East and West Florida underwent several boundary and sovereignty changes during its history. The two regions were established in 1763 by the British colonial government out of land taken from France and Spain after the French and Indian War. Reasoning the newly acquired territory too large to govern, the British divided it into two new colonies separated by the Apalachicola River.
West Florida was based in Pensacola, and the colony included the part of formerly Spanish Florida west of the Apalachicola, plus the parts of French Louisiana taken by the British. Its northern boundary shifted several times over the years. East Florida has as its capital St. Augustine, which had been the capital of Spanish Florida.
Both remained loyal to the British crown during the Revolutionary War, and served as havens for Tories fleeing the Thirteen Colonies. In 1781 Spain invaded West Florida and captured Pensacola, leading Britain to cede both to Spain following the war. The ill defined boundaries led to a series of border disputes between Spain and the nascent United States known as the West Florida Controversy. Disagreements with the Spanish government led settlers along the gulf coast to declare the area the independent Republic of West Florida in 1810. The area was soon annexed by the United States, claiming the region as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The remainder of West Florida and all of East Florida were purchased by the United States in 1819 under the terms of the Adams–Onís Treaty. Florida Territory was formed as a result.
This very historical map illustrates the British colonies after the Treaty of Paris and at the conclusion of the French and Indian War in America. The treaty ended French colonial ambitions in North America with minor exceptions. As a result, Spain ceded East and West Florida to Great Britain, France relinquished the title to the Louisiana Territory to Spain, and the Mississippi River was established as the British-Spanish Boundary. The map reflects the claims of the southern colonies that their charters extended to the Mississippi River. Also of interest are the names and locations of many Indian tribes and nations located away from the more populated areas of English settlements. An inset of East Florida on the same scale lies between the coastline and the decorative rococo-style title cartouche. A simple compass rose rests in the Atlantic.
References: McCorkle #763.5; Sellers & Van Ee #103; Jolly #ANNREG-3.
Issued folding on watermarked paper with light toning and offsetting. A tiny hole along the top border has been closed with old paper resulting in minute loss of image. There are a few other tiny holes only visible when held to light, and old paper has been added at left to create additional margin.