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.
That we are Citizens of a Territory of the United Stated, and under rules and regulations of that Government, it becomes highly necessary that a government should be established in this Province to prevent Anarchy and confusion therefore we the delegates of the freemen of East Florida chosen and assembled for the Express purpose of framing a Constitution under the Authority of the people do declare that a Government for this Territory shall be established in manner and form following wit:
The Executive, Legislative and Judiciary Departments, shall be separate and distinct so that neither exercise the