Richard G. Lowe


In 1817 the United States took actions at a small island off the northeast coast of Florida which aroused protests from the Spanish government. A band of South American adventurers had occupied Spanish-owned Amelia Island in June and had been using their base as a smugglers’ gateway into Georgia and the southern states. In December 1817, the United States purged the island of its invaders, apparently trying to get rid of this group of troublesome ruffians and smugglers that were agitating along the southern border. A closer examination of this event, however, reveals an additional motive as well.