1775-1783 - Revolutionary War

Florida during the Revolutionary War

   The Florida Territory had been under British control since 1763, after which, the territory was split into two colonies: East Florida and West Florida.
   By 1775, the start of the Revolutionary War, when the American Colonies were fighting for independence from Britain, all of Florida still belonged to the British and those residing there were loyal to the crown.
   During this time, there lived in the area that would become Lake County, a few white hunters and traders together with runaway slaves and free black men, who found hiding in the scrub to be very effective means of evading the slave hunters.
   The Florida territory remained under British control until it was given back to the Spanish. Spain eventually ceded it to the United States in 1819 through the Adams-Onís Treaty. U.S. military authorities took official possession during two “transfer of flags” ceremonies on July 10, 1821, in St. Augustine and July 17, 1821, in Pensacola.
   Col. Robert Butler represented the U.S. military at the ceremony in St. Augustine. The transfer was said to be peaceful, but it did not exactly spark jubilation .
   Governor Andrew Jackson was present at the July 17 ceremony 400 miles away in Pensacola.

[Contributors: Jason Brown]

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