Walter Martin


Florida was ceded to the United States by Spain in 1821 as two quite separate provinces, East and West Florida. East Florida had grown up in the St. Johns river section and around the ancient city of St. Augustine. Bathed in Spanish tradition and custom, this section felt no dependence on or interest in West Florida which was centered some 400 miles to the west at Pensacola. There were virtually no towns between the two capitals, and most of the vast wilderness between St. Augustine and Pensacola was inhabited by Indians who were none too friendly. By nature the two provinces stood apart and very little understanding existed between them. Evidently, no great amount of intercourse took place between East and West Florida since travel was slow and uncertain and even years later mail took 30 days in passage from St. Augustine to Pensacola.