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.
Provisional Government assented to and passed the 17 July 1812.
The people of the province of East Florida have lived for years under a bondage almost unsupportable and though many of them have felt and all of them had witnessed the happiness which their neighbors divided from them only by the river St. Marys experienced, they remained in this abject state, sensible of their situation until they discovered that new attempts were made to oppress and degrade them. It might have been expected that a people who neither idolized their priest