David Narrett


Panton and his business partner John Leslie were the most politically adept merchants of Florida's shores from the height of the American Revolutionary War until the close of the eighteenth century. Renowned for their mastery of the Indian trade, they were native Scots who exemplified their country's rising place in the British Empire over distant comers of the globe. Immigrating to South Carolina in the early 1770s, both men did business there and in neighboring Georgia, where Panton came to reside. While they may not have known each other personally at the time, the war would bring them together. After the outbreak of hostilities, Panton and Leslie remained steadfastly loyal to the king. Escaping American Whig harassment, each found refuge by fleeing southward to East Florida-a colony that had come into the British Empire by the peace of 1763 ending the Seven Years' War.1