A companion to the American South by John B Boles

By John B Boles

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A somewhat comprehensive study is Pablo Tornero Tinajero (1979), which examines the demographic and economic history of the colony to show how La Florida became a dependency of the United States well before it was acquired as a result of Spain's weakness and Andrew Jackson's attacks. This slender Spanish dissertation has not been translated and has little narrative of other aspects of the colony's history. It also does not make use of the voluminous East Florida Papers held in the Library of Congress, the Spanish administrative archive that the United States seized at the time of the transfer of East Florida in 1821.

David B. Quinn, Susan Hillier, and Alison Quinn (1978) made much of this source material available in translation. They added to the older corpus with their own archival discoveries in England and Spain. They largely left it to their readers to explore the possible interconnections among the voyages and colonization efforts. The maps that explorers and settlers helped to create are found in William P. Cumming and Louis De Vorsey Jr. (1998). This book handsomely reproduces many of the maps from the earliest years to the late eighteenth century and describes most of the rest.

Weddle (1991) is the best treatment of these developments. The book distills his earlier work on La Salle and the Spanish search for La Salle and then discusses the Spanish and French colonies of Pensacola and La Louisiane (briefly) and subsequent explorations along the Gulf coast, again including Mexico. The fruits of this activity, in which the French took an especially active part, were a series of maps that showed an increasingly accurate and sophisticated understanding of the entire Gulf of Mexico littoral.

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