Alan L. Karras


The British colonies in East and West Florida and the Bahamas were frontier outposts. They were not central to European colonial ventures in the same way as Jamaica and Veracruz. British imperial perspective considered these settlements little more than "buffers," separating the established colonies of mainland North America from hostile group of Amerindians (principally Creeks, Cherokee and Choctaws), as well a from Spanish imperial outposts in Cuba Santo Domingo, and remote Louisiana.1 The importance of such border societies to British officials in Westminster ought to be measured in terms of national security rather than in terms of economic productivity (i.e., how many and what kind of crops they produced for European consumption).2 As a result of their peripheral position within the imperial field of vision, imperial representative in such places had significant leeway to negotiate and compromise-both with their own subjects and with those who lived in neighboring foreign jurisdictions.