To the astonishment of many, Lord John Murray, fourth Earl of Dunmore, member of the House of Lords, formerly controversial colonial governor of New York and Virginia, became governor of the Bahama Islands in 1787. Immediately eyebrows were lifted and questions raised as to why the Earl had accepted the apparently insignificant governorship of islands whose total population, black and white, was not appreciably greater than that of Williamsburg when the colonial assembly had been in session. Dunmore had returned to America late in 1781 and had expected to resume his role as the Virginia governor in the wake of Cornwallis’ victories; but the defeat at Yorktown was responsible for his arriving at British-occupied Charleston rather than the governor’s palace at Williamsburg. Examining Dunmore’s post-1781 career helps explain what eventually drew him to the Bahamas and also clarifies British policy toward the Floridas, Louisiana, and the entire Mississippi Valley in the 1782-1783 Paris peace negotiations.
Wright, Jr., J. Leitch
"Lord Dunmore's Loyalist Asylum in the Floridas,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 49:
4, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol49/iss4/6