Colonial Florida

British Florida


Did you know that Florida was once a British colony? For 20 years, the British tried to turn Florida into a thriving colony. This episode explores the British experience in the south and discusses the role of Floridians during the American Revolutionary War.


James G. Cusick

James G. Cusick is curator of the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida Library and author of The Other War of 1812: The Patriot War and the American Invasion of Spanish East Florida. His interests in Florida history focus primarily on its colonial and 19th century past. Since 2004 he has also worked closely with the Florida Humanities Council to bring knowledge of Florida’s colonial history to primary, middle school, and high school teachers around the state.

Florida Frontiers “Florida in the American Revolution”

The importance of Florida in early American history is often overlooked.

The so-called “thirteen original colonies” that would lead to the creation of the United States exclude the fourteenth and fifteenth colonies of East Florida and West Florida.

St. Augustine, Florida was an active city for more than four decades before the English established a settlement at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

Pedro Menendez de Aviles received his settlement orders

1565 – Pedro Menendez de Aviles received his “asiento” or settlement orders from the Spanish government to travel to La Florida on this date. Two years earlier, Don Juan Mendedez, Pedro Menendez’s only son was lost in a wreck near the Bahamas and Menendez was determined to find him. He was also instructed to reconnoiter the gulf and east coasts, making detailed observations about the ports, currents, hazards, etc., and settle the new territory. The Spanish government also tasked Menendez with driving the French settlers out of La Florida.

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