After returning the two Floridas to Spain by the Treaty of Paris of 1783, England watched with satisfaction while her thirteen former colonies struggled to reach agreement with the government in Madrid on the thorny problem of the southeastern boundary. The Treaty of San Lorenzo of 1795 failed to satisfy either party and the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 further confused the problem by introducing boundary claims in the region west of the Mississippi River. The suggestion to use force to achieve a permanent settlement with Spain was heard with increasing frequency in Washington. Even Thomas Jefferson, in retirement at Monticello, advised action when he wrote his nephew, John Wayles Eppes, “I wish you would authorize the President to take possession of East Florida immediately. The seizing [of] West Florida will be a signal to England to take Pensacola & St. Augustine; . . . we shall never get it from them but by a war, which may be prevented by anticipation -”
Murdoch, Richard K.
"A British Report on West Florida and Louisiana, November, 1812,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 43:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol43/iss1/5