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.
I have thought in improper to mention this fact in an official letter to you, but it is one which had its weight in the part which the Govt. has taken. I can assure you that the utmost confidence is reposed in your integrity and patriotism, and that the part you have acted is imputed to no other motive than zeal to serve your Country. The principal object of this private letter is to give you this assurance. In the instructions given to the Gov. of Georgia it is enjoined on him to pay particular attention to the interest of all persons who have been active in obtaining possession of Amelia Island at the Country adjacent to it.
I am dear Sir with great respect