“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near St. George Island in Franklin County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

William Augustus Bowles

William Augustus Bowles Marker image. Click for full size.
By Chuck Bury, February 12, 2012
1. William Augustus Bowles Marker
Inscription. During a storm in 1799, the schooner Fox ran aground off the eastern end of St. George Island. On board was William Augustus Bowles, a British citizen and self-styled leader of the Creek-Cherokee nation. Bowles was bringing gunpowder and bullets, he hoped to re-establish his prominence among the Creeks, drive the Spanish out of Florida, and create an independent Muskogee state under British protection.

The Creeks were the most organized of the southern Indians and still controlled much of their territory. Because of Florida's strategic location, the U.S., Spain, Britain, and France were all interested in Bowles' actions.

With supplies salvaged from the shipwreck, Bowles paddled up the Apalachicola River to reunite with his Creek family and begin rallying native support. The ship captain and crew camped on the island until rescuers returned them to Jamaica.

Bowles and his Creek, Seminole, black, and white followers captured the Spanish fort at St. Marks in 1800 and held it for over a month. Losing control of its only fortification between St. Augustine and Pensacola was an embarrassment to Spain and a sign of its fragile hold on Florida.

Britain's peace with France and Spain through the Treaty of Amiens, 1802, removed any hope of British support for Bowles' schemes. Bowles lived among the Creeks until his recapture in 1803, and died in a Cuban prison. Although Bowles' dreams were not realized, he plagued the Spanish for almost two decades, preventing them from maintaining complete military control of Florida.
Erected 1988 by Florida Historical Society. (Marker Number F-319.)
Location. 29° 41.088′ N, 84° 47.689′ W. Marker is near St. George Island, Florida, in Franklin County. Marker is on E Gulf Beach Dr,. Touch for map. Inside St. George Island State Park, in small parking lot near entrance building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1900 E Gulf Beach Dr,, Eastpoint FL 32328, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Crooked River Lighthouse History (approx. 11.4 miles away); Franklin County (approx. 11.6 miles away); Camp Gordon Johnston Training Area (approx. 11.7 miles away); When the River Was King! (approx. 11.7 miles away); World War II D-Day Training Site (approx. 11.7 miles away); Fort Coombs - Franklin Guards (approx. 11.8 miles away); Dr. John Gorrie (approx. 11.8 miles away); Trinity Episcopal Church (approx. 11.8 miles away).
Also see . . .  William Augustus Bowles - Southern History. (Submitted on February 16, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Spanish Florida, Gulf Coast, Creek, Cherokee, Seminole
Categories. Colonial EraForts, CastlesNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers

Credits. This page was last revised on August 2, 2017. This page originally submitted on February 15, 2012. This page has been viewed 654 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on February 15, 2012. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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