In March 1812, a group of Georgia settlers known as the Patriot Army invaded Spanish East Florida with de facto support from the United States Government. They had hoped to convince the Spanish colonists to join them and declare Florida’s independence from Spain. The attempt ultimately failed, but during the Patriot Army’s temporary control of Fernandina, the group’s leaders drew up this constitution and formed a government for what they called the Republic of East Florida.
Unwary, thinking that you are depressed by the rumor (however false) that the troops are to be removed.
Can you? Will you, in poverty become the sport of slaves and the adhered army in St. Augustine? It has been unanimously resolved by the Legislature Council, that they in their representative and individual capacity, will not receive the pardon so treacherously offered, but will proceed and act to the outmost of their power until liberty and independence are secured. We call upon you all to unite and by in joint exertions secure our safety, property, liberty and independence. There can be but two parties: friend and enemies. Those that are not with us will be treated as foes. Measure are now