Land Grants, Religious Exemptions, and Aid on the Ground: The Role of Local Government in the Resettlement of Loyalist Refugees after the American Revolution

This post is a part of the 2020 Selected Papers of the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, which were edited and compiled by members of the CRE’s board alongside editors at Age of Revolutions.

By Alexandra Mairs-Kessler                        

The end of the American Revolution was a time of great uncertainty for colonists who sided with the British government. For those who wished to remain British subjects and leave the United States, how would they create new lives in unfamiliar areas of the empire? Tiers of aid — often unreliable and inconsistent — provided the basis for loyalists to rebuild their livelihoods after the American Revolution. This aid included the large scale offerings from the British Empire, more immediate aid from local governments, and the personal assistance offered by family and business connections. Refugees could pursue support through multiple channels to ease the strain of relocation. Local governments provided a key component of the resettlement aid by addressing some of the immediate concerns of resettlement. In aiding refugees, colonial governments tried to strike a balance between supporting loyalists and moving the whole colony towards success in a post-war Atlantic World.

Reception of the American Loyalists by Great Britain in the Year 1783. Engraving by H. Moses after Benjamin West, 1783.

Nova Scotia, Bermuda, and East Florida are the entry points for the study. The notable differences between these three colonies and the range of refugee experiences they produced highlight how aid functioned in the wake of the Revolution. By considering three locations that entered the post-war period in very different circumstances, it is clear that local governments provided crucial aid catered to the needs of their colony and refugees. Regardless of age or ruling empire, local governments were an accessible source of support during resettlement. With the loss of Virginia, Bermuda became the oldest colony in the British Empire. It had a maritime based economy and no available land for resettlement. Nova Scotia, by Britain’s standards, was an underdeveloped region. It had expanded from its mid-18th century settlement, but the population remained small and the land largely unused by British colonists.[1] East Florida was only a British colony for twenty years, from 1763-1783, and suffered from a lack of population and economic growth during that time. It was only over the course of the war that loyalist refugees accelerated the colony’s development. Despite this wartime expansion, the colony returned to Spanish control during the peace negotiations, and the colonists had to either evacuate the colony or change empires.[2] These three colonies entered the post-war period in very different circumstances and the type of government aid needed and offered reflected this diversity. These divergent stories illuminate how the through-line of colonial government aid provides a framework for discussing the loyalist diaspora and refugee experiences more broadly.

Peace negotiations did not provide much support for the colonists who had sided with the British Empire. East Florida was transferred to Spanish control, with British residents originally granted eighteen months to settle their affairs and leave. For those wishing to remain behind, the passage allowing the inhabitants the liberty to practice the Protestant religion was struck from the treaty in May, 1783. In negotiations with the new United States, Article V of the Treaty of Paris failed to provide loyalists with a way of regaining lost property.[3] The majority of those who openly declared themselves loyalists or had loyalist leanings decided to remain in the United States and repair their lives at home. Historians have estimated the loyalist population during the war was between 500,000 and 750,000, and of this group only an estimated 60,000 carried their loyalism into other parts of the British Empire.[4]

Due in large part to the availability of land and land grants, 50,000 loyalists decided to resettle in Nova Scotia, a number more than double the existing population.[5] In 1782, while the peace negotiations were underway across the Atlantic, in New York City General Carleton prepared for the possibility of a mass exodus. He gathered as many vessels as he could, military and merchant, and reached out to Nova Scotia and Britain to ready lands, supplies, and rations for such a large displacement. Evacuees from New England had fled to Halifax early in the war, but the largest wave arrived from New York City and St. Augustine, the capital of East Florida, after the peace treaty. When Carelton reached out to Nova Scotia’s governor, John Parr, informing him of the first round of inbound refugees, Parr created a plan. Parr set out to provide food, supplies, and land to the new arrivals. New townships with land set aside for churches and schools were part of the design for accommodating and welcoming the incoming population.[6]

The land needed for loyalist refugees came from cancelling land grants previously made to Nova Scotian settlers. This process, escheat, reclaimed around 2.5 million acres of previously granted land that remained undeveloped. The Crown had doled out these large land grants after the expulsion of the Acadians, and most of the land was held by a few powerful elite. The seizure of elite property, regardless of development, for redistribution was shocking at the time, but the extreme circumstances made it a necessity for Parr to deal with the population swell. Scouts and surveyors deliberately avoided disturbing the French-Canadian population in order to keep the peace and maintain control over those settlers. The government also negotiated a series of treaties with the groups of Mississauga living in the area to gain recognized settlement rights to more land.[7] This acquired land went to support the refugee population, but the government failed to support important segments of this group. Black loyalists, like white loyalists, were offered land grants and rations by the colonial government, yet not all of these refugees actually received this promised property. The parcels granted to black settlers were smaller than those given to white loyalists, and the resources granted to veterans- pay and clothing- were denied to the black military unit. The struggles of all displaced refugees were magnified for former slaves.[8]

Black loyalists also encountered resistance from their fellow refugees. The experience of siding with the British Crown during the Revolution did not erase or override racial prejudice. Rather than viewing their shared loyalist identity as a marker of commonality, white settlers were generally resistant to a large free black population. Some of the white loyalists had been slave owners, or had brought enslaved laborers with them to Nova Scotia, and attempted to create a system of semi-dependence. Servants and day-laborers often did not return home every night, once again separating black families. Wages for these workers were less than half of their white counterparts. And to add insult to injury, those black veterans who never received their promised land grants often ended up as sharecroppers on land granted to white refugees.[9] Offering land grants without causing an outbreak of hostility with neighboring communities eased the strain and trauma of relocation for refugees and encouraged the rapid development of the last British foothold on the North American east coast. The implementation of this aid, however, left many black loyalists without the promised support. Balancing the interests of refugees and colony-wide growth was, more often than not, treated as a matter of balancing the competing interests of white colonists.

Alongside the government plans, many refugees formed Loyalist Associations to ease their resettlement process. Associations had helped organize militia groups during the war, but now served as organizing groups for neighbors, congregations, or business associates.[10] These Associations, whether large or small, meant that loyalist refugees were not alone when they settled in Nova Scotia. The environment was unfamiliar, their resources were limited, but they arrived with community support. Associations banned refugees together not just for the sense of familiarity but to ease the transition and to take advantage of government aid more effectively. Representatives elected from these groups had the authority to make requests and selections on behalf of their Associations, aiming to make the move less expensive and more efficient for refugees. Agents traveled to Nova Scotia in 1782 and 1783 to evaluate the landscape and meet with officials in Halifax in preparation for a mass arrival.[11]

Government aid attempted to ease the struggle of resettlement, but Nova Scotia was a hard place to establish a comfortable life and the support was often insufficient. General Carlton had discussed rations with Governor Parr prior to the mass arrival of refugees, but the demand far exceeded the supply. Especially during the first winter, the government issued tents and blankets did little to ease the suffering of the distressed.[12] Scores of underfed people lived in haphazard tent cities in inadequate clothing for a Nova Scotian winter, awaiting the next stage of settlement. In March of 1784, the availability of provisions was extended beyond the planned end date of May 1st, to address some of the concerns refugees were voicing, with Major General John Campbell asserting: “there is reason to fear a great number of the Loyalists will be in most eminent danger of Perishing if Rations of Provisions are not further continued.”[13] In order to “quiet their minds, and relieve them from the apprehension of immediate distress,” the government had to continue to offer food and equipment until the land grants could be properly cultivated to sustain the new population.[14] This was the type of immediate aid that a colony could provide refugees. Food and other basic supplies were vital to survival, and the channel for accessing these resources were appeals to local leadership, not presentations to Parliament. 

Given that supplies were limited, instructions were put into place on how to award the available provisions. Loyalists and disbanded military members settling in Nova Scotia needed to apply to an appointed board in Halifax to make their case for provisions. The refugees needed to include the quantity of provisions they already received, the size of their family, and age and a description of each person in their family. Board members also inquired about any land grants, and if the applicants had settled on the land or were making any preparations to do so. Were they making moves towards self-sufficiency? This support was meant to help carry refugees through the difficult resettlement process and as a “spur to Industry,” and the government officials did not want settlers abusing the aid.[15] They were very cautious of loyalists feeling “entitled” to the provisions. The final instruction to this board of examiners was to keep track of applicants and to record how often people applied for goods.[16] This local government level of aid was vital for survival in the harsh Nova Scotian landscape, especially before refugees could properly settle on their land grants. Receiving a grant was not a fast process, and actual cultivation to the point of sustainability was a long ordeal. In some settlements the rigorous planting resulted in rapid soil erosion and the exposure of a rocky sublayer.[17] The struggle with agriculture made the extended access to rations essential for many families. More than the other two colonies, Nova Scotia’s government had to provide basic living essentials to care for their refugee population.

The type of aid offered to the desperate refugees in Nova Scotia differed from the colonial assistance seen in either Bermuda or East Florida. While a surge of refugees in the northern colony struggled to cultivate land, governments in Bermuda and East Florida worked with smaller numbers of refugees to balance loyalist needs with broader colonial interests. Bermuda did not receive a high number of refugees because it lacked free land to offer new residents. Given that the refugees were not attempting to settle a frontier area and grow their own food, the type of aid provided in Nova Scotia was not necessary, although they did provide provisions for refugees en route to other ports. Bermuda’s colonial government played a key role in the loyalist resettlement process by focusing on repairing relationships, on the island and within the empire.

The small aggravated loyalist population that settled in Bermuda shifted politics on the island and greatly irritated the established society by challenging the delicate balance of loyalty and treason that fueled Bermuda’s wartime economy. Bermudians never officially aligned themselves with their rebelling neighbors, but their behavior during the war left much to be desired from the Crown’s perspective. At times overly aggressive and bitter refugees irritated Bermudian merchants and mariners who had personally aligned themselves with the rebels through clandestine trade. Loyalist refugees arriving in the colony did not join in this economic treason. The eagerness of refugees like the Goodrich family to turn to privateering as a means of vengeance went against the general attitude of the island’s population and threatened their smuggling based livelihoods. Although Bermudians shifted their economic activities away from the continent and back towards the Empire late in the war, tensions with their loyalist refugees still lingered.[18] These negative feelings fortunately did not extend to all refugees, and the population was supportive of those passing through to other resettlement ports.   

While the regular provisions provided by the Nova Scotian colonial government were not necessary for loyalist refugees choosing to settle in Bermuda, the local government still provided this form of support to refugees in need. Bermuda’s colonial government oversaw the care of refugees whose transportation vessels stopped at the island, many of them taking loyalists from East Florida to Nova Scotia. When the transport ship Joseph stopped in Bermuda in 1784, the 158 refugees aboard received the rations allotted by the British government. The vessel required repairs and, combined with the difficult winter weather, these refugees were forced to remain in Bermuda for more than five months. This was far longer than anticipated, and the Bermudian government had to continue to supply these loyalists. The refugees waiting to set sail for Nova Scotia did not go without in Bermuda, even though the colonial leadership had not been prepared to care for them for months on end. Most colonial aid for refugees settling in Bermuda did not come in the form daily, life sustaining provisions, but the local leadership was prepared to fill that need if required.[19]

When New England loyalist William Browne took up the governorship of Bermuda at the very end of the war, the wartime economic boom was on the decline in Bermuda.[20] For loyalists working as privateers, the time for revenge was over and refugee merchants like Goodrich were left navigating a very different economic landscape. Across the island, for smugglers and for privateers, the end of the war was bad for business. Both were dangerous but lucrative wartime activities, but after the fighting ended so did the financial success of these two enterprises. Loyalist refugees and Bermudian merchants faced a difficult economic transition. To aid the refugees’ and the colony’s interests, the colonial government needed to reaffirm Bermuda’s connection to the Crown and ensure the colony’s place in the new British Atlantic system. The future of both groups relied of redefining roles and prospects in an economically disappointing peace.

To balance these interests, the newly appointed Governor Browne tied wellbeing, in particular access to food, to loyalty, and appealed to the British Government to aid the islanders. The colony could not produce enough food to support its population, let alone the refugees passing through, and relied on trade. In 1782, after attempting to secure provisions from New York City and being rejected, Browne wrote to Lord George Germain, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, about the need for provisions:

How it can be expected that a people should be retained in their loyalty, and restrained from trading with the Rebels, when they are denied a morsel of Bread, which they must purchase at a dear rate, and are suffering for want of the common necessaries of life, I must entreat your Lordship to inform me; for if the discovery is wholly left to myself, I fear I shall be obliged to trouble your Lordship with a repetition of the old complaint about our rebel connexions.[21]

This appeal is consistent with the style of William Browne’s defense and rebranding of Bermudians, which was a regular effort during his tenure. He never ignored the truth of their rebel-aiding behavior, but he regularly cast those actions as an act of need and desperation. He set them up as victims or wayward souls, not malignant actors.

Merchant refugees like the Goodrich family relied on the colonial government to ease the critical judgement of imperial leadership, which also helped to relax tensions on the island. Goodrich may have engaged in a successful privateering business, but if Bermuda was punished by the Empire, refugees like Goodrich would likely suffer alongside their patriot-leaning neighbors. In the post-war period, the interests of loyalist refugees settling in Bermuda and those of Bermudians overlapped. Colonial aid came in the form of laying the groundwork for new opportunities, with the Governor corresponding with Parliament members regularly to assert the benefits Bermuda had to offer the new British Atlantic system. Browne emphasized that Bermuda’s worth needed to be understood by the government, and:

It is with this view that they now step forth to suggest that their situation affords to Great Britain the most inviting prospect for improving her manufactures, multiplying her exports and increasing the demand for them, by facilitating their exchange with those who have been thought by experience to give them preference, which is justly due to them. A careful and candid investigation of our circumstances would doubtless disclose many other prospects favorable to the interests of an enterprising and powerful Nation.[22]

Bermudians did not and could not rely on their own agricultural production as an export, so trade relationships and networks were vital to their survival. Browne understood the needs of his merchant colonists- bitter loyalist refugees and morally ambiguous Bermudians alike- and focused his aid on improving their financial opportunities. Aid, in all its various forms and across colonial boundaries, was geared towards providing the foundation for new growth and success. 

The important role of colonial government in aiding refugees was not empire specific. The Spanish government, like the British, provided key support for the refugees that remained in Florida after the terms of peace transferred control of the colony. Governor Vicente Manuel de Zespedes offered support to the British refugees to help ease the strain of their shifting fortunes and their transition into the Spanish Empire. Similar to the colonial governments in Nova Scotia and Bermuda, any form of aid was intended to assist refugee colonists and to improve conditions in the whole colony. Remaining in East Florida meant, to a certain extent, giving up on the British identity that had driven loyalists through the war. But refugees hoped, and the Spanish government allowed, for a balance to be struck between their new imperial loyalties and their old lives in order to facilitate a swift move towards prosperity.

In 1783, the incoming government conducted a census of the East Florida population through an appeal for Spanish protection to either leave the colony or remain under Spanish control. This provided Zespedes with a sense of both who would be remaining and the general development of the colony.[23] An estimated 650 British subjects decided to remain in East Florida, with reasonings that ranged from religious expression to business development. An unknown portion of the black population decided to settle with the Seminole Indians rather than the European imperial powers. The Seminole population was a breakaway from the Creek Confederacy, and they welcomed runaway slaves in separate Black Seminole communities.[24] The population of Italians, Greeks, and Minorcans, East Florida residents since the 1760’s, who decided to stay were not included in the reported number of white British subjects remaining with the Spaniards, perhaps reflecting a local prejudice. Primarily Catholic, these subjects were comfortable with the religious change within the colony and joined the Spanish Empire readily.[25]

Religion played a poignant role for loyalist refugees in their decision to relocate or change political and cultural allegiances. Like the Minorcans, many British Catholics decided to remain in Florida. Refugees who had been born in Scotland or Ireland most frequently cited their faith as a reason for remaining in the colony. Others appealing to remain noted they were currently of the Protestant faith but would conform to Catholicism as members of the Spanish Empire.[26] Passing into a Catholic empire was a selling point for some and deterrent for many. For the Catholic refugees, their religion provided them with a commonality to ease them into their new society, but for the rest of the population this was yet another hurdle in what had become a long tale of upset. Zespedes, therefore, offered exemptions to the conversion requirement to those British refugees he wanted to encourage to remain for the economic benefit they could provide the colony.   

Representatives from Panton, Leslie and Company petitioned to stay in the colony and to maintain their merchant network under the new imperial rule. Their large merchant network offered the Spanish government both a population boost and a positive trade relationship with a potentially hostile neighbor. As long as this system did not damage the economic fortunes of the incoming Spanish, the Company offered a great boon for the new system. Panton, Leslie and Company was central to the trade relationship the British had enjoyed with the surrounding Native American communities, and they hoped to maintain and grow their business without having to relocate to the United States.

These merchants, and their large network of associates, asked for two significant considerations from the new government beyond mere permission to remain in Florida. They requested to continue their trade as before, including importing and exporting goods with Britain, and to avoid converting to Catholicism.[27] Panton, Leslie and Company wanted to essentially continue their business and lives relatively undisturbed, despite the major social and political changes taking place around them. They reached out to the colonial government to provide them with the necessary permissions to ensure the survival of their business, and the new leadership was willing to offer this type of aid. In fact, Governor Zespedes was eager to continue this exchange, noting: “to win effectually the friendship of these Indians for ourselves, it would be risky to expel this firm and company at one stroke.”[28] Colonial governments strove to achieve a balance of interests, and concessions for Panton, Leslie and Company were mutually beneficial to this new colonial system. 

The Spanish government in St. Augustine wanted to keep some of the British in the colony for very practical reasons. The regular struggle for Florida under any empire was population, and the British holdovers helped to bolster Spain’s low settler numbers. The established trade and agricultural production provided a valuable foundation for the second Spanish period. The benefit they provided the colony was the reason the governor continued to extend protection to British subjects, sheltering them from official declarations and religious conversion. While this support did not come from a strictly altruistic perspective, it nonetheless aided refugees rebuilding their lives in a new context. For the merchants in Panton, Leslie and Company, Spanish aid allowed them to keep a profitable trade network intact while the imperial world shifted around them.

Within each of these colonies, local governments offered their loyalist residents necessary aid for re-establishing their livelihoods. The need for basic supplies for survival seen in Nova Scotia certainly was not the case in well-established Bermuda. Bermuda’s Governor Browne was not supporting thousands of disenfranchised refugees, but he was supporting travelers and integrating the loyalists with Bermudian society and easing tensions with imperial leadership. In St. Augustine, Zespedes offered waivers and incentives to make it easier for the British refugees to operate within the new Spanish system. Variations in aid are indicative of the distinctive traits of each colony, spread across the spectrum of age, establishment, and economic orientation. Yet in all cases, local aid was a key component of the rebuilding process. When considered individually, the post-war period of these three colonies are contrasting tales of a changing Atlantic, and are therefore not placed in direct conversation with one another. Together, the divergent circumstances demonstrate the importance of colonial government aid to refugee resettlement. Without the local support provided to these refugees, the process of reestablishing lives and livelihoods would have been far more difficult. In providing this aid, colonial governments were attempting to strike a balance between the needs of refugees, the economic growth of the colony, peace with native neighbors, and religious priorities. Working towards achieving this delicate balance was a necessary challenge for colonial governments guiding their colonies into a post-war Atlantic. Moving forward, the exploration of aid provides an avenue for discussing refugees across the Atlantic World, expanding research and debate on displacement and rebuilding.

Alexandra Mairs-Kessler is a doctoral student at the University of Delaware, concentrating on loyalist refugees of the American Revolution.

Title Image: Herman Moll, Map of British Plantations, 1739.


[1] The general area was also home to a native population, the Mi’kmaq, and some French Canadians. Christopher Moore, The Loyalists: Revolution, Exile, Settlement (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc, 1984), 158-160.

[2] Project of the Definitive Treaty, 3 May 1783,  in Lockey, East Florida 1783-1785: A File of Documents Assembled, and Many of Them Translated (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1949), 91.; J. Leitch Wright, “British East Florida: Loyalist Bastion,” in Eighteenth-Century Florida: The Impact of the American Revolution, ed. Samuel Proctor (Gainesville: University Presses of Florida, 1978), 1-13.

[3] Preliminary Articles of Peace between Spain and England, 20 January 1783, transcribed in Joseph Byrne Lockey, East Florida 1783-1785: A File of Documents Assembled, 54-57.; “Preliminary Peace Treaty between the United States and Great Britain, 30 November 1782,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017,

[4] Keith Mason, “Loyalism in British North America in the Age of Revolution, c. 1775-1812,” in Loyalism and the Formation of the British World, 1775-1914, Allan Blackstock and Frank O’Gorman, eds. (Rochester: Boydell and Brewer, 2014), 163-180. Maya Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011), 351-358. 

[5] Moore, The Loyalists, 158-160.

[6] Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles, 160. Moore, The Loyalists, 145-146.

[7] Moore, The Loyalists, 162-164, 179-182.

[8] The government disbanded the black militia prior to them setting foot in Nova Scotia in order to avoid having to provide them with military rations. Douglas R. Egerton, Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 205-208.; John Grant, “Black Immigrants into Nova Scotia, 1776-1815,” in The Journal of Negro History, vol. 58, no. 3 (July, 1973), 253-270.

[9] Ann Gorman Condon, “The Loyalist Community in New Brunswick,” in Loyalists and Community in North America, eds. Robert M. Calhoon, Timothy M. Barnes, and George A. Rawlyk, (London: Greenwood Press, 1994), 161-173.; Egerton, Death or Liberty, 208-209.

[10] The Memorial of Captain Peter Berton, American Loyalist Claims, Series 1, Exchequer and Audit Department, Public Records Office, AO12, 323-25. Minutes of the Proceedings of the Port Roseway Associates 1782, Shelburne Township Records Minute Book, vol. 1, 25. Moore, The Loyalists, 145-146. Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles, 160.

[11] Moore, The Loyalists, 145-146. Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles, 160.

[12] Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles, 160-166.

[13] Proclamation by Major General John Campbell in Halifax, Nova Scotia, 31 March 1784, New Brunswick Executive Council Proclamations.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Instructions from John Campbell to the Board appointed to examine the Claims of disbanded Officers, Soldiers and Loyalists who became settlers in Nova Scotia, 21 April 1784, New Brunswick Executive Council Proclamations.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Carole W. Troxler, “A Loyalist Life: John Bond of South Carolina and Nova Scotia,” Acadiensis, vol. 19, no. 2, (Spring, 1990), 87-88.

[18] Clarence Maxwell, Theodore Francis II, Alexandra Mairs-Kessler, Prudent Rebels: Bermudians & the First Age of Revolution, (Bermuda: National Museum of Bermuda Press, 2019), 79-109.; Alexander J. Goodrich, “‘Obnoxious in the Eyes of the Enemy’: The ‘Honorable’ Bridger Goodrich and the Bermudian Privateering Cabal,” Bermuda Journal of Archaeology and Maritime History vol. 21 (2018), 112-149. 

[19] Thomas Astin Coffin, Assistant Commissary, New York, to John Perrott, 12 November 1783, Book of Miscellanies, vol.2, CS/2001/2, p. 98. “Return of Loyalists enrolled in Capt. John Perrots Company actually Embarked on board the Transport Ship Joseph Jas. Mitchel Master bound for Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia,” Book of Miscellanies, vol. 2, CS/2001/2, p. 99-101. Wallace Brown, “The American Loyalist in Bermuda,” Bermuda Historical Quarterly, no. 4 (1976), 80-89.

[20] The Memorial of William Browne, American Loyalist Claims, Series 1, Exchequer and Audit Department, Public Record Office, AO13, 68-153.; Robert M Calhoon, ‘Browne, William (1737-1802)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, September 2004. []; David E. Mass, ‘Browne, William (27 February 1737- 13 February 1802)’, American National Biography, Oxford University Press, 1999; online edn, February 2000. [].

[21] William Browne to Lord George Germain, 8 May 1782, William Browne Letterbooks, PA:336:4.

[22] William Browne to Lord Townshend, 30 April 1783, William Browne Letterbooks, PA:336:4.

[23] “A Spanish Census of Florida in 1783,” compiled by Grace Jarvis, printed in The Georgia Genealogical Magazine (1971).

[24] Celeste Ray and Lillian Azevedo-Grout, “Black Seminoles,” in The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, vol. 6: Ethnicity, ed. Celeste Ray (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007).; Stephanie Lampkin, “‘It is supposed they went through the Indian Nation’: The Intersections of Black and Native Struggles for Freedom and Sovereignty for Freedom and Sovereignty in the Floridas, 1763-1803,” (PhD. diss, University of Delaware, 2016).

[25] Memorials of the Italians, Greeks and Minorcans, 12 July 1784, transcribed in Lockey, East Florida 1783-1785: A File of Documents Assembled, 232-233.; Daniel L. Schafer, “Governor James Grant’s Villa: A British East Florida Indigo Plantation,” El Escribano, vol. 37 (2000), 83-85.

[26] “A Spanish Census of Florida in 1783,” compiled by Grace Jarvis, printed in The Georgia Genealogical Magazine (1971). There were cases, like those of Alexander MacDonell, where religion seemed to have played a surprising role in the decision to leave or remain. Scottish MacDonell originally applied for protection to leave the colony and remain within the British Empire. His entry in the census has an added note that he returned in person to declare himself Catholic and request permission to stay in East Florida.

[27] Memorial of Panton, Leslie and Company, 31 July 1784, transcribed in Lockey, East Florida 1783-1785: A File of Documents Assembled, 257-260.

[28] Vincente Manuel de Zespedes to Bernardo de Galvez, 16 August 1784, transcribed in Lockey, East Florida 1783-1785: A File of Documents Assembled, 254-257.

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