn during the American Revolutionary were

quite clear militarily, politically, and socially-red coat/blue coat; Tory/Whig; Loyalist/Patriot.

However, like a classic Monet painting, the picture blurs the more closely we look.



Case of the Inhabitants, April 2, 1784; P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History (Gainesville: University of Florida,
1984), 3.
4 Wells, The Case of the Inhabitants, .33-34.
5 Gordon S. Wood, The American Revolution: A History (New York: Random House, 2002), 58.









Several theories exist as to why the citizenry of East Florida were so faithful to the same

British authorities that stirred emotions of angst and rebellion in the other American colonies. As

previously mentioned, the size of the population of East Florida, due to its infancy, was very

small. There were also no taxes to create animosity between the people and Parliament; many of

the inhabitants were enjoying a ten year reprieve of quit-rents on any lands received.6 However,

other factors were involved in the province's undying loyalty to the crown. Unlike the thirteen

colonies in rebellion, East Florida did not have a populace that could trace its roots several

generations deep into the history of the region, as could the Byrds, Lees, and Carters of Virginia.

Most of the turbulence which created the revolutionary groundswell resulted from the American

colonists' resentment of Parliament's actions and policies after the French and Indian War. The

infamous British taxes of the mid-to-late 1760's produced much of this rebellious spirit, but did

not impact East Florida as its population had no significant commerce, industry, or sizable

population until several years later. With the exception of Indian traders, English inhabitants did

not move in to East Florida until well after the Treaty of Paris in 1763, and even then it was a

sluggish process.

Like the sugar islands of the Caribbean, much of the land in East Florida was initially

granted to absentee landholders and, as a result, an overwhelming majority of the English

residents who lived in East Florida did not reside in the region until after 1764-many of whom

came from non-North American locales. There was no sense of shock, anger, or even dismay in

East Florida resulting from controversial laws like the Proclamation of 1763, because, again,

such legislation had no impact on this region. Historian Colin Calloway reminds us that the Earl



6 This also applied to refugees. On February 19, 1778, King George III gave permission to Governor Tonyn to break
up the large, undeveloped land grants of absentee owners and disperse them accordingly to Loyalists from Georgia
and the Carolinas. Ibid, 17.









Lord Shelburne, president of the Board of Trade in 1763, promoted the royal proclamation

specifically to redirect the westward movement of the American population north and south, to

Nova Scotia and the Floridas. He hoped this would serve the dual purpose of temporarily

alleviating western border warfare with Indian tribes, while simultaneously populating the

virtually empty peripheral colonies. Even at this, "there was no immediate influx of British

[American] immigrants to repopulate East Florida."7 Another reason that such a large percentage

of the new British inhabitants of East Florida were also relatively new to North America was that

few long-term residents of the continent saw the Floridas as a destination boasting the typical

enticements of westward expansion. Large land grants worked by slave labor were, by design,

established in East Florida for wealthy, well-connected patriarchs, not idealistic back-woodsmen

desiring to carve out a niche in the wilderness ten acres at a time.

La Florida was unavailable to English expansion for two and a half centuries due to

Spain's monopoly of the region. St. Augustine was incorporated in 1565 to protect the shipping

routes from the Caribbean to Spain and, though the province was never more than a dismal

backwater military post, the town served a valuable service to the Spanish crown. However,

Spain put very little emphasis on St. Augustine as anything other than a military outpost.

Therefore, the lack of industry by their Spanish predecessors encouraged Great Britain to focus

on farming, as exports of indigo, sugar, rice, timber, naval stores, and barrel staves lay at the

heart of the colony's economy. King George III decided that the quickest way to accomplish this

goal was to grant sizable tracts of land to his court favorites, creating economic opportunities for

new planter elites.8 The British felt that Spain had squandered its time in Florida. British East

Florida planters were men of great fortunes and sensed an opportunity to realize similar amounts

7Calloway, Scratch of a Pen, 93, 94, 155.
8 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 427.









of vast wealth, as had previous generations in the Caribbean. East Florida was a new and exciting

hope for those born too late to reap the full benefits of plantation ownership as their fathers and

grandfathers in Jamaica, St. Kitts, and Barbados. East Florida represented the dream of every

junior son of a British lord or nobleman who knew he would never inherit anything but handouts

of the family fortune. This was a new chance to become the patriarch of one's own manor.


East Florida more closely resembled the West Indies than the other colonies in North

America. The soil was fertile, the climate mild, and the environment healthier than that of the

Caribbean. But like the Caribbean, black human beings were the beasts of burden that were

exploited to reap other men's fortunes. While historians often point to South Carolina as the only

American colony with a black population which exceeded that of whites at 60%, East Florida's

demographics demonstrate a pre-Revolution population that was a minimum of 66% black. 9

Remarkably, these numbers are rarely noted.


As mentioned before, land in East Florida belonged to the crown and could not be

possessed unless duly authorized by the king. Absentee land owners left millions of acres of East

Florida undeveloped prior to the American Revolution. As a result there was only a slight influx

of American-born Georgians and Carolinians into East Florida from 1763-1775. Those who did

move down from other colonies, such as John Moultrie, represented some of the wealthiest

planters in the region. With the advantage of perfect hindsight, Governor Tonyn took a great deal

of pride, not to mention political gain, as he would later recall the Jonathan Bryan land scheme to

Lord Germain's attention. Tonyn believed that a significant number of Americans from Georgia

and South Carolina would have swarmed into East Florida if Bryan had succeeded in securing



9 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 427.









such a large tract of land. Tonyn wrote, "the country, my Lord, would have been settled with the

turbulent, seditious, and disaffected." The governor went on to say that he would bet his life that

East Florida would have become an American colony had Bryan and Drayton not been found

out.10 When one considers the evidence that Tonyn believed he uncovered against Bryan and

Drayton-which included Drayton's statement concerning the many Georgians Bryan had ready

to move into East Florida-there is enough fact to substantiate the plausibility of his argument.

One theory concerning East Florida's loyalty to King George that is prevalent today is that

the colony was simply too small, commercially unproductive, and militarily impotent to concern

the American war effort. Virtually isolated from the other colonies, St. Augustine was the only

practical military target in East Florida. Once it fell, the owners of the outlying plantations who

depended upon the provincial capital as a market for the consumption or shipping of their

commerce would have no choice but to change allegiance or leave the colony. East Florida

could, therefore, be ignored by the Americans until after the war when independence would

allow the luxury of time and concentration of forces to seize it for the new nation.

However, George Washington referenced St. Augustine and/or East Florida over one-

hundred times in his personal papers, and usually in terms of military concern.11 As mentioned

previously, Washington called for the sacking of St. Augustine as early as December 18, 1775,

and South Carolina Representative John Rutledge arrived in Savannah on February 13, 1776,

with full expectations that the victory would have been won already. 12 On each of the failed

invasions into East Florida in 1776, 1777, and 1778, Washington personally promoted the need

10 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, November 1, 1776," PRO CO 5/557, pp. 8-9.

1 These references may be found in the George Washington Papers, held by the Library of Congress.
12 The George Washington Papers, "George Washington to Continental Congress, Cambridge, December 18, 1775."
1776," PRO CO 5/556, p. 81.










to remove such a strategic British stronghold from America's southern borders. Even after the

three disastrous offensives Washington had to be dissuaded by French General Rochambeau

from launching another attempt in 1780. Rochambeau felt there were concerns closer to the heart

of the conflict that must be dealt with first. 13 But Washington recognized that as long as St.

Augustine remained under British control the military contingency of the colony would continue

to harass the Georgia and Carolina back-country militias and distract the American Southern

Army away from critical northern conflicts. British military officials in St. Augustine, too, were

well aware of the thorn East Florida represented to the efforts of the American Continental army.

In a letter to Lord Germain in 1779, the governor applauded the colony's war effort as he

asserted "that the depredations by the Loyal Inhabitants of this Province by Sea, and Land, have

contributed to sicken the Rebels of their Revolt, and forced them to keep those Troops in the

Southern Provinces for internal defense, which could otherwise have strengthened Washington's

Army." 14

One factor that Washington did not recognize, nor could he have recognized without

personal knowledge of the area or much improved reconnaissance, was that the terrain of East

Florida and the defenses of St. Augustine made the capital virtually impossible to conquer. In the

town's two hundred years of existence an invading army never successfully subjugated St.

Augustine. Surrounded by swamps, creeks, and rivers to the west and south, the harbor to the east


13 Kathryn T. Abbey, "Florida as an Issue During the American Revolution" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of
Illinois, 1926), 184-185; see also the George Washington Papers, "George Washington to Robert Howe, Edward
Rutledge, and Jonathan Bryan, Morris Town in Jersey, March 17, 1777;" "George Washington to Robert Howe,
Head Quts., Camp at Morris Town, July 4, 1777;" George Washington to John Rutledge, Head Quarters, Morris
Town, July 5, 1777;" "George Washington to Benjamin Lincoln, Head Quarters, Morris Town, April 15, 1780;"
"George Washington to Jean B. Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, and and Charles Louis d'Arsac,
Chevalier de Ternay, New Windsor, December 15, 1780;" "George Washington to Nathaniel Greene, Head
Quarters, Verplanks Point, September 23, 1782." (gw080298; g\i'I 1'"2;
1guPaick'To; guiiit ;L5, gw180288; g\ 1'"u '5, g'\ 157'17)
14 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, July 3, 1779," PRO CO 5/559, pp. 443-56.









and the Castillo de San Marcos to defend the northern boundary and the harbor's inlet, St.

Augustine was impenetrable. 15 Due to the treacherous sand bar extending the width of the inlet

into the harbor, no ship with over seven to ten feet of draft, depending on the tide, could enter

therein. 16 Local pilots were necessary to escort even the smaller ships over the bar. War ships

attempting to attack St. Augustine were forced by these circumstances to remain in the Atlantic,

unable to reach the Castillo with their canon and extremely vulnerable to inclement weather.

Bringing an army into East Florida by land was a perilous endeavor, again due to the

terrain. The Okefenokee Swamp which covers a significant portion of the Georgia/Florida border

funnels an invading army into a relatively narrow strip of land filled with treacherous

topography, snakes, alligators, and few bridges. An army must navigate the St. Marys and then

the St. Johns rivers-both of which are wide, deep, and powerful-before being channeled once

again by the swampy terrain, past three small forts to march directly at the Castillo. Almost

immediately upon his arrival in St. Augustine in 1774, Governor Tonyn began equipping the

Castillo with additional guns, strengthening redoubts, fortifying palisades, and completing a

perimeter of earth-works around the town. A large barracks was erected on the southern end of

town opposite the Castillo to provide a sense of omni-presence to the garrison should St.

Augustine be attacked from multiple directions. Additional defensive structures included a large






15 The Castillo de San Marcos was built by the Spanish in the sixteenth century and successfully stood against
several English invasions for almost two hundred years. During the British colonial period the name was
anglicanized to the Castle St. Marks, but the Spanish moniker has remained the local designation. As mentioned in
the National Park Service tour of the fort today, the Castillo was thought by one British officer in 1740 to be made
of cheese due to the resiliency of the fort's coquina construction to cannonballs. The officer's journal is now kept in
the Special Collections Library at the University of North Florida. (St. Augustine Historical Society/National Park
Service).
16 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, July, 1, 1774," PRO CO 5/554, p. 31.









watchtower on Anastasia Island to watch for southern sea-born attacks, and small western

outposts on the St. Johns River to warn of raids from the west.17

But even though large war ships could not intimidate the defenses of St. Augustine, there

was a myriad of waterway networks throughout northern East Florida which gave the British

constant concern. The colony depended upon an inconsistent task force of shallow water vessels

to provide a naval presence to "reconnoiter East Florida's riverine frontiers (the St. Johns and the

St. Marys), and to communicate with Loyalist elements in other colonies." Tonyn employed his

Admiralty commission and issued letters of marque in 1776 to Captain John Mowbray of the

Rebecca to patrol the St. Johns River, and pressed several private ships into service.18

But in spite of all the preparations to defend the colony, it was small pox, poor planning,

and rumors of 2,000 Creek and Cherokee warriors threatening the back country of Georgia that

repulsed the 1776 invasion force of over 2,500 Continental regulars and militia, though remote

fighting did take place. Washington recalled Major General Charles Lee to Charleston before he

ever reached the St. Marys River. The 1777 invasion involved an American army of

approximately 1,200 men, including Continental regulars from Virginia and Georgia. 19 By the

end of April 1778 a combined army of Major General Howe's Continentals and Gov. Houstoun's

Georgia militia amassed nearly 2,000 troops on the St. Marys River for a third invasion attempt

of East Florida.20 Unlike the attempt of 1776, both of the later invasions succeeded in breaching

the initial lines of British border defenses, both on land and by the Intercoastal Waterway.

According to some historians, the Americans knowledge of five armed British vessels on the St.

17 Albert Manucy, Alberta Johnson. "Castle St. Mark and the Patriots of the Revolution." Florida Historical
Quarterly, Vol. 21, Issue 1 (July 1942), 8.

18 Buker, Martin, "Governor Tonyn's Brown-Water Navy," 58-59, 61, 65-66.

19 Searcy, The Georgia-Florida Contest, 88-90.
20 Smith, "Mermaids Riding Alligators," 439.









Johns River is what turned back the invasion attempt of 1778.21 But there was certainly more

than rumor involved in this final expulsion of the American army from British soil. A sound

defeat at the Battle of Alligator Creek Bridge, along with the unremitting hit-and-run guerilla

raids of Thomas Brown's East Florida Rangers and allied Native American warriors proved too

much for American morale.

But ultimately it was the in-fighting between Continental and state militia leadership that

brought a degree of disaster to each of the invasion efforts, far out-weighing the built up defenses

or Major General Augustine Prevost's combined forces of British regulars, St. Augustine militia,

and East Florida Rangers. It is no small wonder when considering the East Florida landscape,

British determination, and the American military's lack of cooperation and professionalism that

all three invasions fell far short of capturing St. Augustine. The resounding results of the

collective American invasions were the tying up valuable American resources of men and

supplies badly needed for the campaigns in the northern theaters-exactly what Governor Tonyn

boasted to Lord Germain that he was hoping to accomplish.

Another invasion threat came from Great Britain's Spanish foes in New Orleans and

Havana. Upon entering the war in 1779, Louisiana governor Bernardo de Galvez' Spanish

armies devoured real estate easily in West Florida, first taking Baton Rouge and Natchez, then

Mobile. By 1781, invasion forces left Havana for Pensacola and St. Augustine. Pensacola fell

quickly, but the eastern prong of the invasion landed inexplicably on Providence Island, the

Bahamas. Even George Washington presumed that St. Augustine and the treasure of gunpowder

and munitions kept in the Castillo de San Marcos were the obvious targets for the Spanish




21 Buker, Martin, "Governor Tonyn's Brown-Water Navy," 70.









fleet.22 But the British never allowed their defenses to relax once West Florida became a Spanish

prize, for who better would know of St. Augustine's weaknesses? Then again, who better would

know the town's strengths? The Spanish already knew what the Americans failed to learn in

three invasion attempts. Spain had designed and improved the city's defenses for two hundred

years; they knew that St. Augustine could not be taken by force. The British, however, were not

eager to entrust the safety of East Florida to Spanish ingenuity. On February 27, 1781, the

governor acquired the power of a prohibitory proclamation allowing him to withhold all

provisions, gifts, and essentials to the Seminole nation if they did not actively participate in the

defense of the colony against the threat of the Spanish from the west.23

Such determination is the final factor that kept East Florida safe from foreign invasion. As

stated earlier, the residents volunteered almost to a man to defend the colony. During the

invasion of 1777, when British Major General Prevost recommended a scorched-earth policy to

keep the outlying plantations from provisioning the invading American army, Governor Tonyn

readily ordered the complete destruction of his personal plantation, including his two large frame

houses, every outlying building and mill, and all 20,000 acres of produce and timber.24 But that

is not to say that every East Floridian had the same resolve to obstruct the invasions at any cost.

In a letter to Lord Germain, the governor rightly accused three members of Drayton's cabal of

cowardice in the face of the enemy. As the second invasion gained temporary steam by

infiltrating the East Florida border with cavalry, Spencer Mann, James Penman, and Lt. Colonel



22 The George Washington Papers, "George Washington to Jean B. Donatien, and Comte de Rochambeau, and and
Charles Louis d'Arsac, Chevalier de Ternay, New Windsor, December 15, 1780. bin/query/...(g% '2-11i5 2 )
23 Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, 1:89.

24 Schafer, "Florida History On-Line,"
hlu \ \ \ .unf.edu/floridahistoryonline//Plantations/plantations/Colonel PatrickTonyn.htm









Robert Bissett came to Tonyn and demanded their right to capitulate to the invading forces.

These three even proposed to compensate the Americans financially if "certain properties" went

unmolested. Penman declared that he would personally meet the oncoming army with a "flag of

truce from the 'Inhabitants,' ignoring the government altogether to arrange terms with the

Georgians."25 This is not the kind of demand one would want to make to an individual who

destroyed his own valuable property in order to frustrate the invading army. When the smoke

cleared, and the British repulsed the second invasion of the colony, the humiliation that followed

these three men plagued them for the rest of their existence in East Florida.26

Governor Tonyn also organized and maintained networks of spies throughout Georgia and

South Carolina, even sending the local minister, Rev. John Forbes, to Havana on a fact-finding

mission when he anticipated a sea-born invasion from Cuba.27 All of the espionage was

coordinated by Lt. Colonel Thomas Brown-a man driven to abject hatred of all Patriots after a

tar and feathering incident at the hands of Charleston's Sons of Liberty. The incident cost Brown

the horrible injury of burning off three toes when the blistering tar collected in his boots.28 When

American generals of the Southern Army hoped to starve East Florida into submission, Brown,

with the aid of back-country loyalists in Georgia, rustled entire herds of cattle and drove them

into St. Augustine by way of an intricate network of paths and trailways twisting through the

Okefenokee Swamp. Brown's detailed accounts of American plans for invasion, troop

movements and strength, resources and munitions levels, and other intelligence reports proved

invaluable to the survival of East Florida. Brown and his Rangers were frequently sent on

25 Searcy, The Georgia-Florida Contest, 107.
26 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, May 8, 1777," PRO CO 5/557, p. 104.
27 "Patrick Tony to Lord Cornwallis, St. Augustine, January 29, 1781," PRO 30/11/67(35): ALS

28 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, November 23, 1776," PRO CO 5/557, pp. 20-21.









lightning-strike raids into Georgia and the Carolinas. On one occasion the Rangers and their

Creek allies captured Fort McIntosh in Georgia, though just for an evening, before burning it to

the ground the following morning. The Rangers then rounded up over 2,000 head of cattle as

they headed home.29 Brown and his Rangers also played roles in the taking of both Savannah in

1779 and Charleston in 1780.

It is a very popular concept that the basis of the British southern campaign in 1780

centered on the expectation of over-whelming civilian support from the back country. However

much one might want to believe this theory, it was not Loyalist civilians who routed Major

General Robert Howe's American regulars in the retaking of Savannah-it was Major General

Augustine Prevost's invading British army from St. Augustine. British general Sir William Howe

learned in 1777 that civilian support was not dependable when he landed his army outside of

Philadelphia. There the supposed "Loyalists" destroyed their crops rather than let them fall into

the hands of Howe's invading army.30 Lord Germain was apprehensive of that tactic then and

nothing had changed in 1780 to alter his convictions. "In the final analysis, then, the Loyalists

never had a base to launch a counterrevolution...by 1777 any hope that Germain and the

ministry may have had for Americanizing the war was at an end."31

This leads the discussion back to the earlier years of the war. With a British military build-

up in St. Augustine of 5,000 strong by 1779, East Florida figured prominently in Great Britain's

plans for a southern campaign. If any one of the three repulsed American invasions of East

Florida in 1776, 1777, or 1778 is successful and St. Augustine falls to American troops, the

Continental army would have controlled the Atlantic seaboard above and below Charleston for

29 Schafer, "St. Augustine's British Years," 202.

30 Pancake, 1777, p. 167.
31 Ibid, 113.









hundreds of miles. An invasion of Charleston in 1780 would have landed the British army in the

middle of a hornets nest, as there would have been no ground support for Cornwallis' sea-born

invasion-Prevost's East Florida-based forces made up approximately one-third of the British

troops involved in the siege of Charleston. Also, If East Florida belongs to the Americans in

1780 then Cornwallis' southern invasion may have been forced to take place in St. Augustine

rather than Charleston. But more probably, there may have been no Southern Campaign at all-

no Yorktown-if East Florida doesn't remain loyal and provide this strategic base of

loyalism. History is then possibly re-written as the British ministry would have been forced to

consider other options in 1780; perhaps suing for peace as early as 1778. After Saratoga, Lord

North's ministry was "ready to present a peace plan for its immediate action." It is interesting to

note that as soon as France declared war on Great Britain in 1778, King George III "immediately

relegated the American war to secondary status... suggesting] that the government's policy of

applying a military solution to the American rebellion was simplistic and shortsighted."32

With such decisions being made at the highest levels, it is inconceivable that Lord Germain

could have pushed through a southern invasion campaign based on the flawed premise of civilian

support. But a large army steadily working its way north from St. Augustine since 1778, securing

the Atlantic corridor from East Florida to South Carolina as it moved, would allow a sea-born

invasion to land as far north as Charleston without having to contend with a hostile environment

to its back. This discussion forces a literal redrawing of the map of Revolutionary activity on the

North American continent from a viewpoint far to the south of Washington and the Founding

Fathers. St. Augustine and the threat posed by an East Florida-based British army to the southern




32 Pancake, 1777, pp .218, 226.









colonies figured prominently in Washington's mind, hence the commander-in-chiefs obsession

with the overthrow of the colony.









CHAPTER 5
REVOLUTIONARY LIFE FOR BLACKS IN EAST FLORIDA

The history of enslaved blacks in East Florida became enmeshed in European duplicity

long before the British took possession of the region. Soon after the first conquistador set foot on

the eastern shores of La Florida in 1513, African slaves "constituted a significant minority of the

population, if not an absolute majority," to that of their European owners.1 One hundred years in

advance of an infamous Dutch slave ship dispensing twenty African captives at Jamestown,

Virginia, blacks were utilized in Florida by Spain for the purpose of establishing the first

European foothold in North America. But from Ponce de Leon's first visit in 1513 to the end of

the American Revolution the shifting politics emanating from colonial St. Augustine created an

ambiguous sanctuary of existence for the African and African-American slaves who lived there.

From earliest colonization until the time of the American Revolution, European powers

struggled against one another, using any means necessary to gain whatever advantage they

could-which included allying themselves with various Native American tribes to secure an

advantage. A similar struggle ensued between the Spanish in Florida and the British in the

Carolinas and later Georgia. In Florida, however, in addition to Indian alliances, black slaves

were used as pawns to sway the balance of power in the struggle to gain supremacy in the

American Southeast. Spanish laws toward slaves and the subject of slavery itself relaxed

dramatically in comparison to English slave codes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

That these slaves were vital to the British economic system in North America was not news to

the Spain as they exploited the opportunity to cripple the Carolina market by actively promoting

sanctuary to the British enslaved labor force. Intensified by a dispute over the inclusion of St.

Augustine in Carolina's original charter, Anglo/Spanish animosities ripened over the next

1 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 425









seventy-six years as the issue of runaway slaves rendered the Atlantic corridor from Charleston

to St. Augustine a lightening rod of international conflict.2

From a European perspective, other than the Floridas changing hands in 1763, little else

between Great Britain and Spain had been altered by the time of the American Revolution.

Constantly at war, the two powers continued to fight over colonial possessions in the Americas

and slaves were still the beasts of burden used to fatten imperial coffers. But for African and

African-American slaves, a great deal had changed after 1763. While the Spanish departed,

blacks continued to pour into St. Augustine by the thousands, though not as refugees or

runaways-but as British slaves. Same town, same latitudes, but Florida as a sanctuary for

fugitive slaves ceased to exist. A world they came to depend upon had disappeared. Britannic

slavery had snared yet more lives within its slave quarters and returned the sale of human flesh to

the market in St. Augustine.3 By the unfortunate miscalculation of joining the French in the

Seven Years War in a last minute effort to reap undeserved spoils, the Spanish Crown subjected

thousands of black lives to a slave continent with no friendly borders-only the sea.

Historians remind us that by 1775 there was an undisclosed percentage of free blacks in

East Florida. Lord Dunmore's proclamation of freedom for military service was not uniform

throughout the American colonies by any means, but during the American Revolution many

British officers exercised their right to manumit any slaves who fought in the service of the king.

East Florida was no different; in fact, Lord Dunmore sent many free blacks to East Florida in

1776, on the same ships as he sent prisoners of war and evacuated Loyalists.4 Soon the number of


2 Jane Landers, "Spanish Sanctuary: Fugitives in Florida, 1687-1790." Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 62, Issue 3
(April 1984), 296.
3 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 426.
4 Edgar Legare Pennington. "East Florida in the American Revolution, 1775-1778," Florida Historical Quarterly,
Vol. 9, Issue 1 (July 1930), 31-32.









blacks in East Florida, free or enslaved, was growing fast enough to give British authorities

concern. Governor Tonyn wrote to Lord Germain that in order to frustrate more invasion

attempts by the American Patriots, he "established and armed the Companies of malitia, who

may be employed in ease of invasion, and will be at all times useful in keeping in awe the

Negroes who multiply amazingly."5 Another source of Africans and African-Americans in East

Florida during the Revolution was those taken from American, French, and Spanish ships

captured by the British.6

Governor Tonyn's assessment was not completely accurate, however, as far as how many

blacks lived in East Florida during the early years of the American Revolution. The

demographics of the colony had not changed drastically as a result of the influx of free or

enslaved black refugees. The plundering of slaves in East Florida by American Patriots was

rampant, keeping the percentage of blacks to whites in East Florida fairly constant. On July 1,

1776, Governor Tonyn reported that the theft of slaves was a discernable goal of the invading

Patriot army as "they took upwards of thirty Negroes, and a family" from the first two plantations

they reached.7 Theft of slaves, however, was the business of both sides in the conflict. Patriot

John Berwick lost seven slaves from his plantation when regular British troops raided his

plantation in mid-July 1776 while he was helping in the defense of Charleston.8 Raids from the

sea cost many East Floridians their slaves, as well. Spanish privateers would patrol the coasts

above and below St. Augustine, and in 1778, one such privateer entered the Mosquito Inlet and



5 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, October 30, 1776. PRO CO 5/557, p. 21
6 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 433.

SPennington, "East Florida in the American Revolution," 25.

8 Wilbur H. Siebert, "Privateering in Florida Waters and Northwards During the Revolution." Florida Historical
Quarterly, Vol. 22, Issue 2 (October 1943), 67.









carried off thirty slaves.9 One of the benefits of slave raiding utilized by both sides in the war was

as a tool for recruiting militia in the back country fighting. On the average, one slave for one

year's enlistment was the going rate. This became especially effective as it became more difficult

to pay soldiers and militia in actual currency. Plundered slaves were also used to carry other

items taken from plantations, such as furniture, household goods, food stores, and farm

equipment.10

The plight of slaves on East Florida's plantations during the three American invasions of

1776, 1777, and 1778 was trepidatious as each offensive had a significant impact on their well-

beings, if not their lives. British Loyalists would attempt to rush their slaves into St. Augustine

during these invasions in order to avoid losing them to the ransacking and ravaging that took

place on their plantations. Regardless, many slaves were captured and taken back to Georgia, and

some were killed as they chose to protect either their master's property or one another. Capture

by Patriots was not always the worst result of these raids. One planter, in an effort to remove his

slaves from harm's way, got them lost in the swamps and woods near the St. Marys River. As a

result, twenty-four slaves died of starvation in the ensuing weeks of aimless wandering.11


In between invasions it was business as usual on the plantations, as one letter to Lord

Germaine explained, "the Plantations... employ their Negros in providing lumber and naval stores

for the West Indies, having raised sufficient provisions for the ensuring Year, a proof of which is,

their purchasing new Negros."12 Governor Tonyn made this observation in order to show how

secure the colony was, in spite of American attempts to bring their rebellion to East Florida and

9 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 432; also see Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 139.
10 Frey, Water from the Rock, 91-92; see also "Sumter's Law" in Frey, Water from the Rock, 134, 137.

11 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 432.
12 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, October 30, 1776. PRO CO 5/557, p. 24.









deprive loyal subjects of their livelihood. If slaves were stolen or killed in the defense of the

British way of life, planters had the work load and the means to justify the purchase of more.


Such a cavalier attitude toward the lives of blacks, free or enslaved, in East Florida was

manifested in other forms. As mentioned before, many British officers opted to follow the Earl of

Dunmore's 1775 example of manumitting slaves who fought against their former masters. In

1779, Sir Henry Clinton declared his "Philipsburg Proclamation" which was deemed by South

Carolina's blacks as a complete emancipation, "absolved from all respect of their American

masters, and entirely released from servitude."13 Clinton's proclamation transformed the

Revolution in South Carolina into a "complex triangular process involving two sets of white

belligerents and at least twenty thousand-probably more-black slaves."14 But Dunmore and

Clinton were in seditious colonies, outnumbered by the growing Patriot populations. Granting

freedom to the enslaved population of a Loyalist colony would have been counterproductive.

Governor Tonyn saw no advantage in freeing enslaved blacks who were already fighting on

behalf of the Loyalist cause.

From this it may be observed that serving in the British army did not always result in

receiving absolute freedom for enslaved blacks. Decisions made in the field on such matters were

determined by the officer in charge and in accordance to how that individual interpreted their

present circumstances. There were also those British officers who simply did not concern

themselves with the fair treatment of blacks, as long as the imperial cause had been served. In

May 1779, Major General Prevost took on "swarms of negroes" as he marched from Savannah to

Charleston. En route they secured Johnston's Island with a portion of this army, including the


13 Frey, Water from the Rock, 118.
14 Ibid, 108.









entire contingent of newly manumitted blacks. Lt. Colonel John Maitland was left in charge as

Prevost ultimately marched back to Savannah. "In June Maitland evacuated his post, and took

only a part of the negro refugees with him." Many of those abandoned by Maitland were

wounded or too sick to travel. Fearing capture, a large number of the remaining blacks tied

themselves to the sides of Maitland's boats rather than be left behind to face the impending

punishment of their former masters. The British soldiers used bayonets to cut the former slaves

loose, leaving them to drown. Other blacks either swam or rafted to Otter Island where hundreds

more "died of camp fever and exposure." Over three thousand of these refugees survived the

ordeal only be shipped to the West Indies and sold back into slavery by their British comrades.15

There were other instances in East Florida of black Loyalists, free and enslaved, who evacuated

to St. Augustine during the war and "received temporary protection, then were taken out of the

province for sale in the West Indies."16

The primary usage of healthy blacks by British authorities in St. Augustine involved the

defense of the colony. As early as 1775, slaves were utilized to bolster the military fortifications

of St. Augustine as laborers in the town's defenses, soldiers, and as East Florida Rangers. "The

earthen walls surrounding St. Augustine, the parallel lines north of the town, the powder

magazine, the redoubts on the St. Johns River, and Fort Tonyn on the St. Marys in part were all

constructed by slave labor." Regular army and militia units in East Florida were 1/7th free-blacks

or slaves, as "blacks enlisted in the East Florida Rangers and helped garrison Fort Tonyn and

protect the St. Marys frontier.""17 In 1781 alone, Lt. Colonel Lewis V. Fuser requisitioned over


15 Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 140; see also Frey, Water from the Rock, 92.
16 Helen Hornbeck Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida, 1784-1790 (Jacksonville: University of North Florida Press,
1989), 49.

17 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 434-35.









nine hundred slaves from the plantations of East Florida in order to make the earthen works

ready for the anticipated invasion of Spanish troops from West Florida.

As East Florida elites argued over slave codes in the colonial assembly, Tonyn

requisitioned ten percent of the colony's slave population to strengthen the defenses of St.

Augustine. He eventually increased that number to twenty percent. 18 This was not an

extraordinary circumstance, however, as the British defenders of Savannah and Charleston used

slave labor to build those cities' defenses. Due to the time frames of each siege and the multiple

evacuations of Loyalists, black and white, it is not inconceivable that many of these slaves may

have worked on the defensive structures of all three towns.19 By putting this large labor force to

work on St. Augustine's defenses, civil authorities followed Sir Henry Clinton's official policy

concerning the containment of slave revolts, as issued in South Carolina. It was Clinton's

intention to put the healthiest slaves who responded to the Philipsburg Proclamation to work

either on Loyalist plantations to keep that economy productive, or in other support roles for the

army. Historian Sylvia Frey argues that this strategy "was a major factor in preventing the

outbreak of a slave rebellion" as these slaves were quickly worn down by oppressively difficult

work and inferior food.20 There is no evidence, however, that Governor Tonyn utilized this

particular strategy. The ever-threatening American army just across the Georgia border served

well enough to keep slave insurrections under control.

The American Revolution held many paradoxes, one of which being that the American

Patriots of the southern colonies broke with British tradition by not arming their slaves to any

great degree during the war. The Earl of Dunmore, so vilified in American history, was acting in

8i Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 141.
19 Frey, Water from the Rock, 96
20 Ibid, 127, 141.









a manner that was consistent with traditional British approaches to protecting a colony from

foreign invasion. "The southern states considered it dangerous ever to trust slaves with arms.

This was another step in dehumanizing the institution of slavery and depriving blacks of a

measure of dignity and independence."21 As early as February 1776, East Florida commanders

complied with British protocol in the American colonies as they requested that slaves be armed

in time of war. Governor Tonyn "urged in his Council that the inhabitants be ordered to report to

the commandant, Major Jonathan Furlong, the number of their slaves who might be entrusted

with arms should the need arise."22 Following Lord Dunmore's precedent when he established

the Ethiopian Brigade, Governor Tonyn formed four companies of enlisted black soldiers in St.

Augustine on August 20, 1776.23 Major General Prevost was also present in Savannah when two

companies of "Black Volunteers" were formed during the failed Franco/American assault on that

city in 1779. In addition to the "Black Volunteers," another three hundred blacks were charged

with holding the "double-horn" position of Savannah's breast works. In another specific example

of blacks asserting themselves by serving in the British military, Francis Marion wrote to John

Matthews on August 30, 1782, that he was attacked at "the affair at Wadboo...by a hundred

British horse and 'some Coloured Dragoons' led by Major Thomas Fraser."24 And rumors were

wildly rampant in the Goose Creek area north of Charleston in the final months of British

occupation as "Leslies' Black Dragoons" made nightly raids, "committing the most horrible

depredations and murders on the defenseless parts of our Country."25



21 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 434-35.

22 Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 139.

23 Searcy, The Georgia-Florida Contest, 57.
24 Frey, Waterfrom the Rock, 138; see also Schama, Rough Crossings, 9.

25 Frey, Water from the Rock, 138; see also Schama, Rough Crossings, 139.









The Americans were much less trusting in their incorporation of blacks in the Continental

army. When the Patriot army was hoping to keep Charleston from falling back into British hands

in 1780, they impressed over five thousand slaves to build the city's fortifications, though few, if

any, were allowed to carry weapons.26 But the carrying of weapons was not the only significant

difference between black members of the two belligerent armies. When a former slave was

allowed to enlist in a black unit of the regular British army, such as Sir Henry Clinton's Black

Pioneers and Guides, he was required to recite the following oath: "I [name] do swear that I enter

freely and voluntarily into His Majesty's service and I do enlist myself without the least

compulsion or persuasion into the Negro Company.. "27 Who can know the impact of such

words and phrases as, freely, voluntarily, and enlist myself on former slaves as they were ushered

back into the human race by the virtue of a simple ceremony.

Given the historically adverse relationship between slaves and their British masters in the

American Southeast, it was a strange twist of events that led blacks to partake in the defenses of

a British colony. But the oppressive attitudes of southern Americans toward evacuated and

plundered slaves promptly motivated this unusual partnership. Though the British held a long

history of horribly mistreating their slaves, the Americans had already shown themselves to be

the greater of the two evils. In South Carolina and Georgia a slave exodus prompted by the

British invasion and occupation-fueled by rumors of and actual manumissions for service

against the American Patriots-created a severe labor shortage on southern plantations, virtually

destroying the economy. The Philipsburg Proclamation, as mentioned before, was issued "to

establish and upset the delicate balance of southern society for British political and military



26 Ibid, 110.
27 Schama, Rough Crossings, 84.









advantage."28 However, while having a significant impact on Patriot economics, this shortage

was a two-edged sword as it severely affected the existing Tory plantations whose slaves also

joined the flight to British military camps in search of manumission. In addition, Loyalist efforts

to claim abandoned Patriot plantations and utilize them for the good of the crown were equally

hindered by the labor shortage.29 In East Florida, however, the slave population was growing

daily and the plantations, though affected by raids and some wholesale mischief during the

American invasions, were never ravaged en masse as those in Georgia and South Carolina. This

surplus of black refugees allowed them to become even more involved with the military and

defensive efforts in East Florida, thus creating the need for two major legislative acts. Having

only recently instituted a General Assembly in 1781, Governor Tonyn called upon this body to

make haste in completing a Militia Act and enacting a formal slave code.

The East Florida Militia Act basically replicated militia laws in other American colonies

and took very little effort for both the Upper and Lower Houses of the assembly to pass. Where

the greatest variance occurred between this particular act and the militia structures of the newly

formed American states was in the fact that an unlimited number of slaves could be drafted and

used as a labor force or armed as soldiers. Any plantation managers not providing militia captains

with a list of all able-bodied slaves who were fit to serve were fined 50. Slave owners were

compensated 1 each month for any slave impressed into the defense of the colony. "For

breaches of military discipline slaves were to be whipped rather than fined like their white

contemporaries, though for sleeping on duty or betraying the password blacks were treated

equally with whites: both were to be executed." The one major similarity East Florida's Militia



28 Frey, Water from the Rock, 119.
29 Ibid, 211.









Act had in common with those of the American states'-and greatest deviance from those of

other British colonies-was there was no provision for the freeing of slaves who fought in the

war effort. "For acts of bravery slaves were to be awarded clothing, money, medals, and some

relief from service," though "in a variety of ways [slaves] had the opportunity of winning their

own freedom."30 Dunmore and Clinton's versions of manumitting slaves who served in the

British army were incentives for blacks to leave their masters and take up arms against them. No

such action was needed, nor desired, by British authorities in East Florida.

A slave code was the second act of legislation that concerned the black population of the

colony and was not as easily determined as the Militia Act. As the colony's first assembly

tackled such topics as a militia, internal improvements, regulating public houses, collecting small

debts, and taxes, deriving at a slave code that would suit the needs and whims of St. Augustine's

white voting population took longer-and generated more controversy-than all the other issues

combined. Governor Tonyn's frustration over the whole process concerning this singular issue

prompted him to dissolve the assembly only six months after its formation. Like the Militia Act,

East Florida's slave code had similarities to those of Georgia and South Carolina. Any Negro,

mulatto, or Mestezo who could not prove his or her freedom was regarded a slave, with children

following the status of their mothers. A silver armband with the word "free" inscribed for all to

see was to be worn by free blacks. "Slaves needed a ticket from their master to be absent from

the plantation or to carry a firearm in peace time, and masters were to be fined for cruelty to

slaves." Owners received monetary compensation from the colony for a slave who was







30 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 435-36.









legallyexecuted, and provisions in the law allowed for white patrols to keep illegal slave

activities under control.31

However, East Florida's slave code differed from all other North American colonies in that

court cases against slaves accused of any crime must be heard in St. Augustine and tried before a

white, twelve-man jury. Slaves in other English colonies were not afforded a trial by jury and

could be tortured to extract information.32 Such cruelty was not allowed in East Florida courts

and the presiding judge could determine, at will, to allow the defendant "more, but not all, of the

protections under the English law." Even in the most rural areas of East Florida where trials by

justices of the peace were allowed, these proceedings were to be reviewed by the governor and

capital punishment administered only by his authority, in St. Augustine.33 This was a major point

of contention between the Upper and Lower Houses of the assembly. Members of the Lower

House protested that a trial by jury could potentially keep a working slave, and the witnesses

involved, in St. Augustine and out of the fields for longer periods of time than they were willing

to concede.34 Leaders of the Upper House sought to insure that East Florida slave codes would be

the "most humane in America and contrasted] it to the thirteen colonies where 'liberty' was

supposed to be flourishing."35 Lt. Colonel Thomas Brown armed over 150 blacks-free and





31 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 436.
32 Parliament introduced the Negro Act in Great Britain during the reign of King George II which stipulated that any
slave caught attempting to incite rebellion or participating in such must be tried by "three to five freeholders and
three judges, rather than by three royal justices alone." Schama, Rough Crossings, 63. East Florida's slave code took
this alteration in legal procedures a step further by including a jury, be it of white men. Wright, "Blacks in British
East Florida," 436-38.

33 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 436-38.

34 Ibid, 437.

35 Ibid, 438.









enslaved-in the East Florida Rangers and believed that a more lenient slave code would make

blacks in the Rangers and the militia more reliable.36

In addition to these measures, provisions for a workhouse were made by Governor Tonyn

near the end of the Revolution. It was to serve as a jail for runaway slaves, blacks of ambiguous

status, and whites deemed worthy of such humiliation by the governor. Most of St. Augustine's

blacks, however, were incarcerated in the jail on St. Augustine's plaza.37 Fortuitously, the slave

code was signed into law in May 1782, less than two months before Savannah emptied thousands

of Loyalist refugees and their slaves into East Florida.

Governor Tonyn, while in some ways demonstrating a certain benevolence on the subject

of slavery, was also a large slave holder. The governor's wife had a reputation for extreme

malevolence toward her slaves and was called out by Dr. Andrew Turnbull on charges of

murder.38 But such charges in a society as rife with racial prejudices as British East Florida

against one so well positioned would never see the inside of a courtroom. Even the clergy of St.

Augustine were not without such feelings. Records of the Anglican Church indicate that the

needs of black salvation were of considerably less import in East Florida than those of whites.

The sole minister in St. Augustine, Rev. John Forbes, was a member of the council, judge of the

vice-admiralty court and the court of common law, acting chief justice during the Drayton affair,

and the owner of a large plantation and many slaves. While he did teach at the only school in St.



36 Schama, Rough Crossings, 123.

7 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 437-38; see also Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 143-49, for a full
copy of the East Florida Slave Code.

38 While such a charge against a royal governor's wife concerning the life of a slave might sound ludicrous,
Tumbull's accusations were motivated by Tonyn's disbanding of Tumbull's plantation of New Smyrna after
complaints of holocaust-like conditions were leveled. Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, 1:30; see also "The
Turnbull Letters," from September, 19, 1776 through the end of his life in 1792, for innumerable accusations of said
events.









Augustine, there is no evidence that his spiritual calling filled him with enough compassion to

"suffer [all] the little children," for he never taught a black pupil.39

As in most predominantly Protestant North American colonies, blacks met their own

spiritual needs and provided their own clergy. Johann D. Schoepf, a German traveler in East

Florida at the end of the Revolution, "discovered a black Baptist minister preaching to a Negro

congregation in a cabin outside of [St. Augustine]."40 It should be no surprise to see this kind of

spiritual activity and in such a formalized setting as an established church. These were dark days

and difficult times, and many of these blacks made unfathomable sacrifices to be in St.

Augustine. Once there, their existence may have even been more tenuous than before, making

their spiritual needs great. Their minister was most likely an evacuee from one of the great early

black Baptist churches at Silver Bluff, South Carolina, or Savannah, where significant black

Baptist churches were established in the mid-1770s. The identity of this man remains a mystery,

for once the British evacuation of East Florida was complete this itinerant preacher disappeared

from all known records. But the important thing is that they met. They found their own clergy.

They established their own church building. How fascinating it would be to learn of his sermon

topics, his advice, and his solace for their troubled lives. Though we have no recorded words of

blacks in East Florida, this activity demonstrates the collective voices of those who worshipped

in that small church. For within that congregation it can be assured that blacks-free or

enslaved-were expressing their views, sharing their sorrows, and comforting their informed. In

that church they were once again human beings as a direct result of their will to be so.




39 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 439-40. For the Biblical reference in quotes, see Mt. 19:14.
40 Johann David Schoepf, Travels in the Confederation, [1783-1784], transl. and ed. by Alfred J. Morrison, 2 vols.
(Philadelphia, 1911), 2:230; see also Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 439.









As the war shifted in favor of the American cause and Patriots returned to their devastated,

often completely abandoned properties, the American planter/merchant elites struggled to

resurrect the labor-deficient plantation system. "White planters and merchants of the

revolutionary generation were convinced that full economic recovery was inseparably linked to

the restoration of slave labor."41 One can sense the tension in the region during the postwar era

as American planters attempted to scrape their former existence back into being as they imported

massive numbers of slaves to rebuild the collapsed economies-one such method for this being

the aggressive nature with which they pursued abducted and runaway slaves in East Florida.

American planters enacted repressive slave codes, "formulating a patriarchal ideology, which

drew upon scriptural sanctions and revolutionary ideology."42 This allowed planters to introduce

a new concept that the "characteristics of the social order were authorized, if not decreed by God,

nature, and reason. In the process they created a racial community bound into a common

religious and cultural framework."43 Unquestionably, the new American nation was now the

greatest of evils to southern slaves in search of freedom.

















41 Frey, Water From the Rock, 211.

42 Ibid, 211.

43 Ibid, 211.









CHAPTER 6
LOYALIST REFUGE

After the fall of Yorktown in 1781, decisive battles gave way to back-country skirmishes

as peace negotiations dominated the remainder of the war years. The British army still occupied

New York City when the Treaty of Paris was initially signed in November 1782, but Savannah

experienced the evacuation of thousands of loyalist refugees into East Florida in July. Charleston

began its evacuation procedures in July as well, with the more resolute hanging on until

December. Where to go became the predominant question for the expatriates as North American

port cities under British control emptied their inhabitants into the waters of the Atlantic, while

the inland Loyalists clogged the back roads near the borders of Canada and East Florida. Nova

Scotia, Quebec, the Bahamas and West Indies, England, and Central America became ports of

call for this loyal band of emigrants.

But in St. Augustine, the smallest provincial capital in North America, an unprecedented

event took place from 1782-1785. For most southern Loyalists the Canadian climate was

presumed utterly unsuitable for planter society and the slave ownership that made them

prosperous. Southern Tories saw East Florida as a sanctuary where they could rebuild their lives

without leaving the warmer regions of the continent to which they were accustomed. The West

Indies, in addition to being known as a white man's graveyard due to the impact of yellow fever

and malaria, were brimming with plantations and maroon hide-outs; the thin, sandy soil of the

Bahamas was referred to as "mere rocks, fit only for fishermen."2 A general pattern of



1 Common thinking at this time was that African slaves were not capable of tolerating cold climates. Also, the types
of crops that these planters had become proficient in raising needed a southern climate. Still, almost 30,000
Americans evacuated New York City and Charleston for Nova Scotia. Another 7,000 made their way to Quebec and
Ontario during the winter of 1783-84, without assistance from London. North Callahan, Flight From the Republic:
The Tories of the American Revolution (Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1967), 34, 72.
2 "Patrick Tonyn to Thomas Townsend, St. Augustine, May 15, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 583-90.









evacuation after the war quickly developed as "slave owners went mainly to the West Indies and

the Bahama Islands, and people with few or no slaves moved to Europe and Nova Scotia."3

However, it must be remembered that this was not the first time that Charleston and Savannah

had changed hands. Even after Yorktown, most American Loyalists firmly believed that it was

simply a matter of time before the United States became crippled economically and/or militarily.

Therefore, they wanted to remain close to their former land holdings in Georgia and the

Carolinas in order to reclaim their property as quickly as possible, just as they had after previous

evacuations during the war.4 It has also been said that "[c]ivilian Floridians suffered

proportionately more than those in any other American colony," due to what might be perceived

as the insensitivity of Parliament toward the sufferings these loyal emigres endured in the war.5

Most of these people had already experienced one forced evacuation-two, for those refugees

from Savannah. It would not be their last.

In a perverse deja vu, their dreams of a British safe haven in East Florida came to a mind-

numbing halt on April 24, 1783, when Governor Tonyn received a special envoy from London

announcing the cession of East Florida to Spain. The shock was so great when Tonyn announced

this edict to the combined Houses of the Assembly that they dismissed all protocol and

dispatched a letter of lamentations directly to King George III. John Moultrie and William

Brown represented the sentiments of both elected Houses in a similar response to Governor

Tonyn, as they wrote, "we bitterly deplore the dire necessity, which compelled our parent state to


3 Carole Watterson Troxler, "Loyalist Refugees and the British Evacuation of East Florida, 1783-1785" Florida
Historical Quarterly, Vol. 60, Issue 1 (July 1981), 21.

4 This was not an idle thought, as J. Leitch Wright tells us that "[Lord Dunmore] believed, as was commonly
assumed in Europe, that the United States would soon break up" after gaining her independence. J. Leitch Wright,
"Lord Dunmore's Loyalist Asylum in the Floridas." Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 49, Issue 4 (April 1971),
377.

5 J. Leitch Wright, Florida in the American Revolution (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1975), 131.









multiply the accumulated distresses of many of His Majesty's most faithful subjects, who had

taken refuge under the promise of a permanent asylum in the Province."6 These legislators were

devastated that their king sacrificed them like a pawn in a geopolitical chess match when the war

never successfully crossed East Florida's borders nor gave firm root to any disloyal sentiments or

participation.

That this was an era when political maneuvers did not materialize quickly made the

remainder of the Loyalists stay in East Florida all the more stressful. The Treaty of Paris of 1783

was first signed on November 30, 1782 by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay.

French representatives signed the treaty in Paris on January 20, 1783. United States

representatives re-signed the treaty on September 3, 1783-the official date in history books.

The American Congress then ratified the treaty on January 14, 1784. Just the signing of the

treaty, from beginning to end, was a process which took fourteen months to complete.

These dates are critical to understanding the dire circumstances involving the population of

St. Augustine. Unlike New York, Charleston, and Savannah, St. Augustine was not located in a

colony that had been overthrown by combative forces; therefore, there was no liberation

accompanied by immediate occupation. Since the cession of East Florida to Spain was the

product of the treaty, there could be no official directive in St. Augustine-no evacuation-until

the treaty was signed and ratified by all parties. Unlike the occupation of a conquered territory by

a physically-present armed power, this process was slow and deliberate, as it literally took

months to simply deliver official documents to each delegation. From the date of the treaty's


6 In November 1775 Governor Tonyn began promoting East Florida as a sanctuary for refugees of Georgia and
South Carolina. In a bulletin dispatched to Charleston and Savannah, Tonyn offered land with ten year quit-rents to
any Loyalists who relocated to East Florida. John Moultrie, speaker of the Upper House and William Brown,
speaker of the House of Commons in East Florida, were reminding the king of those promises. Siebert, Loyalists in
East Florida, Vol. I, 24; see also "Address of Both Houses to the King, April 30, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 599-
602.









original signing, it would be sixteen months before British inhabitants received a directive of

embarkation; thirty-six months before the last British ship would leave East Florida. All the

while these loyal subjects were unremittingly hopeful that further negotiations would somehow

reverse the decree. What they would never understand was that East Florida was nothing more

than a bargaining chip for the British crown. The primary interest in all of the bartering of

colonies that took place between the thrones of Europe after the Revolution was Gibraltar. Spain

was willing to make any concession to get the tiny, but strategic, position on the Iberian

Peninsula back from British control. It took months of negotiations before the Spanish realized

that Britain was willing to concede almost any other protectorate in order to maintain its

domination of the narrow opening to the Mediterranean Sea.

Trade, not people, was the ultimate catalyst in a world governed by mercantilist

economics. Thus, East Florida became an easily sacrificed pawn in a never-ending game of

global chess. To add insult to injury, Governor Tonyn received a taunting letter from Benjamin

Guerard, the new American governor of South Carolina, and one-time prisoner of war on the

prison ship Torbay, informing Tonyn that the Charleston Gazette made public the details of the

treaty to the people of South Carolina on April 17, 1783-one week prior to Tonyn receiving the

official news from London.' Guerard then warned Tonyn that even though the treaty did not

specifically prohibit British refugees from evacuating slaves or other property taken out of South

Carolina, there would be dire consequences if such actions were attempted.8 East Florida's

insignificance in international events had never been more pronounced, nor were the insults

concluded.



7 Smith, "Josiah Smith's Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.)." The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 33, No. 4
(October 1932), 282.
8 "Benjamin Guerard to Patrick Tonyn, Charleston, April 17, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, p. 661.









In May 1782, Sir Guy Carleton replaced Sir Henry Clinton as the ranking British official in

New York City and begin the proceedings for the evacuation of that municipality. But there was

a problem in that thereee weren't enough ships available for any speedy, efficient evacuation of

all the men and material involved. It ended up taking a full eighteen months from the time

Carleton arrived in New York in May 1782 until the final departure of the British, on November

25, 1783."9 The ramifications of this situation for the people of St. Augustine were two-fold:

first, The shortage of available ships meant that East Floridians were going to have to wait at

least until the evacuation of New York City was completed; and, second, Sir Guy Carleton was

officially made aware of the outcome of the war and the basics of the treaty a minimum of eleven

months prior to Governor Tonyn. The passage also insinuates that, as most American textbooks

teach, November 25, 1783, was the final evacuation date for all British refugees in North

America-two full years prior to the last British ship leaving East Florida in 1785. Sadly, in July

1782, Carlton originally called for the evacuation of St. Augustine rather than Charleston. When

he later reversed that decision it was believed by the people, as well as Governor Tonyn, that

their loyalty was being rewarded and this was a positive step toward East Florida remaining a

British colony regardless of the outcome of the war. The real reason, as mentioned, was a lack of

available tonnage for multiple removals, both civilian and military. Carleton told General

Alexander Leslie, however, that the residents of East Florida needed to prepare themselves for

eventual evacuation. East Florida authorities never received this information, as is evidenced by

their reaction to the news of cession on April 24, 1783.10




9 Don Cook, The Long Fuse: How England Lost the American Colonies, 1760-1785 (New York: Atlantic Monthly
Press, 1995), 157.

10 Linda K. Williams, "East Florida as a Loyalist Haven," Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 54, Issue 4 (April
1976), 472-73.









Demographically, East Florida was a small province. Historian Charles L. Mowat cites the

total population being at about 3,000 inhabitants at the outbreak of the American Revolution, not

counting the garrison.1 But this figure becomes questionable as J. Leitch Wright specifically

lists over 2,000 blacks present in East Florida in 1775, outnumbering free whites by a ratio of

two to one. 12 That does indeed add up to 3,000 people, but it has been heavily documented that

over 1,400 Minorcan and Greek indentured servants also were brought to New Smyrna in 1767.

By 1775, however, that number had been reduced to 600.13 This would bring the pre-war

population to at least 3,600 people. As mentioned earlier, Governor Tonyn disbanded New

Smyrna in 1777, and the Minorcan and Greek population there were given lots near the Castillo

de San Marcos in St. Augustine on which to build small homes.

This does not sound like a significant number at first glance, but during the early course of

the war there was an ebb and flow of refugees as Savannah was initially lost to the American

army and then retaken in 1778.14 Southern militia hostilities from 1778 to 1781 created a

constant fluctuation of the Loyalist population in East Florida, but not much more than a few

thousand people. However, given St. Augustine's confined perimeter due to the earth-work

defenses encompassing the tiny town, an extra few thousand people amounted to the beginnings

of a population explosion.





1 Charles L. Mowat, "St. Augustine Under the British Flag, 1763-1775," Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 20,
Issue 2 (October 1941), 133.
12 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 427.

13 The point being that exact numbers concerning the population are anything but exact. Fairbanks, The History and
Antiquities of the City ofSt. I ii,., 1ii,. 169-170.
14 The passage of the confiscation and banishment acts drove Loyalists out of Georgia and the Carolinas through the
end of 1778, until the British retook Savannah on December 29, 1778, and Augusta on January 29, 1779. Troxler,
"Loyalist Refugees," 1.









One would think that under such congested conditions, and with food supplies being cut

off from the colonies to the north, that hunger would weaken the colony's defenses much more

efficiently than an invading army. The Georgia Assembly was adamant that by cutting off all

food supplies they could "force the surrender of the fort in St. Augustine, which would win over

the Indians, stop slave runaways [from Georgia and the Carolinas], and end all future raids from

Florida."15 In the early years of the war, the short food supply became an issue, climaxing in

1777. However, once the refugee situation pushed the population of East Florida toward 10,000

people, there were enough free men and slaves in the colony to defend the town while the

plantations nearest St. Augustine could be converted to the production of consumable food, as

well as continue to produce naval stores, deerskins, hides, barrel staves, and indigo for profit. 16

As one article states, whileie Washington's troops were starving at Valley Forge, the plantations

around St. Augustine were producing over 1,000 barrels of rice, 148 hogsheads of molasses and

13 puncheons of bellywarming rum, in addition to sugar and experimental coffee and cocoa."17

Combining that effort with Thomas Brown's cattle rustling ventures, expert fishermen from

Minorca and Greece working the local waters, and reliable shipments of necessities and farm

implements from England, food ceased to be an issue throughout the remainder of the war.18

Space was becoming the real enemy. By the invasion of 1778, legroom became a greater

problem than foot-soldiers. And the problems were just beginning.






15 Smith, "Mermaids Riding Alligators," 448.

16 Williams, "East Florida as a Loyalist Haven," 471; see also Siebert, "The Port of St. Augustine, Part II," 80.

17 Manucy, Johnson, "Castle St. Mark," 5.

18 Williams, "East Florida as a Loyalist Haven," 474.










The first American prisoners of war arrived in East Florida in September 1775-the result

of the Earl of Dunmore's Virginia campaign.19 From then until June 15, 1781, St. Augustine

became the recipient of approximately 2,000 French, Spanish, and American P.O.W.s from the

Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, and the high seas-including three signers of the Declaration of

Independence.20 Due to the small size of St. Augustine's harbor in Matanzas Bay and the

notorious sand bar which made the entry of large vessels impossible, there was a brief attempt to

anchor the prison schooner Otter out into the Atlantic. However, its inaccessibility for the

efficient replenishment of victuals made it functionally unsuitable to Governor Tonyn's sense of

good form.21 Therefore, the British housed the more hostile of the P.O.W.s in the former

barracks within the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos; those of gentlemanly rank and polite

manners were allowed to take their leave in the town itself, providing, of course, they could pay

the rent.22 The build-up of prisoners was slow, but steady as Tonyn repeatedly refused to

negotiate any exchange of P.O.W.s. He believed that in demonstrating his humanity by allowing

the detainees to enjoy the comforts of life outside a prison barge, he inadvertently exposed the

town's defenses to the scrutiny of the enemy.23 Tonyn's concerns here were more than just

paranoia as Josiah Smith referenced in his diary some of the methods that prisoners utilized to

19 Schama, Rough Crossings, 87.
20 Arthur Middleton, Edward Rutledge, and Thomas Heyward, Jr. Smith, "Josiah Smith's Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.)."
The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 34, No.4 (October 1933), 199.

21 Manucy, Johnson, "Castle St. Mark," 9. Considering the propensity of the British to use prison barges in New
York harbor during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, in spite of their barbaric conditions,
this was a surprisingly humane gesture.

22 Josiah Smith writes in his diary that those prisoners allowed in the town were to "Not pass to the Southward of the
House now occupied by Henry Yonge, Esq. or to pass that lane, extending West of the Bridge near the Church
Street.-Not to pass to the West of the Church Street leading to the Parade, from thence to the Barracks.-Not to
pass Northward of the lane that leads from the house not occupied by Mr. Man to the Eastward, to the Engineers
house formerly occupied by Major Sherdy (?) Not to pass to the Eastward of the Bay." Smith, "Josiah Smith's
Diary, 1780-1781," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. XXXIII, No.1 (January 1932), 10.

23 Manucy, Johnson, "Castle St. Mark," 12-13.










ship home concealed letters containing military intelligence.24 But on June 15, 1781, Lord

Cornwallis authorized a wholesale exchange of all prisoners of war in St. Augustine.25 Forced to

comply, Tonyn arranged the exchanges, which provided a temporary respite to some of the

congestion woes within the town.

This reduction in the population was not enough, however, to offer a permanent reprieve to

the on-going problem of overcrowding. The increased flow of refugees from southern back-

country fighting swelled the civilian population to approximately 7,000 by early July 1782.

Whitehall was informed that an additional deluge of over 7,000 British loyalists from Savannah

and Charleston arrived in St. Augustine from July 12-25.26 In mid-December another 3,826

loyalists from Charleston embarked for Matanzas Bay, meaning that by Christmas 1782, the city

limits were bursting with almost 18,000 civilians.27 These numbers do not include the British

garrison stationed in St. Augustine at the end of the war, or troops evacuated from northern

assignments-the South Carolina Royalists (456), the King's Rangers (302), the Royal North

Carolina Regiment (volunteers) (265), and the North Carolina Highlanders.28 Nor do these

numbers allow for the natural progression of a population due to birth rates. Wilbur H. Siebert

listed the population in St. Augustine at this time to be exactly 17,385-but on which day?



24 Smith, "Josiah Smith's Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.)." The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 33, No. 2 (April
1932), 111.
25 Wright, Florida in the American Revolution, 106.

26 Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, 1: 7.

27 Troxler, "Loyalist Refugees," 1. Land was being distributed by Gov. Tonyn to alleviate the population explosion
in town, but due to British attitudes toward property rights land ownership it was a slow process. Joseph Byrne
Lockey, East Forida, 1783-1785: A File ofDocuments Assembled and Many of them Translated (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1949), 10; see also Siebert, "The Legacy of the American Revolution," 8-9.

28 All but the North Carolina Highlanders are listed by both Troxler and Siebert. Siebert alone lists the Highlanders.
The South Carolina Royalists numbers represent the entire regiment. By early 1784, 340 of their members opted to
become discharged from the military while in East Florida rather than risk assignment to the West Indies or Nova
Scotia. Troxler, "Loyalist Refugees," 6; also see Siebert, "The Legacy of the American Revolution," 20.









People were straggling in and out of town hourly, military personnel were deserting their ranks

and melting into the country side in order to avoid being shipped to the West Indies, people died,

and babies were born. Native Americans were never included in the town's population figures,

but their presence in St. Augustine during the war was continuous and often numerous. Exact

numbers are virtually impossible due to the lack of precise information available. However,

counting the pre-1782 population of the city, with the refugees, military personnel, and the ebb

and flow of Native Americans estimated as conservatively as is reasonable, it is plausible that the

city may have escalated to well over 20,000 inhabitants by January 1, 1783.

In addition to this staggering number, just one week after the most recent convoy of

refugees from Charleston arrived in Matanzas Bay in mid-December 1782, a delegation of over

6,000 Native Americans, representing Indian nations from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great

Lakes, arrived in St. Augustine to affirm their loyalty to Great Britain through Lt. Colonel

Thomas Brown.29 Historian Colin Calloway points out that this was not an unusual gesture in

Native American culture as two separate precedents for such activity occurred at the conclusion

of the French and Indian War.30 With the outcome of the American Revolution fundamentally

determined at Yorktown and peace talks being common knowledge, it was a significant gesture

for these people to align themselves with the British at this point. The proof of their sincerity was

in the thousands of miles they traveled in the dead of winter to reach St. Augustine.





29 Siebert, "The Legacy of the American Revolution," 10. It is not known if this number included the families of
these emissaries
30 In July 1763, chiefs from nearly a dozen southern Native American nations, including the Choctaws, poured into
New Orleans to "express their undying devotion to the French." In July and August 1764, 2,000 Native Americans
from twenty-four nations congressed at Niagara with William Johnson, British Indian Superintendent of the
Northern Region. The Indian delegates traveled from as far west as the Mississippi River, east from Nova Scotia,
and north from Hudson Bay. Calloway, Scratch of a Pen, 97, 135.









This pledge of loyalty is a monumental testimony to the relationship that British East

Florida built with the Creek and Seminoles nations throughout the Southeast, and it evidences

that a good-faith reputation with their Native American allies traveled by a word-of-mouth

communication network far across the North American continent. East Florida contributed over

1,000 in food and provisions to the Seminoles and Creeks during the winter of 1779-1780,

when near-famine conditions in the back countries threatened the lives of these people.31 It is

quite conceivable that news of this generosity reached countless Native Americans. It may also

be presumed that Native Americans collectively knew that their war with the "Virginians" would

never be over and they were in hopes that the British in East Florida would continue the fight.

Regardless, a contingency of at least 6,000 Native American chiefs and delegates were settled in

a make-shift community just outside of the perimeter of the city's earth-works until March 1783.

St. Augustine had no room to expand and was now bursting at the seams.

One final element that must be considered in the demographics of this enormous

population increase is the number of blacks, free and enslaved. Brigadier General Archibald

McArthur calculated that of the more than 20,000 people in St. Augustine, three-fifths of that

number, or 12,000-13,000 souls, were black. While many twenty-first-century North American

cities have similar population bases, eighteenth-century slaveholding communities were in

perpetual fear of an armed revolt. A significant number of the white inhabitants of St. Augustine

became concerned with the close proximity of the free blacks to the slaves.32 Many of the free

blacks in St. Augustine at this time were either former slaves who purchased their freedom prior

to the war, slaves who attained their freedom by joining the British army, runaways from



31 Calloway, Scratch of a Pen, 80.
32 Siebert, "The Legacy of the American Revolution," 9.









American masters, or those who simply became lost in the shuffle and had no idea where their

masters were. With the enormous population explosion taking place it was virtually impossible

to verify the identity of each individual black person and their relationship to the whites around

them.

In sum, by late winter of 1783, the immediate vicinity of St. Augustine exploded with a

transitory population of at least 26,000 people. Even though supplies from London by this time

were heavily taxed, Lt. Colonel Brown distributed provisions and presents of rum, dry goods,

and munitions to the Native Americans in hopes of bringing a quick, but diplomatically correct,

conclusion to the Indian conference. Still unaware at this time of the pending cession to Spain,

East Floridians understood the magnitude of this Indian alliance and gained further confidence in

the potential longevity of the colony as a British foothold in the North American underbelly.

Officials in London, however, "felt some trepidation about the attitude the red men in that

province would assume when they should learn of the intended cession of this region to Spain."33

Governor Tonyn anguished over those very concerns once the news of cession broke, but from a

much closer proximity, as he later expressed his concern that the planters "will not think

themselves and Negroes safe in the Country."34

In February 1783, Whitehall issued orders to Lt. Colonel Brown to empty the storehouses

of all presents to friendly Indian nations and then withdraw all traders as there would be no more

gifts from Great Britain. Fortunately, this news did not arrive in St. Augustine until after the

delegation of 6,000-strong returned to their home lands. Brown realized that these orders must be

followed, emphasizing even more that once news of the cession became public knowledge



33 Siebert, "The Legacy of the American Revolution," 10.
34 "Patrick Tonyn to Thomas Townshend, St. Augustine, May 15, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 583-616.









throughout the American Southeast there would be need for a quick evacuation. The bulging

provincial capital would be indefensible to a hostile indigenous uprising. An Indian assault on St.

Augustine would find the natural barriers of the town's western defenses much more accessible

than a European-style army, prompting Brown to organize a congress with local chiefs on May

15, 1783. Chiefs of the Upper and Lower Creeks who met with Tonyn, Brown, and Brigadier

General Archibald McArthur reacted in an exact opposite manner to the startling news as they

pleaded to leave the region with the English when the time of evacuation was at hand.35 These

were the same chiefs who accepted Governor Tonyn's word that the Great King's armies would

defeat the Virginians, and now they wanted to be taken away on ships with the British as they

feared the inevitability of American and Spanish retributions.36 The worried population of St.

Augustine heartily received the news of Native American sympathies. However, it was also

understood that the alliance formed in January might now be temporary at best, and possibly turn

hostile, once the Indians fully realized the impact of the broken promises and abandonment by

the British government.37 There was still justifiable reason for the inhabitants to be concerned

with a sudden outbreak of hostilities, even with such a sizable assortment of British troops

concentrated in the city. However, this protective shield of British might was soon to be in

question.

On September 9, 1783, Governor Tonyn received two letters from Admiral Robert Digby

with orders to withdraw all British troops from St. Augustine prior to the evacuation of the

civilian inhabitants. At this point the people of East Florida, feeling forgotten and overlooked,

35 "Lower Creeks" is a synonymous term for Seminoles. "Substance of Indian Talks Delivered to Governor Tonyn,
St. Augustine May 15, 1783," PRO CO, 5/110, pp. 71-74.
36 "Substance of Indian Talks Delivered to Patrick Tonyn, Thomas Brown, and Major General Archibald McArthur,
St. Augustine, May 15, 1783," PRO CO 5/110, pp. 1-3.
3 "Thomas Nixon to Evan Nepean, London, October 22, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 843-50.









had no idea what to presume from Whitehall in the form of aid.38 As Tonyn expressed in his

response to former British Prime Minister Frederick Lord North concerning this matter, "We are

perfectly in the dark my Lord, what assistance to expect for the faithful inhabitants, upon His

Majesty's instructions for the dissolution of the civil Government or surrendering to the

Spaniards."39

The people of St. Augustine were in a unique diplomatic quandary as they were not viewed

as refugees because their removal from St. Augustine was not considered militarily motivated.

Even those forced by the war to move to the city from other locations where they were refugees

were not classified as such. There was no conquering horde crushing in to annihilate them at a

moment's notice, as was portrayed in other North American cities. Peace had been negotiated;

therefore, the Spanish army was not arriving for the purpose of pillage and plunder. To the

aristocracy of London there were more expedient demands, such as the evacuation of New York.























38 Callahan, Flight From the Republic, xi, xii, 29.
39 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord North, St. Augustine, September 11, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 685-88.









CHAPTER 7
NO MAN'S LAND

As mentioned before, one week prior to Governor Tonyn receiving an official decree from

London concerning the cession of East Florida to Spain, on April 22, 1783, Governor Benjamin

Guerard of South Carolina contacted his East Florida rival and demanded the return of "stolen"

American property-slaves.1 Guerard compounded the insult by sending a representative,

William Livingston, to personally collect the fugitives and supervise their return. In a letter filled

with his famous aptitude for smugness, Tonyn promptly snubbed Livingston and told Guerard

that he would wish for a different choice in representatives as "Mr. Livingston rendered himself

obnoxious to several here, that I might have had an opportunity of shewing him every civility."2

Another representative from South Carolina came to St. Augustine to negotiate the restoration of

plundered slaves and was "put on his parole at once and not permitted to write home." This is not

to say that the evacuees from Savannah and Charleston were not guilty as charged for taking

slaves into East Florida-Colonel James Moncrief of the Royal Engineers brought eight hundred

slaves from the engineer and ordnance departments in Charleston with him to St. Augustine in

1782.3 The question involved here was whether or not the taking of these slaves was an illegal

action. "Southern Whigs confiscated large amounts of Loyalist property, and East Florida

Loyalists reciprocated by ensuring that few blacks ever return to Whig owners."4 Thus, while it



1 Governor Guerard's motives were less than stellar, as he lost forty-seven of his own slaves to abduction and
absconding. Frey, Water from the Rock, 92. The charge of stealing slaves by American planters was not a simple
matter. Americans wanted to declare any slave, whether Loyalist owned or Patriot owned, taken to East Florida as
stolen property. The British laid claim to their own slaves as personal property and the removal of American owned
slaves as plunder, or spoils of war (the purpose for placing the word stolen in quotations is the author's emphasis to
demonstrate the disagreement concerning the suspect classification of these people).
2 "Patrick Tonyn to Benjamin Guerard, St. Augustine, June 10, 1783," PRO CO 5/560, p. 668.

3 Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 153.

4 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 440.









was true that Loyalist refugees in East Florida absconded with slaves other than their own, they

felt that slaves were "the most salvageable form of wealth" to compensate them for their loss of

real estate in the liberated colonies.5 Governor Tonyn may have felt Sir Guy Carlton set a legal

precedent in the evacuation of blacks from New York. Historian Simon Schama provides

evidence that by 1783 there was a "'Somerset effect' (the benign misreading of the Mansfield

judgment) operating on the decisions of Carlton and his principle officers" concerning the

evacuation of blacks.6 Carlton's "Precis Relative to Negroes in America" added that "negroes

who came into the British lines were considered free, 'the British Constitution not allowing of

slavery but holding out freedom and protection to all who came within.'"7 A loose interpretation

of Carlton's "Precis" was not beyond Tonyn's methodology for dealing with his American

adversaries.


By autumn 1782, in addition to the official evacuation of Charleston, large numbers of

slaves were finding their own way to East Florida-by their own volition. British General

Alexander Leslie attempted to block the efforts of another British officer, Brigadier General

Archibald McArthur, to return any of these blacks to Charleston. Many sequestered blacks were

evacuated from Charleston on British military transports and, therefore, were deemed spoils of

war rather than runaways.8 In another case, "Dr. James Clitherall, a loyalist from South Carolina

who was in Florida, was engaged in trying to recover slaves for their Carolinian

owners... Governor Tonyn was in no mood to promote the restoration of plundered slaves" due to


5 Troxler, "Loyalist Refugees," 1.
6 In 1772, magistrate William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, determined a runaway slave, James Somerset, to be free
based on his decision that a master cannot "force a slave out of the country." Schama, Rough Crossings, 427n. 16.

7 Ibid, 153.

8 Frey, Water from the Rock, 175.









his stance on the confiscation and banishment laws of Georgia and South Carolina.9

"Consequently, he and his Council found ways of obstructing the reclamation of vagrant

negroes." Some gentlemen from South Carolina claimed that their slaves were willing to return

with them, but East Florida authorities would not allow them to take the slaves away or even

verify their case in a court of law. 10

Blacks were undoubtedly used as pawns in the never-ending struggle for compensation

after the war as Governor Tonyn refused to negotiate the return of any slaves until the

banishment and confiscation acts in the Carolinas and Georgia were repealed. Tonyn clearly

equated slaves with real estate in an effort to gain monetary settlements for the faithful East

Florida refugees.11 In the meantime, blacks in East Florida-many who built the defenses of St.

Augustine and bravely helped to defend her borders-did not know if Governor Tonyn would

indeed trade them back to the Americans in a quid pro quo for confiscated plantations in the

Carolinas, or whether he just cruelly using them as part of a bluff. Either way, their

circumstances in East Florida were extremely tenuous during the entire British period and could

only improve once the Spanish regained power. Or so they thought.

When Spain re-claimed power in St. Augustine on July 12, 1784, they brought only five

hundred soldiers of foot. Spanish governor Manuel de Zespedes was initially allotted only

40,000 pesos to run the colony-an amount so insufficient that he could not afford to purchase

horses in order to mount his dragoons. Though the Spanish represented a victorious army in


9 Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 152. Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina passed banishment and
confiscation laws that declared all abandoned Loyalist property in those states as confiscated spoils of war. They
also passed laws banishing thousands of Loyalists from ever entering their borders again, many on pain of death.

10 There are no documents available to verify that the refugees indeed agreed to return willingly to their former
Carolinian masters. As bad as the British had been historically to their slaves, the Americans were clearly deemed a
worse option. Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 152.

11 Troxler, "Loyalist Refugees," 10; see also Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 440.









North America, their physical presence in St. Augustine was not sufficient to properly protect the

colony from local outlaws-referred to in official correspondence as banditti. The news of East

Florida's cession back to Spain "exacerbated the problems of slave control and encouraged the

notorious 'banditti' to raid plantations for slaves and other 'movable' property. Disputes over the

ownership of slaves would continue for years and plague not only the departing British but the

incoming Spanish administration" as Americans would continue to accuse the British, and even

the Spanish, of having stolen their slaves-rightful property of the United States.12

To compound the issue, hundreds of regular British troops terminated their service to the

crown, legally or not, while still in St. Augustine rather than risk deployment to the West Indies

where the fear of contracting malaria or yellow fever became reality. Most of these men were

Scots, Hessians, and French-speaking Swiss conscripts who felt no compassion for the

beleaguered civilians of East Florida. 13 These troops were Europeans who found themselves in

North America involuntarily and, to their way of thinking, all Americans were equally

responsible for their current lot in the British army. Banditti gangs offered these men

employment and an opportunity to continue the good fight-but this time they would fight for

spoils rather than king and country.

The East Florida banditti's leaders were Daniel McGirtt, Lt. Colonel Thomas Brown's

second-in-command and personally commissioned by Governor Tonyn, his brother James, a

former captain in the Rangers, and John Linder, Jr. Due to Daniel McGirtt's heroics in the

defense of the colony during the war, his influence among the people was powerful enough to

enable him to conduct business-both legal and illegal-while incarcerated in St. Augustine.



12 Landers, "Spanish Sanctuary," 303.

13 Wright, Florida in the American Revolution, 105.










Like a scene from the Godfather, when Governor Tonyn ordered McGirtt's property seized, the

banditti leader protected his net worth by selling forty-six slaves to a local merchant from the

confines of his jail cell in the Castillo de San Marcos. 14 The banditti were motivated by outrage

at the British government for ceding East Florida to Spain after so many of them put their lives

on the line in service to King George III during the war.15 Governor Tonyn conveyed to London

that he raised two troops of Light Horse for the purpose of protecting the inhabitants of St.

Augustine from the banditti. But in two letters to Governor Zespedes, Tonyn freely admitted that

the Light Horse was raised for the purpose of protecting certain outlying plantations from having

their slaves stolen-one of those plantations being his own. 16 Much to Tonyn's chagrin,

Governor Zespedes sought to control the banditti through an alliance, which galled the British

official until the day he left the continent.17

One of the local known confederates of the banditti who managed to keep himself just

enough on the proper side of his legal battles to avoid jail was Francisco Sanchez, a resident

from the first Spanish period who continued to live in East Florida after the British gained

control of the colony in 1763. He earned Governor Tonyn's ire after his business dealings with

Daniel McGirtt's gang came to the governor's attention. In a letter to McGirtt's wife on July 1,

1784, which was intercepted by British authorities, Sanchez instructed the woman to relay to her


14 Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida, 40.

15 McGirtt testified that his life of crime began the day he was told of the colony's cession to Spain. Siebert,
Loyalists in East Florida, Vol. II, 329. For more references to the Banditti see Lockey, East Forida, 14-18, 157,
175, 195-196, 214-215, 220-221, 231, 235-236, 248, 290, 298, 321, 333-338, 346-347, 353-357, 368-371, 373, 388-
395, 401-404, 443, 446, 526, 585-593, 607, 653; see also, Lockey, "The Florida Banditti, 1783," Florida Historical
Quarterly, Vol. 24, Issue 2 (October 1945), pp. 87-107.
16 Lockey, East Florida, 220, 247.

17 Many things about these two men annoyed the other. Tonyn was an Irishman in an English army, while Zespedes
was a Hidalgo-a nobleman-from the peninsular Spanish region of Castile. "In a rank-conscious society, these
distinctions were more valuable than monetary wealth." In the Spanish army, Irishmen were more or less
mercenaries and Tonyn did not strike Zespedes as being more than that. Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida, 3.









husband a plan to rob a ship on the St. Marys River of its cargo of blacks. The plan called for ten

to fifteen men in a "Good large cunnoo" to board the ship at night and steal all blacks onboard.

There is no mention as to how many blacks were targeted, or their status as slave or free. 18 Not

surprisingly, it was Francisco Sanchez who purchased Daniel McGirtt's forty-six slaves while

the banditti leader was in prison.

Only two days after his arrival in East Florida, Governor Zespedes decreed that he would

appoint two British residents, John Leslie and Francis Philip Fatio, as judges in a court of

arbitration to preside over any disputes involving British residents. 19 John Leslie, of Panton,

Leslie, and Company, proved himself worthy of his appointment as he sought to protect his

reputation in the colony as a fair businessman. Philip Fatio had other aspirations. On June 7,

1784, Fatio, claiming to represent the wealthy "Planters, Merchants and other Inhabitants of the

Province of East Florida," declared his loyalty to King George III, Great Britain, and Governor

Tonyn. Considering that Fatio then applied for Spanish citizenship immediately upon Governor

Zespedes arrival only thirty-five day later, his motives for this pledge of loyalty become

suspect.20 Governor Tonyn complained to Lord Sydney, the new Secretary of State, of Zespedes'

selection of Fatio "who assumes a jurisdiction of a very extensive nature, styling himself Judge

over His Britannic Majesty's Subjects." According to Tonyn, the Swiss-born Fatio "has a very

imperfect knowledge of the Laws, Language, and constitution of Great Britain, and is an

obnoxious Character in the Community." Tonyn also accused Fatio of determining his judgments



18 Lockey, East Florida, 216-17.

19 Ibid, 49. Lord Sydney, the namesake for the city of Sydney, Australia; also known as Thomas Townshend, brother
of Charles Townshend of the infamous Townshend Act imposed on the American colonies in 1767. Prior to 1783,
Tonyn's letters to Lord Sydney are addressed to Thomas Townshend, as Townshend's barony was not bestowed
until January 1783.
20 Ibid, 204.









based upon decisions of cases that "originated in another Country, and had been heard in a

British Court of Justice." Because Fatio was never embraced by British East Florida's elite

society Tonyn accused the new magistrate of rendering personal retribution on the British

inhabitants: "he prejudges Causes, and decides by whim and caprice."21 All was for naught, for

neither Tonyn, nor his superiors at Whitehall, had jurisdiction in Fatio's appointment, thus,

Zespedes' decision could not be over-ridden.

Issues concerning slave ownership and slave theft soon choked Panton and Fatio's court

dockets, convincing Governor Zespedes that the black population "constituted the most serious

threat to local harmony and civil disorder. Negro slaves were the most valuable moveable and

negotiable capital in the province, the object of the cupidity of unscrupulous individuals other

than the McGirtt banditti." Throughout the American Revolution, both sides pilfered and

plundered blacks and "shifted [them] about like livestock; a part of the Southern population

displaced and uprooted during the period of hostilities." East Florida was no different. Free

blacks were often seized during the confusion of the evacuation process and "held under false

claims of ownership."22


On July 26, 1784, just two weeks after his arrival in St. Augustine, Governor Zespedes set

off a chain reaction of events concerning all blacks in the colony that even he could not likely

have foreseen. Article Five of the Treaty of Paris, 1783, decreed:


His Catholic majesty guarantees that the British inhabitants, or others, who may have been
Subjects of the King of Great Britain in Florida may retire within a time prescribed, in full
security and liberty where they shall think proper, and may sell their Effects as well as
their persons without being restrained in their Emigration under any pretence whatsoever,
except on Account of Debts or Criminal prosecutions...His Britannic Majesty shall have

21 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, pp. 28-30.

22 Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida, 48-49.









the power of removing all the Effects which may belong to him, whether artillery or
otherwise.2

In short, what belonged to British subjects could not be arbitrarily taken from British

subjects, by order of the King Charles III of Spain. Being an enlightened ruler, the Spanish

emperor considered British citizens in East Florida as his guests.

Governor Zespedes' proclamation of July 26, on the other hand, stated that "every negro

who was without a certificate of manumission would become the property of the Spanish Crown

in case he failed to procure within twenty days a permit to work."24 This was a very peculiar

declaration, given the long history of the Spanish government for offering sanctuary to runaway

British slaves. Governor Zespedes claimed that his only intention was to curb the lawless

stealing of blacks by banditti and other whites by forcing a determination of ownership on all

people of color within the colony. He believed that this would also greatly reduce the numerous

vagrant blacks "'roving this City robbing and even breaking open houses' and declared that their

"bad way of life.., ought to be prevented."'25 Zespedes then removed all doubt as to who would

be affected by his proclamation as he categorized every black in the colony into four classes:

The first are blacks absolutely free, the second are them who deserve their liberty by virtue
of different proclamations ordered to be published to British Generals during the War; the
third belong to British subjects known to be their owners; and the fourth are Blacks, who
have no Owner, and are strolling about this Town and province-this last class of Blacks
whenever they will present themselves within [twenty days] shall by virtue of the
proclamation be considered as free, but them that after that time... did not come and
present themselves should be considered... as vagrants.26


23 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, p. 47.

24 Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 159.

25 Landers, "Spanish Sanctuary," 312.
26 "Vicente Manuel de Zespedes to Patrick Tonyn, 'Remarks on James Hume's Opinion,' St. Augustine, August 6,
1784," enclosure number 2 in "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561,
p. 80. As inhumane as these categorizations may sound, Zespedes showed a very enlightened approach to blacks as
human beings, who also happened to be property. The normal perception of this era was "the brutal absurdity of
racial classifications that derived] from and also celebrated] racially exclusive conceptions of national identity










Governor Zespedes held very little compassion for the black population, as he wrote, "The term

of twenty days were held out merely in terrorem which the very stupidity of the Blacks rendered

,,27
necessary.

Governor Tonyn and Chief Justice James Hume vociferously denounced the proclamation

as a violation of the Treaty of Paris, 1783.28 "Tonyn had surrendered no more of the plundered

slaves to their Carolina masters than he could help, and did not intend to be more generous to the

Spaniards."29 Exacerbating the situation was the large quantity of presumably free-blacks in St.

Augustine who were manumitted en masse by either Lord Dunmore's Proclamation, the

Philipsburg Proclamation, or at will by any British field officer who deemed a slave performed

an exemplary service in battle. In many cases, British officers manumitted entire groups of black

camp-followers, making it virtually impossible for them to personally identify each black they

liberated. None of these people possessed proper documentation to verify their manumissions

and were therefore in violation of Governor Zespedes' decree. Chief Justice Hume interpreted

Article Five of the treaty to include "every individual, black as well as white, Slave as well as

freeman that was under the protection of the British Government at the arrival of His Excellency

Governor De Zespedes." The chief justice believed that five out of six blacks in St. Augustine

would be adversely affected by this new law.30



from which blacks were excluded as either non-human or non-citizens." Paul Gilroy, "The Black Atlantic as a
Counterculture of Modernity," In The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press, 1993), 6.
27 "Vicente Manuel de Zespedes to Patrick Tonyn, 'Remarks on James Hume's Opinion,' St. Augustine, August 6,
1784," enclosure number 2 in "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561,
p. 80.82; see also Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 159.
28 James Hume replaced William Drayton as Chief Justice of the colony in 1780. Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida,
80.
29 Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 159.

30 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, pp. 47-48.









Hume first drew a line in the sand by accusing the Spanish of conspiring to illegally

confiscate British property. He then maneuvered his interpretation to include British subjects of

all colors, of all stations in life, to be under the protection of the treaty. But the chief justice

concluded his interpretation of this portion of the proclamation with a bombshell that could not

be ignored by anyone in London, Madrid, or St. Augustine: "all persons of the above description,

who do not pay obedience to the Proclamation... shall be seized, declared, and held Slaves to His

Catholic Majesty."31 Hume admitted that the treaty clearly made allowance for the incarceration

of any British subject guilty of a crime that an international court would declare to be malum in

se, such as murder. A crime such as failing to register the known whereabouts of a person of

color, whether free or enslaved, would fall into the category of malum in prohibitum, a minor

offense that no international court would deem punishable by permanent enslavement. Hume

appealed to the jurisdiction of international law as he wrote, "surely when the Treaty mentions

criminal Prosecutions, it must mean crimes that are malum in se, crimes that are universally

understood by the Law of Nations to be bad... otherwise it might be in the power of the Spanish

Government, to make the smallest omission criminal, and consequently a sufficient cause to

justify the detention of any British Subject in the Province."32

Chief Justice Hume's opinion of Governor Zespedes' proclamation and the Spanish courts

now in place in St. Augustine held many concerns. But as a magistrate himself, Hume was

completely astounded at a legal system "altogether unknown in the British Constitution" that

would allow "that the presiding judge, being made a party, by receiving a part of what is

condemned." This added to British suspicions of Fatio's disingenuousness in his rulings. Since



31 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, pp. 47-48.
32 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, p. 49









the majority of these cases involved slave ownership, theoretically Fatio became wealthier with

every decision.33 In a letter to Lord Sydney, Tonyn referred to Zespedes' administration as an

"inquisitorial office... established, to compell the British to unfold and disclose their titles, to the

bulk of their fortunes...Negroes emancipated by the engagements held out them...were aimed at,

to be made slaves to the King of Spain."34 Governor Zespedes refused to admit that his

proclamation was issued in error of the law or that it might be unfavorably interpreted, unless

maliciously so:

The Spanish Government did not wish to meddle with Blacks who had owners or Masters
nor with those who had a right to freedom; but it did does and will look out for those who
not being free nor having a right to freedom nor belong to any acknowledged owners or
Master are in every sense of the word vagrants, and a pest to the public Tranquility-a
vagabond, and particularly a Black one is and ought to be considered in every Nation, and
by every Law not only a Malum prohibitum, but likewise a Malum in Se.35

By declaring vagrancy, and conspiring to aid anyone to commit vagrancy, to be the crime

in question, Zespedes believed that "by their not presenting themselves it is plainly seen they

wished to continue in that bad way of Life which ought to be prevented, being not only

pernicious but also Malum in se."36 The response astounded British authorities and petitions flew

across the Atlantic to Parliament. That vagrancy could be determined a precursor to a more

vicious crime, such as murder, and therefore punishable in an equal manner was mind-numbing.

Historian Jane Landers located 251 declarations of free status by blacks in her research, but

freely admits that there is no evidence to support how many of East Florida's blacks were

capable of providing the proper documentation, nor how many were actually re-enslaved by the

33 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, p. 51.
34 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, p. 26.
35 "Remarks on James Hume's Opinion, St. Augustine, August 2, 1784," enclosure number 2 in "Patrick Tonyn to
Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, p. 80.
36 "Remarks on James Hume's Opinion, St. Augustine, August 2, 1784," enclosure number 2 in "Patrick Tonyn to
Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, p. 84.









Spanish. But Landers' study shows that the 251 declarations came from throughout the East

Florida countryside as well as from St. Augustine, indicating that word of the proclamation

spread adequately to the colony's black community.37 One thing germane to this study we can

learn from these declarations is that the individuals "presented [themselves]" to the proper

authorities, signifying an autonomous action in doing so.38


After just two weeks of Spanish rule in East Florida, only one thing could be certain: the

evacuation of the British inhabitants and their slaves had very little chance of going smoothly. In

a rare instance of losing his composure with a superior, Governor Tonyn writes Lord Sydney that

British subjects faced "perpetual Imprisonment in a foreign Country, without the chance of

retrieving their affairs by future exertions."39 For many blacks, there would be no evacuation at

all, but they did not necessarily deem that lack of opportunity a bad thing at the time.






















7 Landers, "Spanish Sanctuary," 305
38 In this article Landers offers a detailed breakdown of the demographics of the people who declared their right to
freedom under the Spanish proclamation of July 26, 1784. Ibid, 305-307.
39 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 25-39.









CHAPTER 8
EVACUATION

New York City was captured by General Sir William Howe on September 15, 1776, and

remained under British control throughout the war. On November 25, 1783, the city saw the last

of approximately 30,000 Loyalists sail away while a swarm of angry American patriots hooted

their retreat. The St. Augustine garrison was ordered to Nova Scotia to assist in their

resettlement. To the well placed Loyalist nobles of the Hudson Valley, this was a sensible

redistribution of troops. Conversely, to the people of East Florida it held all the appeal of a death

sentence. New York had proportionately fewer evacuees than St. Augustine and was not heaving

from severe overpopulation. It may be argued that New York remained loyal during the war only

as long as there was a British army present to insure its politics. St. Augustine, on the other hand,

remained loyal out of desire and dedication; the town never sustained so much as a rebellious

demonstration-setting aside Governor Tonyn's disposition on the antics of William Drayton

and Dr. Turnbull. To East Floridians this was a monumentally important point that no one at

Whitehall seemed interested in hearing. Their loyalty needed to be worth more than they were

being credited.

Without a military defense, peripheral colonies faced untold dangers, as is expressed in

Governor Tonyn's response to Admiral Digby's orders to evacuate the St. Augustine garrison

ahead of the civilian population: "This measure has thrown the Province into the utmost

consternation as the Inhabitants will be thereby exposed to be pillaged by rapacious, lawless and

abandoned men...who are checked only by the awe of the Troops."1 Americans from Georgia

and the Carolinas raided the outlying plantations and patrolled the coastal roads as highwaymen,




1 "Patrick Tonyn to Robert Digby, St. Augustine, September 10, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 697-700.









constantly harassing the inhabitants of East Florida.2 Many of these marauders sought plunder in

the form of captured British slaves, claiming they were stolen property from Savannah and

Charleston.3 Livestock, munitions, rum, and animal skins were the other valuable items for

which East Floridians could lose their lives to gangs of banditti. As alluded to earlier, once the

Spanish arrived in July 1784, Governor Tonyn accused Governor Zespedes of engaging many of

these gang members as his henchmen, making their depredations more difficult to avert than ever

before.4 By 1785, piracy infected the waters near Matanzas Bay. James Moultrie was able to

describe several instances, and name villains, in his correspondence with Governor Zespedes.

Zespedes, who liked and respected Moultrie, informed the planter of intelligence reports that

ships designed "for the purpose of making depredations on the coasts of this province" were

outfitted in Charleston and the Bahamas.5 Piracy and the wanton destruction of vessels were of

particular concern due to the stealing of slaves from several coastal plantations and the

overwhelming call for Minorcan fishermen to assist in feeding the swollen population of St.

Augustine.

Governor Tonyn's letter to Sir Guy Carleton on September 11, 1783, evidences a more

imminent concern for the town's safety, as he attempted to convince Whitehall that troops must

remain in St. Augustine. September was the time of the annual Creek Nation Green Corn Feast,

which, when concluded, would find the beleaguered provincial capital flooded with thousands of


2 "Memorial of Grey Elliott, St. Augustine, July 5, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 801-03.

3 "Patrick Tonyn to Thomas Townshend, St. Augustine, May 15, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 583-616.
4 The two most notorious gangs, the Banditti and the John Linder Gang, became so unabashed in their crimes that
eventually Governor Zespedes took measures against them. "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine,
December 6, 1784," PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 25-41; see also "William Young to Patrick Tonyn, Young's Post, August,
5, 1784," PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 140-41.

5 "Vicente Manuel de Zespedes to Esteban Mir6, St. Augustine, January 26, 1785," Library of Congress: East
Florida Papers, File b114, J9.









celebratory Creek Indians.6 Tonyn feared that the Creeks would assume the inhabitants to be

Spaniards or Americans, both of whom they hated equally, upon seeing the city abandoned by

the British army. Once American Indian traders spread word into Georgia and the Carolinas that

there was no British military presence in St. Augustine, both Native Americans and "Virginians"

would begin an onslaught of incursions into East Florida.7

It was no small irony that the most egregious threat to civilian safety was from the banditti,

former protectors of the colony. They were no longer under military supervision, far from homes

to which they could never return, and well aware of Admiral Digby's edict. Again, in his letter to

Sir Guy Carleton, Tonyn bemoaned "the licentious disbanded Soldiers who have discovered

intentions of rapine and plunder are most of all to be dreaded."8 Many of these men were

seasoned veterans of the back-country civil wars in the Carolinas and Georgia, completely void

of unction in their commission of crimes against non-combatants. But up to this point they kept

the criminal aspects of their activities outside of St. Augustine. Once the army was gone it was

feared that there would be no protection against them.

Lastly, the British inhabitants feared the Spanish army. News of conquests in West Florida

and the Bahamas spread quickly throughout the colony, and always seasoned with reminders of

the mythical "Black Legend." Many a West Floridian already experienced the dungeons of

Havana during the war and wrote to families in East Florida of their dire conditions. With no

friendly military force to counteract Spanish might, the throngs in St. Augustine were at the

complete mercy of an incoming army. Governor Tonyn repeatedly wrote to Whitehall pleading

for some form of alteration to the edict removing the British army. But as a further

6 "Patrick Tonyn to Sir Guy Carleton, St. Augustine, September 11, 1783," PRO CO, 5/111, pp. 49-55.

S"Substance of Indian Talks Delivered to Patrick Tonyn, St. Augustine May 15, 1783," PRO CO, 5/110, pp. 71-74.
S"Patrick Tonyn to Sir Guy Carleton, St. Augustine, September 11, 1783," PRO CO, 5/111, pp. 49-56.









demonstration of the lack of urgency that the Lords of Whitehall felt for these peripheral

subjects, East Florida was not only forced to relinquish its garrison but colony was denied a

replacement company. London needed Troops in the West Indies to maintain order during these

troubled times, and the killing fields of plantation sugar colonies replenished the coffers for wars

of the past and wars yet to come. St. Augustine would have to wait. Fortunately, three companies

of the British 37th Regiment of Foot disembarked in Matanzas Bay just one day after Admiral

Digby sailed for Nova Scotia with the St. Augustine garrison.9 Due to the irregularity of

communications, civil authorities in St. Augustine were never informed of the 37th s arrival until

the day they anchored outside Matanzas Bay.

Fear has many faces, and uncertainty is one of its ugliest. Few elements on earth create

more uncertainty than the contemplation of a crucial event which has no set date. Thus, in

August 1783, the issues at hand in St. Augustine began to revolve around time. How long before

the army leaves for Nova Scotia? When will the Spanish arrive? How long will the Creeks and

Seminoles maintain a peaceful existence? How much longer will it be before evacuation ships

sail into Matanzas Bay? For some of the residents of St. Augustine, these questions evidently

became too much to bear as a plot to overthrow Governor Tonyn's regime in May 1784 was

uncovered just prior to the arrival of the Spanish army. Refugee John Cruden of Charleston made

all the necessary arrangements with unmentioned "connections and correspondents in the

American States" to take by surprise "the fort, galleys, and troops of the King" with 2000

refugees and St. Augustinians. Their plan was to topple Tonyn's lame-duck command, prepare

the defenses of the town against the incoming Spanish garrison, and hope to impress King

George III with their loyalty so he might reconsider his position on ceding East Florida to


9 Mowat, East Florida as a British Province, 143.









Spain. 10 Governor Tonyn's method for foiling this plot could have succeeded only in an age

where honor was so vital to men of distinction. After banditti attacked a British patrol, killing its

captain, Tonyn assigned Cruden to lead the next patrol to search out these cutthroats. Though

tempted to take advantage of the opportunity to "turn the tables" on the governor, Cruden-well

known as an honorable man-carried out his assignment as he had promised. Cruden's

reputation as a man wholly committed to the overthrow of the local authorities was permanently

damaged and the rebellion ended before it began, even though no banditti were located by

Cruden's patrol.11 Had Governor Tonyn handled this situation another way the consequences

could have been tragic. Preparations for the evacuation proceeded as planned.

The Treaty of Paris, 1783, allowed the inhabitants of St. Augustine eighteen months to

evacuate the city once the Spanish officially assumed the governmental seat. But the nagging

question to the British inhabitants was how long would it be before that process would begin?

Both Britain and Spain perceived the deadline of eighteen months as a worst case scenario. Even

though Governor Zespedes and his army did not arrive until June 26, 1784, Whitehall firmly

believed that the evacuation would be concluded no later than September 19, 1784. Therefore,

the British army departed on July 27, 1784, and this time with no replacements. Whitehall never

imagined that there would be need of an extension-much less two extensions-in order to

complete the evacuation. Two sets of circumstances dominoed into this calamity: the selling of

personal possessions; and the sailing schedule-neither of which could be blamed on the

refugees.




10 "Patrick Tonyn to Archibald McArthur, St. Augustine, May 21, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, pp. 288-89 (Lockey); see
also Troxler, "Loyalist Refugees," 9.
11 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, June 14, 1784," PRO CO 5/561, pp. 289-92 (Lockey).









One of the primary reasons that the treaty allowed the masses in St. Augustine eighteen

months to evacuate the colony was for the settling of affairs: harvest crops, sell what possessions

they could, and settle all debts prior to embarkation. Only the wealthiest planters had the

resources to simply board a ship and sail away from East Florida without liquidating as many of

their assets as possible, or leaving their affairs with an agent to do so for them. 12 A great majority

of the inhabitants previously experienced just such an eviction from the Carolinas and Georgia

and considered themselves fortunate that they were able to start life over so close to their former

homes. Unlike the manner in which Madrid handled the Spanish evacuation of St. Augustine in

1763, the British crown had yet to offer financial compensation for personal losses in East

Florida. Selling out lock, stock, and barrel was the only hope to begin new lives abroad. The

Spanish, however, did not bring enough people, civilian or military, to make adequate purchases

to mark a significant reduction in British possessions or debts. Only later did Tonyn realize that

Zespedes imposed a policy on his garrison of boycotting many British goods, and what few

purchases the Spanish made averaged only 25% of the item's worth. 13

With no sufficient outlet for the sale of their commodities, British inhabitants selected the

only available option-they took as much with them as possible and those that could, liquidated

their possessions in other markets. Personal assets were but a small part of this cargo. When the

British came to St. Augustine they utilized a tongue-and-groove construction process on most of

their houses that did not require use of nails. Therefore, these abodes could be disassembled into

huge stacks of building materials. As part of the agreement that they could ship anything they

were unable to sell, a large number of dismantled homes were crowded onto the docks of the St.


12 Troxler, "Loyalist Refugees," 13-14.
13 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784," PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 31-32; see also "Patrick
Tonyn to Lord Hawke, St. Augustine, November 30, 1784," PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 337-44.









Mary's River and loaded into the holds of British ships. This enormous increase in the estimated

bulk and tonnage of cargo immediately created a shortage of available transports, slowing the

evacuation process to a crawl. It also created a shortage in comfortable accommodations as

people were then forced to live in tent communities on the banks of the river as they anticipated

the loading of each ship. Had the ministers of Whitehall simply opened the treasury and made

reparations for civilian losses the evacuation would have been completed as scheduled. 14

Of course, loss of property meant much more than losing one's land, home, or personal

possessions. With blacks outnumbering whites in East Florida three-to-two, the potential for

financial ruin due to the loss of slave property was genuine and legally muddled. One of the

clearest illustrations of the legal ambiguity concerning the East Florida slave population during

the evacuation is identified by the potential judicial debacle created if British slave owners tried

to evacuate directly to England with their slaves. The Somerset decision in 1772 created a degree

of uncertainty among slave owners concerning the legal status of their foreign-born slaves once

they arrived in England. 15 In order to insure the continued ownership of their property, many

slave owners chose to relocate to the Jamaica, St. Lucia, or the Mosquito Coast of Central

America. 16 The largest numbers of slaves evacuated from East Florida were taken to the

Bahamas. Those who were experienced sailors, and free, returned to the sea. Some remained in

East Florida under Spanish rule, while an undetermined number took control of their own destiny



14 Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, Vol. I, 177; see also Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida, 62. To emphasize the
strain that this situation put on the British evacuation effort from East Florida, 30,000 Loyalists were evacuated from
New York City in eighty-one sailings from May 1782 to November 1783. Conversely, 10,000 Loyalists were
ultimately evacuated from East Florida, over thirteen different dates from April 1784 to November 1785, in thirty-
three sailings-an 8% increase in sailings necessary to transport the exorbitantly bulky cargo. Schama, Rough
Crossings, 4; see also Troxler, "Loyalist Refugees," appendix I, 27.
15 Schama, Rough Crossings, p. 427n. 16.

16 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 441.









and ran away just as their masters were busy boarding ships, many finding refuge with the

Seminoles. 17

As mentioned earlier, British Loyalists filed claims for loss of property, which included

many slaves. Much is learned from these claims of the arbitrary system of values assigned to

various people and their occupations, as there was no uniformity to the methodology of filing

claims for compensation after the war. Field hands were generally valued at 10 annually, though

some tried to ask anywhere from 20s (shillings) a month to 15 annually. General Robert

Cunningham listed the value of his field hands at 2s a day. Carpenters were listed at 6-7s a day.

"The value of slave labor seems to have risen considerably during the latter part of the war when

refugee loyalists were coming rapidly and taking up lands for settlement." One claimant listed

four slaves at 25 each, another twenty-eight slaves at 35 each, and one male slave at 45, but

provided no more details than that to account for how the differentiation in their sex, age,

education, or the status of their health consequently affected their values. "One expects that

[young] craftsmen will be listed at high figures" as carpenters, coopers, and sawyers might list

from 70 to 100 each. "A compleatt servant' is also rated at 70, and a house wench, who

served both as cook and washerwoman, is valued at 60." Anther scale of human values that was

found ran strictly according to the age of the individual slave: "for a 'young fellow' 56, for a

man forty years old 50, for a woman of forty 40, for a boy often 30, and for an old woman

15." As one can imagine, in such a world of imprecise bookkeeping the more obscure the claim

and the higher the estimated value, the better the recompense.18





17 Wright, "Blacks in British East Florida," 441.
18 Siebert, "Slavery in East Florida," 155-57.









Compensation claims became such a congruent issue among the Loyalist refugees in St.

Augustine that printer John Wells published "The Case of the Inhabitants of East Florida" in

1784 in an effort to present their case en masse before King George III. Wells raised the

question: "Can the Subject be divested of his property, under the British Constitution, by the

King, or by the Legislature, or by any man or set of men without receiving a recompense or

equivalent of it?" Pleading their case of absolute loyalty during the Revolution, the inhabitants of

East Florida hoped to prove that refugees were entitled to protection of their real property, which

included slaves, based on


the feudal relationship binding king, subject, and land: 'Protection and allegiance are
reciprocal duties... A fundamental principle in the Feudal Law was, that...the Lord should
give full protection to the Vassal, in his territorial property; and the Vassal was to defend
and support his lord, to the utmost of his power, against all enemies. All lands held by
British Subjects, are derived, mediately or immediately, from the Crown; and the oath of
allegiance...ran nearly in the same words as the Vassal's oath of fealty. They are called our
liege Lord and Sovereign.'19

Wells cited every known circumstance in British legal history that might benefit the

property owners' case. From citations of their feudal relationship to the king, which included

"rights and privileges, acquired by being born within the King's allegiance" which could not be

surrendered by "distance of time or place," to Clause 39 of the Magna Carta, to Coke's language

that "lands, tenements, goods and chattels shall not be seized into the King's hand nor may any

man be... dispossessed of his goods and chattels contrary to this great Charter." Wells allowed

that Parliament had the right by law to deprive individuals of their personal property for the

"good of the entire British community. However, he then listed several examples of "deprivation-

and corresponding compensation" that occurred in the recent past. In short, "they declared that

His Majesty gave up his province of East Florida for the good of the British nation; but since in


19 Wells, The Case of the Inhabitants, 5; see also Troxler, "Loyalist Refugees," 4.









so doing he deprived individuals of property, the nation must pay for that property."20 These

claims dragged on for years and were rarely, if ever, settled for the amounts specified.

The physical act of evacuating the colony went no smoother for the haggard Loyalists and

their slaves than the compensation process. When Governor Zespedes arrived in East Florida he

was forced to unload his fifteen ships at the harbor on the St. Marys River due to the shallow

sand bar in St. Augustine. He wrote that he estimated it would take two months to complete the

process, and that was with the assistance of five hundred Spanish soldiers.21 For thousands of

British civilians the process would take much longer, and for several reasons other than those

previously mentioned. One being that many British merchants were reluctant to leave until

money arrived from Havana to pay off Spanish debts. But there were other motives that were less

vulgar. Rumors abounded throughout the evacuation period that Great Britain was on the verge

of reclaiming East Florida. "The Cruden conspiracy and the rumors it nourished temporarily

halted emigration in May and June 1784, almost as soon as it started." Many Loyalists who were

named in the confiscation and banishments acts delayed their evacuations, lingering at every

opportunity in hopes of hearing of a change in their status.

Another reason for the slow evacuation was that slave owners were in constant search of

runaway and stolen slaves. "Most charges of theft were directed against the Spanish. [Captain]

Vasquez, commander of the Spanish brigantine [San Matias], was accused of selling slaves he

had lured from the British transports."22 Apparently there was some evidence of justification of

these charges as the San Matias was boarded several times by British officials with relatively



20 Ibid, 5; see also Ibid, 4.

21 Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida, 33.
22 Ibid, 24.









little indignation emitting from Governor Zespedes.23 For the slaves, escape did not guarantee

freedom. Unlike the era of Spanish sanctuary, now blacks were safe from Spanish re-

enslavement only if they could prove that they were free-which, if that was indeed the case,

they would not have needed to runaway.24 Even legally freed blacks "had little personal safety

during the evacuation procedure, [and] were in danger of being seized and held under false

claims of ownership."25 Loyalists and their slaves were under constant duress while living in

encampments at the St. Marys harbor awaiting evacuation, as banditti and other brigands raided

the camps sporadically.26

Many Loyalists hoped to sell their slaves in the United States or the West Indies where they

felt they could fetch a better price. But this was a very risky and speculative option. Between the

banditti and unknown fluctuations in slave values in distant markets, slave owners could

devastate their fortunes by making an incorrect choice. A few examples may be noted: "In

December 1784 John Graham from Georgia sent more than 200 slaves to Beaufort, South

Carolina, for sale because the price there was higher than in Jamaica." Elias Ball, who was listed

on the banishment lists in South Carolina, took advantage of the fact that his cousin was not. Ball

sold 140 of his slaves to his cousin, who in turn sold them profitably in South Carolina. Judith

Shivers, on the other hand, misjudged the market: "discouraged by the low prices in East Florida,

[Shivers] took her slaves to Dominica but was forced to sell them for less than half their East

Florida price."27



23 Ibid, 62

24 Troxler, "Loyalist Refugees," 24.

25 Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida, 49.
26 Troxler, "Loyalist Refugees," 24.

27 Ibid, 15.









During the twenty-year British period, slave owners in East Florida proved themselves no

more advanced or enlightened in their attitudes toward blacks-free or enslaved-than in the

seventeenth century. It is clear that the evacuating Loyalists were angered, though not for

humanitarian reasons, by Governor Zespedes' proclamation which unfairly categorized black

people. It was the potential loss of property and unwitting complicity in criminal activities that

irked the white population. As for the free blacks who faced possible re-enslavement, it was the

subjugation of British citizens-an issue of nationalism more than the protection of former

slaves-that drew the ire of Governor Tonyn and James Hume. While many blacks who stayed in

East Florida after the British evacuation may have hoped for a return to the lenient Cedulas of

old, Governor Zespedes approached the second Spanish era in a manner that caused a great

amount of trepidation.

The second major impact on what Governor Tonyn referred to as the "Long Evacuation,"

involved the functionability of the relocation arrangements mentioned above. In short, it looked

good on paper. The British crown allowed transportation to several destinations so the move had

to be highly organized to make the best use of cargo space, tonnage, and sailing time. The winds

dictated the itineraries of the vessels as much as the passengers' preferences. But simply loading

the vessels was a monumental feat in itself. As Governor Zespedes experienced when his fleet

arrived in East Florida, the shallow and dangerous inlet of Matanzas Bay would not allow the

loading of the large evacuation ships. It became necessary, therefore, to transport all cargo by

small boats some sixty-five miles up the Intercoastal waterway to the docks of the St. Marys

River on the Georgia border. There was no simpler solution, given the enormous volume of

personal effects being removed from the colony in such a relatively short amount of time. This

forced these loyal British refugees of a long and bitter war to travel directly toward their









American antagonists in a most vulnerable condition, and with a very thin line of military

protection. The need for some form of reprieve from London concerning the private possessions

of the refugees became paramount.

The evacuation of St. Augustine inched along for the thousands of people who were

unfortunate enough to find themselves stranded in East Florida in 1782. Of the eclectic ensemble

that made up St. Augustine in the British post-war era, the prisoners of war were the first to leave

in 1781. Another 5,000 Loyalists could not endure their options and filtered back into the United

States, hoping not to be recognized as former Tories.28 For many, capture resulted in

imprisonment or worse.29 Laws such as the Confiscation Act of 1782 banished certain Loyalists

from the states of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina on pain of death.30 Of the British

soldiers and militia who were re-deployed in 1783, approximately 1,500 soldiers ended up in

Nova Scotia or the West Indies, while 3,500 former soldiers and civilians remained in East

Florida and either accepted Spanish rule or became outlaws. Ultimately, under a great deal of

duress, over 10,000 loyal British subjects, of all occupations and classes, eventually found their

ways to distant shores.31

But that is not to suggest that their troubles ceased upon leaving St. Augustine. Governor

Maxwell of the Bahamas turned away some of the East Florida refugees who evacuated to

Providence Island; others he refused even the opportunity to re-provision their transports before


28 "Patrick Tonyn to Evan Nepean, London, May 2, 1786," PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 813-24. Evan Nepean was Tonyn's
representative on the Board of the Treasury.
29 "Josiah Smith's Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.)." The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 34, No. 4 (October
1934), 194-99.

30 Robert S. Lambert, "The Confiscation of Loyalist Property in Georgia, 1782-1786" The William and Mary
Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 20, No.1. (Jan., 1963), 82.

31 Lockey, East Florida, 11; see also "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Hawke, St. Augustine, November 30, 1784," PRO CO,
5/561, pp. 337-44.









continuing to other colonies. Many East Floridians who were allowed to live in those islands

were denied the opportunity to pursue their trades. Though Lt. Governor Powell of the Bahamas

stepped in to assist those with needs, he requested that East Florida authorities send "backwards"

refugees to Nova Scotia, stating that such "Arabs" would not fit into proper Bahamian society.32

This was a cruel blow, as a large number of refugees determined that the Bahamas were the most

likely destination for anyone hoping to acquire enough land in a warm climate to retain their

planter-elite status.

Governor Tonyn was bitterly embroiled with Governor Zespedes on many levels during

the evacuation, as Tonyn was never one to see himself in a lame-duck role regardless of the

circumstances. As mentioned earlier, any British subject in arrears on an outstanding debt or

convicted of a criminal offense would not be allowed to leave St. Augustine, but forced to face a

Spanish tribunal. As a result, Governor Tonyn was relentlessly embattled in court decisions

motivated by the personal vendettas of Frances Philip Fatio. These disagreements and heated

debates escalated to the point that Governor Tonyn was eventually banished to his evacuation

ship, the Cyrus, on July 19, 1785, and forced to perform all official British functions from his

cabin. It was only possible for Governor Zespedes to get away with such actions because the

British eclipsed their official extension to leave the colony by ten days at this point and the

Spanish no longer needed to concern themselves with protocol.

On September 10, the Cyrus to the docks on the St. Mary's River and waited until the last

of the cargo could be loaded. During this time, Governor Zespedes' annoyance for the haughty,

out-going British governor moved him to declare that any "foreigners" lingering on the banks on




32 "Lt. Governor Powell to Patrick Tonyn, Nassau, June 9, 1785," PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 721-25.









the St. Mary's River were there illegally and should be removed, by force if necessary.33 Even

when contrary winds blew the Cyrus back onto her own anchor, damaging the ship so badly that

it was forced to sit for three months at the mouth of the St. Marys in need of repairs, Zespedes

would not allow Tonyn to vacate the ship. The British governor and his fellow passengers

lingered in the wrecked man-of-war, during the height of hurricane season, until repairs were

concluded on November 19, 1785. To the very end, on the last ship out, Loyalists experiences

after the war were a combination of humiliation and degradation.



































3 "Vicente Manuel de Zespedes to Patrick Tonyn, St. Augustine, July 27, 1785," PRO CO, 5/561, pp .682-85.









CHAPTER 9
CONCLUSION

In a letter to Lord Sydney, written from Portsmouth on January 11, 1786, Patrick Tonyn

informed the Secretary of State that the evacuation of East Florida was finally complete. On

May 2, 1786, Lord Sydney compelled Tonyn to put in writing for Parliament the details of the

"Long Evacuation."2 The last significant correspondence from the former governor, according to

the Public Records Office, was dated July 3, 1786, when he harangued Lord Sydney for back-

pay that Whitehall owed the East Florida officers of administration, James Hume, David Yeates,

and Peter Edwards. These men were not paid for over twelve months-since June 24, 1785-

though they performed an invaluable service to the crown during the entire evacuation calamity.3

During much of the ordeal there was an appalling lack of concern at Whitehall for the

evacuees' wellbeing. A classic example of this disregard centers on the well documented fact

that from 1782-1785 shockingly few physicians came to St. Augustine during the southern

migration of refugees from Charleston and Savannah to East Florida. Military surgeons

accompanied the army but they were woefully far too few to handle what can only be imagined

as cruelly overcrowded circumstances. When Savannah was evacuated in July 1782, almost the

entire medical community stayed behind to tend to wounded soldiers and those sick from a small

pox outbreak. The Spanish army brought one physician/surgeon and one pharmacist.4 Yet with

all of the packet ships carrying correspondence back and forth across the Atlantic during this

period, Whitehall did not send one physician. East Florida. Civil leaders pleaded repeatedly that



1 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, Portsmouth, January 11, 1786," PRO CO, 5/561 (folder #4), pp. 801-04.
2 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, London, May 2, 1786," PRO CO 5/561, pp. 849-52.

3 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, London, July 3, 1786," PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 825-29.
4 Lambert, "The Confiscation of Loyalist Property," 90.









funds from the Board of Treasury be used for the needs of the people regarding such rudiments,

and to supply a Light Horse militia to replace the army from October 31, 1783-November 19,

1785. Meanwhile, normal costs of medical supplies, clothing, and the essentials of life rose

higher as the evacuation dragged on.

Conversely, Whitehall relocated troops and moved political mountains for the purpose of

enhancing the evacuation of New York. The greatest insult to East Floridians was, of course, the

removal of the garrison stationed at St. Augustine to do so-though not to provide military

protection to those loyal British citizens escaping the attacks of incoming Patriots, but to provide

assistance with their arrival in Nova Scotia; protecting them from no one but themselves.5 To

belabor the point of Whitehall's lack of concern, on December 4, 1783, Lord North dictated a

letter to the East Florida governor explaining that he was cleaning out the office of the "late

Secretary of State," and came across the copy of the definitive Treaty of Paris intended for

Tonyn, signed the previous September. Without apologies, Lord North continued to explain the

various details and nuances of the document.6 Tonyn-who relentlessly argued for his colony's

rights to be respected equally with other members of the British Empire facing similar dilemmas

at war's end-had been waiting since April for these specifics in an effort to comfort and quiet

his restless and frightened population. Leaders in East Florida could have salved some of the

concerns and answered many questions raised in St. Augustine had Whitehall forwarded the

results of the definitive treaty in a timely manner. Instead, as a result of Whitehall's callousness,

this information was not conveyed to Governor Tonyn until March 1784. To exacerbate the

situation, Lord North further dictated in this same letter of December 4, 1783, that Sir Guy


5 "Patrick Tonyn to Evan Nepean, St. Augustine, October 1, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 717-19.
6 Lord Germain was replaced by Lord Sydney as the American Secretary of State at war's end. "Lord North to
Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, December 4, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 721-36.









Carleton "provided for the removal of the Troops [in East Florida], and I hope the Public Stores;

But, if any, or either should still remain, you will cause them forthwith to be Transported to [the

Bahamas]." Whitehall's negligence involving the state of affairs in St. Augustine shone brightly

in its oversight to send Governor Tonyn a copy of the treaty post-haste. But to order the

embattled colony to empty his public stores-provisions of food, munitions, and necessities

needed to survive-fourteen months ahead of the last evacuation transport's embarkation adds a

charge of unfathomable incompetence.

It should not be said that there were no sympathetic voices in all of England concerning the

appalling circumstances in East Florida. On July 24, 1783, due to pressure from the London

press, members of the Prime Minister's Cabinet held a special meeting for the purpose of

discovering "some expedient for giving relief to the large number of loyalists then assembled at

St. Augustine. The London papers reported that 5,000 of these people had transmitted a

memorial of their distresses to the government; but that the mode of alleviation to be adopted had

not yet been made known." Despite their promptness and good intentions, "there is no evidence

of action taken by Parliament for the financial relief of these Loyalists until 1786."8 The empire,

once again redeemed at the expense of its citizens, could move forward from this ugly business.

Lost in all of this is the disposition of the black population in East Florida. Those who

stayed in East Florida, with hopes of enjoying the Spanish sanctuary of old, encountered

unfavorable legislation from Madrid. Governor Zespedes developed a distaste for these people

and became concerned that it was simply only a matter of time before American planters began

invading his borders to retrieve their property. Spain always enjoyed antagonizing its British



S"Lord North to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, December 4, 1783," PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 721-36.
8 Siebert, The Legacy of the American Revolution, 45.









counterparts on the North American continent by offering sanctuary and refuge to runaway

slaves, but the newly formed United States was an unfamiliar entity. The Americans lacked the

decorum and traditions of civilized warfare to which Spain was accustomed with England and

France. Officers on both sides of the war were appalled at the barbarity in the southern back

country, as one American officer recounts a macabre system of savage one-up-man-ship where

atrocities of every nature were inflicted on the civilian population. Many southern Americans

harbored a mounting hatred for runaway slaves, accusing them of propagating British terror

tactics in the back country.9 "Moreover, the new government of the United States seemed

determined to protect the property rights of its citizens," meaning that the feared raids might

eventually include federal assistance and American troops.

American planters were anxious to return their fortunes by re-installing the plantation

system as quickly as possible and "were convinced that full economic recovery was inseparably

linked to the restoration of slave labor." 10 Not only had the Americans demonstrated an audacity

in their sheer existence as a nation, but it became quite apparent that thereee was little chance of

dislodging them and thus little to gain by antagonizing [them] by encouraging the flight of

American slaves. The usefulness of the fugitives as pawns in international diplomacy had ended,

and recognizing that fact, Spain ended their sanctuary in Florida.""1 What began as a local

proclamation by Governor Zespedes soon after the Spanish re-occupation of East Florida became

a royal edict on May 17, 1790, as King Charles IV of Spain "bowed to pressure from the United

States government and abandoned the century-old policy of sanctuary for fugitive slaves."12


9 Frey, Waterfrom the Rock, 133.
10 Ibid, 211.
11 Landers, "Spanish Sanctuary," 312-13
12 Ibid, 310-11.









Though slaves and free-blacks were often oppressed by their white counterparts, they were

not without their resources for doing as much as they could with what opportunities they had.

Slaves often capitalized on the disorder created by the chaos of the war, especially in the

southern back country. Their response to the Philipsburg Proclamation was so massive that they

confounded every preconceived response the British contemplated for the manipulation of the

situation-but their response was not one of blind faith. Blacks learned to view any British offer

of freedom with caution, especially after witnessing Cornwallis' systematized use of terror

throughout the South-"they were pragmatic in their quest for freedom."13 Many slaves went

into Savannah and Charleston in an attempt to lose themselves in the larger populations during

the confusion of the invasions. But not all slaves ran away, though not out of loyalty as their

returning masters would boast. Neutrality served the slaves as a survival mechanism just as it did

whites who attempted to remain uninvolved in the war. 14 Slaves who were familiar with the back

country terrain were often armed and mounted by the British to hunt down and capture

deserters.15 These people found ways to live to see another day when their opportunities for

freedom might be more easily attained. The confusion of the British evacuation brought many

such opportunities, as we shall see.


Once the Spanish officially ended any hopes of slave sanctuary in East Florida, one can

only imagine the solemn sense of abandonment experienced by those most affected. Charles, a

former slave of William Drayton, signified in his declaration of free status to Governor Zespedes





3 Frey, Waterfrom the Rock, 113-14, 117, 141.
14 Ibid, 118.
15 Ibid, 137-38.









that he was "brought to this country before the last war."16 Perhaps this statement was motivated

by his desire to remind the new landlords in East Florida that he remembered the hope of slave

sanctuary prior to British occupation. Unfortunately, we cannot know his meaning for sure. But it

must have been devastating to realize that a once esteemed benefactor-nation, which seemingly

valued the humanity of those who risked everything to reach sanctuary, would prove itself no

different than other European nations.

Once again, the plight of most blacks on the North American continent was relegated to

that of human chattel, but that does not mean that they did not have their victories. For one,

American slaves continued to flee to the maroon camps and Seminole villages of Spanish East

and West Florida, far outside the reach of the authorities in St. Augustine and Pensacola. Also,

and more germane to this study, of the 12,000-13,000 black refugees who came to East Florida

officially-a figure which does not include those who settled in maroon camps or with the

Seminoles-only 3,589 left for the slave plantations of the Caribbean, and another 2,561 were

taken back into the United States. Two hundred free-blacks filed for Spanish citizenship, one-

hundred fifty-five left for Nova Scotia, and thirty-five departed for Deptford, England. 17 One

then must ask: what happened to the other 6,500 free-blacks and slaves who are completely

unaccounted for?18 We may never know for sure, but such a massive influx of people as

determined to gain their freedom and individual rights as these no doubt impacted the fabric of

the American landscape for generations to come.




16 Landers, "Spanish Sanctuary," 307.
17 "Patrick Tonynto Evan Nepean, London, May 2, 1786," PRO CO 5/561, pp. 801-09.

18 It must be noted that no free or enslaved blacks are listed by Governor Tonyn as captured or re-enslaved by the
Spanish, as he most assuredly would have done, as the result of Governor Zespedes' proclamation-an indication
that the proclamation may have been a manipulative threat.









The American Revolution has always been a legend-filled chronicle of liberty, patriotism,

thirteen united colonies, heroic Founding Fathers, victory against all odds, freedom from

tyranny, "no taxation without representation," and the dawn of a new nation. But that is the

American perspective. When the conflict is considered from a Loyalist' point of view-a one-

hundred eighty degree shift in vantage points-the war becomes about loss of liberties, defeat,

disunion, shattered loyalism, refugee status, uncertainty, financial devastation, and the end of life

as they knew it. Citizens of the American colonies, many of whom were born in North America

and whose heritage may have gone back several generations, were passionate in their

"allegiance" to the nation's war-time leadership, the "supremacy" of their elected congress, and

the establishment of their "most solid foundation, our constitution, liberties and dependence."19

As discussed before, this is not a misprint, but rather the sentiments of thousands of Loyalist

American-born citizens who were forced to abandon every hope and dream they possessed as

their world came crashing down in the midst of revolution. The new American republic, built

upon the principle of E Pluribus Unum, had no charity-or place-for those whose loyalty never

faded from its point of origin.

Just as the southern campaigns of the American Revolution are grossly overlooked, the

predicaments of Loyalists in East Florida are even more invisible. Open any textbook which

discusses the American Revolution and East Florida is rarely found in the geography of the war,

even though George Washington continuously ordered military incursions into the colony.

Historically, even the British southern campaign of 1780 is viewed initially from north to south

as Clinton and Cornwallis sailed down from New York, landing not at the southern tip of the

colonies, but in Charleston. Why? Because General Augustine Prevost had already taken control


19 Wells, The Case of the Inhabitants, pp. 33-34.









the Atlantic corridor from St. Augustine to Charleston, allowing Cornwallis to begin his

campaign at a point farther north. With the Atlantic corridor from St. Augustine to Savannah to

Charleston in British control, and only inland Augusta as an American base, Cornwallis was able

to turn his army's back to the south and focus on only one front-which was exactly what

Washington feared in his letter to Congress on December 18, 1775.

As stated many times, East Florida was never successfully invaded, never lost real estate to

American regular troops or militia, never lost the support of the Native American contingencies

in the area, never suffered the indignity of rebellion within the colony, and never struggled from

siege-like conditions as the result of invading armies. Though surrounded by American and

French armies to the north, the Spanish army to the west, and the Spanish and French navies

from the sea, firm civil and military leadership-and a solid economy-stabilized East Florida

throughout the war. Only the Canadian colonies and East Florida remained bastions of British

loyalism in North America at war's end. St. Augustine was not only a strategically important

military base during the course of the American Revolution, but supported thousands of refugees

from larger, wealthier colonies throughout the conflict and beyond.

Most history books note that Florida once again became part of the Spanish Empire in

either 1783, at the conclusion of the American Revolution, or in 1784, when the Spanish actually

arrived in St. Augustine. But little or no mention is found of November 19, 1785, when the last

British refugee transport was finally able to set sail from East Florida. Oddly, many of the

historians whose works were used to support various aspects of this study do not acknowledge

the calamity of East Florida's evacuation. In one such classic example, Simon Schama writes,

"the peremptory liquidation of British America generated rage and panic amongst the

beleaguered loyalists holed up in Savannah, Charleston, and New York, islands of British









allegiance in a tidal surge of American patriotic euphoria and recrimination."20 Savannah,

Charleston, and New York-but not St. Augustine.

The efforts of this small loyalist colony offer a fresh perspective on the American

Revolution, redrawing the map as the southern-most periphery of British North America is

moved into the central discussions of the struggle. The sacrificial loyalty displayed in East

Florida repaints a two hundred and twenty-five year old portrait of American Loyalists and their

spheres of influence: of steadfast Native American loyalty to Great Britain in its defeat, rather

than the constant playing of European powers against one another, as is so often told; of Loyalist

values and their commitment to what they believed to be right; and of the ambiguous status of

blacks once again caught up in the global postures of Atlantic world slave politics. The poorly

designed evacuation of St. Augustine reminds readers that British politicians did not deserve the

loyalty shown them. Only historians who intend to lessen the military and political importance of

East Florida adhere to the purported theories of St. Augustine's insignificance as a colony, or

refute its impact as a strategic military base. George Washington knew well the importance of

East Florida.

Historians have an obligation to present what happened, not just what legend and myth

purport to have taken took place. And though it is presumed to be an unwritten rule that there

should be no love lost for British Loyalists of the American Revolution, the British colonial

period is an integral part of the history of the city of St. Augustine, the state of Florida, and,

therefore, the United States. It will be our loss if we allow it to remain a forgotten era, repeatedly

relegated to an historical no-man's land. It is important to bring the memory of what happened in

East Florida to the forefront because it reminds Americans of what the war was truly about-


20 Schama, Rough Crossings, 132.









equality. American Patriots achieved a level of nationalism that cried out for recognition. They

never would have settled for negotiated compromises which gained them their rights but kept

them gripped within a colonial system of empire. In winning their independence, Americans

broke the fetters of deference and expendability. They fought for their right to become equals.

British colonists, regardless of the fervor of their convictions, would never amount to anything

more than second class citizens in the larger scheme of British global politics. Even though they

earned the right to stay on the American continent, the re-cession of East Florida to Spain and the

calamity of the St. Augustine evacuation demonstrate that the rights of colonists were

expendable to the superior designs of the empire.

The significance of these events is mysteriously lost on generations of historians. The

historical omissions that have left the memory of East Florida and the evacuation of St.

Augustine relatively unknown are inexplicable. The Revolutionary War involved not only the

present state of Florida, but circumstances in St. Augustine, Savannah, Charleston, and the back

countries of all three regions were heavily intertwined and congruous in the shaping of southern

Revolutionary events. The plight of Loyalists and blacks in East Florida is no less a part of the

American narrative than those of other southern colonies, especially considering how many of

those Loyalists, free-blacks, and slaves from the traditional southern colonies found their way to

East Florida. The time has come to restore their memory in American history.









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Roger C. Smith is a non-traditional student, having retired in 2000 from a twenty-three

year career in business with The Walt Disney Company, Marriott International, and SYSCO

Foods. Roger entered the University of Florida in January 2005 to complete his undergraduate

studies, and received a bachelor's degree in history, graduating Magna Cum Laude. In August

2006, Roger entered the university's master's degree program in American history, and will

begin his Ph.D. studies in August 2008. His dissertation project will be an exhaustive expansion

of his master's thesis, with the hopes of reversing the marginalization of East Florida during the

American Revolution.





PAGE 1

1 THE FAADE OF UNITY: BRITISH EAST FLORIDAS WAR FOR DEPENDENCE By ROGER C. SMITH A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Roger C. Smith

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3 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................4 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................6 2 BRITISH EAST FLORIDA AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION................................ 20 3 SONS OF LIBERTY.............................................................................................................. 38 4 THE REVOLUTIONS SOUT HERN-MOST THEATER ....................................................50 5 REVOLUTIONARY LIFE FOR BL ACKS I N EAST FLORIDA......................................... 65 6 LOYALIST REFUGE............................................................................................................80 7 NO MANS LAND................................................................................................................. 94 8 EVACUATION.................................................................................................................... 106 9 CONCLUSION..................................................................................................................... 121 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................131 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................138

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4 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts THE FAADE OF UNITY: BRITISH EAST FLORIDAS WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE By Roger C. Smith August 2008 Chair: Jon Sensbach Major: History On August 11, 1776, the Declarati on of Independence was read aloud in the market plaza in St. Augustine, East Florida. The throng of co mmon folk and elites alike became so enraged that they burned John Hancock and Samuel Ad ams in effigy. The following day, proclamations of loyalty for King George III flowed from th e colonys civil leader ship. Over one hundred letters can be found in the George Washington Pa pers mentioning St. Augustine or East Florida. As early as December 18, 1775, the Commander in Chief was calling for the capture of St. Augustine and its large cache of pow der and munitions stored in the Castillo de San Marcos. However, not only did the American army fail to take East Florida after three invasion attempts, but the royal governor did not evacuate the colony until November 19, 1785. The significance of these events is mysteri ously lost on generations of historians. The historical omissions that have left the memory of East Florida and the evacuation of St. Augustine relatively unknown are inexplicable. The Revolutionary War involved not only the present state of Florida, but ci rcumstances in St. Augustine were significant in the shaping of southern Revolutionary events. The plight of Loyalists and blacks in East Florida is no less a part of the American narrative than those of other southern colonies, especially considering how many of those Loyalists, free-blacks, and slaves from the traditional southern colonies found

PAGE 5

5 their way to East Florida during the war. This stud y is an effort to restore their place in American history and to return East Florida fr om the shadows of marginalization.

PAGE 6

6 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION On Nove mber 19, 1785, with the wind finally in its sails, the HMS Cyrus put the coast of East Florida to her stern and car ried the last remnants of a w eary, but loyal, colony back to Englandthough not necessarily back home. Many of these last few refugees from the Floridas, Georgia, and the Carolinas were born in Nort h America and never known an English sunset. Some left behind the only hopes they possessed for a new life, in a new home, on the shores of a land they diligently toiled to make prospe rousonly to have it voluntarily abandoned by politicians and diplomats who never experienced the cypress-lined banks of the St. Johns River or felt the warmth of a January afternoon sun in this moderate climate. It was a colony that boasted the rich soils and long planting seasons of the Caribbean without the deadly plagues of malaria and yellow fever. East Florida had beco me home, with St. Augustine at the heart, for every loyal British subject who was forced to leav e its splendor. On this day the last British evacuation vessel in all of North America sailed with the loyal refugees of a long and bitter humiliation at the hands of civi lized allies and unnatural colonists [who] are ungrateful to British designs.1 The author of these words was Major General Patrick Tonyn, governor of East FloridaGreat Britains last colony in what is now the United States. To both amateur and professional historians alike, the preceding paragraph has all the plausibility of an imagina tive novel based upon what-ifs and maybes, surrounded by wild 1 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydn ey, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784, PRO CO 5/561, P36, p. 8. In several passages located in the documents of th e Public Records of the Colonial Office in Kew, England, the word unnatural can be found in reference to rebellious actions in the British col onies. During this era of the British Empire, it was viewed that the relationship between the metropole and its colonies was similar to that of a mother and child. Therefore, an act of rebellion was deemed unnatural to the propriety of the relationship. Historian J. Leitch Wright contends that [w]hen East Florida had refused to revolt in 1775, it had followed precedents, because loyalty to the mother country was the colonial norm. It was the thirteen colonies who, by rebelling, had broken with tradition. J. Leitch Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 54, Issue 4 (April 1976), 435.

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7 conjectures of historical fiction. The idea that there was an Ameri can colony inside what is today the geographic borders of the Un ited States that remained loya l to Great Britain throughout the course of the American Revol utionholding steadfastly to its grip on the North American continent long after the Battle of Yorktown or the Treaty of Parisseems ludicrous. The fact remains that this scenario actua lly occurred and, like many other misplaced pieces of information on the war, is perplexingly absent from the fa miliar canon of American history. I will argue that historians are thus forced to reconsider the traditional interpretations and memory of a united War of Independence. Closer scrutiny teaches us that from the town meeting to the state legislature to the Continental Congress, American colonists were rarely unified on any subject what historian John S. Pancake calls a faade of unityforcing many significant questions to be asked concerning what we as a nation know, and are told, about the American Revolution.2 The clarifications of these seem ingly hushed topics are readily available, but Americans must be willing to contextualize the discussion from a British perspective. For over two centuries Loyalism during the American Revolution has been viewed primarily from an American standpoint, lending to the vilification of Tories as traitors, dissentionists, and enemies of American liberty. But such a general analysis is far from comprehensive, as the representation of Britis h East Florida for the opposing conscience of the Loyalist discussion will demonstrat e. American colonists were equa lly passionate for loyalty to a British form of democratic government as Patriots were to the Founding Fathers. Loyalists struggled for their own rights and liberties, and the freedom to rema in steadfast to their current way of life. They too were Sons of LibertyBriti sh liberty; and they fought for the centuries-old British freedoms that had been won many times on many ba ttlefields. But thats not the story 2 John S. Pancake, 1777: The Year of the Hangman (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1977), 131.

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8 historians have propagated upon th e American public. The discussi on of Loyalist East Florida is removed from Revolutionary dialogueerasing the story of every human being on the North American continent who faced these Loyalists on the battlefields, smoked the pipe with them in the longhouses, or peered through the bars at them from the slave pens. To marginalize East Florida in the American Revolution into nonexistence is to expunge the memory of a significant portion of early American history. For example, American schoolchildren are taught from an ea rly age that it was George Wa shingtons rag-tag Continental Army of Yankee farmers and Boston malcontents that shocked the world as they confounded Great Britains powerful military machine into submission during the Revolutionary War. But they hear little or nothing of the efforts of Americas southern armya wholly distinct department from the Minute Men and Continen tal regulars who fought in New England and other points north. From George Washingtons correspondence with the Continental Congress, the southern armys existence is verified as early as December 18, 1775, as well as Washingtons concerns for British fortifications in East Florida.3 The American Southern Departments milita ry leadership throughout the war included such notable patriots as Charles Lee, Robert Howe, Benjamin Lincoln, Horatio Gates, and Nathaniel Greenesome of them heroes, all of them major-generals in the Continental Amy, commissioned by congress and assigned to the southern department personally by George Washington. Yet, until 1780, when Sir Henry C linton and Charles Lord Cornwallis landed the main North American body of British troops in Charleston, South Carolina, the efforts of the 3 On December 17, 1775, the British packet ship Betsey was taken off the coast of New England. Her confiscated correspondence revealed St Augustines build of powder and arms, which prompted Washingtons request to Congress for action. The George Washington Papers, Geo rge Washington to Continental Congress, Cambridge, December 18, 1775.
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9 Southern Army are largely overlooked in Am erican textbooks. Most timelines for the Revolutionincluding those of th e Library of Congress, the Na tional Parks Service, and the Public Broadcasting Systemconsistently assert that the war was conducted primarily in the northern colonies until 1780, moving into the south almost exclusiv ely from that point forward. This simple division of dates and geographyt he result of the traditional practice of military history being recorded by the victorsdoes not hold up to scrutiny. Great Britain was rich in its history of internat ional warfare and certainly awar e of the impending disaster of ignoring the entire southern region of the Ameri can colonies. For this reason, Sir Henry Clinton viewed Charleston as a prize as early as June 1776, and the Loyalis t colonies of East and West Florida steadily built up troops, munitions, powder, and gunboats to protect the valuable shipping lanes of the Mississippi River, th e Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlan tic Oceans Gulf Stream. But in order to make sense of such strategies one mu st first understand that East and West Florida indeed remained loyal British colonies from 1775-1783 and 1781, respectively. This will require setting aside the traditional American textbook and viewing the war not only from the other side of the Atlantic, but from a pre-1781 mindset. But if Americans insist on such time-lines, one should ask these que stions: what was the Southern Department of the Continental Army doi ng for the first five years of the war, if not engaging British troops in combat? If there was no significant threat from British forces in the south until Cornwallis juggernaut arrived in Ch arleston in 1780, then who manned the British warships that were repulsed at Fort Sullivan in Charleston Harbor in 1776? It certainly was not the Spanish who chased General Howes Amer ican troops out of Savannah on December 29, 1778. And what army, if not the British, repelled a combined American/French force led by General Benjamin Lincoln, Admiral Count dEs taing, and Count Casimir Pulaski as they

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10 attempted to recapture Savannah in 1779all prior to the appearance of Cornwallis main army?4 Furthermore, if there was no significant m ilitary activity in the south from 1775-1780, then why was this body of southern Continental regulars never utili zed in the early stages of the war to bolster Washingtons oft-depleted, half -starved, battle-worn army in the North? These questions are supposedly confounded by a lack of documentation concerning the wars early years in the south due to the fact that an inordi nate number of early Americas historians were from New England. Had Joseph Plumb Martin been from Georgia or South Carolina rather than Connecticut, one might also presume the southern conflicts would have received more acknowledgements, as well.5 As a result, very little is known about the southern theater of the war prior to 1780, and what we do know seems to have only gained interest on a regional basis due to an absence of preeminent Re volutionary figures. But it is nave to presume that a lack of early American authorship on the s ubject resulted from a s carcity of Revolutionary activity in the south. In all fairness, even Parliament presumed that the trouble in America was the work of a small number of dissident radicals who had no considerable popular support, and who were confined largely to New England.6 However, in 1774 and earlier, documented Sons of Liberty activity was prevalent in Charleston, Savannah, a nd St. Augustine. There is also documentation that from 1776-1780, considerable military activity occurred in the south, much of it orchestrated 4 Savannah was Britains first objective of the shift to the southern theater, not Charleston. The main invasion arrived only once troops from Florida and New York secured the territory between Savannah and St. Augustine. W. Calvin Smith, Mermaids Riding Alligators: Divided Command on the Southern Frontier, 1776-1778, Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 54, Issue 4 (April 1976), 462. 5 Joseph Plumb Martin was a common soldier in the north ern Continental Army who wrote a memoir of his eightyear service to the revolutionary cause. It is from this memoir that historians know as much detailed information concerning the northern campaigns of the war as they do. James Kirby Martin, ed., Ordinary Courage: The Revolutionary War Adventures of Joseph Plumb Martin (St. James, N.Y.: Brandywine Press, 1993). 6 Pancake, 1777, p. 18.

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11 from a distance by George Washington, which invol ved Continental regula rs, British infantry, and Spanish military personnel from New York, Virginia, Georgia, both Carolinas, both Floridas, New Orleans, and Havana It would be negligent to presum e that such a dearth of early American historical works concerning the southern colonies indicates that these events were never put to paper. A more accurate depiction of the southern region during these years was not one of inactivity until Cornwallis ar rived, but rather that it took Washingtons southern generals until after 1780 to develop a winning strategy. Ce nturies of ignoring Amer ican military failures in the southern theater by American historians have created a vacuum of information concerning almost all southern Revolutionary activity. Volumes of British primary documents reveal an abundance of information on this topic and have been available for the worlds perusal si nce the Treaty of Paris. Therefore, this study will rely heavily upon official British corresponden ce especially that of East Floridas royal governor, Major General Patrick Tonyn, to bett er understand the southern theater of the American Revolution and contextualize those events within the historic al discussion of East Floridas Revolutionary War effort. Gover nor Tonyns correspondence with politicians, dignitaries, and military commanders of the empi re exposes a unique British perspective on the war. The pugnacious Irishman takes the read er behind British lines as he denounced high ranking officials within the colonymost spec ifically Chief Justice William Drayton and Secretary of the Colony Dr. Andrew Turnbullas Sons of Liberty, loyal to the American rebellion.7 British records also enable the reader to understand the diplomatically explosive atmosphere of the province as civil and military authorities strove to maintain a judicious relationship with Creek and Seminole war chiefs while simultaneously quashing an attempt 7 Bernard Bailyn, Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the Peopling of America on the Eve of the Revolution (New York: Knopf Publications, 1986), 60.

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12 within the colony to defraud these nations of m illions of acres of ancestral lands. As governor, General Tonyn was directly involved with the po litical turmoil and southern military campaigns of this region. In addition to multiple altercatio ns with factious elitists w ithin the colony, Revolutionary events include facing down three failed attempts by the American Continental Army to invade East Florida in 1776, 1777, and 1778, and the consta nt threat of Spanis h invasion from New Orleans and Havana. When East Floridas military units were not concentrating on the colonys defenses, continuous skirmishes, raids, and in telligence-gathering sorties flowed from St. Augustine into the back countries and chief municipalities of Georgia and South Carolina by the East Florida Rangers. Over 5,000 regular British troops under Major General Augustine Prevost utilized the asylum of Loyalist East Florida to launch successful invasions against Savannah, Augusta, Ninety-Six, and ultimately Charle ston. As early as December 1775, George Washington brought attention to St. Augustine, w ith its large cache of powder and munitions, fearing that East Florida woul d serve as a base for a southe rn campaign. After 1778, subordinate generals and French commanding officers repeated ly coerced Washington to focus his attention away from further invasions of East Florida.8 The fact that this information continues to elude American histor y books creates many of questions concerning this negl ected portion of the Revolution. Why, for example, must the exploits of an American southern army be ascertained from the writings of British Loyalists? 8 The George Washington Papers, Geo rge Washington to Continental Cong ress, Cambridge, December 18, 1775. (gw180288)

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13 Why are American school children not told that no American armies or those of their European allies, ever occupied any portion of East Florida and the colony remained dogmatically loyal to Great Britain until the wars end. For American hist orians, East Florida appears to be an anomaly best forgotten; their silence on th e subject allows conjecture and presumption to replace fact and actuality. As a result, East Florida and the American Southern Department sink into an age old abyss, which simply denies the existence of unpopular history. Unfortunately, Britons would also like to fo rget the tumultuous circumstances of the poorly orchestrated evacuation of ten thousand lo yal British citizens from St. Augustine. It is documented that as many as 40,000 Tories fled Ne w York and Charleston at the wars end, but most accounts fail to mention that the primary destination of those from Charleston was an already refugee-swollen St. Augustinethe closest safe haven for southern British Loyalists.9 Nor do British historians discuss th at eighteenth-century protocol th en forced British Loyalists in East Florida to wait out the defi nitive terms of the Treaty of Paris, not hearing of the colonys cession to Spain until April 24, 1783. Then came th e unpleasant task of supervising the illdevised mass departure of the dumbfounded Loyalis ts. To complicate the evacuation, the treaty dictated that Governor Tonyn acquiesce to the new Spanish governor in St. Augustine, maintaining a politically impotent administra tion from July 12, 1784, until the evacuation was completed on November 19, 1785over four years af ter the Battle of Yorktown and two years after the war officially ended. The historiography of this study is as fascin ating as the events th emselves. Wilbur H. Siebert wrote the definitive tome on the Loyalis t evacuees of East Florida in 1913, but a great 9 Loyalists from Savannah, and the back-countries of Georgia and the Carolinas had already made their way to St. Augustine six months earlier, uncomforta bly overcrowding the towns hospitalities. Wilbur H. Siebert, ed, Loyalists in East Florida: The Narrative (Deland: Publications of the Florida State Historical Society, No.9, Vol. I and II, 1929. Loyalists in East Florida ), 1:7.

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14 deal of information has surfaced in the last ni nety-five years. Siebert wrote several follow-up articles for the Florida Historical Quarterly over the next three decades, but nothing that encompassed the entire Revolutionary perioda nd certainly nothing pertaining to the military activity in and around East Florida. For that information this study looks to the primary documents for information in the extreme southeast, and to military historian John S. Pancake for the rest. Articles and dissertations by graduate students ranging from the University of Florida to Northwestern University were located, but the topics are narrow enough to constitute a piece or two of a much larger puzzle. Since the concep t of an Atlantic worl d study was not yet born during the tenure of Dr. Siebert and his contemporaries, no one had developed and promoted the notion that the American Revolution reached as far south as it did north, or the importance of such information. The American invasion of Canada gained notoriety because of the participation of a highly recognizab le historic figure in Benedict Arnold, but what of the multiple American invasions of East Flor ida? A significant amount of American history has been either ignored or forgotten due to the political circ umstances of East Florida during the war which involves every aspect of an Atlantic world study for which one could hope. In 1985, Martha Condray Searcy wrote The Georgia-Florida Contest in the American Revolution, 1776-1778, which was found to be one of the most useful resources available on this topic. Searcy located landmark information c oncerning four all-black companies of regular British troops that were formed in St. Augustine, and gave the most in-depth information on the three invasions of East Florida by the Americ an army. The only drawback with Searcys book for the purposes of this study was that she covere d but a few years of the Revolutionary era and the author restricted her efforts to the military conflicts between Georgia and East Florida. In reality, East Floridas role in th e American Revolutionary era is an epic, multi-facet ed story that

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15 must be revealed in total, but flounders because it is being told piecemeal and to small, regional audiences. It is a fascinating story that involves more than just the military aspects of the region. Each facet of the account is equally vital for the purpose of contex tualizing East Florida into the Atlantic world discussion, especially during this most crucial period. Two historians have sought to bring East Florida to the forefr ont in broad views of general history. Charles Mowat brings a grea t deal of detail to the William Drayton affair, a critical topic in this discussion that many have completely ov erlooked, but his other works on East Florida are basic over-views of narrative hist ory covering larger pe riods of time. Daniel Schafers research on Governor James Grants administration from 1763-1770 is worthy of emulation and his online information on the British colonial period of Ea st Florida outstanding. But Schafer has not as thoroughly investigated the administration East Floridas second British governor, Patrick Tonyn, who governed the colony from 1774-1785 and s upervised the British evacuation after the American Revolution. As a result, his coverage of the Revolutionary period leaves room for further investigation. The works of historians such as Jane La nders, Carol Watterson Troxler, and J. Leitch Wright, who have investigated the many records of white business transactions, slave issues unique to the region, cour t cases, proclamations of international import, and claims for loss of property after the Revolution are imperative to the social facets of this study and utilized frequently. Several renowned scholars, includi ng Joseph Byrne Lockey, William S. Coker, and Patrick Riordan provide in sight to official government corres pondence relating to the state of the colony, military service of slaves and free-blacks slave conditions on East Florida plantations, and complicated Native American alliances. Othe r noted historians such as Sylvia Frey and Simon Schama draw British East Florida into the overarching conversation of the American

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16 Revolution as they provide insight to the on-go ing conditions within the traditional southern theater of the war. These circumstances held majo r implications for the thousands of slaves and free blacks forced to flee these regions and cr owd into the tiny provi ncial capital of St. Augustine. This portion of the research c onfirmed initial conclu sions from the primary documents that East Florida was an integral part of the entire Re volutionary conversation, especially concerning southern American history. What was c onfusing was why both of these authors made such great strides to demonstr ate an enslaved population moving out of the traditional southern colonies in search of refuge, but both stopped short of bringing East Florida into the central discussion. Helen Hornbeck Tanner, Rafael Altimira, a nd Richard Herr lead a myriad of authors utilized in this study who offer a specifically Spanish perspective of what took place before, during, and after the American Revolution, and ho w Spanish edicts and proclamations affected the colonies of the Americas. Jane Landers asse rts her expertise in thes e discussions, as well, providing her unique and extensive in sight to the plight of slaves during both the first and second Spanish periods in Florida. From these historia ns one is able to understand the political and military mood of the Spanish Empire toward Great Britain from the days of Ponce de Leon through the retro-cession of the Floridas to Spain in 1783. It is now understood why Spain was experiencing an era of prosperity in 1784, but the new Spanish Governor of East Florida had insufficient funds to travel from Havana to St. Augustine. This was an important aspect of the project so that the full persp ective of the transition from Eng lish to Spanish control of East Florida in 1784 could be realized. The only thing lacking was for someone to brin g the entire array of specific discussions concerning British East Florida into one complete conversation. It was also felt that the story

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17 must be presented from a British perspective since there are few if any American primary documents on the subject. Attention was then turned to the British for secondary materials. If anyone would honor their dead with proper pomp and circumstance it would be the British. This theory led to Schama, but, surprisingly, findi ng a book on the topic of Ea st Florida by a British historian was even less fruitful than with American scholars. Schama is a storehouse of information on East Florida compared to other British historians. A classic example of British efforts on the hist ory of East Florida can be found in a work by Richard Holmes. Holmes, who focused fourte en books on British military history, included a map of North America illustrating the major cities and battle sites of the American Revolution in his book, Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket.10 Yet there are no indicators on this map showing war-time involvement in St Augustine, Pensacola, Mobile, Baton Rouge, or Natchez, all of which were East or West Florida provincial capitals and/or important battles sites for the British army against Amer ican or Spanish regular infantry during the Revolution. While each location in West Florid a omitted from this map depicts a significant defeat for the British military, East Florida is an epic tale of undaunted loyalism. Yet, like Holmes conspicuously incomplete map, neither passa ges of historical note for the defenders of St. Augustine nor biographical essays of her inhabitants flow from the British side of the Atlantic either. Such historiographical silence unwittingly perpetuates the vilification of British Loyalists by American historians and student s alike. Few historians visit the American Revolution from a Loyalist perspective, much less portray Loyalists as heroes of the British Empire. Literature on British loyalism during the Revolut ion has been discussed by such historians as Wilbur H. Siebert, Robert S. Lambert, Robert M. Cal hoon, and North Callahan, to name but a few. But 10 Richard Holmes, Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket (London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001), p. xxv.

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18 those who have done so have not generated as much interest in the United States or Great Britain as the topic deserves. Americans view Tories and Loyalists as no better th an traitors and simply do not care what happened to them after war. A nd like so many lost causes in the annals of military history, British accounts of the Americ an Revolution are understandably lacking. Tales of empires lost and refugees fleeing for their lives rarely embody the glamour of a Dunkirkan escape-to-the-sea that might not have been so ardently revered had the British military not concluded World War II victoriously. Florida did not bob like a cork to the surface of the Atlantic Ocean at some mysterious moment during the nineteenth century. Florida possesses the oldest European-based history on the North American continent and played a signif icant role in many aspects of this continents history prior to its emergence as a Confederate state. The story of British East Florida during the American Revolution is one of a forgotten colony in an indistinct thea ter of one of the most important wars in world history. These scar cely noticed British documents expand North American history and present a unique analysis of the Atlantic world perspective of the American Revolution through the eyes of British Tories, and Spanish and American conquerors. It is a story which also highlights Native Ameri can loyalties and the ev er-volatile status of African-Americansboth free and enslavedas Eu ropean intentions would once again prove suspect. But this study is much more than just th e discovery of a royal governors inimitable contributions to the missing military history of the American Revolution. The war served as but intermittent background music to the daily strains of internal factions, wholesale charges of sedition, great financial ruin, a calamitous end to a bitter struggle, and the potential reenslavement of thousands of free blacks. It is a unique look inside the electrically charged

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19 atmosphere in what George Washington perceived to be a critical sector of the war, and an opportunity to consider a wholly British perspe ctive of the political chaos that enshrouded eighteenth-century North America. Official British correspondenc e allows us to observe the inner workings of one of the most dynamic a nomalies of the American Revolution: a Loyalist American colonial government at war, militarily undefeated, with the whole of its populace adamantly loyal to King George III and stubbornl y clinging to North American soil two years after most modern historia ns profess they evacuated.11 11 Example: In 1783, the Union Jack was lowered, Florida returned to Spain, and British inhabitants of St. Augustine crowded aboard ships headed for the West Indies the British Isles, or Nova Scotia. Colin G. Calloway, The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 157.

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20 CHAPTER 2 BRITISH EAST FLORIDA AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION After the Treaty of Paris, 1763, Great Britain seized control of all of Spanish Florida, f rom the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean, and divided it into two colonies simply called East Florida and West Florida. West Floridas borders ran from the Mi ssissippi River in the west to the Apalachicola River in the east. In 1764, Parl iament expanded its northern boundary from the 31st parallel to 32 28 with Pensacola as the provincial cap ital. East Florida contained the same boundaries as modern day Florida, less the panha ndle, therefore, ending at the Apalachicola River in the west rather than the modern day western border of the Perdido River. The capital remained in the former Spanish garrison town of St. Augustine, the only municipality in the colony. Control of East and West Florida gave Great Britain command of the shipping lanes from Havana to New Orleans.1 Anglo/Spanish aggravations now reached new levels as Spain walked away from two hundred and fifty years of tenure on the North American continent, losing control of valuable sea lanes from Havana to New Orleans and a protective port for the treasure fleets in St. Augustine. East Floridas first governor, a politically well-placed Scotsman named James Grant, hoped to avoid the large scale e ndowing of massive land grants to court favorites. However, his pleas fell on deaf ears as the vast majority of the colonys habitable land was handed out in 10,000-20,000 acre lots,000 acres to Lord Dartmouth and his heirs, alone. While some of these lands were cultivated, most grantees pl anned to leave the land idle until the colonys property values increased enough to sell off for large, easy profits. But a new colony required laborers, physicians, merchants, and craftsmen of every variety in order to survive. Governor Grant enticed five hundred indus trious and successful settlers, includ ing some religious1 William S. Coker, Jerrell H. Shofner, Florida: From the Beginning (Houston: Pioneer Publications, 1991), 41, 47.

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21 freedom seeking French Protes tants, to begin the re-popul ation process of the colony.2 The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was designed to enhan ce this effort, but the colony found little favor within the common population of the ot her North American British colonies. Historian Linda Colley details the progression of status for Scottish citizens in British society; from savage tribesmen north of Hadrians Wall to important members of a united empire. Colley notes the accomplishments of th ese previously marginalized people through intellectual enlightenment, prolific economic endeavors, and military service as she traces their ascendancy in British society. Though the authors emphasis is on Scotland, Colley includes Irish Protestants and the Welsh in her study of th e evolutionary process for which the peripheral members of the island kingdom became peers of the English.3 The succession of eighteenthcentury imperial wars greatly enhanced an Irishm an or Scots prospects of rapid advancement through the ranks and their opportunities for bootysecuring British victories could be the means of securing their own.4 As the Scottish gentry broke th rough national political barriers in London during the 1750s, a rash of ne potistic appointments followed to insure the longevity of this new-found prestige. When Lord Bute, a Scot sman and future Prime Minister, was Secretary of State of the Northern Department he ensured that his countrymen got the lions share of the 2 Daniel L. Schafer, St. Augus tines British Years, 1763-1785, El Scribano: The St. Augustine Journal of History (St. Augustine: The St. Augustine Historical Society, Vol. 38, 2001), 17, 18. In 1763 Madrid dispatched aides to the governors of St. Augustine and Pensacola to assist with the evacuation process and establish fair market values for personal property. All Spanish citizens were strongly encouraged to leave Florida permanently with compensations of free land elsewhere within the empire. Calloway, Scratch of a Pen 152-53. 3 As one proof of this peer status, Colley writes that [t]he English and foreign are still all to inclined today to refer to the island of Great Britain as England. But at no time have they ever customarily re ferred to an English empire. Colley, Britons 130. 4 Ibid, 127. As a profound example of just such opportunities for an Irish Protestant, Colle y cites the careers of such Anglo/Irish proconsuls as Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, and his brother, Marquess Charles Colley Wellesley. Ibid, 132.

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22 crown appointments in East and West Florida, colonies only acquired in the Seven Years War and therefore singularly free of any prior English stranglehold.5 Given this atmosphere, one can imagine the ai r of tension in 1774 surrounding the arrival in St. Augustine of an imperial governor of Iri sh birth. Many of East Floridas elites were politically well-placed Scotsmen and there were some who were highly insulted by the selection of an Irishman from outside the colony as thei r new chief administrator. When Patrick Tonyn arrived in St. Augustine the air was thick with tension over local politic al appointments and the constant jockeying for position by East Floridas el ites. Tonyn was not the least interested in the jockeying for position by such sy cophantic elitists, as issues of sedition and rebellion were of primary concern.6 It was an era of tempestuous political turmoil in North America and the new governors initial dealings with th e people of the colony a ttest that he was neither concerned with his popularity nor allowing the seeds of dissention to germinate into unres t as the result of administrative ineptitudes. Political and soci al errors of judgment by novice governors who acquired their positions through various degrees of nepotism created a great many of the current tribulations in the American colonies, and T onyn would not step into those traps easily. Tonyns predecessor did not avoid such mistak es. From the beginning of his tenure as governor of East Florida in 1763, Governor Gran t gained immense popularity in St. Augustine, due largely to the extravagant parties and banquets he would host several nights each week. Grant, a bachelor, boasted North Americas most voluminous selections of wine, beer and 5 Colley, Britons 128. 6 As previously mentioned, Tonyns last will and testament later tells us that he was pre-deceased by two of his daughters, but it is not known if they died prior to his arrival in St. Augustine or at a later date. From the historical records, the only known fact is that the two children did not die while Tonyn was governor of East Florida. Will of Patrick Tonyn, General of His Majestys Forces of Saint George Hanover Square, Middlesex, National Archives of the United Kingdom, Catalogue Reference: prob 11/1424,

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23 liquoras well as three French Negroes already trained in the arts of French cuisine.7 This lavish lifestyle prompted the boisterous governor to boast, There is not so gay a town in America as this is at present, the People Mason[ic], Musick and Dancing mad.8 Grants popularity waned by 1770, prompting him to make his most astute political move and return to London, leaving Lt. Governor John Moultrie as the acting governor from 1771 to 1774. During this interim, various members of the col onys Grand Council felt sl ighted by Moultries appointment, as factions developed. Chief Justice William Dr aytons hostile outbursts during council meetings and public conflicts with Moultrie became fodder for rumor throughout the colony.9 The news of Patrick Tonyns appointment to permanently replace Grant heaped fuel on an already inflamed situation. As a result, John Moultrie, the wealthiest planter in the colony, returned once again to his posit ion of Lt. Governor and became one of Tonyns most trusted political associates. This alliance would serve To nyn well with the people, as well as in future political upheavals. Little is known about Governor Tonyns life prior to his ar rival in St. Augustine on March 1, 1774, other than he was born the son of a Briti sh colonel near Belfas t, Ireland, and served admirably in the Seven Years War.10 In 1767, married and with his regiment stationed back in England, Lt. Colonel Tonyns fortunes took the kind of turn of which most people only dream. 7 Schafer, St. Augustines British Years, 41. 8 Ibid, 45. 9 Ibid, 170-77. 10 Tonyn served first with his fathers regiment, the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons at the battles of Warburg and Kloster Kamp (1760), then in Martinique (1762) with the 104th Regiment of Foot. After the Treaty of Paris, 1763, the 104th was absorbed into the 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot, with which Tonyn ultimately achieved the rank of general and remained commissioned until his death in 1804. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Patrick Tonyn (1725-1804). http://www.oxforddnb.com/articles; Mark Mayo Boatner, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (New York: D. McKay Co., 1966), 119; Robert Stansbury Lambert, South Carolina loyalists in the American Revolution (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1987), 262. T.F. Mills, Land Forces of Great Britain, the Empire, and Commonw ealth. http://www.regiments.org

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24 His brother-in-law, Francis Levett, Sr., ar ranged for Richard Oswald, a wealthy London merchant, to convince the governor of East Flor ida to set aside 10,000 acres of pristine forests for Levett along the Julington Creek near the St. Johns River for a worthy friend to whom he owed particular obligations.11 Somewhere in the negotiations, Oswald also counseled Governor Grant to assign a claim for 20,000 acres on the east bank of Black Creek, a tributary of the St. Johns River, to Levetts brother-in-law, Patrick Tonyn.12 Though Tonyn remained an absentee land holder for seven more years, th e forty-two year old British officerwho did not come from noble birth or a privileged rank in English aristocracywas among an exclusive and elite cadre of the largest landholde rs in one of Great Britains newest Nort h American colonies.13 In 1773, Tonyns regiment moved to the West Indies to provide a military presence to what was becoming the most politically charged hemis phere of the British Empire. The details behind Patrick Tonyns appointment are unclear, but it is known that Tonyn solicited the position by writing to the Earl of Dartmouth, Secretar y of State of the American colonies.14 What may have ultimately made Patrick Tonyn the Kings choi ce for such a prestigious assignment was a combination of the future gover nors military background during su ch turbulent times in North 11 Richard Oswald made much of his fortune as a slave trader, heavily involved with the slaving entrept of Bance Island at the mouth of the Sierra Le one River, where he bough t captives from the Temne people. Oswald was one of the British representatives who signed the Treaty of Pa ris, sitting across from Henry Laurens of South Carolina the man who would pocket ten percent of all Oswalds slav e transactions in Charleston prior to the Revolution. Simon Schama, Rough Crossings: The Slaves, the British, and the American Revolution (New York: HarperCollins Publishing, 2006), 137-38. 12 Daniel L. Schafer, Florida History On-Line, with special acknowledgment to the James Grant Papers and the Florida Claims Commission. 13 There were 27 land grantees of 20,000 acres or more : among them are Lord Grenville, The Earl of Dartmouth, Charles Legge, Lord Egmont, Sir William Duncan, Denys Ro lls, Richard Oswald, Peter Taylor, Francis Levett, Sr., and Patrick Tonyn. The Turnbull Letters, 3:1; Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, January 19, 1778, PRO CO 5/546, pp.227-28; see also Schafer, Florida History On-Line, 14Schafer, St. Augustines British Years, 178.

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25 America, Tonyns vested interest in colonial matters due to his large land holdings in East Florida, and the officers current proximity to North America. Having Lord Dartmouth in ones corner was a definite boon to Tonyns prospects, as well. There were several factors that would help Ea st Florida maintain its loyalty to British interests as rebellion loomed on the horizon. Among them was geographic seclusion from the other provinces, and the fact that East Florida possessed th e smallest overall population in the North American colonial system. Some of the co lonys elites were conc erned that no political assembly had been called due to the infancy of the province, but there were also no taxes yet levied on the inhabitants of East Florida as a direct result of its small size and lack of commercial production. Therefore the populace had no complaints of taxation without representation. Also, having never set foot on American soil, East Fl oridas new governor had viewed the American colonies from a European perspective his entire life. His military analysis of colonial politics made him well aware of the powder keg that was threatening British North America. Though sedition was spreading in New England during the spring of 1774, in East Florida the immediate concern was the need to ensure peace with the Creek and Seminole nations specifically through the Seminole chief, Cow Ke eper. On March 13, 1774, British military and civil authorities sponsored a council near th e St. Marys River with Cow Keeper, Okone King, Long Warrior, and several minor chiefs for the purpose of introducing the new governor and reestablishing a good rapport. Though this was Tonyns first documented meeting with an indigenous people, his preparation for the event clearly demonstrated a gift for diplomacy under such circumstances. After making several concil iatory gestures, the new governor casually reminded the chiefs of the magnitude of the G reat King across the ocean: altho his warriors and people are in numbers like the leaves on the trees, and his Ships like the trees in the woods,

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26 and altho he is able with these to fight the whol e world; for neither the strength of his enemies, nor the Mountains nor Rivers, nor Sea can stop him when he goes to War against them. Tonyn then manipulated the conversation effectively into a discussion which emphasized that the allpowerful king loved peace more than war, and was happiest when [Indians] and his white children are like Brothers a nd children under one Father.15 Whether the Seminole chief trusted the sincerity of the new governors oratorical display or a veiled British threat had its intended effect, Cow Keepers pledge of unending loyalty to Great Britain re mained a solid fixture in East Floridas Revolutionary-era policies and military strategies. Anglo relations with southern Native American s were historically dubious, at best, since the British arrived in East Florida in 1763. Small scale hostilities and killings which disrupted the peace in the past began to resurface in the su mmer of 1774. On August 5, Georgias governor, Sir James Wright, and Governor Tonyn agreed to stop trading w ith various tribes until the aggression ceased. This was successful for only a few weeks, as in early September renewed killings of Indian warriors by whites near Savannah threatened to start a full-scale war. Governor Tonyn sent what few uniformed British troops he could spare on a hastened march from the southern regions of the colony near New Smyr na, up and down the St. Johns River, and across the northern borders of Georgia along the St. Marys River. Such an artificial show of force with strict orders to observe peace a nd good orderhad a calming effect on Creek and Seminole tempers.16 The British display of presumed strength brought peace to the colony and was a rousing success for East Florida, both militar ily and economically, as planters could return to the plantations they had been forced to abandon out of fear of uprisings. 15 Address of Patrick Tonyn to Cow Keeper, St. Marys, March 13, 1774, PRO CO 5/554, pp. 21-22. 16 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, September 16, 1774, PRO CO 5/554, pp. 26-29.

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27 With the mood of the colony relaxing, agri culture production increas ed, and the governor was able to focus on more mundane, but highly esse ntial tasks such as lowering the cost of corn by purchasing large quantities in Philadelphia to flood East Floridas market. Tonyn also resolved the problem of St. A ugustines hazardous sand bar which covered the width of the St. Augustine Inlet into Matanzas Bay, the towns harbor, by purchasing a launch with 16 oars duble banked. The craft could function as a tug boat to tow smaller vessels into port or act as a personnel and cargo transport for those that could not enter.17 There may have been no raucous parties at the governors home, as was before, but the economy was healthy, the land could be worked safely year round, and the harbor was cap able of handling larger shipments of commerce directly in and out of St. Augus tine. For a colony that was established on the premise of bringing large profits to a select few, this wa s indeed good news in very high places. But the turmoil of rebellion in North America so on consumed the serenity in East Florida, leaving civil authorities but one objectiveto quash any hint of dissent at home that was currently enveloping East Flor idas sister colonies, there by securing the colonys new-found prosperity. Just as historian Rhys Isaac describe s American revolutionary interests in colonial Virginia as a gentry-led patriot movement, so East Floridas circumstances might be viewed as a gentry-led defense of British liberties.18 17 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, September 16, 1774, PRO CO 5/554, pp. 30-31. Wilbur H. Siebert tells us this of St. Augustines sand bar: Ordinar ily the bar could be crossed by three channels, often by two only. Admitting nothing but small and light vessels, the channels were narrow and crooked and shifted in stormy weather. Ships were often kept from eight to fourteen days unable to pass the bar on account of wind and weather. Wilbur H. Siebert, The Port of St. Augu stine during the British Regime, Part II, Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 25, Issue 1 (July 1946), 92. 18 Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia: 1740-1790 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982), 270. This protective spirit of a planter elite class for status quo was not unusual and would be seen again on the North American continent many years after the Revolutio n, specifically in nineteenth-century South Carolina. Catherine Clinton, Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2005), 165.

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28 Governor Tonyns tenure in East Florida virt ually coincided with the outbreak of the American Revolution. Parliament initiated the Coercive Acts only two weeks after the new governors arrival in St. Augustine, and just thirteen months late r shots were fired at Lexington and Concord.19 In April 1775, all pretenses were rem oved; the discord was now a rebellion. Tonyna man who spent the last th irty-three years of his life in military service to king and countrywould not remain idle if he believed th at his colony was leani ng toward joining the revolt. In a letter to Lord George Germain, Tonyn emphasized what he perceived as his ultimate responsibility: The Good of His Majestys service and the protect ion & defense of this province are the main objects I have constantly in view.20 These were difficult times, on a very turbulent continent, for a colony to pr eserve the Loyalist status quo. Chief Justice William Drayton and Dr. Andrew Turnbull were among the first casualties. Prior to Tonyns arrival, Drayton was removed from office on more than one occasion as the result of recalcitrant political conflicts with acting-governor John Moultrie. Each time he was ultimately reinstated by the London connections of his colleague, Dr. Andrew Turnbull.21 One might speculate that Moultrie t ook great pleasure relating to his new superior the many instances of insubordination and political shenanigans Turnbull and Drayton had inflicted on East Floridas Grand Council. Drayton made a powerfu l enemy in John Moultrie, one who was deeply respected throughout the province. Moultries political alliance with the rigid Tonyn brought a degree of empathy for the people to the administration. But with Moultrie came his umbrage for 19 Smith, Mermaids Riding Alligators, 446. 20 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, January 19, 1778, British Colonial Office Records, held at the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History University of Florida (Gainesville: Un iversity of Florida, Vol. I & II, 1984), 2:482 21 Schafer, St. Augustines British Years, 170-77.

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29 anyone suspected of self-serving motives which mi ght weaken the colonys fiber during this time of rebellion. Revolutionary-era St. Augustine was home to a cabal of dissentionists and agitatorsa political luxury for men in calm surroundings, bu t the American colonies were anything but stable in 1774. Drayton and Dr. Turnbull were listed prominently among these men, along with James Penman, Lt. Colonel Robert Bissettt, Ar thur Gordon, Lt. Colonel Lewis Fuser, Spencer Mann, and the colonys attorney general, Arthur Gordon.22 Governor Tonyn was as intolerant of such factions as he was of the idea of a Coloni al General Assembly. England was headed to war with its own colonies, and Tonyn believed that legislatures were boiling pots for treason, promoted by men who designed factions against the crown. From a Loya list perspective of contemporary colonial events it is hard to deny th at such despotic attitudes were not justified, as that is almost precisely what happened in New England and the other American colonies. That there had never been a General Assembly in British East Florida was a major point of contention for Dr. Turnbull and Chief Justice Drayton, who we re advocates of the ri ghts of Englishmen in the colonies.23 As early as 1768, Drayton warned that proclamations of the [East Florida] Royal Council were potential violations of English law unless sanctioned by an elective assembly.24 But Tonyn regarded general assemblies in the American colonies of the 1770s as a source of sedition, the great bulw ark of American liberty, whic h only encouraged his belief that Turnbull, Drayton, and their cohorts were Sons of Liberty, sympathetic to the rebel Patriots of Boston and Virginia. The governor accused Dray ton of being a Leveler, and ultimately a 22 Spencer Manns last name is often found spelled with just one n. Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida Vol. I, 17, 80; see also Charles Loch Mowat, East Florida as a British Province, 1763-1784 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1943), 87. 23 Schafer, St. Augustin es British Years, 170. 24 Ibid, 170.

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30 traitor; in Tonyns mind only those bent on treas on would openly argue fo r the existence of a legislature. Determined to keep such factions from developing in East Florida, the governors first strike against seditious activity came, uninten tionally, just seven months after his arrival in St. Augustine.25 On October 1, 1774, Patriot sympathizers hij acked a shipload of various goods in Charleston Harbor, including two chests of infam ous East Indian tea. The proprietor, James Penman, complained vociferously that the cr own owed him for his losses. But the details concerning the theft made it clear to Tonyn and M oultrie that the ship never reported to the proper customs house, anchoring inst ead far out into the harbor. Ea st Florida authorities wanted to know why such a valuable cargo was not properly processed, but sat out at such a distance awaiting transfer to a ship head ing directly to St. Augustine. T onyns report to Lord Dartmouth on this affair acknowledged his belief that Penman was attempting to smuggle the goods into East Florida without paying the proper taxes.26 To Loyalist sentiments, th ese actions were no less criminal than those of rebels in New England, and Penman was pegged as a potential threat to the harmony in St. Augustine. Penman immediatel y recruited his colleagues, who complained determinedly to their contacts in London, but to no avail. Smuggling became rampant in the American colonies soon after Parliament pa ssed the old Townshend Acts in 1767, and were a sore subject among Londons elites. Penman avoide d prosecution, but was forced to consider the cargo lost. The incident made the new governor acutely aware of whom his adversaries were.27 Just one month later Chief Justice William Drayton attempted to pass a land scheme, developed by Jonathan Bryan of South Carolina, under the new governors nose. The conspiracy 25 Mowat, East Florida as a British Province 85. 26 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, October 1, 1774, PRO CO 5/555, pp. 1-2. 27 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, August 1, 1774, PRO CO 5/555, pp. 1-3.

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31 involved bilking the Creek nation out of hundreds of thousands of acres of land in East Florida by securing the signatures of lower ranked Creek chiefs on deeds to the land. Jonathan Bryan was introduced to Drayton in South Carolina while the magistrate was visiting his uncle, William Henry Drayton. The younger Drayton saw the financial opportunities of th is venture but knew that he would need the backing of well-place d elites in Londonassocia tions which he did not personally possess. But, as mentioned before, hi s ally, Dr. Turnbull, was in good standing with several members of British aristocracy who were the financiers of Turnbulls experimental settlement in New Smyrna.28 With this guarantee all but secu red, Bryan welcomed Drayton and Turnbull into the world of highstakes real estate swindling. Bryan later informed Drayton that Governor Wright of Georgia had torn up the Creek leases once it was determined that the signatures were illegally acquired.29 What Drayton did not know was that Governor Wright had already info rmed his East Florida counterpart of the land scheme and had issued a warrant for Bryans arrest.30 Later, when Revolutionary fighting reached East Floridas borders, George Washi ngton appointed Jonathan Bryan to command a militia brigade during two of the three invasion attempts against East Florida. Tonyn suspected that one of the primary objectives of Bryans land scheme was to stir up another Anglo/Indian war to divert valuable British troop s during the war with the colonies. 28 Dr. Turnbull had convinced a group of prestigious financ ial backers that the Greek and Minorcan farmers were better suited to agricultural labor in the Florida climate, due to their natural acclamation to what was presumed to be similar latitudes in Mediterranean region. Turnbull founded New Smyrna in 1767 with 1,400 of these people signed on as indentured servants. By 1775, the numbers were down to 600, though none of the contracts had matured. Records do not indicate a reason for the plummeting population, but natural attrition due a seasoning period may have occurred. However, in eight years one would presume that such an occurrence would have run its course. In 1777, atrocities committed against the indentured population, many of which resulted in death, were reported by escapees from New Smyrna to authorities in St. Augustine. Such events may have also been responsible for the declining population. George R. Fairbanks, The History and Antiquities of the City of St. Augustine (New York: C.B. Norton, 1858), pp. 169-70. 29 The Turnbull Letters, Vol. I, pp.106-07; PRO CO 5/555, p. 281. 30 Ibid, p.111; PRO CO 5/555, pp. 277-81.

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32 Meanwhile, Governor Tonyn described in a lett er to Lord Dartmouth how Drayton called on him one night to explain the nature of the sp eculative land deal. I made no reply, but silent amazement, Tonyn wrote, as Drayton, with the assistance of Andrew Turnbull who said he would join with him, and support it with his inte rest at home, presented the land conspiracy as a means of obtaining a finders fee from th e British government of at least 20,000 acres.31 Allowing Drayton enough leeway to orchestrate his own arrest for treasonous activities, Tonyn ordered the magistrate to proceed immediately with a legal injunction against Jonathan Bryan. Draytons next move confirmed the governors su spicions. The Chief Justice returned to the governors office the next morning to discu ss the proceedings against Bryan in hopes of convincing Tonyn to reconsider his decision in th is matter. Tonyn wrote to Lord Dartmouth that [Drayton] said, he found this affair, required a good deal of consideration: he advised the proceedings against Bryan, to be put off, for a little timethis affa ir might be turned to a public benefit, he recommended to me, to adopt Bryans plan.32 By presuming that this was nothing more than another opportunistic business negotiation, Chief Justic e Drayton failed to consider the governors overall perspective of the volatile political atmos phere in the coloniesnot to mention the enormous amount of work Tonyn had ahead of him in hopes of smoothing relations with the Creeks. Tonyns stance was unmovable, as the governor also considered Draytons intentions to be reprehensively illegal. He wrote, I replied, I never would give countenance to a fellow, that, had the impudence to fly in the face of the Kings proc lamation, had daringly violated his prerogative; 31 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, November 23, 1774, PRO CO 5/555, pp. 53-60; The Turnbull Letters, 1:115-16. 32 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, November 23, 1774, PRO CO 5/555, pp. 53-60; The Turnbull Letters, 1:116.

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33 was doing all in his power to rob His Majesty of his land, and to get into possession of it.33 Upon hearing from governors Wright and Tonyn, Lord Dartmouth proclaimed that the Bryan conspiracy is big with the gr eatest Mischiefs, and being su bversion of every Principle, upon which the Crown claims a Right to the Disposal of all unappropriated lands, it cannot be too strenuously opposed, and I have th e satisfaction to acquaint you, that the King approves every Step you have taken in that Business. Dartmout h went on to write about Draytons role in the affair and referred to his actions as [c]onduct so diametrically opposed to the Duty he owes the King & which his Character & si tuation required of him.34 This land scheme has no real e quivalent in the modern era. Th e plan was a direct violation of the Proclamation of 1763an ed ict, though unpopular with the peopl e, was still very much in effect.35 In 1774, a well-understood propr iety of land ownership existe d in the British American colonies. The land in question belonged to the Creek nation, but only if the British crown chose not to take it, whether by negotiation or by for ce. The ultimate owner of the land, according to the mindset of the metropole, was King George II I. Landholders in East Florida, for example, were granted their property and a llowed to possess it only by the grace of their monarch. Bryan, Drayton, and Turnbull were behaving as if this land did not belong to th e king until the Indians relinquished it, and only then it would be English soil. The three conspirators then hoped to be rewarded with a sizable portion of the land as a commission for their services. Just as the world had never witnessed the like s of colonial mobs confronting British troops in Boston, or defiantly ransacking the houses and property of royal offici als who were about the 33 Tonyn was referring to the Royal Proclamation of 1763. Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, November 23, 1774, PRO CO 5/555, pp.53-60; The Turnbull Letters, 1:116. 34 Lord Dartmouth to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, May 3, 1775, PRO CO 5/555, pp. 124-25. 35 Charles L. Mowat, The Enigma of William Drayton. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 22, Issue 1 (July 1943), 20.

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34 kings business, there was an audacity in Bryans plot that was abhorrent to eighteenth-century British culture. Drayton hoped to find in G overnor Tonyn sense of ego over duty, as he suggested that this land scheme would drama tically increase the populat ion of East Florida virtually overnight. By Jonathan Bryans promise, Drayton claimed that there were thousands of eager inhabitants in Georgia aw aiting such an opportunity for new lands. That Tonyn would ever injure a Royal Colony to build up [his] own wa s an insult to the govern ors integrity and his honor as a servant of the crown, further fueling Tonyns repulsion.36 Less than one month later, Tonyns case agai nst Drayton suffered a severe blow when Lord Dartmouth resigned his position as Secretar y of State of the American Colonies and was replaced by George Lord Germain. A former soldier, Germain (born George Lord Sackville) was disgraced at the battle of Minden during the Se ven Years War and banished from the army by King George II. Now, with a new king, and a newl y inherited title, Lord Germain would be the East Florida governors immediate superior.37 Tonyn gave no indication of animosity toward a man with Germains stained military reputation, but the new Secretary of State was more calculated in his decisions th an was the irrepressible Dart mouth. Tonyns campaign against Drayton sputtered during the firs t year of Germains appointment but the governors tenacity was relentless, feeling justified in his actions. In the meantime, the earliest opportunity fo r a council with members of the Creek Nation did not avail itself until December 1775. Therefore, the governor found it necessary to keep a lid on any potential disruptions to the delicate rela tionship with the Indians until then. Tonyn called 36 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germaine, St. Augustine, January 14, 1775, PRO CO 5/556, p. 133. 37 During these critical phases of the battle Prince Ferdinand sent four separate orders to Sackville to attack with his powerful cavalry force. Every time Sackville refused to obey the order. Sackvilles deputy commander, the Earl of Granby attempted to lead the force forward but was ordered to halt by Sackville. It has been said that if the British and Hanoverian cavalry had charged the overthrow of the French army would have been complete.

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35 on Lt. Colonel Thomas Brown for assistance. Brown was the commander of the East Florida Rangers, a special military unit drawn from fo rmer Georgia and South Carolina backwoodsmen and small planters, refugees from revolutionary upheaval in their home colonies. Governor Tonyn hand-picked these rugged men for the purpose of performing what would be called today Special Units functions, or Black Ops. Br own earned a strong reputat ion with the various Indian nations and eventually became East Floridas Agent of Indian Affairs in 1779.38 Under Browns guidance, and General Thomas Gages authorization, East Flor ida civil authorities maintained a strong support of the Native American tribes with gifts of m unitions, essentials, and presents. Both Gage and Brown determined not to repeat the negative Anglo/ Indian relations that existed during the French and Indian War, in wh ich the Native Americans enjoyed great benefits from playing one European power against another.39 Brown utilized the influence of British Indian agents to help organize the Seminoles a nd Creeks for war against po ssible rebel incursions into East Florida.40 Though historians often la mpoon this strategy as ine ffective, Britains goal in East Florida was to exploit the psychological affect that Native American war parties had on the colonists of Georgia and the Carolinas. After spending the first nine months of 1775 attempting to overcome the political nightmare with the Creeks that Bryan, Drayt on, and Turnbull created, Tonyn took the offensive and held a series of small councils with various Native American leaders. When the brother of Cupit King came to St. Augustine to inquire about an overdue shipment of gunpowder, he 38 John Stuart had been the Southern Region Indian Agent, previously stationed in Charleston until forced to evacuate to St. A ugustine in 1775. His sudden death in 1779 allowed Brown to fill the position. Siebert Loyalists in East Florida, 1:24, 76. 39 Thomas Brown to Patrick Tonyn, St. Augustine, May 8, 1775, PRO CO 5/555, p. 176; General Gage to Patrick Tonyn, Boston, September 12, 1775, PRO CO 5/555, p. 181. 40 J. Leitch Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 54, Issue 4 (April 1976), 431.

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36 learned that one-hundred and el even barrels of gunpowderall sl ated for Creek villageswere stolen from the sloop St. John by American pirates as the boat la y anchored across the bar from Matanzas Bay. In a moving speech in which Tonyn swore on his life that he would never deceive the Indians, he then instructed them to seek their lost gunpowder from the thieving Virginians who stole it.41 A large council between British officials and Creek leaders was finally arranged from December 6-8, 1775. During th is congress Jonathan Bryans plot to swindle the Creeks out of their lands was exposed. Documentation show s that this address carefully avoided the inclusion of Bryans British c ohorts, thus safe-guarding East Florida from potential Native American wrath. Tonyn equated Bryans devious na ture to all Americans who stole British gifts destined for Creek villages. He promised that [t]he Great King is now sending great armies of his Land and Sea Warriors, like th e trees in the Woods, for the guard and protection of His good white subjects, that have not joined with th ese bad unnatural Subjectswhen they are punished it will all be peace.42 As a result of this council, Kalig ie and The Pumpkin King, both exalted head men of the Creek nation, swore oaths of al legiance to Great Britai n. They asked Brown to orchestrate a council between them and the Semi nole chiefs to discuss gifting the land in question to the British as reward for their fait hfulness to their Indian allies. The Pumpkin King added, however, that it cannot be done unless all consent.43 By December 18, the East Florida emissaries had not only secured relations with the Creeks, but also authorized the merchant William Panton to meet with Seminole chiefs to determine the best locations for storehouses. Panton was then invited to St. Augustine to 41 Virginian was a term of derision among many Southeastern Native Americans for the Americans fighting for independence. Governor Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, September 15, 1775, PRO CO 5/555, pp. 65-67. 42 Address of Patrick Tonyn to Creek Leaders, Cowford, December 6, 1775, PRO CO 5/556, pp 54-57. 43 Address of Creek Chiefs to Patrick Tonyn, Cowford, December 7-8, 1775, PRO CO 5/556, pp .60-61.

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37 organize the first shipments of supplies to these locations. With Seminole and Creek relations smoothed, Governor Tonyn turned his full attenti on to the men who nearly brought Great Britain to war with both Indian nations.

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38 CHAPTER 3 SONS OF LIBERTY W illiam Draytons connections to rebellious f actions in South Carolina became strikingly evident as he was investigated more thoroughly. His uncle, William Henry Drayton, was an ardent leader in the Revolutiona ry movement in South Carolina, who stiles himself, A member of the [American] Congress, the general Committee, the Council of Safety, the secret Committee, and the Committee of Intelligence, whic h last acts as Secretary of State [of South Carolina].1 In a fit of rage, the younge r Drayton once told Captain F.G. Mulcaster, Surveyor General of East Florida and the illegitimate half-b rother of King George III, that not one of the Kings Governors did not deserve hangingthat from the machiavellia n Administration of H[aldimand] in the North down to the blundering tyranny of T[onyn] in the South.2 Patriots in Charleston intercepted a royal ma il packet in June 1775. After reading Governor Tonyns official correspondence from London, Willia m Henry Drayton forwarded the letters to his nephew in St. Augustine, along with a persona l letter of explanati on dated July 4. When Drayton presented the packet of letters to Governor Tonyn on July 21, he also read aloud a portion of his uncles message for the purpose of assuring the governor that there was nothing in the letter beyond family corres pondence. After insisting upon s eeing the entire letter, Tonyn discovered a tone rife with rebellious rhetoric, which included, Georgia shall not be a place of Refuge for any Person whose Public conduct has rendered them obnoxious to the censure of any part of the united Continent. Though written exactly one year prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary leader boasted th at Peace, Peace, is now, not even an Idea. A Civil War, in my opinion, is ab solutely unavoidableWe already have an Army 1 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, Ju ly 21, 1775, PRO CO 5/555, p 50-57; see also William Henry Drayton to the Honorable William Drayton, Char leston, July 4, 1775, PRO CO 5/555, p. 255. 2 Mowat, East Florida as a British Province 86.

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39 and a Treasury with a million of Money. In shor t a new Government is in effect erected.3 Over three pages of such language filled this document, yet Drayton, a magistrate of his kings court, concealed them from the colonial authority, cl aiming all the while he had not acted improperly. Jonathan Bryan, as previously mentioned, was a very suspicious political bedfellow for men such as Drayton and Turnbullmen who insist ed on being revered as loyal subjects of the king. In 1776 Bryan led the American attack on Tybee Island, Georgia, one of the preliminary battles conducted by Patriot troops during th e first invasion attempt of East Florida.4 Later, on March 17, 1777, George Washington wrote a personal letter to Jonathan Bryan saying, I have wrote to General Howe who Comm ands in Georgia, to consult with you and the President of South Carolina, the Propriety of making [a second] Attempt on St. Augustine[t]he good consequences that will certainly result from such an Expedition, if attended with success, are too obvious to escape your notice.5 Washingtons confirmation of an individuals patriotic dependability is hailed as heroic in the United St ates. However, putting this letter in perspective with Great Britains view of A tlantic world politics, Washington simply corroborated the initial distrust of Bryan by all British au thorities involved in the caseex cept, of course Chief Justice Drayton and Dr. Turnbull. Andrew Turnbulls antagonistic relationship with Gover nor Tonyn was only beginning. The Scottish physician was not a landholder, pe r se, though he carried himself throughout the colony as such. The financial connections in London which fed Turnbulls arrogance in East Florida were tied to the peculi ar system of absentee land owne rship of the era. Though Turnbull 3 William Henry Drayton to the Honorable William Drayton, Charleston, July 4, 1775, PRO CO 5/555, pp. 25557. 4 Patrick Tonyn to David Tait, St. Augustine, April 20, 1776, PRO CO 5/556, p. 161. 5 The George Washington Papers, George Washington to Jonathan Bryan, Morris Town in Jersey, March 17, 1777.

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40 received a grant from his financ ial backers in London to initiate the plantations formation, he would receive no proceeds from the colony unt il his benefactors rec ouped their initial investments. Until that time, Turnbull acted as their agent in East Florida and was wholly subordinate to their decisions. The only influence that Dr. Turnbull tr uly possessed lay in his promises to reap large profits from the enorm ously expensive venture of the plantation of New Smyrna, in which several British aristocrats invest ed heavily. As the result of a patrons limited options to do much other than back their chosen representatives, men in Turnbulls position in the colonies possessed a great deal of clout, by proxy, due to the precarious position they held over their financiers fortunes. Dr. Turnbulls disdain for the new governor was clear after Drayt ons censure by a grand jury on December 20, 1775.6 The grand jury reconvened on February 13, 1776, as the governor brought official charges of treas on against Drayton and suspended him from office. This allowed the Chief Justice the opportunity to defend his honor and refute the allegations. Two weeks later, a clandestine meeting took place on February 27 at Woods Tavern in St. Augustinea locale which catered to men of all stations of life in the small provincial capital. According to Turnbulls later testimony, it was an impromptu ga thering of citizens who were concerned about the leadership of the despotic new governor. One might presume it was no small coincidence that Dr. Turnbull just happened to be in St. Augustine, seventy miles from his home in Ne w Smyrna, on the night of this surreptitious assembly. Turnbull insisted that the crowd prev ailed upon him to officially conduct the meeting so that their protests might be brought before King George III. When the people in attendance demanded to know the result of Draytons trial, Turnbull, who was a member of the grand jury, 6 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germai n, St. Augustine, December 20, 1775 PRO CO 5/556, pp. 21-24.

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41 produced a written declaration of Draytons test imony which was not yet officially cleared for public access. Turnbull not only revealed the cont ents of the document, but when asked for his opinion as to whether Drayton su fficiently argued his case, Turnbu ll replied, I believe he has.7 Such a proclamation by one whose status was so much greater than the average patron of Woods Tavern had a profound impact on the crow d to act out against the royal governor. The result was a written declarat ionsigned by all seventy-four men who were presentto be delivered personally to the king by Dr. Turnbull.8 On February 28, Turnbull called on Tonyn, seeking an authorized passage to leave the colony (a customary requirement at this time in all British colonies). Turnbull was bold enough to inform the governor of his intentions as he presented him with the document signed at Wood s Tavern the night before. Tonyn was amused that a private citizen thought so highly of himself to attempt breaking all protocol by subverting the proper procedures for delivering such a requ est before the crown. But when Tonyn asked to see the document and realized that it was a mere ly a copy which did not include the signatures of the complainants he was outraged at the audacity of the insult and summarily dismissed Turnbull by turning his backa significant gest ure of disrespect in this era.9 Less than a week later, on March 4, 1776, G overnor Tonyn, with battles already in progress with Penman and Drayton, brought charge s of sedition against Dr. Turnbull and sought his suspension from colonial office.10 Through the years these charges have caused some to label Tonyn as paranoid of any gatheri ng of more than a few people. But again, one must remember that such tavern meetings in Boston produced th e Sons of Liberty movement which engulfed the 7 The Turnbull Letters, February 17, 1777, 2:168-177, PRO CO 5/546, pp. 77-85. 8 Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida 1:34; see also The Turnbull Letters, 1:127-30. 9 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, March 22, 1776, PRO CO 5/556, pp. 25-28. 10 The Turnbull Letters, 1:126.

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42 colonies, spreading wildfires of sedition and re bellion. It is plausible that Tonyn, with his ardently loyal British outlook concerning the groundswell of independence coursing through the American colonies since the Stamp Act in 1765, was greatly alarmed by the news of such a meeting in St. Augustine at a time of armed rebell ion in thirteen of the North American colonies. What choice would any competent administrator have but to presume that the revolt was making its way into East Florida, via Andrew Turnbull and his colleagues? Prior to all of this activity, Tonyn wrote to Lord Dartmouth on November 1, 1775, stating that I am perfectly informed that Doctor Turnbull, Mr. Penman, with a few more of the Chief Justices Creatures, are intriguing and endeavouring to raise a Faction[t]he Chie f Justice and Clerk of the Crown [Turnbull] compose the Juries of such men, as always to have a Majority.11 The meeting at Woods Tavern simply confirmed in the governors mind what he already believed to be true: Dr. Turnbull was East Floridas Samuel Adams, and the governor would have none of that taking place at Woods or any other tavern.12 An even more audacious turn of events was Turnbulls course of de fense for his actions. He plainly stated in a letter to the governor exactly what had take n place, admitted his role in the meeting, and proceeded to inform Tonyn that he had done nothing wrong. Turnbull went on to remind the governor of his connections in London, and his importance in the colony due to the 11 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, November 1, 1775, PRO CO 5/556, P.39, p. 118. 12 As a royal governor, Tonyn was kept abreast of the events of the day by frequent correspondence from Whitehall. As there was no newspaper in the colony until the early 1780s, printed news of colonial events reached St. Augustine via the South Carolina Gazette Given the volatility of that colony, these stories would be inclined to relate news of seditious activities from both viewsdepending on which army governed the colony at the time of print. Governor Tonyn accused William Drayton of using the Gazette to reveal important information to the American Patriots concerning East Florida. An example of the broad scope of information concerning news in the colonies for which Tonyn accused Drayton of utilizing in the Gazette Samuel Adams reputation in East Florida as an agitator of American Patriot politics was acknowledged fully on August 11, 1776 when citizens of St. Augustine burned him in effigy, along with John Hancock, after hearing the news of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Since Adams was not a signer of that document, this action could only be the result of news of his many revolutionary activities r eaching St. Augustine by printe d or spoken medium. Searcy, The Georgia-Florida Contest 54.

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43 size of the project of New Smyrna, and he caution ed that Tonyn should let not the hasty Anger of a Moment counteract his Maje stys most gracious Intention to wards me, nor carry you out of the line of Government.13 In short, Dr. Turnbull threat ened Tonyns position as governor, boasting that he not only had the ear of the King, but the clout to cause unpleasant men like Tonyn to be recalled to London. Turnbulls ego was clearly out of control, but in an era of patronage and cronyism this did not mean that his financial supporters in London would not support him in order to protect their investment s in East Florida. However, the eighteenth century was also an era of manners and protocol, where effrontery resulted in duels to the death to defend ones honor.14 Governor Tonyns response on March 18 was basically a verbal doubling of his fists, which let Turnbull know that he was not so easily intimidated.15 Tonyn, as governor and a large lan dholder in the colony, was Turnbulls so cial superior in every way, and it was just a matter of time before he would exact his pound of flesh. On March 22, 1776, Tonyn officially accused Dr. Turnbull of forming a faction to hinder the government in time of war, but by March 30 both Turnbull and Drayton bribed a ships captain and fled to London without official passes.16 While not every nuance of the on-going dispute between these proud and arrogant men will be recounted here, a multitude of documents in the collection of Joseph Byrne Lockey elucid ate Tonyns perspective on the growing strife in St. Augustineespecially considering what was taki ng place at this time in the other colonies. 13 Dr. Andrew Turnbull to Patrick Tonyn, St. Augustine, March 15, 1776, PRO CO 5/556 pp. 89-93; see also The Turnbull Letters, 1:128-30. 14 A classic example of this is found in the letter of one Joseph Purcell upon being accused of perjury by Dr. Turnbull, referring to the charge as a cruel attempt made to destroy the character of on e who has but, that precious Jewel to recommend him through life. Joseph Purcell to Patrick Tonyn, St. Augustine, May 4, 1778, PRO CO 5/558, p. 495; see also The Turnbull Letters, 2:256. 15 Patrick Tonyn to Dr. Andrew Turnbull, St. Augustine, March 18, 1776, PRO CO 5/556, pp. 97-100; The Turnbull Letters, 1:132-35. 16 Ibid, 143.

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44 These documents demonstrate Tonyns fanatical determination to suppress what he considered flagrant disloyalty and challenges to his authority as a royal gover nor. It should be noted that Dr. Turnbull did indeed bring charges against G overnor Tonyn before Parliament, putting Lord Germain in the politically uncomfortable position of arbiter.17 Germains next four correspondences with Tonyn on this subject were rife with castigations and rebuke.18 The governor was on extremely thin ice. Turnbull returned to St. Augustine in Sept ember 1777, only to find that the Minorcan and Greek indentured servants of New Smyrna brought charges of cruelty an d testified of horrendous conditions at the plantation. Tonyn, in bold defian ce of multiple, explicit orders from Lord Germain to appease Dr. Turnbull up on his return, used this opport unity to dissolve the plantation at New Smyrna, exposing the scandal to all of London. Though Turnbull returned with orders from Germain to resume his office as Secret ary of the Colony, Tonyn took advantage of the aforementioned scandal to suspend the good doctor once again, on January 30, 1778. The charges against Dr. Turnbull ha d all the appearances of bei ng nothing more than trumped up allegations to satisfy the governors wounded e go, but the financial cr isis now inflicted upon New Smyrna forced Turnbulls supporters in London to turn their back s on the doctor and sue him in court for their losses. It was a move i ndicative of Governor Tonyn s fixated tenacity to prosecuteeven persecuteany who would defy hi m in his charge to defend the colony as he saw fit. The end result of the governors actions was not only to ruin Turnbu ll financially but to expose the fragility of the doctors relati onships among the aristocracy in London, the 17 Dr. Andrew Turnbull before the British Parliament, L ondon, February 17, 1777, PRO CO 5/546, pp. 77-85. 18 The Turnbull Letters, 1:151-52, 154, 164, 176-77.

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45 consequence of which was numerous law suits f iled by well placed aristocrats, including the widow of former Prime Minister George Lord Grenville. Turnbull was forced to await trial in the St. Augustine jail where he stayed until March 10, 1780.19 Turnbull rightfully complained of the structure of his trial as Tonyn established hims elf as the judge, chief prosecutor, and primary witness for the prosecution. The governor ha d no intention of seeing Turnbull go free.20 William Drayton, Dr. Turnbull and family, James Penman, a nd several other associates fled to Charleston to escape Tonyns dogged legal pu rsuits. Two years later when the British evacuation of Charleston was completed, Dr. Turnbull and James Penman were unable to remove themselves to St. Augustine with the other British Loyalists and remained under American sovereignty until their deaths. Much to their honor and to Tonyns discredit, after the evacuation of Charleston, Dr. Turnbull and Mr. James Penman were required to become [American] Citizens, which they refus[ed] to do, yet they were allowed to remain in Charleston. It is believ ed to be the only such case in South Carolina granted to Loyalists after the war.21 While these men were guilty as charged for being outrageously arrogant, unscrup ulous businessmen, and even cowards in the face of the enemy, as will be discussed later, it ca nnot be proven that they were ever traitors to their king. Prior to all of this, Chief Justice Drayton had returned to St. Augustine in December 1776, also with orders from Lord Germain to resume his office in the colony. However, Drayton began releasing American P.O.W.s on March 9, 1777especially any who were personally 19 Turnbull wrote a letter of complaint to Lord Shelburne from his cell with the date of May 10, 1780 (The Turnbull Letters, 1:272-76). However, a sudden turn of events must have taken place for on that very same day Josiah Smith records in his diary that Dr. Turnbull and family left for Charleston on the Sloop Swift captained by James Wallace, loaded with personal property and slaves belonging to Turnbull, Spencer Mann and family, and William Drayton. Josiah Smith, Mabel L. Webber, ed., Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.). The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 33, No. 2 (April 1932), 115. 20 Lord Germaine to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, July 2, 1777, PRO CO 5/557, pp. 297-98. 21 Lord Germain to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, July 2, 1777, PRO CO 5/557, p. 376.

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46 imprisoned by the decree of Governor Tonynaccording to English laws of Habeas Corpus. He went as far as to arrest George Osborne, to whom Tonyn granted a letter of marque, for damages for carrying off some hogs and a small bit of beef from Little Tybee Island, Georgia an American settlement.22 This was Draytons obvious atte mpt to deny the governor the power to issue letters of marque in the wartime de fense of the colonyone of the responsibilities historically bestowed upon all colonial govern ors. Once this news reached London, Draytons defensesand Parliaments patiencewere exhausted.23 In May 1777 Governor Tonyn, now vindicated on both sides of the Atlantic, suspe nded Drayton from colonial office a final time. Chief Justice William Drayton was most likely the actual ringleader of factious activities in St. Augustine; Turnbulls verbosity simply conf erred upon Drayton the appearance of being the doctors toady. Like his colleague, Drayton left for Charleston in 1780, as the result of Tonyns relentless prosecution, but unlike Dr Turnbull and James Penman, Drayton preferred to stay in Charleston after the American occupation.24 It is well established that in 1790 this same William Drayton became the first Federal Judge elected to represent South Carolina, and his son, William Drayton, Jr., became a U.S. Congressman from South Carolina.25 This is a far cry from Turnbull and Penmans refusals to swear allegiance to the United States under threat of being sent back to St. Augustine and Governor Tonyns wrath. It wa s Drayton, not Turnbull, who first became associated with Jonathan Bryan, and Drayton w ho withheld valuable war-time information from 22 Mowat, The Enigma of William Drayton, 28. 23 Drayton also jailed Mr. Mackie, the surgeon of the East Florida Rangers and former resident of South Carolina, for reporting Drayton as being a friend to the cause of America. Drayton then issued a warrant for Lt. Col. Thomas Browns arrest on the same trumped-up charge as Mackie. Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, May 8, 1777, PRO CO 5/557, p. 105; see also Lord Ge rmaine to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, July 2, 1777, PRO CO 5/557, p. 103. 24 Schafer, Florida History Online, 25 Congressional Biographies, William Drayton, Jr.,

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47 Governor Tonyn in a letter written by a politically well placed American Patriot. As early as October 25, 1775, Governor Tonyn wrote Lord Germai n to explain that he must rely upon the local Anglican minister, John Forbes, to take depositionsa task which would normally fall within Draytons job descripti onbecause one cannot let go ones br eath, in this place, that a report of it is not made to Rebel Committees of Carolina and Georgia.26 It would be easy to make the claim that this was simply evidence of Tonyns paranoia; however, Dr. Turnbull, in his accusations against the governor before Parlia ment claimed to know that Tonyn was plotting against him because I was informed of this intention by a man of Truth & Honour, indicating that there was indeed an informer in Tonyns cabinet.27 Either Turnbull was lying or Governor Tonyns suspicion of a mole in his midst was accura te. It should also be noted that in another letter to Lord Germain, Tonyn stated that the en tire colony incorporated into the militia, with the exception of Drayton and the attorney general, Arthur Gordonwhom Tonyn referred to as the image of wax of Drayt on and his creatures.28 Two letters written by Lord Germain on Apr il 2 and April 14, 1776, completely vindicated Governor Tonyn was for his persecution of the Drayton/Turnbull cabal. In the first letter Germain profusely apologized to the Tonyn for his harsh stance in previous correspondence concerning the hostilities between the two parties involved. Germain admitted his own assumption that the strife was more the colour of personal dislike th an public delinquency. However, he then stated that if there shoul d appear sufficient ground to suspect [Drayton] of 26 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, October 25, 1775, PRO CO 5/555, p. 81. 27 Turnbulls attitude on the social classes would not have allowed him to refer to a house servant or commoner as someone of Truth and Honour. (The Turnbull Letters, 2:173; see also Dr. Andrew Turnbull before the British Parliament, London, February 17, 1777, PRO CO 5/546, pp. 77-85. 28 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germaine, St. Augustine, February 19, 1777, PRO CO 5/558, p. 167; see also Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida 1:17.

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48 disaffection to His Majesty, or wa nt of attachment to the Const itution I shall not hesitate to submit my humble Opinion to the King that he is no longer fit to serve His Majesty as Chief Justice of East Florida.29 That sufficient ground to suspect hi m came to fruition once the news of Draytons habeas-corpus-prisone r-release program reached London. The second letter gave continued warnings to Governor Tonyn of Tu rnbulls supporters in England and explained why he pushed the governor so intensely to settle the dispute with Turnbull quietly. Germain feared that Parlia ment would recall Tonyn to London to defend himself, forcing the Secretary of State to send out a replacementa circumstance which usually resulted in a permanent change.30 Germain explained that he woul d not have the same Reliance as I have upon [Tonyn]. To avoid the Necessity of so disagreeable a St ep, I thought it best to endeavour to get rid of the whole Matter.31 Governor Tonyn faced down the most challenging political attacks of his career during the Drayton/Turnbull ordeal and cr ushed his opposition with rele ntless, if not unscrupulous, determination. It was perhaps this same furor against rebellion that fueled East Floridas resolve during the three invasion attempts by American armies and the cons tant threat of a large scale Spanish offensive. To the British, the Ameri can Revolution was about honor and loyalty, and Tonyns actions prove that he believed the rebe ls possessed neither. What man in his position would? Some might say his attacks on Turnbu ll and Drayton were the actions of a tyrant quashing any challenge to his authority. Tonyn s evidence of treasonous activities was never proven beyond what can be defined as circumst antial. However, in ei ghteenth-century North 29 Lord Germain to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, April 2, 1777, PRO CO 5/557, p. 112. 30 Lord Germains concerns were not unprecedented. In 1766 Governor James Murray of Quebec was recalled to London as the result of disturbances in Montreal and general complaints pertaining to his administration. Murray never returned to Quebec, though all charges against him were dismissed. Calloway, Scratch of a Pen 121. 31 Lord Germain to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, April 14, 1777, PRO CO 5/557, pp. 116-17.

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49 America it was the duty of a coloni al governor to take whatever m easures necessary for the safekeeping of his charge and to defend the honor of king and country. This wa s not the first case of individual rights being sacrificed for the sake of a nations war effort on this continent, nor would it be the last.

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50 CHAPTER 4 THE REVOLUTIONS SOUT HERN-MOST THEATER Traditionally, the Am erican Revolution is view ed as a New England war, fought primarily by Yankee Minute Men and Massachusetts Sons of Liberty, though historians fully understand that blood was shed by men and women throughout North America. However, the great historiographical error committed by generations of American ideologists is the notion that every British colony rallied behind George Washington fo r the unified cause of American liberty. In addition to the two Canadian provinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia, neither of the two Floridas sent representatives to the 1774 Continental Congress in Philadelphia, nor did they ever desire to declare themselves independent of Great Britain. On Octobe r 19, 1770, as the rest of the American colonies dealt with the fallout from the Boston Massacre, East Florida governor James Grant stated, We have nothing of the Spirit of Dissention which rages all over America.1 Nor did the tumultuous years ah ead alter this sentiment, as is evidenced on August 11, 1776, when news of the signing of the Declaratio n of Independence reached St. Augustine. That night a large throng of jeering citizens burned the effigies of John Hancock and Samuel Adams in the town square as a public condemnation by l oyal British citizens of all walks of life toward the rebellion.2 Common folk and elites a like proudly exalted their local chief citizens who refused to join the Revolution as delegates, though strongly solicited.3 Document after 1 Schafer, St. Augustines British Years, 169. J. Leitch Wright contends that [w]hen East Florida had refused to revolt in 1775, it had fo llowed precedents, because loyalty to the mother country was the colonial norm. It was the thirteen colonies who, by rebelling, had broken with tradition. Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 435. Military historian John S. Pancake reminds us that the French Canadians of Quebec did not follow the route of revolution because they were a separate ancestry from their American neighbors and felt endeared to their new British citizenship having recently received approval to maintain their Ca tholic traditions as a result of the Quebec Act. John S. Pancake, 1777 p. 34. 2 Searcy, The Georgia-Florida Contest 54. 3 After being warned by Lord Dartmouth of a circular, dated January 4, 1775, inviting men to attend the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Governor Tonyn assures Dartmouth that there are no sympathizers in East Florida. Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, May 29, 1775, PRO CO 5/555, p. 35; see also John Wells, The

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51 document proclaiming the colonys profound loya lty to the Kingaffirmations penned by the inhabitants, not royal official swere signed and issued in 1774, 1776, and again in 1781 after the formation of the first General Assembly. East Floridian oaths of loyalty rang out with strong sentiments of condemnation for the actions of th eir rebellious countrymen to the north, such as: one of the first steps leading to the unnatural revolution, was a re fusal of the rebel colonies to acknowledge the supreme right and authority of the British Parliament. East Florida assemblymen also made declarations that it was their honor bound dut y to recognize our allegiance to the blessed Prince on the throne and the supremacy of Parliament; and be establishing on the most solid foundation, our constitution, liberties and dependence.4 It is an uncanny irony that bot h the American Loyalists a nd their Patriot adversaries believed in the exact same virtues of sound governmenta strong constitution guaranteeing certain libertiesbut from opposing perspectives: the sanctity of de pendence as opposed to in dependence. Historian Gordon S. Wood contends th at American patriot leaders insisted that they were rebelling not against the principles of the English c onstitution, but on behalf of them By emphasizing that it was the le tter and spirit of the English c onstitution that justified their resistance, Americans could easily believe that they were simply protecting what Englishmen had valued from the beginning of their history.5 From the historians advantage of 20/20 hindsight, there is little question that the line s drawn during the American Revolutionary were quite clear militarily, politically, and sociallyred coat/blue coat; Tory/Whig; Loyalist/Patriot. However, like a classic Monet painting, th e picture blurs the more closely we look. Case of the Inhabitants, April 2, 1784 ; P.K. Yonge Library of Florida Histor y (Gainesville: University of Florida, 1984), 3. 4 Wells, The Case of the Inhabitants .33-34. 5 Gordon S. Wood, The American Revolution: A History (New York: Random House, 2002), 58.

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52 Several theories exist as to why the citizenry of East Florida were so faithful to the same British authorities that stirred emotions of angst and rebellion in the other American colonies. As previously mentioned, the size of the population of East Florida, due to its infancy, was very small. There were also no taxes to create anim osity between the people and Parliament; many of the inhabitants were enjoying a ten year reprieve of quitrents on any lands received.6 However, other factors were involved in the provinces und ying loyalty to the crow n. Unlike the thirteen colonies in rebellion, East Florida did not ha ve a populace that could trace its roots several generations deep into the history of the region, as could the Byrds, Lees, and Carters of Virginia. Most of the turbulence which cr eated the revolutionary groundswell resulted from the American colonists resentment of Parlia ments actions and policies after the French and Indian War. The infamous British taxes of the mid-to-late 1760s produ ced much of this rebellious spirit, but did not impact East Florida as its population ha d no significant commerce, industry, or sizable population until several years later. With the exception of Indian traders, English inhabitants did not move in to East Florida until well after the Treaty of Paris in 1763, and even then it was a sluggish process. Like the sugar islands of the Caribbean, much of the land in East Florida was initially granted to absentee landholders and, as a resu lt, an overwhelming majority of the English residents who lived in East Florida did not resi de in the region until after 1764many of whom came from non-North American locales. There was no sense of shock, anger, or even dismay in East Florida resulting from c ontroversial laws like the Proc lamation of 1763, because, again, such legislation had no impact on this region. Hist orian Colin Calloway reminds us that the Earl 6 This also applied to refugees. On February 19, 1778, King George III gave permission to Governor Tonyn to break up the large, undeveloped land grants of absentee owners and disperse them accordingly to Loyalists from Georgia and the Carolinas. Ibid, 17.

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53 Lord Shelburne, president of the Board of Trade in 1763, promoted the royal proclamation specifically to redirect the we stward movement of the American population north and south, to Nova Scotia and the Floridas. He hoped this would serve the dual purpose of temporarily alleviating western border warfare with Indi an tribes, while simultaneously populating the virtually empty peripheral coloni es. Even at this, there was no immediate influx of British [American] immigrants to repopulate East Florida.7 Another reason that su ch a large percentage of the new British inhabitants of East Florida were also relatively new to North America was that few long-term residents of the continent saw the Floridas as a destina tion boasting the typical enticements of westward expansion. Large land grants worked by slave labor were, by design, established in East Florida for wealthy, well-co nnected patriarchs, not idealistic back-woodsmen desiring to carve out a niche in th e wilderness ten acres at a time. La Florida was unavailable to English expansion for two and a half centuries due to Spains monopoly of the region. St. Augustine was incorporated in 1565 to protect the shipping routes from the Caribbean to Spain and, though the province was never more than a dismal backwater military post, the town served a valu able service to the Spanish crown. However, Spain put very little emphasis on St. Augustin e as anything other than a military outpost. Therefore, the lack of industry by their Spanish predecessors encouraged Great Britain to focus on farming, as exports of indigo, sugar, rice, timber, naval stores, and barrel staves lay at the heart of the colonys economy. King George III d ecided that the quickest way to accomplish this goal was to grant sizable tracts of land to his court favorites, creating economic opportunities for new planter elites.8 The British felt that Spain had squandere d its time in Florida. British East Florida planters were men of great fortunes and sensed an opportunity to realize similar amounts 7 Calloway, Scratch of a Pen 93, 94, 155. 8 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 427.

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54 of vast wealth, as had previous generations in the Caribbean. East Florid a was a new and exciting hope for those born too late to r eap the full benefits of plantati on ownership as their fathers and grandfathers in Jamaica, St. Kitts, and Barbados East Florida represented the dream of every junior son of a British lord or nobleman who knew he would never inherit anything but handouts of the family fortune. This was a new chance to become the patriarch of ones own manor. East Florida more closely resembled the West Indies than the other colonies in North America. The soil was fertile, the climate mild, and the environment health ier than that of the Caribbean. But like the Caribbean, black human be ings were the beasts of burden that were exploited to reap other mens fort unes. While historians often point to South Carolina as the only American colony with a black population which ex ceeded that of whites at 60%, East Floridas demographics demonstrate a pre-Revolution pop ulation that was a minimum of 66% black.9 Remarkably, these numbers are rarely noted. As mentioned before, land in East Florid a belonged to the crown and could not be possessed unless duly authorized by the king. Absentee land owners left millions of acres of East Florida undeveloped prior to the American Revolution. As a result there was only a slight influx of American-born Georgians and Carolinians into East Florida from 1763-1775. Those who did move down from other colonies, such as John M oultrie, represented some of the wealthiest planters in the region. With the advantage of pe rfect hindsight, Governor Tonyn took a great deal of pride, not to mention political gain, as he would later recall the Jonathan Bryan land scheme to Lord Germains attention. Tonyn be lieved that a significant number of Americans from Georgia and South Carolina would have swarmed into Ea st Florida if Bryan ha d succeeded in securing 9 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 427.

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55 such a large tract of la nd. Tonyn wrote, the country, my Lord would have been settled with the turbulent, seditious, and disaffect ed. The governor went on to say that he would bet his life that East Florida would have become an American colony had Bryan and Drayton not been found out.10 When one considers the evidence that T onyn believed he uncovere d against Bryan and Draytonwhich included Draytons statement c oncerning the many Georgi ans Bryan had ready to move into East Floridathere is enough fact to substantiate the plausi bility of his argument. One theory concerning East Florid as loyalty to King George that is prevalent today is that the colony was simply too small, commercially unproductive, and militarily impotent to concern the American war effort. Virtually isolated fr om the other colonies, St. Augustine was the only practical military target in East Florida. Once it fell, the owners of the outlying plantations who depended upon the provincial capit al as a market for the consumption or shipping of their commerce would have no choice but to change a llegiances or leave the colony. East Florida could, therefore, be ignored by the American s until after the war when independence would allow the luxury of time and concentration of forces to seize it for the new nation. However, George Washington referenced St Augustine and/or East Florida over onehundred times in his personal papers, and usually in terms of military concern.11 As mentioned previously, Washington called for the sacking of St. Augustine as ea rly as December 18, 1775, and South Carolina Representative John Rutle dge arrived in Savannah on February 13, 1776, with full expectations that the vi ctory would have been won already.12 On each of the failed invasions into East Florida in 1776, 1777, and 1778, Washington personally promoted the need 10 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, November 1, 1776, PRO CO 5/557, pp. 8-9. 11 These references may be found in the George Washington Papers, held by the Library of Congress. 12 The George Washington Papers, Geo rge Washington to Continental Cong ress, Cambridge, December 18, 1775.
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56 to remove such a strategic British stronghold from Americas southern borders. Even after the three disastrous offensives Washington had to be dissuaded by French General Rochambeau from launching another attempt in 1780. Rochambeau felt there were concerns closer to the heart of the conflict that must be dealt with first.13 But Washington recognized that as long as St. Augustine remained under British c ontrol the military contingency of the colony would continue to harass the Georgia and Carolina back-countr y militias and distract the American Southern Army away from critical northern conflicts. British military offici als in St. Augustine, too, were well aware of the thorn East Florida represented to the efforts of the American Continental army. In a letter to Lord Germain in 1779, the governor applauded the colony s war effort as he asserted that the depredations by the Loyal Inha bitants of this Province by Sea, and Land, have contributed to sicken the Rebels of their Revolt, and forced th em to keep those Troops in the Southern Provinces for internal defense, which could otherwise have st rengthened Washingtons Army.14 One factor that Washington did not recognize, nor could he have recognized without personal knowledge of the area or much improved reconnaissance, was that the terrain of East Florida and the defenses of St. Augustine made the capital virtually impossibl e to conquer. In the towns two hundred years of existence an inva ding army never successfully subjugated St. Augustine. Surrounded by swamps, creeks, and rivers to the west and south, the harbor to the east 13 Kathryn T. Abbey, Florida as an Issue During the American Revolution (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, 1926), 184-185; see also the George Washington Papers, George Washington to Robert Howe, Edward Rutledge, and Jonathan Bryan, Morris Town in Jersey, March 17, 1777; George Washington to Robert Howe, Head Quts., Camp at Morris Town, July 4, 1777; George Washington to John Rutledge, Head Quarters, Morris Town, July 5, 1777; George Washington to Benjamin Lincoln, Head Quarters, Morris Town, April 15, 1780; George Washington to Jean B. Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, and and Charles Louis d'Arsac, Chevalier de Ternay, New Windsor, December 15, 1780; George Washington to Nathaniel Greene, Head Quarters, Verplanks Point, September 23, 1782. (gw080298; gw070292; gw070293; gw080305; gw180288; gw200526; gw250217) 14 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, July 3, 1779, PRO CO 5/559, pp. 443-56.

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57 and the Castillo de San Marcos to defend the no rthern boundary and the harbors inlet, St. Augustine was impenetrable.15 Due to the treacherous sand bar extending the width of the inlet into the harbor, no ship with ove r seven to ten feet of draft, depending on the tide, could enter therein.16 Local pilots were necessary to escort even the smaller ships over the bar. War ships attempting to attack St. Augustine were forced by these circumstances to remain in the Atlantic, unable to reach the Castillo with their canon and extremely vulnerable to inclement weather. Bringing an army into East Florida by land was a perilous endeavor, again due to the terrain. The Okefenokee Swamp which covers a significant portion of the Georgia/Florida border funnels an invading army into a relatively narrow strip of land filled with treacherous topography, snakes, alligators, and few bridges. An army must na vigate the St. Marys and then the St. Johns riversboth of which are wide, de ep, and powerfulbefore being channeled once again by the swampy terrain, past three small forts to march directly at the Castillo. Almost immediately upon his arrival in St. Augustine in 1774, Governor Tonyn began equipping the Castillo with additional guns, strengthening re doubts, fortifying palis ades, and completing a perimeter of earth-works around th e town. A large barracks was erected on the southern end of town opposite the Castillo to provide a sense of omni-presence to the garrison should St. Augustine be attacked from multiple directions. Additional defensiv e structures included a large 15 The Castillo de San Marcos was built by the Spanish in the sixteenth century and successfully stood against several English invasions for almost two hundred years. During the British colonial period the name was anglicanized to the Castle St. Marks, but the Spanish moniker has remained the local designation. As mentioned in the National Park Service tour of the fort today, the Castillo was thought by one British officer in 1740 to be made of cheese due to the resiliency of the forts coquina construction to cannonballs. The officers journal is now kept in the Special Collections Library at the Un iversity of North Florida. (St. Augustine Historical Society/National Park Service). 16 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, July, 1, 1774, PRO CO 5/554, p. 31.

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58 watchtower on Anastasia Island to watch for s outhern sea-born attacks, and small western outposts on the St. Johns River to warn of raids from the west.17 But even though large war ships could not inti midate the defenses of St. Augustine, there was a myriad of waterway networks throughout northern East Florida which gave the British constant concern. The colony depended upon an inc onsistent task force of shallow water vessels to provide a naval presence to reco nnoiter East Floridas riverine frontiers (the St. Johns and the St. Marys), and to communicate with Loyalist elements in other colonies. Tonyn employed his Admiralty commission and issued letters of marque in 1776 to Captain John Mowbray of the Rebecca to patrol the St. Johns River, and pr essed several private ships into service.18 But in spite of all the preparations to defend the colony, it was small pox, poor planning, and rumors of 2,000 Creek and Cherokee warriors th reatening the back count ry of Georgia that repulsed the 1776 invasion force of over 2,500 Con tinental regulars and militia, though remote fighting did take place. Washingt on recalled Major General Charles Lee to Charleston before he ever reached the St. Marys River. The 1777 invasion involved an American army of approximately 1,200 men, including Continenta l regulars from Virginia and Georgia.19 By the end of April 1778 a combined army of Major Ge neral Howes Continentals and Gov. Houstouns Georgia militia amassed nearly 2,000 troops on the St. Marys River for a third invasion attempt of East Florida.20 Unlike the attempt of 1776, both of the later invasions succeeded in breaching the initial lines of British border defenses, both on land and by the Intercoastal Waterway. According to some historians, the Americans know ledge of five armed British vessels on the St. 17 Albert Manucy, Alberta Johnson. Castle St. Mark and the Patriots of the Revolution. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 21, Issue 1 (July 1942), 8. 18 Buker, Martin, Governor Tonyns Brown-Water Navy, 58-59, 61, 65-66. 19 Searcy, The Georgia-Florida Contest 88-90. 20 Smith, Mermaids Riding Alligators, 439.

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59 Johns River is what turned b ack the invasion attempt of 1778.21 But there was certainly more than rumor involved in this final expulsion of the American army from British soil. A sound defeat at the Battle of Alligator Creek Bridge, along with the unremitting hit-and-run guerilla raids of Thomas Browns East Florida Rangers and allied Nativ e American warriors proved too much for American morale. But ultimately it was the in-fighting between C ontinental and state militia leadership that brought a degree of disaster to each of the invasion efforts, far out-weighing the built up defenses or Major General Augustine Prevosts combined forces of British regulars, St. Augustine militia, and East Florida Rangers. It is no small wonder when considering the Ea st Florida landscape, British determination, and the American militarys lack of cooperation and professionalism that all three invasions fell far short of capturi ng St. Augustine. The res ounding results of the collective American invasions were the tying up valuable American resources of men and supplies badly needed for the campaigns in the northern theatersexactly what Governor Tonyn boasted to Lord Germain that he was hoping to accomplish. Another invasion threat came from Great Br itains Spanish foes in New Orleans and Havana. Upon entering the war in 1779, Louisi ana governor Bernardo de Galvez Spanish armies devoured real estate easily in West Florida, fi rst taking Baton Rouge and Natchez, then Mobile. By 1781, invasion forces left Havana fo r Pensacola and St. Augustine. Pensacola fell quickly, but the eastern prong of the invasion landed inexplic ably on Providence Island, the Bahamas. Even George Washington presumed th at St. Augustine and th e treasure of gunpowder and munitions kept in the Castillo de San Ma rcos were the obvious targets for the Spanish 21 Buker, Martin, Governor Tonyns Brown-Water Navy, 70.

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60 fleet.22 But the British never allowed their defenses to relax once West Florida became a Spanish prize, for who better would know of St. Augustines weaknesses ? Then again, who better would know the towns strengths? The Spanish alrea dy knew what the Americans failed to learn in three invasion attempts. Spain had designed and improved the citys defenses for two hundred years; they knew that St. Augustine could not be taken by force. The British, however, were not eager to entrust the safety of East Florida to Spanish ingenuity. On February 27, 1781, the governor acquired the power of a prohibitory proclamation allowing him to withhold all provisions, gifts, and esse ntials to the Seminole nation if they did not actively participate in the defense of the colony against the thr eat of the Spanish from the west.23 Such determination is the final factor that kept East Florida safe from foreign invasion. As stated earlier, the residents volunteered almost to a man to defend the colony. During the invasion of 1777, when British Major General Prevost recommended a scorched-earth policy to keep the outlying plantations from provisioning the invading American army, Governor Tonyn readily ordered the complete dest ruction of his personal plantati on, including his two large frame houses, every outlying building and mill, and all 20,000 acres of produce and timber.24 But that is not to say that every East Fl oridian had the same resolve to obs truct the invasions at any cost. In a letter to Lord Germain, th e governor rightly accused three members of Draytons cabal of cowardice in the face of the enemy. As the second invasion gained temporary steam by infiltrating the East Florida border with cavalr y, Spencer Mann, James Penman, and Lt. Colonel 22 The George Washington Papers, George Washington to Jean B. Donatien, and Comte de Rochambeau, and and Charles Louis d'Arsac, Chevalier de Ternay, New Wi ndsor, December 15, 1780.
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61 Robert Bissett came to Tonyn and demanded their right to capitulate to the invading forces. These three even proposed to compensate the Amer icans financially if certain properties went unmolested. Penman declared that he would pers onally meet the oncoming army with a flag of truce from the Inhabitants, ignoring the govern ment altogether to arrange terms with the Georgians.25 This is not the kind of demand one woul d want to make to an individual who destroyed his own valuable property in order to frustrate the invading army. When the smoke cleared, and the British repulsed the second inva sion of the colony, the humiliation that followed these three men plagued them for the rest of their existence in East Florida.26 Governor Tonyn also organized and maintained networks of spies throughout Georgia and South Carolina, even sending the local minister Rev. John Forbes, to Havana on a fact-finding mission when he anticipated a sea-born invasion from Cuba.27 All of the espionage was coordinated by Lt. Colonel Thomas Browna man driv en to abject hatred of all Patriots after a tar and feathering incident at th e hands of Charlestons Sons of Liberty. The incident cost Brown the horrible injury of burning off three toes wh en the blistering tar collected in his boots.28 When American generals of the Southern Army hoped to starve East Florida into submission, Brown, with the aid of back-country loya lists in Georgia, rustled entire herds of cattle and drove them into St. Augustine by way of an intricate netw ork of paths and trailw ays twisting through the Okefenokee Swamp. Browns detailed account s of American plans for invasion, troop movements and strength, resources and munitions levels, and other intelligence reports proved invaluable to the survival of East Florida. Brown and his Rangers were frequently sent on 25 Searcy, The Georgia-Florida Contest 107. 26 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, May 8, 1777, PRO CO 5/557, p. 104. 27 Patrick Tony to Lord Cornwallis, St. Augus tine, January 29, 1781, PRO 30/11/67(35): ALS 28 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, November 23, 1776, PRO CO 5/557, pp. 20-21.

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62 lightning-strike raids into Georgia and the Caro linas. On one occasion the Rangers and their Creek allies captured Fort McIntosh in Georgia, though just for an evening, before burning it to the ground the following morning. The Rangers th en rounded up over 2,000 head of cattle as they headed home.29 Brown and his Rangers also played roles in the taking of both Savannah in 1779 and Charleston in 1780. It is a very popular concept that the basis of the British southern campaign in 1780 centered on the expectation of over-whelming civ ilian support from the back country. However much one might want to believe this theory, it was not Loyalist civilians who routed Major General Robert Howe's American regulars in the retaking of Savannahit was Major General Augustine Prevost's invading British army from St. Augustine. British general Sir William Howe learned in 1777 that civilian support was not dependable when he landed his army outside of Philadelphia. There the supposed L oyalists destroyed their crops ra ther than let them fall into the hands of Howes invading army.30 Lord Germain was apprehensive of that tactic then and nothing had changed in 1780 to al ter his convictions. In the fina l analysis, then, the Loyalists never had a base to launch a counterrevol utionby 1777 any hope that Germain and the ministry may have had for Ameri canizing the war was at an end.31 This leads the discussion back to the earlier years of the war. With a British military buildup in St. Augustine of 5,000 strong by 1779, East Fl orida figured prominently in Great Britains plans for a southern campaign. If any one of th e three repulsed American invasions of East Florida in 1776, 1777, or 1778 is successful and St. Augustine falls to American troops, the Continental army would have controlled the At lantic seaboard above and below Charleston for 29 Schafer, St. Augustin es British Years, 202. 30 Pancake, 1777, p. 167. 31 Ibid, 113.

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63 hundreds of miles. An invasion of Charleston in 1780 would have landed the British army in the middle of a hornets nest, as there would ha ve been no ground support for Cornwallis sea-born invasionPrevost's East Florida-based forces made up approximately one-third of the British troops involved in the siege of Charleston. Also, If East Florida belongs to the Americans in 1780 then Cornwallis' southern invasion may have been forced to take place in St. Augustine rather than Charleston. But more probably, there may have been no Southern Campaign at all no Yorktownif East Florida doesn't remain loyal and provide this strategic base of loyalism. History is then possibly re-written as the British ministry would have been forced to consider other options in 1780; perhaps suing for peace as early as 1778. After Saratoga, Lord Norths ministry was ready to present a peace plan for its immediate action. It is interesting to note that as soon as France declared war on Grea t Britain in 1778, King George III immediately relegated the American war to secondary status suggest[ing] that the governments policy of applying a military solution to the American rebellion was simplistic and shortsighted.32 With such decisions being made at the highest levels, it is inconceivable that Lord Germain could have pushed through a southern invasion ca mpaign based on the flawed premise of civilian support. But a large army steadily working its wa y north from St. Augustine since 1778, securing the Atlantic corridor from East Florida to South Carolina as it moved, would allow a sea-born invasion to land as far north as Charleston withou t having to contend with a hostile environment to its back. This discussion forces a literal redrawing of the map of Revolutionary activity on the North American continent from a viewpoint fa r to the south of Washington and the Founding Fathers. St. Augustine and the thr eat posed by an East Florida-based British army to the southern 32 Pancake, 1777, pp .218, 226.

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64 colonies figured prominently in Washington s mind, hence the commander-in-chiefs obsession with the overthrow of the colony.

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65 CHAPTER 5 REVOLUTIONARY LIFE FOR BLACKS IN EAST FLORIDA The history of enslaved black s in East Florida becam e enme shed in European duplicity long before the British took possession of the re gion. Soon after the first conquistador set foot on the eastern shores of La Florida in 1513, African slaves constituted a significant minority of the population, if not an absolute majority, to that of their European owners.1 One hundred years in advance of an infamous Dutch slave ship di spensing twenty African captives at Jamestown, Virginia, blacks were utilized in Florida by Spain for the purpose of establishing the first European foothold in North America. But from P once de Leons first visit in 1513 to the end of the American Revolution the shifting politics em anating from colonial St. Augustine created an ambiguous sanctuary of existence for the African and African-American slaves who lived there. From earliest colonization until the time of the American Revolution, European powers struggled against one another, using any means necessary to gain whatever advantage they couldwhich included allying th emselves with various Native American tribes to secure an advantage. A similar struggle ensued between th e Spanish in Florida a nd the British in the Carolinas and later Georgia. In Florida, however in addition to Indian alliances, black slaves were used as pawns to sway the balance of pow er in the struggle to gain supremacy in the American Southeast. Spanish laws toward slav es and the subject of slavery itself relaxed dramatically in comparison to English slave code s of the seventeenth a nd eighteenth centuries. That these slaves were vital to the British economic system in North America was not news to the Spain as they exploited the opportunity to cripple the Carolina mark et by actively promoting sanctuary to the British enslaved labor force. In tensified by a dispute over the inclusion of St. Augustine in Carolinas original charter, A nglo/Spanish animosities ripened over the next 1 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 425

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66 seventy-six years as the issue of runaway slaves rendered the A tlantic corridor from Charleston to St. Augustine a lightening r od of international conflict.2 From a European perspective, other than the Floridas changing hands in 1763, little else between Great Britain and Spain had been alte red by the time of the American Revolution. Constantly at war, the two power s continued to fight over colonial possessions in the Americas and slaves were still the beasts of burden used to fatten imperial coffers. But for African and African-American slaves, a great deal had ch anged after 1763. While the Spanish departed, blacks continued to pour into St. Augustine by the thousands, though not as refugees or runawaysbut as British slaves. Same town, sa me latitudes, but Florida as a sanctuary for fugitive slaves ceased to exist. A world they came to depend upon had disappeared. Britannic slavery had snared yet more lives within its slave quarters and returned the sale of human flesh to the market in St. Augustine.3 By the unfortunate miscalculation of joining the French in the Seven Years War in a last minute effort to reap undeserved spoils, the Spanish Crown subjected thousands of black lives to a slave contin ent with no friendly bor dersonly the sea. Historians remind us that by 1775 there was an undisclosed percentage of free blacks in East Florida. Lord Dunmores proclamation of freedom for military se rvice was not uniform throughout the American colonies by any mean s, but during the American Revolution many British officers exercised their right to manumit any slaves who fought in the service of the king. East Florida was no different; in fact, Lord Dunm ore sent many free blacks to East Florida in 1776, on the same ships as he sent prisoners of war and evacuated Loyalists.4 Soon the number of 2 Jane Landers, Spanish Sanctuary: Fugitives in Florida, 1687-1790. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 62, Issue 3 (April 1984), 296. 3 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 426. 4 Edgar Legare Pennington. East Florida in the American Revolution, 1775-1778, Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 9, Issue 1 (July 1930), 31-32.

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67 blacks in East Florida, free or enslaved, was growing fast enough to give British authorities concern. Governor Tonyn wrote to Lord Germai n that in order to frustrate more invasion attempts by the American Patriots, he established and armed the Companies of malitia, who may be employed in ease of invasion, and will be at all times useful in keeping in awe the Negroes who multiply amazingly.5 Another source of Africans and African-Americans in East Florida during the Revolution was those taken from American, French, and Spanish ships captured by the British.6 Governor Tonyns assessment was not completely accurate, however, as far as how many blacks lived in East Florida during the ear ly years of the American Revolution. The demographics of the colony had not changed dras tically as a result of the influx of free or enslaved black refugees. The plundering of slaves in East Florida by American Patriots was rampant, keeping the percentage of blacks to white s in East Florida fairly constant. On July 1, 1776, Governor Tonyn reported that the theft of sl aves was a discernable goal of the invading Patriot army as they took upwards of thirty Negr oes, and a family from the first two plantations they reached.7 Theft of slaves, however, was the business of both sides in the conflict. Patriot John Berwick lost seven slaves from his planta tion when regular British troops raided his plantation in mid-July 1776 while he was helping in the defense of Charleston.8 Raids from the sea cost many East Floridians their slaves, as we ll. Spanish privateers would patrol the coasts above and below St. Augustine, and in 1778, one su ch privateer entered the Mosquito Inlet and 5 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, October 30, 1776. PRO CO 5/557, p. 21 6 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 433. 7 Pennington, East Florida in the American Revolution, 25. 8 Wilbur H. Siebert, Privateering in Florida Waters and Northwards During the Revolution. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 22, Issue 2 (October 1943), 67.

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68 carried off thirty slaves.9 One of the benefits of slave raiding utilized by both sides in the war was as a tool for recruiting militia in the back country fighting. On the average, one slave for one years enlistment was the going rate. This became es pecially effective as it became more difficult to pay soldiers and militia in actual currency. Plundered slaves were also used to carry other items taken from plantations, such as furn iture, household goods, food stores, and farm equipment.10 The plight of slaves on East Floridas planta tions during the three Am erican invasions of 1776, 1777, and 1778 was trepidatious as each offens ive had a significant impact on their wellbeings, if not their lives. British Loyalists would attempt to rush their slaves into St. Augustine during these invasions in order to avoid losing them to the ra nsacking and ravaging that took place on their plantations. Regardless, many slaves were captured and taken back to Georgia, and some were killed as they chose to protect either their masters property or one another. Capture by Patriots was not always the worst result of these raids. One planter, in an effort to remove his slaves from harms way, got them lost in the swamps and woods near the St. Marys River. As a result, twenty-four slaves died of starvati on in the ensuing weeks of aimless wandering.11 In between invasions it was business as usua l on the plantations, as one letter to Lord Germaine explained, the Plantatio nsemploy their Negros in providing lumber and naval stores for the West Indies, having raised sufficient provi sions for the ensuring Year, a proof of which is, their purchasing new Negros.12 Governor Tonyn made this obser vation in order to show how secure the colony was, in spite of American attemp ts to bring their rebell ion to East Florida and 9 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 432; also see Siebert, Slavery in East Florida, 139. 10 Frey, Water from the Rock 91-92; see also Sumters Law in Frey, Water from the Rock 134, 137. 11 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 432. 12 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Germain, St. Augustine, October 30, 1776. PRO CO 5/557, p. 24.

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69 deprive loyal subjects of their liv elihood. If slaves were stolen or killed in the defense of the British way of life, planters had the work load and the means to justify the purchase of more. Such a cavalier attitude toward the lives of blacks, free or enslaved, in East Florida was manifested in other forms. As mentioned before many British officers opted to follow the Earl of Dunmores 1775 example of manumitting slaves w ho fought against their former masters. In 1779, Sir Henry Clinton declared his Philipsbur g Proclamation which was deemed by South Carolinas blacks as a complete emancipation, a bsolved from all respect of their American masters, and entirely released from servitude.13 Clintons proclamation transformed the Revolution in South Carolina into a complex triangular process involving two sets of white belligerents and at least twenty thousandprobably moreblack slaves.14 But Dunmore and Clinton were in seditious colonies, outnumbe red by the growing Patriot populations. Granting freedom to the enslaved population of a Loyalis t colony would have been counterproductive. Governor Tonyn saw no advantage in freeing en slaved blacks who were already fighting on behalf of the Loyalist cause. From this it may be observed that serving in the British army did not always result in receiving absolute freedom for enslaved blacks. D ecisions made in the field on such matters were determined by the officer in charge and in accord ance to how that indivi dual interpreted their present circumstances. There were also those British officers who simply did not concern themselves with the fair treatment of blacks, as long as the imperial cause had been served. In May 1779, Major General Prevost took on swarms of negroes as he marched from Savannah to Charleston. En route they secured Johnstons Isla nd with a portion of th is army, including the 13 Frey, Water from the Rock 118. 14 Ibid, 108.

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70 entire contingent of newly manumitted blacks. Lt Colonel John Maitland was left in charge as Prevost ultimately marched back to Savannah. In June Maitland evacuated his post, and took only a part of the negro refugees with hi m. Many of those abandoned by Maitland were wounded or too sick to travel. Fearing capture a large number of the remaining blacks tied themselves to the sides of Maitlands boats rather than be left behind to face the impending punishment of their former masters. The British so ldiers used bayonets to cut the former slaves loose, leaving them to drown. Other blacks either swam or rafted to Otter Island where hundreds more died of camp fever and exposure. Over three thousand of these refugees survived the ordeal only be shipped to the We st Indies and sold back into slavery by their British comrades.15 There were other instances in East Florida of black Loyalists, free and enslaved, who evacuated to St. Augustine during the war and received tem porary protection, then were taken out of the province for sale in the West Indies.16 The primary usage of healthy blacks by Britis h authorities in St. Augustine involved the defense of the colony. As early as 1775, slaves were utilized to bolster the military fortifications of St. Augustine as laborers in the towns defenses, soldiers, and as East Florida Rangers. The earthen walls surrounding St. Augustine, the parallel lines north of the town, the powder magazine, the redoubts on the St. Johns River, an d Fort Tonyn on the St. Marys in part were all constructed by slave labor. Regular army a nd militia units in East Florida were 1/7th free-blacks or slaves, as blacks enlisted in the East Fl orida Rangers and helped garrison Fort Tonyn and protect the St. Marys frontier.17 In 1781 alone, Lt. Colonel Le wis V. Fuser requisitioned over 15 Siebert, Slavery in East Florida, 140; see also Frey, Water from the Rock, 92. 16 Helen Hornbeck Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida, 1784-1790 (Jacksonville: University of North Florida Press, 1989), 49. 17 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 434-35.

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71 nine hundred slaves from the plantations of East Florida in order to make the earthen works ready for the anticipated invasion of Sp anish troops from West Florida. As East Florida elites argued over slav e codes in the colonial assembly, Tonyn requisitioned ten percent of the colonys slave populati on to strengthen the defenses of St. Augustine. He eventually increased that number to twenty percent.18 This was not an extraordinary circumstance, however, as the Brit ish defenders of Savannah and Charleston used slave labor to build those cities defenses. Due to the time frames of each siege and the multiple evacuations of Loyalists, black and white, it is not inconceivable that many of these slaves may have worked on the defensive structures of all three towns.19 By putting this large labor force to work on St. Augustines defenses, civil authorities followed Sir Henry Clintons official policy concerning the containment of slave revolts, as issued in South Carolina. It was Clintons intention to put the healthiest slaves who re sponded to the Philipsburg Proclamation to work either on Loyalist plantations to keep that economy productive, or in other support roles for the army. Historian Sylvia Frey argues that this strategy was a major factor in preventing the outbreak of a slave rebellion as these slaves were quickly worn down by oppressively difficult work and inferior food.20 There is no evidence, however, th at Governor Tonyn utilized this particular strategy. The ever-threatening American army just across the Georgia border served well enough to keep slave in surrections under control. The American Revolution held many paradoxes, one of which being that the American Patriots of the southern colonies broke with Br itish tradition by not arming their slaves to any great degree during the war. The Earl of Dunmore, so vilified in American history, was acting in 18 Siebert, Slavery in East Florida, 141. 19 Frey, Water from the Rock 96 20 Ibid, 127, 141.

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72 a manner that was consistent with traditional Br itish approaches to protecting a colony from foreign invasion. The southern states considered it dangerous ever to tr ust slaves with arms. This was another step in dehumanizing the inst itution of slavery and de priving blacks of a measure of dignity and independence.21 As early as February 1776, East Florida commanders complied with British protocol in the American colonies as they requested that slaves be armed in time of war. Governor Tonyn urged in his Counc il that the inhabitants be ordered to report to the commandant, Major Jonathan Furlong, the number of their slaves who might be entrusted with arms should the need arise.22 Following Lord Dunmores precedent when he established the Ethiopian Brigade, Governor Tonyn formed four companies of enlisted black soldiers in St. Augustine on August 20, 1776.23 Major General Prevost was also present in Savannah when two companies of Black Volunteers were formed during the failed Franco/American assault on that city in 1779. In addition to the Black Volunt eers, another three hundred blacks were charged with holding the double-horn position of Savannah s breast works. In another specific example of blacks asserting themselves by serving in th e British military, Franci s Marion wrote to John Matthews on August 30, 1782, that he was attack ed at the affair at Wadbooby a hundred British horse and some Coloured Dragoons led by Major Thomas Fraser.24 And rumors were wildly rampant in the Goose Creek area north of Charleston in the final months of British occupation as Leslies Black Dragoons made nightly raids, committing the most horrible depredations and murders on the defenseless parts of our Country.25 21 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 434-35. 22 Siebert, Slavery in East Florida, 139. 23 Searcy, The Georgia-Florida Contest 57. 24 Frey, Water from the Rock 138; see also Schama, Rough Crossings 9. 25 Frey, Water from the Rock 138; see also Schama, Rough Crossings 139.

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73 The Americans were much less trusting in thei r incorporation of blacks in the Continental army. When the Patriot army was hoping to keep Charleston from falling back into British hands in 1780, they impressed over five thousand slaves to build the citys fortifi cations, though few, if any, were allowed to carry weapons.26 But the carrying of weapons was not the only significant difference between black members of the two be lligerent armies. When a former slave was allowed to enlist in a black unit of the regular British army, such as Sir Henry Clintons Black Pioneers and Guides, he was require d to recite the following oath: I [name] do swear that I enter freely and voluntarily into Hi s Majestys service and I do en list myself without the least compulsion or persuasion into the Negro Company27 Who can know the impact of such words and phrases as, freely voluntarily and enlist myself on former slaves as they were ushered back into the human race by the virtue of a simple ceremony. Given the historically adverse relationship between slaves and their British masters in the American Southeast, it was a strange twist of events that led blacks to part ake in the defenses of a British colony. But the oppressive attitudes of southern Americans toward evacuated and plundered slaves promptly motivated this unus ual partnership. Though the British held a long history of horribly mistreating th eir slaves, the Americans had already shown themselves to be the greater of the two evils. In South Caro lina and Georgia a slave exodus prompted by the British invasion and occupationfueled by rumors of and actual manumissions for service against the American Patriotscre ated a severe labor shortage on southern plantations, virtually destroying the economy. The Philipsburg Proclamation, as mentioned before, was issued to establish and upset the delicate balance of southern society for British political and military 26 Ibid, 110. 27 Schama, Rough Crossings 84.

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74 advantage.28 However, while having a significant imp act on Patriot economics, this shortage was a two-edged sword as it severely affected th e existing Tory plantations whose slaves also joined the flight to British m ilitary camps in search of manumission. In addition, Loyalist efforts to claim abandoned Patriot plantations and utiliz e them for the good of the crown were equally hindered by the labor shortage.29 In East Florida, however, the slave population was growing daily and the plantations, though affected by raids and some wholesale mischief during the American invasions, were never ravaged en masse as those in Georgia and South Carolina. This surplus of black refugees allowed them to become even more involved with the military and defensive efforts in East Florid a, thus creating the need for tw o major legislative acts. Having only recently instituted a General Assembly in 1781, Governor Tonyn called upon this body to make haste in completing a Militia Act and enacting a formal slave code. The East Florida Militia Act basically replicat ed militia laws in other American colonies and took very little effort for both the Upper and Lower Houses of the assembly to pass. Where the greatest variance occurred between this particular act and the militia structures of the newly formed American states was in the fact that an unlimited number of slaves could be drafted and used as a labor force or armed as soldiers. Any plantation managers not providing militia captains with a list of all able-bodied slaves who were fit to serve were fined Slave owners were compensated each month for any slave impre ssed into the defense of the colony. For breaches of military discipline slaves were to be whipped rather than fined like their white contemporaries, though for sleeping on duty or betraying the password blacks were treated equally with whites: both were to be executed. The one major si milarity East Floridas Militia 28 Frey, Water from the Rock 119. 29 Ibid, 211.

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75 Act had in common with those of the American statesand greatest deviance from those of other British colonieswas there was no provision for the freeing of slaves who fought in the war effort. For acts of bravery slaves were to be awarded clothing, money, medals, and some relief from service, though in a variety of ways [slaves] had the opportunity of winning their own freedom.30 Dunmore and Clintons versions of manumitting slaves who served in the British army were incentives for blacks to leave th eir masters and take up arms against them. No such action was needed, nor desired, by British authorities in East Florida. A slave code was the second act of legislati on that concerned the bl ack population of the colony and was not as easily determined as the Militia Act. As the colonys first assembly tackled such topics as a militia, internal improvements, regulating public houses, collecting small debts, and taxes, deriving at a slave code that would suit the needs and whims of St. Augustines white voting population took longerand generated more controversythan all the other issues combined. Governor Tonyns frustration over the whole process concerning this singular issue prompted him to dissolve the assembly only six m onths after its formation. Like the Militia Act, East Floridas slave code had si milarities to those of Georgi a and South Carolina. Any Negro, mulatto, or Mestezo who could not prove his or her freedom was regarded a slave, with children following the status of their mothers. A silver armband with the word free inscribed for all to see was to be worn by free blacks. Slaves needed a ticket from their master to be absent from the plantation or to carry a firearm in peace time and masters were to be fined for cruelty to slaves. Owners received monetary compen sation from the colony for a slave who was 30 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 435-36.

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76 legallyexecuted, and provisions in the law allo wed for white patrols to keep illegal slave activities under control.31 However, East Floridas slave code differed from all other Nort h American colonies in that court cases against slaves accused of any crime mu st be heard in St. Augustine and tried before a white, twelve-man jury. Slaves in other English colonies were not afforded a trial by jury and could be tortured to extract information.32 Such cruelty was not allowed in East Florida courts and the presiding judge could determine, at will, to allow the defendant more, but not all, of the protections under the English law. Even in the most rural areas of East Florida where trials by justices of the peace were allowed, these procee dings were to be reviewed by the governor and capital punishment administered onl y by his authority, in St. Augustine.33 This was a major point of contention between the Upper and Lower Hous es of the assembly. Members of the Lower House protested that a trial by ju ry could potentially keep a wo rking slave, and the witnesses involved, in St. Augustine and out of the fields for longer periods of time than they were willing to concede.34 Leaders of the Upper House sought to insure that East Florida slave codes would be the most humane in America and contrast[ed] it to the thirteen colonies where liberty was supposed to be flourishing.35 Lt. Colonel Thomas Brown armed over 150 blacksfree and 31 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 436. 32 Parliament introduced the Negro Act in Great Britain during the reign of King George II which stipulated that any slave caught attempting to incite rebellion or participating in such must be tried by three to five freeholders and three judges, rather than by thr ee royal justices alone. Schama, Rough Crossings 63. East Floridas slave code took this alteration in legal procedures a step further by including a jury, be it of white men. Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 436-38. 33 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 436-38. 34 Ibid, 437. 35 Ibid, 438.

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77 enslavedin the East Florida Rangers and believed that a more lenient slave code would make blacks in the Rangers and the militia more reliable.36 In addition to these measures, provisions for a workhouse were made by Governor Tonyn near the end of the Revolution. It was to serve as a jail for ru naway slaves, blacks of ambiguous status, and whites deemed worthy of such hum iliation by the governor. Most of St. Augustines blacks, however, were incarcerated in the jail on St. Augustines plaza.37 Fortuitously, the slave code was signed into law in May 1782, less than two months before Savannah emptied thousands of Loyalist refugees and their slaves into East Florida. Governor Tonyn, while in some ways demonstr ating a certain benevolence on the subject of slavery, was also a large slave holder. Th e governors wife had a reputation for extreme malevolence toward her slaves and was calle d out by Dr. Andrew Turnbull on charges of murder.38 But such charges in a society as rife with racial prejudices as British East Florida against one so well positioned would never see the inside of a courtroom. Even the clergy of St. Augustine were not without such feelings. Record s of the Anglican Church indicate that the needs of black salvation were of considerably less import in East Florida than those of whites. The sole minister in St. Augustine, Rev. John Forb es, was a member of the council, judge of the vice-admiralty court and the cour t of common law, acting chief justice during the Drayton affair, and the owner of a large plantation and many slaves. While he di d teach at the only school in St. 36 Schama, Rough Crossings 123. 37 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 437-38; see also Siebert, Slavery in East Florida, 143-49, for a full copy of the East Florida Slave Code. 38 While such a charge against a royal governors wife concerning the life of a slave might sound ludicrous, Turnbulls accusations were motivated by Tonyns disbanding of Turnbulls plantation of New Smyrna after complaints of holocaust-like conditions were leveled. Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida 1:30; see also The Turnbull Letters, from September, 19, 1776 through the end of his life in 1792 for innumerable accusations of said events.

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78 Augustine, there is no evidence that his spiritu al calling filled him with enough compassion to suffer [all] the little children, for he never taught a black pupil.39 As in most predominantly Protestant Nort h American colonies, blacks met their own spiritual needs and provided their own clergy. Johann D. Schoepf, a German traveler in East Florida at the end of the Revolution, discovere d a black Baptist minister preaching to a Negro congregation in a cabin out side of [St. Augustine].40 It should be no surpri se to see this kind of spiritual activity and in such a formalized setting as an established church. These were dark days and difficult times, and many of these blacks ma de unfathomable sacrif ices to be in St. Augustine. Once there, their exis tence may have even been more tenuous than before, making their spiritual needs great. Their minister was mo st likely an evacuee from one of the great early black Baptist churches at Silver Bluff, Sout h Carolina, or Savannah, where significant black Baptist churches were established in the mid1770s. The identity of this man remains a mystery, for once the British evacuation of East Florida wa s complete this itinerant preacher disappeared from all known records. But the important thing is that they met. They found their own clergy. They established their own church building. How fascinating it would be to learn of his sermon topics, his advice, and his solace for their troub led lives. Though we have no recorded words of blacks in East Florida, this ac tivity demonstrates the collectiv e voices of those who worshipped in that small church. For with in that congregation it can be assured that blacksfree or enslavedwere expressing their views, sharing th eir sorrows, and comforting their infirmed. In that church they were once again human beings as a direct result of their will to be so. 39 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 439-40. For the Biblical reference in quotes, see Mt. 19:14. 40 Johann David Schoepf, Travels in the Confederation [1783-1784], transl. and ed. by Alfred J. Morrison, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, 1911), 2:230; see also Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 439.

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79 As the war shifted in favor of the American cause and Patriots returned to their devastated, often completely abandoned properties, the Amer ican planter/merchant elites struggled to resurrect the labor-deficient plantation syst em. White planters and merchants of the revolutionary generation were convinced that fu ll economic recovery was inseparably linked to the restoration of slave labor.41 One can sense the tension in the region during the postwar era as American planters attempted to scrape their fo rmer existence back into being as they imported massive numbers of slaves to rebuild the coll apsed economiesone such method for this being the aggressive nature with which they pursued abducted and runaway slav es in East Florida. American planters enacted repr essive slave codes, formulati ng a patriarchal ideology, which drew upon scriptural sanctions and revolutionary ideology.42 This allowed planters to introduce a new concept that the characteristics of the soci al order were authorized, if not decreed by God, nature, and reason. In the process they cr eated a racial community bound into a common religious and cultural framework.43 Unquestionably, the new American nation was now the greatest of evils to southern slaves in search of freedom. 41 Frey, Water From the Rock 211. 42 Ibid, 211. 43 Ibid, 211.

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80 CHAPTER 6 LOYALIST REFUGE After the fall of Yorktown in 1781, decisive ba ttles gave way to back-country skirm ishes as peace negotiations dominated the remainder of th e war years. The British army still occupied New York City when the Treaty of Paris was initially signed in November 1782, but Savannah experienced the evacuation of thousa nds of loyalist refugees into East Florida in July. Charleston began its evacuation procedures in July as well, with th e more resolute hanging on until December. Where to go became the predominant que stion for the expatriates as North American port cities under British control emptied their inha bitants into the waters of the Atlantic, while the inland Loyalists clogged the b ack roads near the borders of Canada and East Florida. Nova Scotia, Quebec, the Bahamas and West Indies, England, and Central America became ports of call for this loyal band of emigrants. But in St. Augustine, the smallest provincial capital in North America, an unprecedented event took place from 1782-1785. For most southern Loyalists the Canadian climate was presumed utterly unsuitable for planter societ y and the slave ownership that made them prosperous. Southern Tories saw East Florida as a sanctuary wher e they could rebuild their lives without leaving the warmer regions of the continent to which they were accustomed.1 The West Indies, in addition to being known as a white mans graveyard due to the impact of yellow fever and malaria, were brimming with plantations a nd maroon hide-outs; the thin, sandy soil of the Bahamas was referred to as mer e rocks, fit only for fishermen.2 A general pattern of 1 Common thinking at this time was that African slaves were not capable of tolerating cold climates. Also, the types of crops that these planters had become proficient in raising needed a southern climate. Still, almost 30,000 Americans evacuated New York City and Charleston for Nova Scotia. Another 7,000 made their way to Quebec and Ontario during the winter of 1783-84, without assistance from London. North Callahan, Flight From the Republic: The Tories of the American Revolution (Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1967), 34, 72. 2 Patrick Tonyn to Thomas Townsend, St. Augus tine, May 15, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 583-90.

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81 evacuation after the war quickly developed as slave owners went mainly to the West Indies and the Bahama Islands, and people with few or no slaves moved to Europe and Nova Scotia.3 However, it must be remembered that this wa s not the first time that Charleston and Savannah had changed hands. Even after Yorktown, most American Loyalists firmly believed that it was simply a matter of time before the United States became crippled economically and/or militarily. Therefore, they wanted to remain close to their former land holdings in Georgia and the Carolinas in order to reclaim thei r property as quickly as possible, just as they had after previous evacuations during the war.4 It has also been said that [c]ivilian Floridians suffered proportionately more than those in any other American colony, due to what might be perceived as the insensitivity of Parliament toward the su fferings these loyal migrs endured in the war.5 Most of these people had already experienced one forced evacuationtw o, for those refugees from Savannah. It would not be their last. In a perverse dj vu, their dreams of a Britis h safe haven in East Florida came to a mindnumbing halt on April 24, 1783, when Gover nor Tonyn received a special envoy from London announcing the cession of East Florida to Spai n. The shock was so great when Tonyn announced this edict to the combined Houses of the A ssembly that they dism issed all protocol and dispatched a letter of lamentations directly to King George III. John Moultrie and William Brown represented the sentiments of both electe d Houses in a similar response to Governor Tonyn, as they wrote, we bitterly deplore the dire necessity, which compelled our parent state to 3 Carole Watterson Troxler, Loyalist Refugees and the British Evacuation of East Florida, 1783-1785 Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 60, Issue 1 (July 1981), 21. 4 This was not an idle thought, as J. Leitch Wright tells us that [Lord Dunmore] believed, as was commonly assumed in Europe, that the United States would soon break up after gaining her independence. J. Leitch Wright, Lord Dunmores Loyalist Asylum in the Floridas. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 49, Issue 4 (April 1971), 377. 5 J. Leitch Wright, Florida in the American Revolution (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1975), 131.

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82 multiply the accumulated distresses of many of Hi s Majestys most faithful subjects, who had taken refuge under the promise of a permanent asylum in the Province.6 These legislators were devastated that their king sacrificed them like a pawn in a geopolitical chess match when the war never successfully crossed East Fl oridas borders nor gave firm root to any disloyal sentiments or participation. That this was an era when political mane uvers did not materialize quickly made the remainder of the Loyalists stay in East Florida all the more stressful. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 was first signed on November 30, 1782 by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay. French representatives signed the treaty in Paris on January 20, 1783. United States representatives re-signed the treaty on September 3, 1783the offi cial date in history books. The American Congress then ratified the treaty on January 14, 1784. Just the signing of the treaty, from beginning to end, was a process which took fourteen months to complete. These dates are critical to understanding the dire circumstances involving the population of St. Augustine. Unlike New York, Charleston, and Savannah, St. Augustine was not located in a colony that had been overthrown by combativ e forces; therefore, there was no liberation accompanied by immediate occupation. Since the cession of East Florida to Spain was the product of the treaty, there could be no offici al directive in St. Augustineno evacuationuntil the treaty was signed and ratified by all parties. Unlike the occupation of a conquered territory by a physically-present armed power, this process was slow and de liberate, as it literally took months to simply deliver official documents to each delegation. From the date of the treatys 6 In November 1775 Governor Tonyn began promoting East Florida as a sanctuary for refugees of Georgia and South Carolina. In a bulletin dispatched to Charleston an d Savannah, Tonyn offered land with ten year quit-rents to any Loyalists who relocated to East Florida. John Moultrie, speaker of the Upper House and William Brown, speaker of the House of Commons in East Florida, were reminding the king of those promises. Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida Vol. I, 24; see also Address of Both Houses to the King, April 30, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 599602.

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83 original signing, it would be sixt een months before British inhab itants received a directive of embarkation; thirty-six months before the last British ship would leave East Florida. All the while these loyal subjects were unremittingly hope ful that further negotiations would somehow reverse the decree. What they would never unde rstand was that East Florida was nothing more than a bargaining chip for the Br itish crown. The primary interest in all of the bartering of colonies that took place between the thrones of Europe after the Revolution was Gibraltar. Spain was willing to make any concession to get the tiny, but strategic, position on the Iberian Peninsula back from British control. It took months of negotiations before the Spanish realized that Britain was willing to concede almost any other protectorate in order to maintain its domination of the narrow opening to the Mediterranean Sea. Trade, not people, was the ultimate cat alyst in a world governed by mercantilist economics. Thus, East Florida became an easily sacrificed pawn in a never-ending game of global chess. To add insult to injury, Governor Tonyn received a taunting letter from Benjamin Guerard, the new American governor of South Carolina, and one-time prisoner of war on the prison ship Torbay informing Tonyn that the Charleston Gazette made public the details of the treaty to the people of South Carolina on Ap ril 17, 1783one week prior to Tonyn receiving the official news from London.7 Guerard then warned Tonyn that even though the treaty did not specifically prohibit British refug ees from evacuating slaves or ot her property taken out of South Carolina, there would be dire conseque nces if such actions were attempted.8 East Floridas insignificance in interna tional events had never been more pronounced, nor were the insults concluded. 7 Smith, Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.). The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 33, No. 4 (October 1932), 282. 8 Benjamin Guerard to Patrick Tonyn, Charleston, April 17, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, p. 661.

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84 In May 1782, Sir Guy Carleton replaced Sir Henry Clinton as the ranking British official in New York City and begin the proceedings for the evacuation of that municipality. But there was a problem in that [t]here were nt enough ships available for a ny speedy, efficient evacuation of all the men and material involve d. It ended up taking a full eigh teen months from the time Carleton arrived in New York in May 1782 until th e final departure of the British, on November 25, 1783.9 The ramifications of this situation for the people of St. Augustine were two-fold: first, The shortage of available ships meant that East Floridians were going to have to wait at least until the evacuation of New York City was completed; and, second, Sir Guy Carleton was officially made aware of the outcome of the war a nd the basics of the treaty a minimum of eleven months prior to Governor Tonyn. The passage also insinuates that, as most American textbooks teach, November 25, 1783, was the final evacuation date for all British refugees in North Americatwo full years prior to th e last British ship leaving East Florida in 1785. Sadly, in July 1782, Carlton originally called for the evacuation of St. Augustine rather than Charleston. When he later reversed that decision it was believed by the people, as well as Governor Tonyn, that their loyalty was being rewarded and this was a positive step toward East Florida remaining a British colony regardless of the outcome of the wa r. The real reason, as mentioned, was a lack of available tonnage for multiple removals, both ci vilian and military. Carleton told General Alexander Leslie, however, that the residents of East Florida needed to prepare themselves for eventual evacuation. East Florida authorties neve r received this information, as is evidenced by their reaction to the news of cession on April 24, 1783.10 9 Don Cook, The Long Fuse: How England Lost the American Colonies, 1760-1785 (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995), 157. 10 Linda K. Williams, East Florida as a Loyalist Haven, Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 54, Issue 4 (April 1976), 472-73.

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85 Demographically, East Florida was a small provi nce. Historian Charles L. Mowat cites the total population being at about 3,000 inhabitants at the outbreak of the American Revolution, not counting the garrison.11 But this figure becomes questionable as J. Leitch Wright specifically lists over 2,000 blacks present in East Florid a in 1775, outnumbering free whites by a ratio of two to one.12 That does indeed add up to 3,000 people, but it has been heavily documented that over 1,400 Minorcan and Greek indentured servants also were brought to New Smyrna in 1767. By 1775, however, that number had been reduced to 600.13 This would bring the pre-war population to at least 3,600 people. As menti oned earlier, Governor Tonyn disbanded New Smyrna in 1777, and the Minorcan and Greek populati on there were given lots near the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine on which to build small homes. This does not sound like a significant number at first glance, but duri ng the early course of the war there was an ebb and flow of refugees as Savannah was in itially lost to the American army and then retaken in 1778.14 Southern militia hostilit ies from 1778 to 1781 created a constant fluctuation of the Loyalist population in East Florida, but not much more than a few thousand people. However, given St. Augustines confined perimeter due to the earth-work defenses encompassing the tiny town, an extra few thousand people amounted to the beginnings of a population explosion. 11 Charles L. Mowat, St. Augustin e Under the British Flag, 1763-1775, Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 20, Issue 2 (October 1941), 133. 12 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 427. 13 The point being that exact numbers concerning the population are anything but exact. Fairbanks, The History and Antiquities of the City of St. Augustine 169-170. 14 The passage of the confiscation and banishment acts drove Loyalists out of Georgia and the Carolinas through the end of 1778, un til the British retook Savannah on December 29, 1 778, and Augusta on January 29, 1779. Troxler, Loyalist Refugees, 1.

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86 One would think that under such congested conditions, and with food supplies being cut off from the colonies to the north, that hunger would weaken the colonys defenses much more efficiently than an invading army. The Georgia Assembly was adamant that by cutting off all food supplies they could force th e surrender of the fort in St. Augustine, which would win over the Indians, stop slave runaways [from Georgia and the Carolinas], and end all future raids from Florida.15 In the early years of the war, the shor t food supply became an issue, climaxing in 1777. However, once the refugee situation pushe d the population of East Florida toward 10,000 people, there were enough free men and slaves in the colony to defend the town while the plantations nearest St. Augustine could be converted to the pr oduction of consumable food, as well as continue to produce naval stores, deersk ins, hides, barrel staves, and indigo for profit.16 As one article states, [w]hile Washingtons troops were starving at Valley Forge, the plantations around St. Augustine were producing over 1,000 barre ls of rice, 148 hogsheads of molasses and 13 puncheons of bellywarming rum, in addition to sugar and experimental coffee and cocoa.17 Combining that effort with Thomas Browns cat tle rustling ventures, ex pert fishermen from Minorca and Greece working the local waters, and re liable shipments of necessities and farm implements from England, food ceased to be an issue throughout the remainder of the war.18 Space was becoming the real enemy. By th e invasion of 1778, legroom became a greater problem than foot-soldiers. And the problems were just beginning. 15 Smith, Mermaids Riding Alligators, 448. 16 Williams, East Florida as a Loyalist Haven, 471; see also Siebert, The Port of St. Augustine, Part II, 80. 17 Manucy, Johnson, Castle St. Mark, 5. 18 Williams, East Florida as a Loyalist Haven, 474.

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87 The first American prisoners of war arrived in East Florida in September 1775the result of the Earl of Dunmores Virginia campaign.19 From then until June 15, 1781, St. Augustine became the recipient of approximately 2,000 Fren ch, Spanish, and American P.O.W.s from the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, and the high seasincluding three signers of the Declaration of Independence.20 Due to the small size of St. Augustines harbor in Matanzas Bay and the notorious sand bar which made the entry of large vessels impossible, there was a brief attempt to anchor the prison schooner Otter out into the Atlantic. However, its inaccessibility for the efficient replenishment of victuals made it func tionally unsuitable to Governor Tonyns sense of good form.21 Therefore, the British housed the more hostile of the P.O.W.s in the former barracks within the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos; those of gentlemanly rank and polite manners were allowed to take th eir leave in the town itself, pr oviding, of course, they could pay the rent.22 The build-up of prisoners was slow, but steady as Tonyn repeatedly refused to negotiate any exchange of P.O.W.s. He believed that in demonstrating hi s humanity by allowing the detainees to enjoy the comfor ts of life outside a prison barge, he inadvertently exposed the towns defenses to the scrutiny of the enemy.23 Tonyns concerns here were more than just paranoia as Josiah Smith referenced in his diary some of the methods that prisoners utilized to 19 Schama, Rough Crossings 87. 20 Arthur Middleton, Edward Rutledge, and Thomas Heyward, Jr. Smith, Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.). The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 34, No.4 (October 1933), 199. 21 Manucy, Johnson, Castle St. Mark, 9. Considering the propensity of the British to use prison barges in New York harbor during the French and Indian War and the Am erican Revolution, in spite of their barbaric conditions, this was a surprisingly humane gesture. 22 Josiah Smith writes in his diary that those prisoners allowe d in the town were to Not pass to the Southward of the House now occupied by Henry Yonge, Esq. or to pass that lane, extending West of the Bridge near the Church Street.Not to pass to the West of the Church Street l eading to the Parade, from th ence to the Barracks.Not to pass Northward of the lane that leads from the house not occupied by Mr. Man to the Eastward, to the Engineers house formerly occupied by Major Sherdy (?) Not to pass to the Eastward of the Bay. Smith, Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781, The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. XXXIII, No.1 (January 1932), 10. 23 Manucy, Johnson, Castle St. Mark, 12-13.

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88 ship home concealed letters containing military intelligence.24 But on June 15, 1781, Lord Cornwallis authorized a wholesale exchange of all prisoners of war in St. Augustine.25 Forced to comply, Tonyn arranged the exchanges, which provided a temporary respite to some of the congestion woes within the town. This reduction in the population was not enough, however, to offer a permanent reprieve to the on-going problem of overcrowding. The increa sed flow of refugees from southern backcountry fighting swelled the civilian population to approxi mately 7,000 by early July 1782. Whitehall was informed that an additional del uge of over 7,000 British loyalists from Savannah and Charleston arrived in St. Augustine from July 12-25.26 In mid-December another 3,826 loyalists from Charleston embarked for Matanz as Bay, meaning that by Christmas 1782, the city limits were bursting with almost 18,000 civilians.27 These numbers do not include the British garrison stationed in St. Augustine at the end of the war, or troops evacuated from northern assignmentsthe South Carolina Royalists (456), the Kings Ra ngers (302), the Royal North Carolina Regiment (volunteers) (265), and the North Carolina Highlanders.28 Nor do these numbers allow for the natural progression of a popul ation due to birth rates. Wilbur H. Siebert listed the population in St. Augustine at this time to be exactly 17,385but on which day? 24 Smith, Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.). The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 33, No. 2 (April 1932), 111. 25 Wright, Florida in the American Revolution, 106. 26 Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida 1: 7. 27 Troxler, Loyalist Refugees, 1. Land was being distributed by Gov. Tonyn to alleviate the population explosion in town, but due to British attitudes toward property righ ts land ownership it was a slow process. Joseph Byrne Lockey, East Forida, 1783-1785: A File of Documents Assembled and Many of them Translated (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1949) 10; see also Siebert, The Legacy of the American Revolution, 8-9. 28 All but the North Carolina Highlanders are listed by both Troxler and Siebert. Siebert alone lists the Highlanders. The South Carolina Royalists numbers represent the entire re giment. By early 1784, 340 of their members opted to become discharged from the military while in East Florida rather than risk assignment to the West Indies or Nova Scotia. Troxler, Loyalist Refugees, 6; also see Sieb ert, The Legacy of the American Revolution, 20.

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89 People were straggling in and out of town hourly military personnel were deserting their ranks and melting into the country side in order to avoi d being shipped to the West Indies, people died, and babies were born. Native Amer icans were never included in the towns population figures, but their presence in St. Augustine during the war was continuous and often numerous. Exact numbers are virtually impossible due to the lack of precise in formation available. However, counting the pre-1782 population of the city, with the refugees, military personnel, and the ebb and flow of Native Americans estima ted as conservatively as is reas onable, it is plausible that the city may have escalated to well over 20,000 inhabitants by January 1, 1783. In addition to this staggering number, just one week after the most recent convoy of refugees from Charleston arrived in Matanz as Bay in mid-December 1782, a delegation of over 6,000 Native Americans, representing Indian nati ons from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, arrived in St. Augustine to affirm thei r loyalty to Great Brit ain through Lt. Colonel Thomas Brown.29 Historian Colin Calloway points out that this was not an unusual gesture in Native American culture as two separate preceden ts for such activity occurred at the conclusion of the French and Indian War.30 With the outcome of the American Revolution fundamentally determined at Yorktown and peace talks being common knowledge, it was a significant gesture for these people to align themselves with the British at this point. The proof of their sincerity was in the thousands of miles they traveled in the dead of winter to reach St. Augustine. 29 Siebert, The Legacy of the American Revolution, 10. It is not known if this number included the families of these emissaries 30 In July 1763, chiefs from nearly a dozen southern Na tive American nations, including the Choctaws, poured into New Orleans to express their undying devotion to the Fr ench. In July and August 1764, 2,000 Native Americans from twenty-four nations c ongressed at Niagara with William Johnson, British Indian Superintendent of the Northern Region. The Indian delegates traveled from as far west as the Mississippi River, east from Nova Scotia, and north from Hudson Bay. Calloway, Scratch of a Pen 97, 135.

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90 This pledge of loyalty is a monumental te stimony to the relationship that British East Florida built with the Creek and Seminoles natio ns throughout the Southeast, and it evidences that a good-faith reputation with their Native American allies travel ed by a word-of-mouth communication network far across th e North American continent. East Florida contributed over ,000 in food and provisions to the Seminoles and Creeks during the winter of 1779-1780, when near-famine conditions in the back count ries threatened the lives of these people.31 It is quite conceivable that news of this generosity reached countless Native Americans. It may also be presumed that Native Americans collectively kn ew that their war with the Virginians would never be over and they were in hopes that the Br itish in East Florida w ould continue the fight. Regardless, a contingency of at least 6,000 Native American chiefs and delegates were settled in a make-shift community just outside of the perimeter of the citys earth-works until March 1783. St. Augustine had no room to expand and was now bursting at the seams. One final element that must be considered in the demographics of this enormous population increase is the number of blacks, free and enslaved. Brigadier General Archibald McArthur calculated that of the more than 20,00 0 people in St. Augustine, three-fifths of that number, or 12,000-13,000 souls, were black. While many twenty-first-century North American cities have similar population bases, eightee nth-century slaveholding communities were in perpetual fear of an armed revolt. A significant number of the white inhabitants of St. Augustine became concerned with the close proximity of the free blacks to the slaves.32 Many of the free blacks in St. Augustine at this time were either former slaves who purchased their freedom prior to the war, slaves who attained their freedom by joining the British army, runaways from 31 Calloway, Scratch of a Pen 80. 32 Siebert, The Legacy of the American Revolution, 9.

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91 American masters, or those who simply became lost in the shuffle and had no idea where their masters were. With the enormous population ex plosion taking place it was virtually impossible to verify the identity of each individual blac k person and their relations hip to the whites around them. In sum, by late winter of 1783, the immediate vicinity of St. Augustine exploded with a transitory population of at least 26,000 people. Even though supplies from London by this time were heavily taxed, Lt. Colonel Brown distribu ted provisions and presents of rum, dry goods, and munitions to the Native Americans in hopes of bringing a quick, but di plomatically correct, conclusion to the Indian conference. Still unaware at this time of the pending cession to Spain, East Floridians understood the magn itude of this Indian alliance and gained further confidence in the potential longevity of the co lony as a British foothold in the North American underbelly. Officials in London, however, felt some trepidation about the attitude the red men in that province would assume when they should learn of the intended cession of this region to Spain.33 Governor Tonyn anguished over those very concer ns once the news of cession broke, but from a much closer proximity, as he later expressed his concern that the planters will not think themselves and Negroes safe in the Country.34 In February 1783, Whitehall issued orders to Lt. Colonel Brown to empty the storehouses of all presents to friendly Indian nations and then withdraw all tr aders as there would be no more gifts from Great Britain. Fortuna tely, this news did not arrive in St. Augustine until after the delegation of 6,000-strong returned to their home lands. Brown realized that these orders must be followed, emphasizing even more that once ne ws of the cession became public knowledge 33 Siebert, The Legacy of the American Revolution, 10. 34 Patrick Tonyn to Thomas Townshend, St. Augustine, May 15, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 583-616.

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92 throughout the American Southeast there would be need for a quick evacuation. The bulging provincial capital would be indefensible to a host ile indigenous uprising. An Indian assault on St. Augustine would find the natural barriers of the to wns western defenses much more accessible than a European-style army, prompting Brown to organize a c ongress with local chiefs on May 15, 1783. Chiefs of the Upper and Lower Creek s who met with Tonyn, Brown, and Brigadier General Archibald McArthur reacted in an exac t opposite manner to the startling news as they pleaded to leave the region w ith the English when the time of evacuation was at hand.35 These were the same chiefs who accepted Governor T onyns word that the Great Kings armies would defeat the Virginians, and now they wanted to be taken away on ships with the British as they feared the inevitability of Amer ican and Spanish retributions.36 The worried population of St. Augustine heartily received the news of Native American sympathies. However, it was also understood that the alliance formed in January might now be temporary at best, and possibly turn hostile, once the Indians fully realized the im pact of the broken promises and abandonment by the British government.37 There was still justifiable reason for the inhabitants to be concerned with a sudden outbreak of hostilitie s, even with such a sizable assortment of British troops concentrated in the city. However, this protect ive shield of British might was soon to be in question. On September 9, 1783, Governor Tonyn received two letters from Admiral Robert Digby with orders to withdraw all British troops fr om St. Augustine prior to the evacuation of the civilian inhabitants. At this poi nt the people of East Florida, feeling forgotten and overlooked, 35 Lower Creeks is a synonymous term for Seminoles. Substance of Indian Talks Delivered to Governor Tonyn, St. Augustine May 15, 1783, PRO CO, 5/110, pp. 71-74. 36 Substance of Indian Talks Delivered to Patrick Tonyn, Thomas Brown, and Major General Archibald McArthur, St. Augustine, May 15, 1783, PRO CO 5/110, pp. 1-3. 37 Thomas Nixon to Evan Nepean, London, October 22, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 843-50.

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93 had no idea what to presume from Whitehall in the form of aid.38 As Tonyn expressed in his response to former British Prime Minister Frederic k Lord North concerning this matter, We are perfectly in the dark my Lord, what assistance to expect for the faithful inhabitants, upon His Majestys instructions for the dissolution of the civil Government or surrendering to the Spaniards.39 The people of St. Augustine were in a unique di plomatic quandary as they were not viewed as refugees because their removal from St. A ugustine was not considered militarily motivated. Even those forced by the war to move to the city from other locations where they were refugees were not classified as such. There was no conquer ing horde crushing in to annihilate them at a moments notice, as was portrayed in other No rth American cities. P eace had been negotiated; therefore, the Spanish army was not arriving for the purpose of pillage and plunder. To the aristocracy of London there were more expedient demands, such as the evacuation of New York. 38 Callahan, Flight From the Republic xi, xii, 29. 39 Patrick Tonyn to Lord North, St. Augustine, September 11, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 685-88.

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94 CHAPTER 7 NO MANS LAND As m entioned before, one week prior to Gove rnor Tonyn receiving an official decree from London concerning the cession of East Florida to Spain, on April 22, 1783, Governor Benjamin Guerard of South Carolina contacted his East Fl orida rival and demanded the return of stolen American propertyslaves.1 Guerard compounded the insult by sending a representative, William Livingston, to personally collect the fugitives and supervise their retur n. In a letter filled with his famous aptitude for smugness, Tonyn pr omptly snubbed Livingston and told Guerard that he would wish for a different choice in re presentatives as Mr. Li vingston rendered himself obnoxious to several here, that I might have ha d an opportunity of shewing him every civility.2 Another representative from South Carolina came to St. Augustine to negotia te the restoration of plundered slaves and was put on his parole at on ce and not permitted to write home. This is not to say that the evacuees from Savannah and Ch arleston were not guilty as charged for taking slaves into East FloridaColonel James Moncri ef of the Royal Engineers brought eight hundred slaves from the engineer and ordnance departme nts in Charleston with him to St. Augustine in 1782.3 The question involved here was whether or not the taking of these slaves was an illegal action. Southern Whigs confiscated large amoun ts of Loyalist property, and East Florida Loyalists reciprocated by ensuring that fe w blacks ever return to Whig owners.4 Thus, while it 1 Governor Guerards motives were less than stellar, as he lost forty-seven of his own slaves to abduction and absconding. Frey, Water from the Rock 92. The charge of stealing slaves by American planters was not a simple matter. Americans wanted to declare an y slave, whether Loyalist owned or Patriot owned, taken to East Florida as stolen property. The British laid claim to their own slaves as personal property and the removal of American owned slaves as plunder, or spoils of war (the purpose for placing the word stolen in quotations is the authors emphasis to demonstrate the disagreement concerning th e suspect classification of these people). 2 Patrick Tonyn to Benjamin Guerard, St. Augustine, June 10, 1783, PRO CO 5/560, p. 668. 3 Siebert, Slavery in East Florida, 153. 4 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 440.

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95 was true that Loyalist refugees in East Florida absconded with slaves other than their own, they felt that slaves were the most salvageable form of wealth to compensate them for their loss of real estate in the liberated colonies.5 Governor Tonyn may have felt Sir Guy Carlton set a legal precedent in the evacuation of blacks from New York. Historian Simon Schama provides evidence that by 1783 there was a Somerset eff ect (the benign misreading of the Mansfield judgment) operating on the decisions of Carlt on and his principle o fficers concerning the evacuation of blacks.6 Carltons Precis Relative to Negroe s in America added that negroes who came into the British lines were considered free, the British Constitution not allowing of slavery but holding out freedom and protection to all who came within.7 A loose interpretation of Carltons Precis was not beyond Tonyn s methodology for dealing with his American adversaries. By autumn 1782, in addition to the official evacuation of Charleston, large numbers of slaves were finding their own way to East Floridaby their own volition. British General Alexander Leslie attempted to block the effort s of another British o fficer, Brigadier General Archibald McArthur, to return a ny of these blacks to Charlest on. Many sequestered blacks were evacuated from Charleston on British military trans ports and, therefore, were deemed spoils of war rather than runaways.8 In another case, Dr. James Clither all, a loyalist from South Carolina who was in Florida, was engaged in tryi ng to recover slaves for their Carolinian ownersGovernor Tonyn was in no mood to promot e the restoration of plundered slaves due to 5 Troxler, Loyalist Refugees, 1. 6 In 1772, magistrate William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, determined a runaway slave, James Somerset, to be free based on his decision that a master cannot force a slave out of the country. Schama, Rough Crossings 427n. 16. 7 Ibid, 153. 8 Frey, Water from the Rock 175.

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96 his stance on the confiscation and banishme nt laws of Georgia and South Carolina.9 Consequently, he and his Council found ways of obstructing the reclamation of vagrant negroes. Some gentlemen from South Carolina clai med that their slaves were willing to return with them, but East Florida authorities would not allow them to take the slaves away or even verify their case in a court of law.10 Blacks were undoubtedly used as pawns in the never-ending struggle for compensation after the war as Governor Tonyn refused to ne gotiate the return of any slaves until the banishment and confiscation acts in the Caro linas and Georgia were repealed. Tonyn clearly equated slaves with real estate in an effort to gain monetary settlements for the faithful East Florida refugees.11 In the meantime, blacks in East Flor idamany who built the defenses of St. Augustine and bravely helped to defend her bor dersdid not know if Governor Tonyn would indeed trade them back to the Americans in a quid pro quo for confiscated plantations in the Carolinas, or whether he just cruelly using th em as part of a bluff. Either way, their circumstances in East Florida were extremely tenuous during the entire British period and could only improve once the Spanish regained power. Or so they thought. When Spain re-claimed power in St. Augus tine on July 12, 1784, they brought only five hundred soldiers of foot. Spanish governor Manuel de Zespedes was initially allotted only 40,000 pesos to run the colonyan amount so insuffici ent that he could not afford to purchase horses in order to mount his dragoons. Though th e Spanish represented a victorious army in 9 Siebert, Slavery in East Florida, 152. Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina passed banishment and confiscation laws that declared all abandoned Loyalist propert y in those states as confiscated spoils of war. They also passed laws banishing thousands of Loyalists from ever entering their borders again, many on pain of death. 10 There are no documents available to verify that the refugees indeed agreed to return willingly to their former Carolinian masters. As bad as the British had been historica lly to their slaves, the Americans were clearly deemed a worse option. Siebert, Slave ry in East Florida, 152. 11 Troxler, Loyalist Refugees, 10; see also Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 440.

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97 North America, their physical presence in St. A ugustine was not sufficient to properly protect the colony from local outlawsreferred to in official correspondence as banditti. The news of East Floridas cession back to Spain exacerbated the problems of slave control and encouraged the notorious banditti to raid plan tations for slaves and other movable property. Disputes over the ownership of slaves would continue for years an d plague not only the de parting British but the incoming Spanish administration as Americans w ould continue to accuse the British, and even the Spanish, of having stolen their slav esrightful property of the United States.12 To compound the issue, hundreds of regular British troops term inated their service to the crown, legally or not, while still in St. Augustine ra ther than risk deployment to the West Indies where the fear of contracting ma laria or yellow fever became reality. Most of these men were Scots, Hessians, and French-speaking Swi ss conscripts who felt no compassion for the beleaguered civilians of East Florida.13 These troops were Europeans who found themselves in North America involuntarily and, to their wa y of thinking, all Americans were equally responsible for their current lot in the Br itish army. Banditti gangs offered these men employment and an opportunity to continue the good fightbut this time they would fight for spoils rather than king and country. The East Florida bandittis leaders were Da niel McGirtt, Lt. Co lonel Thomas Browns second-in-command and personall y commissioned by Governor Tonyn, his brother James, a former captain in the Rangers, and John Linder, Jr. Due to Daniel McGirtts heroics in the defense of the colony during the war, his in fluence among the people was powerful enough to enable him to conduct businessboth legal and illegalwhile incarcerated in St. Augustine. 12 Landers, Spanish Sanctuary, 303. 13 Wright, Florida in the American Revolution, 105.

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98 Like a scene from the Godfather when Governor Tonyn ordered McGirtts property seized, the banditti leader protected his net worth by selling forty-six slav es to a local merchant from the confines of his jail cell in the Castillo de San Marcos.14 The banditti were motivated by outrage at the British government for ceding East Florida to Spain after so many of them put their lives on the line in service to King George III during the war.15 Governor Tonyn conveyed to London that he raised two troops of Light Horse for th e purpose of protecting the inhabitants of St. Augustine from the banditti. But in two letters to Governor Zespedes, Tonyn freely admitted that the Light Horse was raised for the purpose of pr otecting certain outlying plantations from having their slaves stole none of those plantations being his own.16 Much to Tonyns chagrin, Governor Zespedes sought to control the bandit ti through an alliance, which galled the British official until the day he left the continent.17 One of the local known confederates of the banditti who managed to keep himself just enough on the proper side of his legal battles to avoid jail was Francisco Sanchez, a resident from the first Spanish period who continued to live in East Fl orida after the British gained control of the colony in 1763. He earned Governor Tonyns ire afte r his business dealings with Daniel McGirtts gang came to the governors atte ntion. In a letter to McGirtts wife on July 1, 1784, which was intercepted by British authorities, Sanchez instructed the woman to relay to her 14 Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida 40. 15 McGirtt testified that his life of crime began the day he was told of the colonys cession to Spain. Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida Vol. II 329. For more references to the Banditti see Lockey, East Forida 14-18, 157, 175, 195-196, 214-215, 220-221, 231, 235-236, 248, 290, 298, 321, 333-338, 346-347, 353-357, 368-371, 373, 388395, 401-404, 443, 446, 526, 585-593, 607, 653; see also, Lockey, The Florida Banditti, 1783, Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 24, Issue 2 (October 1945), pp. 87-107. 16 Lockey, East Florida 220, 247. 17 Many things about these two men annoyed the other. Tonyn was an Irishman in an English army, while Zespedes was a Hidalgoa noblemanfrom the peninsular Spanish region of Castile. In a rank-conscious society, these distinctions were more valuable than monetary wea lth. In the Spanish army, Irishmen were more or less mercenaries and Tonyn did not strike Zespedes as being more than that. Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida 3.

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99 husband a plan to rob a ship on the St. Marys River of its cargo of blacks. The plan called for ten to fifteen men in a Good large cunnoo to board the ship at night and steal all blacks onboard. There is no mention as to how many blacks were targeted, or their status as slave or free.18 Not surprisingly, it was Francisco Sa nchez who purchased Daniel McGi rtts forty-six slaves while the banditti leader was in prison. Only two days after his arrival in East Florida, Governor Zespedes decreed that he would appoint two British residents, John Leslie and Fr ancis Philip Fatio, as judges in a court of arbitration to preside over any disputes involving British residents.19 John Leslie, of Panton, Leslie, and Company, proved hims elf worthy of his appointment as he sought to protect his reputation in the colony as a fair businessman. Philip Fatio had other aspirations. On June 7, 1784, Fatio, claiming to represent the wealthy Plant ers, Merchants and othe r Inhabitants of the Province of East Florida, declared his loyalty to King George III, Great Britain, and Governor Tonyn. Considering that Fatio then applied for Spanish citizenship immediately upon Governor Zespedes arrival only thirty-five day later, his motives for this pledge of loyalty become suspect.20 Governor Tonyn complained to Lord Sydney, the new Secretary of State, of Zespedes selection of Fatio who assumes a jurisdiction of a very extensiv e nature, styling himself Judge over His Britannic Majestys Subj ects. According to Tonyn, the Swiss-born Fatio has a very imperfect knowledge of the Laws, Language, and constitution of Great Britain, and is an obnoxious Character in the Commun ity. Tonyn also accused Fatio of determining his judgments 18 Lockey, East Florida 216-17. 19 Ibid, 49. Lord Sydney, the namesake for the city of Sydney, Australia; also known as Thomas Townshend, brother of Charles Townshend of the infamous Townshend Act impos ed on the American colonies in 1767. Prior to 1783, Tonyns letters to Lord Sydney are addressed to Thomas Townshend, as Townshends barony was not bestowed until January 1783. 20 Ibid, 204.

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100 based upon decisions of cases that originated in another Country, and had been heard in a British Court of Justice. Because Fatio was never embraced by British East Floridas elite society Tonyn accused the new magistrate of rendering personal retribution on the British inhabitants: he prejudges Causes, and decides by whim and caprice.21 All was for naught, for neither Tonyn, nor his superiors at Whitehall, had jurisdiction in Fatios appointment, thus, Zespedes decision could not be over-ridden. Issues concerning slave ownership and slav e theft soon choked Pant on and Fatios court dockets, convincing Governor Zespedes that th e black population constitut ed the most serious threat to local harmony and civil disorder. Negro slaves were the most valuable moveable and negotiable capital in the provin ce, the object of the cupidity of unscrupulous individuals other than the McGirtt banditti. Throughout the Am erican Revolution, both sides pilfered and plundered blacks and shifted [the m] about like livestock; a pa rt of the Southern population displaced and uprooted during the period of hosti lities. East Florida was no different. Free blacks were often seized during the confusion of the evacuatio n process and held under false claims of ownership.22 On July 26, 1784, just two weeks after his arriva l in St. Augustine, Governor Zespedes set off a chain reaction of events concerning all blac ks in the colony that even he could not likely have foreseen. Article Five of the Treaty of Paris, 1783, decreed: His Catholic majesty guarantees that the British inhabitants, or others, who may have been Subjects of the King of Great Britain in Florid a may retire within a time prescribed, in full security and liberty where they shall think proper, and may sell their Effects as well as their persons without being restrained in their Emigration under any pretence whatsoever, except on Account of Debts or Criminal pros ecutionsHis Britannic Majesty shall have 21 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney St. Augustine, December 6, 1784 PRO CO 5/561, pp. 28-30. 22 Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida 48-49.

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101 the power of removing all the Effects which may belong to him, whether artillery or otherwise.23 In short, what belonged to British subject s could not be arbitrarily taken from British subjects, by order of the King Charles III of Sp ain. Being an enlightened ruler, the Spanish emperor considered British citizens in East Florida as his guests. Governor Zespedes proclamation of July 26, on the other hand, stated that every negro who was without a certificate of manumission would become the property of the Spanish Crown in case he failed to procure within twenty days a permit to work.24 This was a very peculiar declaration, given the long history of the Spanis h government for offering sanctuary to runaway British slaves. Governor Zespedes claimed that his only intention was to curb the lawless stealing of blacks by banditti and other whites by forcing a determination of ownership on all people of color within th e colony. He believed that this woul d also greatly reduce the numerous vagrant blacks roving this City robbing and ev en breaking open houses and declared that their bad way of lifeought to be prevented.25 Zespedes then removed all doubt as to who would be affected by his proclamation as he categorized every black in the colony into four classes: The first are blacks absolutely free, the second are them who deserve th eir liberty by virtue of different proclamations ordered to be publis hed to British Generals during the War; the third belong to British subjects known to be th eir owners; and the fourth are Blacks, who have no Owner, and are strolling about this To wn and provincethis la st class of Blacks whenever they will present themselves within [twenty days] shall by virtue of the proclamation be considered as free, but th em that after that timedid not come and present themselves should be considered as vagrants.26 23 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney St. Augustine, December 6, 17 84, PRO CO 5/561, p. 47. 24 Siebert, Slavery in East Florida, 159. 25 Landers, Spanish Sanctuary, 312. 26 Vicente Manuel de Zespedes to Patrick Tonyn, Remarks on James Humes Opinion, St. Augustine, August 6, 1784, enclosure number 2 in Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St Augustine, December 6, 1784, PRO CO 5/561, p. 80. As inhumane as these categorizations may sound, Ze spedes showed a very enlightened approach to blacks as human beings, who also happened to be property. The norm al perception of this era wa s the brutal absurdity of racial classifications that derive[d] from and also celeb rate[d] racially exclusive conceptions of national identity

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102 Governor Zespedes held very little compassion for the black population, as he wrote, The term of twenty days were held out merely in terrorem which the very stupidity of the Blacks rendered necessary.27 Governor Tonyn and Chief Justice James Hume vociferously denounced the proclamation as a violation of the Treaty of Paris, 1783.28 Tonyn had surrendered no more of the plundered slaves to their Carolina masters th an he could help, and did not inte nd to be more generous to the Spaniards.29 Exacerbating the situation was the large quantity of presumably free-blacks in St. Augustine who were manumitted en masse by either Lord Dunmores Proclamation, the Philipsburg Proclamation, or at will by any Britis h field officer who deemed a slave performed an exemplary service in battle. In many cases, British officers manumitted entire groups of black camp-followers, making it virtually impossible for them to personally identify each black they liberated. None of these people possessed prope r documentation to verify their manumissions and were therefore in violation of Governor Zespedes decree. Chief Justice Hume interpreted Article Five of the treaty to include every in dividual, black as well as white, Slave as well as freeman that was under the protection of the Britis h Government at the arrival of His Excellency Governor De Zespedes. The chief justice believed that five out of six blacks in St. Augustine would be adversely affected by this new law.30 from which blacks were excluded as either non-human or non-citizens. Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of Modernity, In The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993), 6. 27 Vicente Manuel de Zespedes to Patrick Tonyn, Remarks on James Humes Opinion, St. Augustine, August 6, 1784, enclosure number 2 in Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St Augustine, December 6, 1784, PRO CO 5/561, p. 80.82; see also Siebert, Slavery in East Florida, 159. 28 James Hume replaced William Drayton as Chief Justice of the colony in 1780. Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida 80. 29 Siebert, Slavery in East Florida, 159. 30 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney St. Augustine, December 6, 1784 PRO CO 5/561, pp. 47-48.

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103 Hume first drew a line in the sand by accusi ng the Spanish of conspiring to illegally confiscate British property. He then maneuvered hi s interpretation to incl ude British subjects of all colors, of all stations in life, to be under the protection of the treaty. But the chief justice concluded his interpretation of this portion of the proclamation with a bombshell that could not be ignored by anyone in London, Ma drid, or St. Augustine: all pers ons of the above description, who do not pay obedience to the Proclamationshall be seized, declared, and held Slaves to His Catholic Majesty.31 Hume admitted that the treaty clearly made allowance for the incarceration of any British subject guilty of a crime that an in ternational court would declare to be malum in se, such as murder. A crime such as failing to register the known wh ereabouts of a person of color, whether free or enslaved, would fall into the category of malum in prohibitum, a minor offense that no international c ourt would deem punishable by permanent enslavement. Hume appealed to the jurisdiction of international law as he wrote, surely when the Treaty mentions criminal Prosecutions, it must mean crimes that are malum in se, crimes that are universally understood by the Law of Nations to be badotherw ise it might be in the power of the Spanish Government, to make the smallest omission crim inal, and consequently a sufficient cause to justify the detention of any British Subject in the Province.32 Chief Justice Humes opinion of Governor Zespedes proclamation and the Spanish courts now in place in St. Augustine held many concerns. But as a magistrate himself, Hume was completely astounded at a legal system altoge ther unknown in the British Constitution that would allow that the presiding judge, being made a party, by receiving a part of what is condemned. This added to British suspicions of Fatios disingenuousness in his rulings. Since 31 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney St. Augustine, December 6, 1784 PRO CO 5/561, pp. 47-48. 32 "Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydn ey, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784, PRO CO 5/561, p. 49

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104 the majority of these cases involved slave ownership, theoretically Fatio became wealthier with every decision.33 In a letter to Lord Sydney, Tonyn refe rred to Zespedes administration as an inquisitorial officeestablished, to compell the Britis h to unfold and disclose their titles, to the bulk of their fortunesNegroes emancipated by the engagements held out themwere aimed at, to be made slaves to the King of Spain.34 Governor Zespedes refused to admit that his proclamation was issued in error of the law or that it might be unfavorably interpreted, unless maliciously so: The Spanish Government did not wish to me ddle with Blacks who had owners or Masters nor with those who had a right to freedom; but it did does and will look out for those who not being free nor having a right to freedom nor belong to any acknowledged owners or Master are in every sense of the word vagr ants, and a pest to the publick Tranquilitya vagabond, and particularly a Black one is and ou ght to be considered in every Nation, and by every Law not only a Malum prohibitum, but likewise a Malum in Se.35 By declaring vagrancy, and conspiring to aid anyone to commit vagrancy, to be the crime in question, Zespedes believed that by their not presenting themselv es it is plainly seen they wished to continue in that bad way of Life which ought to be prevented, being not only pernicious but also Malum in se.36 The response astounded British au thorities and petitions flew across the Atlantic to Parliament. That vagrancy could be determined a precursor to a more vicious crime, such as murder, and therefore punishable in an equal manner was mind-numbing. Historian Jane Landers located 251 declarations of free status by blacks in her research, but freely admits that there is no evidence to s upport how many of East Floridas blacks were capable of providing the proper documentation, nor how many were actually re-enslaved by the 33 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydn ey, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784, PRO CO 5/561, p. 51. 34 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydn ey, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784, PRO CO 5/561, p. 26. 35 Remarks on James Humes Opinion, St. Augustine, August 2, 1784, enclosure number 2 in Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784, PRO CO 5/561, p. 80. 36 Remarks on James Humes Opinion, St. Augustine, August 2, 1784, enclosure number 2 in Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784, PRO CO 5/561, p. 84.

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105 Spanish. But Landers study shows that the 251 declarations came from throughout the East Florida countryside as well as from St. Augustin e, indicating that word of the proclamation spread adequately to the colonys black community.37 One thing germane to this study we can learn from these declarations is that the individuals present ed [themselves] to the proper authorities, signifying an au tonomous action in doing so.38 After just two weeks of Spanish rule in East Florida, only one thing could be certain: the evacuation of the British inhabita nts and their slaves had very little chance of going smoothly. In a rare instance of losing his composure with a superior, Governor Tonyn writes Lord Sydney that British subjects faced perpetual Imprisonment in a foreign Country, without the chance of retrieving their affairs by future exertions.39 For many blacks, there w ould be no evacuation at all, but they did not necessarily deem that lack of opportunity a bad thing at the time. 37 Landers, Spanish Sanctuary, 305 38 In this article Landers offers a deta iled breakdown of the demographics of the people who declared their right to freedom under the Spanish proclamation of July 26, 1784. Ibid, 305-307. 39 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney St. Augustine, December 6, 17 84, PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 25-39.

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106 CHAPTER 8 EVACUATION New York City was cap tured by General Sir William Howe on September 15, 1776, and remained under British control th roughout the war. On November 25, 1783, the city saw the last of approximately 30,000 Loyalists sail away while a swarm of angry American patriots hooted their retreat. The St. Augustine garrison was ordered to Nova Scotia to assist in their resettlement. To the well placed Loyalist nobles of the Hudson Valley, this was a sensible redistribution of troops. Conversely, to the people of East Florida it held all the appeal of a death sentence. New York had proportionately fewer ev acuees than St. Augustine and was not heaving from severe overpopulation. It ma y be argued that New York remained loyal during the war only as long as there was a British army present to in sure its politics. St. Augustine, on the other hand, remained loyal out of desire and dedication; the town never sustained so much as a rebellious demonstrationsetting aside Governor Tonyns di sposition on the antics of William Drayton and Dr. Turnbull. To East Floridians this was a monumentally important point that no one at Whitehall seemed interested in hearing. Their loya lty needed to be worth more than they were being credited. Without a military defense, peripheral coloni es faced untold dangers, as is expressed in Governor Tonyns response to Admiral Digbys or ders to evacuate the St. Augustine garrison ahead of the civilian population: This measur e has thrown the Province into the utmost consternation as the Inhabitants will be thereby exposed to be pillaged by rapacious, lawless and abandoned menwho are checked only by the awe of the Troops.1 Americans from Georgia and the Carolinas raided the outlying plantations and patrolled the coasta l roads as highwaymen, 1 Patrick Tonyn to Robert Digby, St. Augustine, September 10, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 697-700.

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107 constantly harassing the i nhabitants of East Florida.2 Many of these marauders sought plunder in the form of captured British slaves, claiming they were stolen prope rty from Savannah and Charleston.3 Livestock, munitions, rum, and animal skins were the other valuable items for which East Floridians could lose their lives to gangs of banditti. As alluded to earlier, once the Spanish arrived in July 1784, Governor Tonyn accu sed Governor Zespedes of engaging many of these gang members as his henchmen, making their de predations more difficult to avert than ever before.4 By 1785, piracy infected th e waters near Matanzas Bay. James Moultrie was able to describe several instances, and name villains, in his correspondence with Governor Zespedes. Zespedes, who liked and respected Moultrie, inform ed the planter of intelligence reports that ships designed for the purpose of making depred ations on the coasts of this province were outfitted in Charleston and the Bahamas.5 Piracy and the wanton destru ction of vessels were of particular concern due to the stealing of slaves from severa l coastal plantations and the overwhelming call for Minorcan fishermen to assi st in feeding the swollen population of St. Augustine. Governor Tonyns letter to Sir Guy Carl eton on September 11, 1783, evidences a more imminent concern for the towns safety, as he attempted to convince Whitehall that troops must remain in St. Augustine. September was the time of the annual Creek Nation Green Corn Feast, which, when concluded, would find the beleaguered provincial capital flooded with thousands of 2 Memorial of Grey Elliott, St. Augustine, July 5, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 801-03. 3 Patrick Tonyn to Thomas Townshend, St. Augustine, May 15, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 583-616. 4 The two most notorious gangs, the Banditti and the John Linder Gang, became so unabashed in their crimes that eventually Governor Zespedes took measures against them. Patrick Ton yn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784, PRO CO, 5/561, pp 25-41; see also William Young to Pa trick Tonyn, You ngs Post, August, 5, 1784, PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 140-41. 5 Vicente Manuel de Zespedes to Esteban Mir, St. Augustine, January 26, 1785, Library of Congress: East Florida Papers, File b114, J9.

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108 celebratory Creek Indians.6 Tonyn feared that the Creeks would assume the inhabitants to be Spaniards or Americans, both of whom they hated equally, upon seei ng the city abandoned by the British army. Once American Indian traders spread word into Georgia and the Carolinas that there was no British military presence in St. A ugustine, both Native Americans and Virginians would begin an onslaught of in cursions into East Florida.7 It was no small irony that the most egregious threat to civilian safety was from the banditti, former protectors of the colony. They were no longer under military supervision, far from homes to which they could never return, and well aware of Admiral Digbys edict. Again, in his letter to Sir Guy Carleton, Tonyn bemoaned the licentious disbanded Soldiers who have discovered intentions of rapine and plunder are most of all to be dreaded.8 Many of these men were seasoned veterans of the back-coun try civil wars in the Carolinas and Georgia, completely void of unction in their commission of crimes against non-combatants. But up to this point they kept the criminal aspects of their activities outside of St. Augustine. Once the army was gone it was feared that there would be no protection against them. Lastly, the British inhabitants feared the Spanis h army. News of conquests in West Florida and the Bahamas spread quickly throughout the co lony, and always seasoned with reminders of the mythical Black Legend. Many a West Floridian already experienced the dungeons of Havana during the war and wrote to families in East Florida of their dire conditions. With no friendly military force to counteract Spanish mi ght, the throngs in St. Augustine were at the complete mercy of an incoming army. Governor Tonyn repeatedly wrote to Whitehall pleading for some form of alteration to the edict removing the British army. But as a further 6 Patrick Tonyn to Sir Guy Carleton, St. Augustine, September 11, 1783, PRO CO, 5/111, pp. 49-55. 7 Substance of Indian Talks Delivered to Patrick Tonyn, St. Augustine May 15, 1783, PRO CO, 5/110, pp. 71-74. 8 Patrick Tonyn to Sir Guy Carleton, St. Augustine, September 11, 1783, PRO CO, 5/111, pp. 49-56.

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109 demonstration of the lack of urgency that th e Lords of Whitehall felt for these peripheral subjects, East Florida was not only forced to relinquish its garrison but colony was denied a replacement company. London needed Troops in the West Indies to maintain order during these troubled times, and the killing fields of plantation sugar colonies replenished the coffers for wars of the past and wars yet to come. St. Augustine would have to wait. Fortunately, three companies of the British 37th Regiment of Foot disembarked in Ma tanzas Bay just one day after Admiral Digby sailed for Nova Scotia with the St. Augustine garrison.9 Due to the irregularity of communications, civil authorities in St. Augustine were never informed of the 37ths arrival until the day they anchored outside Matanzas Bay. Fear has many faces, and uncertainty is one of its ugliest. Few elements on earth create more uncertainty than the contemplation of a crucial event which has no set date. Thus, in August 1783, the issues at hand in St. Augustine began to revolve around time. How long before the army leaves for Nova Scotia? When will th e Spanish arrive? How long will the Creeks and Seminoles maintain a peaceful existence? How mu ch longer will it be before evacuation ships sail into Matanzas Bay? For some of the reside nts of St. Augustine, th ese questions evidently became too much to bear as a plot to overt hrow Governor Tonyns regime in May 1784 was uncovered just prior to the arrival of the Span ish army. Refugee John Cruden of Charleston made all the necessary arrangement s with unmentioned connectio ns and correspondents in the American States to take by surprise the fort galleys, and troops of the King with 2000 refugees and St. Augustinians. Their plan wa s to topple Tonyns lame -duck command, prepare the defenses of the town against the inco ming Spanish garrison, and hope to impress King George III with their loyalty so he might r econsider his position on ceding East Florida to 9 Mowat, East Florida as a British Province 143.

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110 Spain.10 Governor Tonyns method for foiling this plot could have succeeded only in an age where honor was so vital to men of distinction. Afte r banditti attacked a Bri tish patrol, killing its captain, Tonyn assigned Cruden to lead the next patrol to search out these cutthroats. Though tempted to take advantage of the opportunity to turn the tables on th e governor, Crudenwell known as an honorable mancarried out his assignment as he had promised. Crudens reputation as a man wholly committed to the overthrow of the local authorities was permanently damaged and the rebellion ended before it be gan, even though no banditti were located by Crudens patrol.11 Had Governor Tonyn handled this situation another way the consequences could have been tragic. Preparations for the evacuation proceeded as planned. The Treaty of Paris, 1783, allowed the inhabi tants of St. Augustine eighteen months to evacuate the city once the Spanish officially assumed the governmental seat. But the nagging question to the British inhabitants was how long would it be before that process would begin? Both Britain and Spain perceived the deadline of eighteen months as a worst case scenario. Even though Governor Zespedes and his army did not arrive until June 26, 1784, Whitehall firmly believed that the evacuation would be concl uded no later than September 19, 1784. Therefore, the British army departed on July 27, 1784, and th is time with no replacements. Whitehall never imagined that there would be need of an ex tensionmuch less two extensionsin order to complete the evacuation. Two sets of circumstances dominoed into this calamity: the selling of personal possessions; and the sailing scheduleneither of which could be blamed on the refugees. 10 Patrick Tonyn to Archibald McArthur, St. Augustine, May 21, 1784, PRO CO 5/561, pp. 288-89 (Lockey); see also Troxler, Loyalist Refugees, 9. 11 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, St. Augustine, June 14, 1784, PRO CO 5/561, pp. 289-92 (Lockey).

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111 One of the primary reasons that the treaty allowed the masses in St. Augustine eighteen months to evacuate the colony was for the settling of affairs: harv est crops, sell what possessions they could, and settle all debts prior to emba rkation. Only the wealthiest planters had the resources to simply board a ship and sail away from East Florida without liquidating as many of their assets as possible, or leaving their affairs with an agent to do so for them.12 A great majority of the inhabitants previously experienced just such an eviction from th e Carolinas and Georgia and considered themselves fortunate that they were able to start life over so close to their former homes. Unlike the manner in which Madrid hand led the Spanish evacuation of St. Augustine in 1763, the British crown had yet to offer financial compensation for personal losses in East Florida. Selling out lock, stock, and barrel wa s the only hope to begin new lives abroad. The Spanish, however, did not bring en ough people, civilian or military, to make adequate purchases to mark a significant reduction in British possessi ons or debts. Only late r did Tonyn realize that Zespedes imposed a policy on his garrison of boycotting many British goods, and what few purchases the Spanish made averag ed only 25% of the items worth. 13 With no sufficient outlet for the sale of thei r commodities, British inhabitants selected the only available optionthey took as much with them as possible and those that could, liquidated their possessions in other markets. Personal assets were but a small part of this cargo. When the British came to St. Augustine they utilized a tongue-and-groove construction process on most of their houses that did not require use of nails. Therefore, these a bodes could be disassembled into huge stacks of building materials. As part of th e agreement that they could ship anything they were unable to sell, a large number of dismantle d homes were crowded ont o the docks of the St. 12 Troxler, Loyalist Refugees, 13-14. 13 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sy dney, St. Augustine, December 6, 1784, PR O CO, 5/561, pp. 31-32; see also Patrick Tonyn to Lord Hawke, St. Augustine, November 30, 1784, PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 337-44.

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112 Marys River and loaded into the holds of British ships. This enormous increase in the estimated bulk and tonnage of cargo immediately created a shortage of available transports, slowing the evacuation process to a crawl. It also created a shortage in comfortable accommodations as people were then forced to live in tent communitie s on the banks of the river as they anticipated the loading of each ship. Had the ministers of Whitehall simply opened the treasury and made reparations for civilian losses the evacuati on would have been completed as scheduled.14 Of course, loss of property meant much more than losing ones land, home, or personal possessions. With blacks outnumbe ring whites in East Florida three-to-two, the potential for financial ruin due to the loss of slave propert y was genuine and legally muddled. One of the clearest illustrations of the legal ambiguity concerning the East Flor ida slave population during the evacuation is identified by the potential judicial debacle created if British slave owners tried to evacuate directly to England with their slaves. The Somerset decision in 1772 created a degree of uncertainty among slave owners concerning the legal status of their foreign-born slaves once they arrived in England.15 In order to insure the continue d ownership of their property, many slave owners chose to relocate to the Jamaica, St. Lucia, or the Mos quito Coast of Central America.16 The largest numbers of slaves evacuated from East Florida were taken to the Bahamas. Those who were experien ced sailors, and free, returned to the sea. Some remained in East Florida under Spanish rule, while an undeterm ined number took control of their own destiny 14 Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, Vol. I, 1 77; see also Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida 62. To emphasize the strain that this situation put on the British evacuation effort from East Florida, 30,000 Loyalists were evacuated from New York City in eighty-one sailings from May 1782 to November 1783. Conversely, 10,000 Loyalists were ultimately evacuated from East Florida, over thirteen diff erent dates from April 1784 to November 1785, in thirtythree sailingsan 8% increase in sailings necessary to transport the exorbitantly bulky cargo. Schama, Rough Crossings 4; see also Troxler, Loyalist Refugees, appendix I, 27. 15 Schama, Rough Crossings p. 427n. 16. 16 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 441.

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113 and ran away just as their masters were bus y boarding ships, many finding refuge with the Seminoles.17 As mentioned earlier, British Loyalists filed claims for lo ss of property, which included many slaves. Much is learned from these claims of the arbitrary system of values assigned to various people and their occupations, as there was no uniformity to the methodology of filing claims for compensation after the war. Field ha nds were generally valued at annually, though some tried to ask anywhere from 20s (shillings) a month to annually. General Robert Cunningham listed the value of his fi eld hands at 2s a day. Carpenters were listed at 6-7s a day. The value of slave labor seems to have risen considerably during th e latter part of the war when refugee loyalists were coming rapidly and taking up lands for settlement. One claimant listed four slaves at each, another twenty-eight sl aves at each, and one male slave at but provided no more details than th at to account for how the differ entiation in their sex, age, education, or the status of their health conseque ntly affected their values. One expects that [young] craftsmen will be listed at high figures as carpenters, coopers, and sawyers might list from to each. A compleat servant is also rated at and a house wench, who served both as cook and washerwoman, is valued at Anther scale of human values that was found ran strictly according to the age of the i ndividual slave: for a young fellow for a man forty years old for a woman of fort y for a boy often and for an old woman As one can imagine, in such a world of imprecise bookkeeping the more obscure the claim and the higher the estimated value, the better the recompense.18 17 Wright, Blacks in British East Florida, 441. 18 Siebert, Slavery in East Florida, 155-57.

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114 Compensation claims became such a congruent issue among the Loyalist refugees in St. Augustine that printer John Wells published The Case of the I nhabitants of East Florida in 1784 in an effort to present their case en ma sse before King George III. Wells raised the question: Can the Subject be divested of his property, under the British Constitution, by the King, or by the Legislature, or by any man or set of men without receiving a recompense or equivalent of it? Pleading their case of absolute loyalty during the Revolu tion, the inhabitants of East Florida hoped to prove that refugees were en titled to protection of their real property, which included slaves, based on the feudal relationship binding king, subject, and land: Protection and allegiance are reciprocal dutiesA fundamental principle in the Feudal Law was, thatthe Lord should give full protection to the Vassal, in his terr itorial property; and the Vassal was to defend and support his lord, to the utmost of his pow er, against all enemie s. All lands held by British Subjects, are derived, mediately or imme diately, from the Crown; and the oath of allegianceran nearly in the same words as the Vassals oath of fealty. They are called our liege Lord and Sovereign.19 Wells cited every known circumstance in Bri tish legal history that might benefit the property owners case. From citations of their feudal relationship to the king, which included rights and privileges, acquired by being born within the Kings allegiance which could not be surrendered by distance of time or place, to Clau se 39 of the Magna Carta, to Cokes language that lands, tenements, goods and chattels shall not be seized into the Kings hand nor may any man bedispossessed of his goods and chattels contrary to this great Ch arter. Wells allowed that Parliament had the right by law to deprive individuals of their pe rsonal property for the good of the entire British community. However, he then listed several examples of deprivationand corresponding compensation that occurred in th e recent past. In short, they declared that His Majesty gave up his province of East Florida for the good of th e British nation; but since in 19 Wells, The Case of the Inhabitants 5; see also Troxler, Loyalist Refugees, 4.

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115 so doing he deprived individua ls of property, the nation mu st pay for that property.20 These claims dragged on for years and were rarely, if ever, settled for the amounts specified. The physical act of evacuating the colony went no smoother for the haggard Loyalists and their slaves than the compensation process. When Governor Zespedes arrived in East Florida he was forced to unload his fifteen ships at the harbor on the St. Marys River due to the shallow sand bar in St. Augustine. He wrot e that he estimated it would ta ke two months to complete the process, and that was with the assistance of five hundred Spanish soldiers.21 For thousands of British civilians the process would take much lo nger, and for several reasons other than those previously mentioned. One being that many British merchants were reluctant to leave until money arrived from Havana to pay off Spanish debt s. But there were other motives that were less vulgar. Rumors abounded throughout the evacuation period that Great Britain was on the verge of reclaiming East Florida. The Cruden conspiracy and the rumors it nourished temporarily halted emigration in May and June 1784, almost as soon as it started. Many Loyalists who were named in the confiscation and banishments acts delayed their evacuations, lingering at every opportunity in hopes of hearing of a change in their status. Another reason for the slow evacuation was that slave owners were in constant search of runaway and stolen slaves. Most charges of theft were directed against the Spanish. [Captain] Vasquez, commander of the Spanish brigantine [ San Matias ], was accused of selling slaves he had lured from the British transports.22 Apparently there was some ev idence of justification of these charges as the San Matias was boarded several times by British officials with relatively 20 Ibid, 5; see also Ibid, 4. 21 Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida 33. 22 Ibid, 24.

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116 little indignation emitting from Governor Zespedes.23 For the slaves, escape did not guarantee freedom. Unlike the era of Spanish sanctuar y, now blacks were safe from Spanish reenslavement only if they could prove that they were freewhich, if that was indeed the case, they would not have needed to runaway.24 Even legally freed blacks h ad little personal safety during the evacuation procedure, [and] were in danger of being seized and held under false claims of ownership.25 Loyalists and their slaves were under constant duress while living in encampments at the St. Marys harbor awaiting ev acuation, as banditti and other brigands raided the camps sporadically.26 Many Loyalists hoped to sell their slaves in the United States or the West Indies where they felt they could fetch a better price. But this wa s a very risky and specula tive option. Between the banditti and unknown fluctuations in slave values in distant markets, slave owners could devastate their fortunes by ma king an incorrect choice. A few examples may be noted: In December 1784 John Graham from Georgia sent more than 200 slaves to Beaufort, South Carolina, for sale because the price there was high er than in Jamaica. Elias Ball, who was listed on the banishment lists in South Carolina, took adva ntage of the fact that his cousin was not. Ball sold 140 of his slaves to his cous in, who in turn sold them profitably in South Carolina. Judith Shivers, on the other hand, misjudged the market: d iscouraged by the low prices in East Florida, [Shivers] took her slaves to Dominica but was forced to sell them for less than half their East Florida price.27 23 Ibid, 62 24 Troxler, Loyalist Refugees, 24. 25 Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida 49. 26 Troxler, Loyalist Refugees, 24. 27 Ibid, 15.

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117 During the twenty-year British period, slave ow ners in East Florida proved themselves no more advanced or enlightened in their attit udes toward blacksfree or enslavedthan in the seventeenth century. It is clea r that the evacuating Loyalists were angered, though not for humanitarian reasons, by Governor Zespedes proclamation which unfairly categorized black people. It was the potential loss of property and unwitting complicity in criminal activities that irked the white population. As for the free blacks who faced possible re-enslavement, it was the subjugation of British citizensan issue of nationalism more than the protection of former slavesthat drew the ire of Governor Tonyn a nd James Hume. While many blacks who stayed in East Florida after the British ev acuation may have hoped for a retu rn to the lenient Cedulas of old, Governor Zespedes approached the second Spanish era in a manner that caused a great amount of trepidation. The second major impact on what Governor To nyn referred to as the Long Evacuation, involved the functionability of the relocation ar rangements mentioned above In short, it looked good on paper. The British crown allowed transporta tion to several destina tions so the move had to be highly organized to make the best use of cargo space, tonnage, and sailing time. The winds dictated the itineraries of the vessels as much as the passengers preferences. But simply loading the vessels was a monumental feat in itself. As Governor Zespedes experienced when his fleet arrived in East Florida, the shallow and dangero us inlet of Matanzas Bay would not allow the loading of the large evacuation sh ips. It became necessary, ther efore, to transport all cargo by small boats some sixty-five miles up the Intercoa stal waterway to the docks of the St. Marys River on the Georgia border. There was no simpler solution, given the enormous volume of personal effects being removed from the colony in such a relativ ely short amount of time. This forced these loyal British refug ees of a long and bitter war to travel directly toward their

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118 American antagonists in a most vulnerable condition, and with a very thin line of military protection. The need for some fo rm of reprieve from London c oncerning the private possessions of the refugees became paramount. The evacuation of St. Augustine inched al ong for the thousands of people who were unfortunate enough to find themselves stranded in East Florida in 1782. Of the eclectic ensemble that made up St. Augustine in the British post-war er a, the prisoners of war were the first to leave in 1781. Another 5,000 Loyalists could not endure th eir options and filtered back into the United States, hoping not to be r ecognized as former Tories.28 For many, capture resulted in imprisonment or worse.29 Laws such as the Confiscation Ac t of 1782 banished certain Loyalists from the states of Georgia, North Carolin a, and South Carolina on pain of death.30 Of the British soldiers and militia who were re-deployed in 1783, approximately 1,500 soldiers ended up in Nova Scotia or the West Indies, while 3,500 form er soldiers and civilians remained in East Florida and either accepted Spanish rule or be came outlaws. Ultimately, under a great deal of duress, over 10,000 loyal British subject s, of all occupations and classes, eventually found their ways to distant shores.31 But that is not to suggest that their troubl es ceased upon leaving St. Augustine. Governor Maxwell of the Bahamas turned away some of the East Florida refugees who evacuated to Providence Island; others he refused even the oppor tunity to re-provision their transports before 28 Patrick Tonyn to Evan Nepean, London, May 2, 1786, PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 813-24. Evan Nepean was Tonyns representative on the Bo ard of the Treasury. 29 Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.). The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 34, No. 4 (October 1934), 194-99. 30 Robert S. Lambert, The Confiscation of Loyalist Property in Georgia, 1782-1786 The William and Mary Quarterly 3rd Ser., Vol. 20, No.1. (Jan., 1963), 82. 31 Lockey, East Florida 11; see also Patrick Tonyn to Lord Hawke, St. Augustine, November 30, 1784, PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 337-44.

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119 continuing to other colonies. Many East Floridia ns who were allowed to live in those islands were denied the opportunity to pursue their trades. Though Lt. G overnor Powell of the Bahamas stepped in to assist those with needs, he requested that East Fl orida authorities send backwards refugees to Nova Scotia, stati ng that such Arabs would not fit into proper Bahamian society.32 This was a cruel blow, as a large number of ref ugees determined that the Bahamas were the most likely destination for anyone hoping to acquire enough land in a warm clim ate to retain their planter-elite status. Governor Tonyn was bitterly embroiled with Governor Zespedes on many levels during the evacuation, as Tonyn was never one to see hims elf in a lame-duck role regardless of the circumstances. As mentioned earlier, any Britis h subject in arrears on an outstanding debt or convicted of a criminal offense would not be allo wed to leave St. Augustine, but forced to face a Spanish tribunal. As a result, Governor Tonyn was relentlessly embattled in court decisions motivated by the personal vendettas of Frances Philip Fatio. These disagreements and heated debates escalated to the point that Governor To nyn was eventually banished to his evacuation ship, the Cyrus on July 19, 1785, and forced to perform a ll official British functions from his cabin. It was only possible for Governor Zespedes to get away with su ch actions because the British eclipsed their official extension to leav e the colony by ten days at this point and the Spanish no longer needed to concern themselves with protocol. On September 10, the Cyrus to the docks on the St. Marys River and waited until the last of the cargo could be loaded. During this time Governor Zespedes annoyance for the haughty, out-going British governor moved him to declare that any foreigners lingering on the banks on 32 Lt. Governor Powell to Patrick Tonyn, Nassau, June 9, 1785, PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 721-25.

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120 the St. Marys River were there illegally a nd should be removed, by force if necessary.33 Even when contrary winds blew the Cyrus back onto her own anchor, damaging the ship so badly that it was forced to sit for three months at the mouth of the St. Marys in need of repairs, Zespedes would not allow Tonyn to vacate the ship. The British governor and his fellow passengers lingered in the wrecked man-of-war, during the he ight of hurricane season, until repairs were concluded on November 19, 1785. To the very end, on the last ship out, Loyalists experiences after the war were a combinati on of humiliation and degradation. 33 Vicente Manuel de Zespedes to Pa trick Tonyn, St. Augustine, July 27, 1785, PRO CO, 5/561, pp .682-85.

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121 CHAPTER 9 CONCLUSION In a letter to Lord Sydney, written from Portsm outh on January 11, 1786, Patrick Tonyn informed the Secretary of State that the evacu ation of East Florida was finally complete.1 On May 2, 1786, Lord Sydney compelled Tonyn to put in writing for Parliament the details of the Long Evacuation.2 The last significant correspondence from the former governor, according to the Public Records Office, was dated July 3, 1786, when he harangued Lord Sydney for backpay that Whitehall owed the East Florida officer s of administration, Jame s Hume, David Yeates, and Peter Edwards. These men were not pa id for over twelve monthssince June 24, 1785 though they performed an invaluab le service to the crown duri ng the entire evacuation calamity.3 During much of the ordeal there was an appa lling lack of concern at Whitehall for the evacuees wellbeing. A classic example of this disregard centers on the well documented fact that from 1782-1785 shockingly few physicians came to St. Augustine during the southern migration of refugees from Charleston and Savannah to East Florid a. Military surgeons accompanied the army but they were woefully fa r too few to handle what can only be imagined as cruelly overcrowded circumst ances. When Savannah was evacuated in July 1782, almost the entire medical community stayed behind to tend to wounded soldiers and those sick from a small pox outbreak. The Spanish army brought one physician/surgeon and one pharmacist.4 Yet with all of the packet ships carryi ng correspondence back and forth acr oss the Atlantic during this period, Whitehall did not send one physician. East Florida. Civil leaders pleaded repeatedly that 1 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, Portsmouth, January 11, 1786, PRO CO, 5/561 (folder #4), pp. 801-04. 2 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, London, May 2, 1786, PRO CO 5/561, pp. 849-52. 3 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Sydney, London, July 3, 1786, PRO CO, 5/561, pp. 825-29. 4 Lambert, The Confiscation of Loyalist Property, 90.

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122 funds from the Board of Treasury be used for th e needs of the people regarding such rudiments, and to supply a Light Horse militia to repla ce the army from October 31, 1783-November 19, 1785. Meanwhile, normal costs of medical supplies, clothing, and the esse ntials of life rose higher as the evacuation dragged on. Conversely, Whitehall relocated troops and moved political mountains for the purpose of enhancing the evacuation of New York. The greatest insult to East Floridians was, of course, the removal of the garrison stationed at St. Augustine to do sothough not to provide military protection to those loyal British citizens escaping th e attacks of incoming Patriots, but to provide assistance with their arrival in Nova Scotia ; protecting them from no one but themselves.5 To belabor the point of Whitehal ls lack of concern, on Decembe r 4, 1783, Lord North dictated a letter to the East Florida gover nor explaining that he was cleani ng out the office of the late Secretary of State, and came across the copy of the definitive Treaty of Paris intended for Tonyn, signed the previous September. Without apologies, Lord North con tinued to explain the various details and nuances of the document.6 Tonynwho relentlessly argued for his colonys rights to be respected equally wi th other members of the British Empire facing similar dilemmas at wars endhad been waiting since April for thes e specifics in an effort to comfort and quiet his restless and frightened populatio n. Leaders in East Florida c ould have salved some of the concerns and answered many questions raised in St. Augustine had Whitehall forwarded the results of the definitive treaty in a timely manner. Instead, as a result of Whitehalls callousness, this information was not conveyed to Governor Tonyn until March 1784. To exacerbate the situation, Lord North further dictated in this same letter of December 4, 1783, that Sir Guy 5 Patrick Tonyn to Evan Nepean St. Augustine, October 1, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 717-19. 6 Lord Germain was replaced by Lord Sydney as the Ameri can Secretary of State at wars end. Lord North to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, December 4, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 721-36.

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123 Carleton provided for the removal of the Troops [i n East Florida], and I hope the Public Stores; But, if any, or either should still remain, you will cause them forthwith to be Transported to [the Bahamas].7 Whitehalls negligence involvi ng the state of affairs in St. Augustine shone brightly in its oversight to send Governor Tonyn a copy of the treaty post-hast e. But to order the embattled colony to empty his public storespr ovisions of food, munitions, and necessities needed to survivefourteen months ahead of th e last evacuation transports embarkation adds a charge of unfathomable incompetence. It should not be said that ther e were no sympathetic voices in all of England concerning the appalling circumstances in East Florida. On July 24, 1783, due to pressure from the London press, members of the Prime Ministers Cabine t held a special meeting for the purpose of discovering some expedient for givi ng relief to the large number of loyalists then assembled at St. Augustine. The London papers reported th at 5,000 of these people had transmitted a memorial of their distresses to the government; but that the mode of alleviation to be adopted had not yet been made known. Despite their promptne ss and good intentions, there is no evidence of action taken by Parliament for the fina ncial relief of these Loyalists until 1786.8 The empire, once again redeemed at the expense of its citizen s, could move forward from this ugly business. Lost in all of this is the disposition of the black populati on in East Florida. Those who stayed in East Florida, with hopes of enjoying the Spanish sa nctuary of old, encountered unfavorable legislation from Madr id. Governor Zespedes develope d a distaste for these people and became concerned that it was simply only a matter of time before American planters began invading his borders to retrieve their propert y. Spain always enjoye d antagonizing its British 7 Lord North to Patrick Tonyn, Whitehall, D ecember 4, 1783, PRO CO, 5/560, pp. 721-36. 8 Siebert, The Legacy of the American Revolution 45.

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124 counterparts on the North American continent by offering sanctuary and refuge to runaway slaves, but the newly formed United States was an unfamiliar entity. The Americans lacked the decorum and traditions of civili zed warfare to which Spain wa s accustomed with England and France. Officers on both sides of the war were ap palled at the barbarity in the southern back country, as one American officer recounts a macab re system of savage one-up-man-ship where atrocities of every nature were inflicted on the civilian population. Many southern Americans harbored a mounting hatred for runaway slaves accusing them of propagating British terror tactics in the back country.9 Moreover, the new government of the United States seemed determined to protect the property rights of its citizens, meaning that the feared raids might eventually include federal assistance and American troops. American planters were anxious to return their fortunes by re-ins talling the plantation system as quickly as possible and were convinced that full economic recovery was inseparably linked to the restoration of slave labor.10 Not only had the Americans demonstrated an audacity in their sheer existence as a nation, but it became qu ite apparent that [t]here was little chance of dislodging them and thus little to gain by anta gonizing [them] by encouraging the flight of American slaves. The usefulness of the fugitives as pawns in international diplomacy had ended, and recognizing that fact, Spain en ded their sanctuary in Florida.11 What began as a local proclamation by Governor Zespedes soon after th e Spanish re-occupation of East Florida became a royal edict on May 17, 1790, as King Charles IV of Spain bowed to pressure from the United States government and abandoned the century-old policy of sanctuary for fugitive slaves.12 9 Frey, Water from the Rock 133. 10 Ibid, 211. 11 Landers, Spanish Sanctuary, 312-13 12 Ibid, 310-11.

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125 Though slaves and free-blacks were often oppressed by their white counterparts, they were not without their resources for doing as much as they could w ith what opportunities they had. Slaves often capitalized on the disorder created by the chaos of the war, especially in the southern back country. Their response to the Ph ilipsburg Proclamation was so massive that they confounded every preconceived resp onse the British contemplated for the manipulation of the situationbut their response was not one of blind faith. Blacks learned to view any British offer of freedom with caution, especi ally after witnessing Cornwallis systematized use of terror throughout the Souththey were prag matic in their quest for freedom.13 Many slaves went into Savannah and Charleston in an attempt to lose themselves in the larger populations during the confusion of the invasions. But not all slaves ran away, th ough not out of loyalty as their returning masters would boast. Neutra lity served the slaves as a surv ival mechanism just as it did whites who attempted to remain uninvolved in the war.14 Slaves who were familiar with the back country terrain were often armed and mount ed by the British to hunt down and capture deserters.15 These people found ways to live to see another day when their opportunities for freedom might be more easily attained. The c onfusion of the British evacuation brought many such opportunities, as we shall see. Once the Spanish officially ended any hopes of slave sanctuary in East Florida, one can only imagine the solemn sense of abandonment e xperienced by those most affected. Charles, a former slave of William Drayton, si gnified in his declaration of fr ee status to Governor Zespedes 13 Frey, Water from the Rock 113-14, 117, 141. 14 Ibid, 118. 15 Ibid, 137-38.

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126 that he was brought to this country before the last war.16 Perhaps this statement was motivated by his desire to remind the new landlords in East Florida that he remembered the hope of slave sanctuary prior to British occupation. Unfortunate ly, we cannot know his meaning for sure. But it must have been devastating to realize that a once esteemed be nefactor-nation, which seemingly valued the humanity of those who risked ever ything to reach sanctuar y, would prove itself no different than other European nations. Once again, the plight of most blacks on the North American continent was relegated to that of human chattel, but that does not mean th at they did not have their victories. For one, American slaves continued to flee to the mar oon camps and Seminole villages of Spanish East and West Florida, far outside the reach of the authorities in St. Augustine and Pensacola. Also, and more germane to this study, of the 12,000-1 3,000 black refugees who came to East Florida officiallya figure which does not include thos e who settled in maroon camps or with the Seminolesonly 3,589 left for the slave plantations of the Caribbean, and another 2,561 were taken back into the United States. Two hundred free-blacks filed for Spanish citizenship, onehundred fifty-five left for Nova Scotia, and thirty-five departed for Deptford, England.17 One then must ask: what happened to the other 6,500 free-blacks and slaves who are completely unaccounted for?18 We may never know for sure, but su ch a massive influx of people as determined to gain their freedom and individual rights as these no doubt impacted the fabric of the American landscape for generations to come. 16 Landers, Spanish Sanctuary, 307. 17 Patrick Tonyn to Evan Nepean, London, May 2, 1786, PRO CO 5/561, pp. 801-09. 18 It must be noted that no free or enslaved blacks are listed by Governor Tonyn as captured or re-enslaved by the Spanish, as he most assuredly would have done, as the result of Governor Zespedes proclamationan indication that the proclamation may have been a manipulative threat.

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127 The American Revolution has always been a le gend-filled chronicle of liberty, patriotism, thirteen united colonies, hero ic Founding Fathers, victory against all odds, freedom from tyranny, no taxation without representation, and the dawn of a new nation. But that is the American perspective. When the conflict is cons idered from a Loyalist point of viewa onehundred eighty degree shift in vantage pointsth e war becomes about loss of liberties, defeat, disunion, shattered loyalism, refug ee status, uncertainty, financial devastation, and the end of life as they knew it. Citizens of the American colonies, many of whom were born in North America and whose heritage may have gone back seve ral generations, were passionate in their allegiance to the nations war-time leadership, the supremacy of their elected congress, and the establishment of their most solid foundatio n, our constitution, liberties and dependence.19 As discussed before, this is not a misprint, but rather the sentiments of thousands of Loyalist American-born citizens w ho were forced to abandon every h ope and dream they possessed as their world came crashing down in the midst of revolution. The new American republic, built upon the principle of E Pluribus Unum, had no ch arityor placefor thos e whose loyalty never faded from its point of origin. Just as the southern campaigns of the Am erican Revolution are grossly overlooked, the predicaments of Loyalists in East Florida ar e even more invisible. Open any textbook which discusses the American Revolution and East Florida is rarely f ound in the geography of the war, even though George Washington continuously ordered military incursions into the colony. Historically, even the British southern campaign of 1780 is viewed initially from north to south as Clinton and Cornwallis sailed down from New York, landing not at the southern tip of the colonies, but in Charleston. Why? Because Gene ral Augustine Prevost had already taken control 19 Wells, The Case of the Inhabitants pp. 33-34.

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128 the Atlantic corridor from St Augustine to Charleston, allowing Cornwallis to begin his campaign at a point farther north. With the Atlant ic corridor from St. Augustine to Savannah to Charleston in British control, and only inland Augus ta as an American base, Cornwallis was able to turn his army's back to the south and focus on only one frontwhich was exactly what Washington feared in his letter to Congress on December 18, 1775. As stated many times, East Florida was never su ccessfully invaded, never lost real estate to American regular troops or militia, never lost th e support of the Native American contingencies in the area, never suffered the indignity of rebe llion within the colony, and never struggled from siege-like conditions as the result of invading armies. Though surrounded by American and French armies to the north, the Spanish army to the west, and the Spanish and French navies from the sea, firm civil and military leader shipand a solid economystabilized East Florida throughout the war. Only the Canadian colonies and East Florida remained bastions of British loyalism in North America at wars end. St. Augustine was not only a strategically important military base during the course of the American Revolution, but supported thousands of refugees from larger, wealthier colonies throughout the conflict and beyond. Most history books note that Florida once agai n became part of the Spanish Empire in either 1783, at the conclusion of the American Revolution, or in 1784, when the Spanish actually arrived in St. Augustine. But little or no menti on is found of November 19, 1785, when the last British refugee transport was finally able to set sail from East Florida. Oddly, many of the historians whose works were used to support va rious aspects of this study do not acknowledge the calamity of East Floridas evacuation. In one such classic example, Simon Schama writes, the peremptory liquidation of British Amer ica generated rage and panic amongst the beleaguered loyalists holed up in Savannah, Charleston, and New York, islands of British

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129 allegiance in a tidal surg e of American patriotic euphoria and recrimination.20 Savannah, Charleston, and New Yorkbut not St. Augustine. The efforts of this small loyalist colony offer a fresh perspective on the American Revolution, redrawing the map as the southern -most periphery of British North America is moved into the central discussions of the struggle. The sacrificial loya lty displayed in East Florida repaints a two hundred and twenty-five year old portrait of American Loyalists and their spheres of influence: of steadfast Native American loyalty to Great Britai n in its defeat, rather than the constant playing of European powers agains t one another, as is so often told; of Loyalist values and their commitment to what they believe d to be right; and of the ambiguous status of blacks once again caught up in the global postures of Atlantic wo rld slave politics. The poorly designed evacuation of St. Augustine reminds reader s that British politicians did not deserve the loyalty shown them. Only historians who intend to lessen the military and political importance of East Florida adhere to the pur ported theories of St. Augustines insignificance as a colony, or refute its impact as a strategic military base. George Washington knew well the importance of East Florida. Historians have an obligation to present wh at happened, not just what legend and myth purport to have taken took place. And though it is pr esumed to be an unwritten rule that there should be no love lost for British Loyalists of the American Revolution, the British colonial period is an integral part of th e history of the city of St. Augus tine, the state of Florida, and, therefore, the United States. It will be our loss if we allow it to re main a forgotten era, repeatedly relegated to an historical no-man s land. It is important to bring the memory of what happened in East Florida to the forefront because it reminds Americans of what the war was truly about 20 Schama, Rough Crossings 132.

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130 equality. American Patriots achieved a level of nationalism that cried out for recognition. They never would have settled for negotiated compromi ses which gained them their rights but kept them gripped within a colonial system of em pire. In winning their i ndependence, Americans broke the fetters of deference and expendability. They fought for their right to become equals. British colonists, regardless of the fervor of their convictions would never amount to anything more than second class citizens in the larger sc heme of British global politics. Even though they earned the right to stay on the American continent, the re-cession of East Florida to Spain and the calamity of the St. Augustine evacuation demons trate that the rights of colonists were expendable to the superior designs of the empire. The significance of these events is mysteri ously lost on generations of historians. The historical omissions that have left the memory of East Florida and the evacuation of St. Augustine relatively unknown are inexplicable. The Revolutionary War involved not only the present state of Florida, but circumstances in St. Augustine, Savannah, Charleston, and the back countries of all three regions we re heavily intertwined and congr uous in the shaping of southern Revolutionary events. The plight of Loyalists and blacks in East Florida is no less a part of the American narrative than those of other southern colonies, esp ecially considering how many of those Loyalists, free-blacks, and slaves from the traditional southern colo nies found their way to East Florida. The time has come to restore their memory in American history.

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131 LIST OF REFERENCES Abbey, Kathryn T. Florida as an Issue Duri ng the Am erican Revolution. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, 1926. Altamira, Rafael. A History of Spain: From the Beginnings to the Present Day New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1949. Boatner, Mark Mayo. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution New York: D. McKay Co., 1966. Brewer, John. The sinews of Power: War, M oney and the English State, 1688-1783 New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1989. British Colonial Office Records, held at the P. K. Yonge Library of Flor ida History, University of Florida. Gainesville: University of Florida, Vol. I & II, 1984. Buker, George E., Richard Apley Martin. Gove rnor Tonyns Brown-Water Navy: East Florida During the American Revolution, 1775-1778. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 58, Issue 1 (July 1979), 58-71. Bullen, Ripley P. Fort Tonyn and the Campaign of 1778. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 29, Issue 4 (April 1951), 253-60. Callahan, North. Flight from the Republic: The To ries of the American Revolution Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1967. Calhoon, Robert McCluer. Loyalists in the American Revolution, 1760-1781 New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973. _______. The Loyalists Perception and Other Essays Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1989. _______, Timothy M. Barnes, George A. Rawlyk, ed. Loyalists and Community in North America West Port, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 1994. Calloway, Colin G. The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North American New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Chapman, Charles E. A History of Spain: Founded on the Historia De Espaa Y De La Civilizacin Espaola of Rafael Altamira New York: The McMillan Company, 1918. Clinton, Catherine. Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2005. Coker, William S., Jerrell H. Shofner. Florida: From the Beginning to 1992 Houston: Pioneer Publications, 1991.

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132 _______, Thomas D. Watson. Indian Traders of the Southeaste rn Spanish Borderlands: Panton, Leslie, and Company and John Forbes and Company, 1783-1847 Pensacola: University of West Florida Press, 1986. Colley, Linda. Britons: Forging a Nation, 1707-1837 New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992. _______. Captives. New York: Pantheon Books, 2002. Congressional Biographies. Cook, Don. The Long Fuse: How England Lost the American Colonies, 1760-1785 New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995. Deagan, Kathleen. Spanish St. Augustine: The Archeology of a Creole Community New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1983. Documents from the Colonial Office Files PR O CO 30/11; 5/110; 5/ 111; 5/324; 5/546; 5/554561. Public Records Office, Kew, England. Donnelly, James S., Jr., ed. Encyclopedia of Irish History and Culture Vol. 2 Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. Drayton, John, L.L.D. Memoirs of the American Revolution, from its Commencement to the Year 1776, inclusive; as Relating to the State of South-Carolina: and O ccasionally Referring to the States of North-Ca rolina and Georgia, Vol. I and II Charleston: A. E. Miller, 1821. The East Florida Papers, maintained at the P. K. Yonge Library of Flor ida History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Gallay, Alan. The Formation of the Planter Elite: Jonathan Bryan and the Southern Colonial Frontier. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989. Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of Modernity. In The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993. Gordon, Elsbeth K. Floridas Colonial Architectural Heritage Gainesville, FL.: University of Florida Press, 2002. Fairbanks, George R. The History and Antiquities of the City of St. Augustine New York: C.B. Norton, 1858. Frey, Silvia. Water From the Rock: Black Re sistance in a Revolutionary Age Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.

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133 Hall, Leslie. Land and Allegiance in Revolutionary Florida Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001. Herr, Richard. Flow and Ebb, 1700-1833. In Spain: A History Raymond Carr, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. History of British Battles. http://b ritishbattles.com/seven-years/minden.htm Holmes, Richard. Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001. Isaac, Rhys. The Transformation of Virginia: 1740-1790 Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982. Lambert, Robert S. The Confiscation of Loyalist Property in Georgia, 1782-1786. The William and Mary Quarterly 3rd Ser., Vol. 20, No. 1. (Jan., 1963), 80-94. _______. South Carolina loyalists in the American Revolution Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1987. Landers, Jane. Colonial Planters and Economy in Florida Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2000. _______. Spanish Sanctuary: Fugi tives in Florida, 1687-1790. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 62, Issue 3 (April 1984), 296-313. Landsman, Ned C. From Colonials to Provincials: American Thought and Culture, 1680-1760. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997. Library of Congress. Lockey, Joseph Byrne, John Walton Caughey, ed. East Florida, 1783-1785: A File of Documents Assembled, and Many of Them Translated. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1949. _______. The Florida Banditti, 1783. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 24, Issue 2 (October 1945), 87-107. Manucy, Albert, Alberta Johnson. Castle St. Mark and the Patriots of the Revolution. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 21, Issue 1 (July 1942), 3-24. Martin, James Kirby, ed. Ordinary Courage: The Revolutionary Adventures of Joseph Plumb Martin St. James, N.Y.: Brandywine Press, 1993. Mills, T.F. Land Forces of Britain, the Empire, and Commonwealth.

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134 Mowat, Charles Loch. East Florida as a Br itish Province, 1763-1784 Berkeley: University of California Press, 1943. _______. The Enigma of William Drayton. Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 22, Issue 1 (July 1943), 3-33. _______. St. Augustine Under the British Flag, 1763-1775. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 20, Issue 2 (October 1941), 131-150. Milanich, Jerald T. Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1995. National Archives of the United Kin gdom, Catalogue Reference:prob 11/1424 National Parks Service. ; Pancake, John S. 1777: The Year of the Hangman Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1977. Pennington, Edgar Legare. East Florida in the American Revolution, 1775-1778. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 9, Issue 1 (July 1930), 24-46. Pierson, Peter. The History of Spain: The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations London: Greenwood Press, 1999. Public Broadcasting Service. . Raab, James W. Spain, Britain, and the American Revolution in Florida, 1763-1783 Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Company, 2008. Rea, Robert. The Minutes, Journals, and Acts of the Ge neral Assembly of British West Florida Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1979. Riordan, Patrick. Finding Freedom in Florid a: Native Peoples, African Americans, and Colonists, 1670-1816. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 75, Issue 1 (Summer 1996), 23-43. Schafer, Daniel L. Florida History On-Line, with special acknowledgment to the James Grant Papers and the Florida Claims Commission. _______. St. Augustines British Years, 1763-1785 El Scribano: The St. Augustine Journal of History St. Augustine: The St. Augustine Hi storical Society, Vol. 38, 2001. Schama, Simon. Rough Crossings: The Slaves, the Br itish, and the American Revolution New York: HarperCollins Publishing, 2006.

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135 Searcy, Martha Condray. The Georgia-Florida Contest in the American Revolution, 1776-1778 Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1985. Siebert, Wilbur H. The Legacy of the Ameri can Revolution to the Br itish West Indies and Bahamas. The History of the American Loyalists. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 1913. _______, ed. Loyalists in East Florida: The Narrative. Deland: Publications of the Florida State Historical Society, No.9, Vol. I and II, 1929. _______. The Port of St. Augustine During the British Regime. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 24, Issue 4 (April 1946), 247-65. _______. The Port of St. Augustine During the British Regime, Part II. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 25, Issue 1 (July 1946), 76-93. _______. Privateering in Florida Waters a nd Northwards During the Revolution. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 22, Issue 2 (October 1943), pp. 62-73. _______. Slavery in East Florida, 1776-1785. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 10, Issue 3 (January 1932), 139-61. Smith, Josiah, Mabel L. Webber, ed. Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781. The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. XXXIII, No.1 (January 1932), 1-28. _______. Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781. The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 33, No.2 (April 1932), 79-116. _______. Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.). The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 33, No.3 (July 1932), 197-207. _______. Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.). The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 33, No. 4 (October 1932), 281-89. _______. Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.). The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 34, No.1, (January 1933), 31-39. _______. Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.). The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 34, No.2 (April 1933), 67-84. _______. Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.). The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 34, No.3 (July 1933), 138-48. _______. Josiah Smiths Diary, 1780-1781 (cont.). The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 34, No.4 (October 1933), 195-210.

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136 Smith, Paul H. Loyalists and Redcoats: A Study in British Revolutionary Policy Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1964. Smith, Rhea Marsh. Spain: A Modern History Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1965. Smith, W. Calvin. Mermaids Riding Alligators: Divided Command on the Southern Frontier, 1776-1778. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 54, Issue 4 (April 1976), 443-64. Tanner, Helen Hornbeck. Zespedes in East Florida, 1784-1790 Jacksonville: University of North Florida Press, 1989. Tonyn, Patrick. Will of Patrick Tonyn, General of His Majestys Forces of Saint George Hanover Square, Middlesex, National Archives of the United Kingdom, Catalogue Reference:prob 11/1424 Troxler, Carole Watterson. Loyalis t Refugees and the British Ev acuation of East Florida, 17831785. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 60, Issue 1 (July 1981), 1-28. Turnbull, Andrew. The Turnbull Letters, Vol. I, II, and III, a collection of letters collected by the descendants of Andrew Turnbull, comp iled in Charleston, South Carolina in 1916 and now kept at the University of Floridas P.K. Yonge Library of Special Collections in Florida History Ward, Harry M. The American Revolution: Nationhood Achieved, 1763-1788 New York: St. Martins Press, Inc., 1995. Washington, George. The George Washington Papers. Wells, John. The Case of the Inhabitants, Ap ril 2, 1784; paper presente d at the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Fl orida. Gainesville: University of Florida, 1984. Williams, Linda K. East Florida as a Loyalist Haven. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 54, Issue 4 (April 1976), 465-78. Wood, Gordon S. The American Revolution: A History New York: Random House, 2002. Wright, J. Leitch, Jr. Blacks in British East Florida. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 54, Issue 4 (April 1976), 425-42. _______. Florida in the American Revolution Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1975. _______. Lord Dunmores Loyalist Asylum in the Floridas. Florida Historical Quarterly Vol. 49, Issue 4 (April 1971), 370-79.

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137 Zuckerman, Michael. Identity in British Am erica: Unease in Ede n. Nicholas Canny and Anthony Pagden, ed. Colonial Identity in the Atlantic World, 1500 1800 Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Roger C. Sm ith is a non-traditional student having retired in 2000 from a twenty-three year career in business with The Walt Disney Company, Marriott International, and SYSCO Foods. Roger entered the Universi ty of Florida in January 2005 to complete his undergraduate studies, and received a bachel ors degree in history, graduating Magna Cum Laude. In August 2006, Roger entered the university's masters de gree program in American history, and will begin his Ph.D. studies in August 2008. His disserta tion project will be an exhaustive expansion of his masters thesis, with the hopes of reversing the margin alization of East Florida during the American Revolution.