The British colony of West Florida, which once stretched from the mighty Mississippi to the shallow bends of the Apalachicola and potions of what are now the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, is the forgotten fourteenth colony of America's Revolutionary era. For a host of reasons, including the fact that West Florida did not rebel against the British Government, the colony has long been dismissed as a loyal but inconsequential fringe outpost, if considered at all. But the colony's history showcases a tumultuous political scene featuring a halting attempt at instituting representative government; a host of bold and colorful characters; a compelling saga of struggle and perseverance in the pursuit of financial stability; and a dramatic series of battles on land and water which brought about the end of its days under the Union Jack.
Mike Bunn is a historian and author who has worked with several cultural heritage organizations in the Southeast. He currently serves as Director of Historic Blakeley State Park in Spanish Fort, Alabama. He is the author of several books, including Fourteenth Colony: The Forgotten Story of the Gulf South During America's Revolutionary Era. Mike is chair of the Baldwin County Historic Development Commission. He earned his undergraduate degree at Faulkner University and two masters degrees at the University of Alabama.
Photo by Matthew Coughlin