During the American Revolution many Loyalists fled from the southern states and sought refuge in British East Florida. At the close of the war, when Florida changed hands again, these refugees as well as the British residents of Florida were forced to choose between living under the flag of Spain or seeking new homes elsewhere. Most of them left Florida and many of them established their new homes in the sprawling archipelago which is Florida’s neighbor to the east, the Bahama Islands
"The Loyalist Migration from East Florida to the Bahama Islands,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 40
, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol40/iss2/3