Republic of the Floridas

Green Cross of Florida Flag

The Republic of the Floridas, also called Republic of Floridas, was a short-lived attempt, from June to December 1817, to establish an independent Florida (then a Spanish territory). (The plural "Floridas" refers to the separate provinces of East Florida and West Florida.) It was led by Gregor MacGregor, a Scottish military adventurer, purportedly commissioned by Simón Bolívar, who led revolts of the Spanish colonies in America, to capture Florida from Spain. He was joined by French adventurer and soldier of fortune Louis-Michel Aury and by the Scot Richard Ambrister, whose execution by General Andrew Jackson shortly thereafter provoked an international incident. MacGregor conquered Amelia Island, the only territory the country consisted of, and raised the Green Cross of Florida flag over the Spanish Fort San Carlos.[1]

On December 9, 1817, "first year of the independence of Floridas", there was printed in Fernandina the Report of the Committee Appointed to Frame the Plan of Provisional Government for the Republic of Floridas.[2] It was reprinted privately in 1942 under the title Republic of the Floridas: Constitution and Frame of Government Drafted by a Committee Appointed by the Assembly of Representatives, and Submitted at Fernandina, December 9, 1817.[3][4]

Believing that the occupation of Amelia Island by the men in question meant "that it would be used as a base from which to smuggle slaves and other merchandise into the U.S.", avoiding the customs duties which were the Federal government's main source of revenue,[5] President Monroe ordered the U.S. Navy to put an end to it. The U.S. Navy — the John Adams, Saranac, and Gunboat No. 168[6] — took possession of the island in December, and President Monroe delivered to Congress on January 13, 1818, a Message from the President of the United States, communicating information of the troops of the United States having taken possession of Amelia Island, in East Florida. Its first sentence reads: "I have the satisfaction to inform Congress, that the establishment at Amelia Island has been suppressed, and without the effusion of blood."[7]: 3  Monroe included "the papers which explain this transaction": the letters of Graham and Crowninshield just cited, letters of Aury, and other documentation from Federal records.

References

  1. ^ Gene M. Burnett (1 October 2014). Florida's Past, Vol 2: People and Events That Shaped the State. Pineapple Press. pp. 119–120. ISBN 978-1-56164-759-0.
  2. ^ http://www.worldcat.org/title/report-of-the-committee-appointed-to-frame-the-plan-of-provisional-government-for-the-republic-of-floridas/oclc/967517848
  3. ^ "LC Catalog - Browse".
  4. ^ (Republic), Floridas (1942). "Republic of the Floridas: Constitution and Frame of Government Drafted by a Committee Appointed by the Assembly of Representatives, and Submitted at Fernandina, December 9, 1817".
  5. ^ Graham, Geo. (acting Secretary of War) (July 17, 1817). "Letter to J. D. Henley, Esq., "Captain in the navy, and commander in chief of the United States naval forces off Amelia", and James Bankhead, Esq., "Major 1st battalion U. States' artillery, and commanding the land forces"". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  6. ^ Crowninshield, B. W. (November 14, 1817). "Letter to John H. Elder, Commander of the brig Saranac". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  7. ^ Monroe, James (1818). "THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, OF THE TROOPS OF THE UNITED STATES HAVING TAKEN POSSESSION OF AMELIA ISLAND IN EAST FLORIDA January 13, 1818". Washington, D.C. Retrieved July 25, 2018.

Media files used on this page

Green Cross flag of Florida.svg
(c) Zscout370 at English Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Digital rendition of the Green Cross flag raised by Gregor MacGregor on Amelia Island, Florida in 1817, and later used as the supposed flag of Poyais in the 1820s.