From the beginning of the American Revolution, the security afforded by the St. Augustine garrison attracted loyalists from nearby Georgia and the Carolinas to the British colony of East Florida. The stream of refugees fluctuated with the course of the war. It swelled in 1778, reflecting the confiscation and banishment acts, but reversed itself the following year in the wake of the British invasion of the southern colonies. The autumn of 1782 brought a flood of men who had gained the enmity of their neighbors by service in loyalist militia or provincial corps. They accompanied the British withdrawal, first from Savannah and then from Charleston, many bringing families with them. The removal of slaves, the most salvageable form of wealth, further increased the number of displaced persons arriving from the Carolinas and Georgia. Estimates for the population in early 1783 range between 6,000 and 8,000 for whites and between 9,000 and 11,000 for blacks. Most of them had not lived in East Florida before the war and would leave by the end of 1785.
Troxler, Carole Watterson
"Loyalist Refugees and the British Evacuation of East Florida, 1783-1785,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 60:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol60/iss1/3