Dominion of British West Florida
This entity “is a small enclave of Her Majesty's Empire and the British Commonwealth, lying between the Gulf of Mexico on the south and 32.28 degrees north, and between the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers on the east and the Mississippi River on the west.” Their government “is striving for Dominion Status as a Commonwealth Realm, on a par with Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and The Bahamas.” But so far, Queen Elizabeth II “has not yet granted our Petition, nor authorized this web site” ( Currently, “British West Florida is administered in the name of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, by her Acting Governor-General Robert, Duke of Florida. The Duke acts as an agent of Her Majesty, functioning for and as the Monarch in Her absence...Neither he, nor the People of British West Florida, will accept anything less than full Allegiance to Her Majesty.” Under the Duke's guidance, they remain “staunch advocates of the preservation of the country's historic customs, traditions, and symbols, especially those which link us to our British Past (prior to the Treaty of 1783).” Its “firmly Royalist” government “encourages the immigration of any of Her Majesty's Loyal Subjects, from the Kingdom, or any of Her Dominions, Commonwealths, Colonies, or Territories wherever they may be found. British West Florida is proud of its heritage, as a Colony of Great Britain, and as stronghold for Loyalists in North America. During the so-called American Revolution we provided safety to those fleeing the rebellious colonies to our north. We now offer welcome and asylum to Her Majesty's Subjects from any other localities that have deserted God and Crown.”.
The beginnings of the Dominion date back to 1630, when Charles I had granted the territory to some of his followers. Since 1862, West Florida had been part of the French colony of Louisiana, but Britain received a portion of it in 1763, at the end of the French and Indian War (this was but one of many theatres of the Seven Years' War — which in turn is the European name by which the entire conflict is known). That's also when England gained control of the Spanish colony of Florida in exchange for Havana, which the British had captured from Spain during the fighting. Because the British monarchy had ambitious plans for this tract of fertile land, the Proclamation of 1763 established the provinces of East Florida and West Florida. East Florida encompassed most of the present state of Florida. West Florida was a strip along the Gulf Coast formed by parts of the present states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana; it was a region which underwent several boundary and sovereignty changes during its history. The British capital of West Florida was (and still is) in Pensacola. “As the Revolutionary War dragged on, both Floridas”, while remaining Loyal Colonies, “became problematic” for King George III. “In 1781, the Kingdom of Spain entered the war, and soon captured Pensacola. British loyalists who flocked to Florida during the Revolution were then forced to leave, and the Spanish inherited large plantations that the British had worked so hard to cultivate.” Thus ended a specific interval, which lasted until 1783, that is referred to as the First Restoration Period. “In 1808 The Spanish King (Charles IV of Spain) and his son (Ferdinand VII), under threat of French arms, were removed from power and replaced by Napoleon's brother Joseph. It was at this time our historians and legal advisors tell us that Sovereignty over Florida reverted to the King George the Third” — in other words, to their original status as belonging to the British Crown. “The actions of any other Government are deemed Null and Void with regard to the Dominion of British Florida, and the Dominion of British West Florida in particular denies the effectiveness of any Treaty or Order issued by any other Sovereign.” As a result, “In 1810, the Loyal British Settlers, in conjunction with newly arrived persons from the United States of America”, revolted against the Spanish Occupation they'd grown to resent. On September 23rd, the rebels overcame the Spanish garrison at Baton Rouge and unfurled their new banner, which would later become known as the Bonnie Blue Flag. A Free and Independent Republic of West Florida actually existed for 74 days, surviving until December 10th. According to their Constitution, the official name of the nation was the “State of Florida”. One of the men involved in the rebellion was Fulwar Skipwith, a former diplomat who had been instrumental in negotiating the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Skipwith, a distant cousin of Thomas Jefferson, was also a member of the first West Florida judiciary. He served as West Florida's first and only President/Governor. Unfortunately, Skipwith could not prevent the United States from occupying his short-lived state. On October 27th, parts of West Florida were appropriated under a proclamation of President James Madison, who'd claimed the region as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Naturally, Skipwith and the West Florida government were opposed to this decision, preferring to negotiate terms to join the Union. Skipwith even vowed that he was ready to die in defense of its flag. Skipwith and the legislature eventually backed down and agreed to accept Madison's directive. The “unlawful annexation” of West Florida “was completed by force of arms in 1813 when the future United States President, Gen. Andrew Jackson took Pensacola and drove out the British, with whom the United States was at war.” This period, which ended almost as soon as it began, is referred to as the Second Restoration Effort. Skipwith later served in the Louisiana Senate. Meanwhile, Spain refused to recognize the American occupation of West Florida; and the “United States government continued to use excessive force against British Citizens in East Florida (at that time under Spanish Protection)”.
Furthermore, American expansionists contemplated taking this territory. The issue was finally settled with the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819 (Florida Purchase Treaty), in which Spain renounced its claims to West Florida and also ceded East Florida to the United States. “The United States government recognized its responsibilities to Spain” by making a payment of $5,000,000 for those lands, but “No mention is ever made of the United States Recognizing its Duty to the Republic of West Florida, or the Citizens.” According to Mr. Robert J. “Bo” Register — The Lord Bo, Baron Von Servers (Lord and Governor of Fayette, the easternmost Barony) — “The Third Restoration Effort began at Christmas time 2004, but it was an informal ‘gather the facts’ effort at that point.” And on “November 29, 2005, the Third Restoration Effort began using the WWW to publicize the Dominion of British West Florida, its aims, and claims to Sovereignty.” Thus, thanks to cyberspace, they've been able to begin broadcasting their assertion that “The Dominion of British West Florida is the lawful government of the former British Colony of British West Florida.”
On May 1, 2006, The Dominion of British West Florida Reserve Bank received its first shipment of commemorative coins celebrating her Majesty's 80th Birthday. The pair, a One Pound piece and a One Farthing piece, was made possible by Jorge Fernández Vidal. “The Coins feature dual dating, AD MMVI and AE LXXX.” The letter stands for Anno Elizabeth. The Republic of West Florida, today is divided among three states. In 1993, the Louisiana State Legislature renamed Interstate 12 through the Florida Parishes as the "Republic of West Florida Parkway." In 2002, Leila Lee Roberts, a great-granddaughter of Fulwar Skipwith, donated the original copy of the constitution of the West Florida Republic and supporting papers to the Louisiana State Archives.
Chiefa Coins