British West Florida

West Florida
Colony of Great Britain

 

1763–1783

Flag of West Florida

Flag of Great Britain

Location of West Florida
British West Florida in 1767.
CapitalPensacola (1763)
Governor
 • 1763George Johnstone
History
 • Treaty of Paris (1763)10 February 1763
 • Peace of Paris (1783)1783

West Florida was a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1763 until 1783 when it was ceded to Spain as part of the Peace of Paris.

British West Florida comprised parts of the modern U.S. states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Effective British control ended in 1781 when Spain captured Pensacola. The territory subsequently became a colony of Spain, parts of which were gradually annexed piecemeal by the United States beginning in 1810.

Creation

In 1762, during the Seven Years' War, a British expedition attacked and occupied Havana, the capital of Cuba. To secure the return of this valuable city, Spain agreed to cede its territory of La Florida to the victorious Great Britain under the 1763 Treaty of Paris. France ceded a large segment of New France to Great Britain, including its territory east of the Mississippi River except for the city of New Orleans.

The British divided this southern region of the North American continent into two separate colonies: East Florida, with its capital in St. Augustine and West Florida, with Pensacola as its capital. Many of the Spanish inhabitants of Florida were evacuated to Cuba, and new British settlers arrived including some from the thirteen colonies.

By separate treaty France ceded its lands west of the Mississippi to Spain, which formed Spanish Louisiana with the capital at New Orleans.