War on the Gulf Coast: The Spanish Fight against William Augustus Bowles – Gilbert C. Din
University Press of Florida | 2012 | PDF
War on the Gulf Coast is one of the first books about the Spanish period in West Florida (1797–1805) written from the Spanish point of view. Using Spanish archival sources, Gilbert Din is able to shed new light on the machinations of William Augustus Bowles, an adventurer who sought to introduce goods, subvert the Creek Indians, and deprive the Spaniards of territory.
By revealing the inner workings of the Spanish military establishment, Din makes a convincing case that West Florida—which then stretched all the way to the Mississippi River—was a vital zone of international intrigue, not an unimportant backwater. He also offers a much-needed corrective to previous depictions of Bowles, questioning his actual influence among the Creek Nation. Din highlights the naval efforts to curtail smuggling and capture Bowles and counters prevailing wisdom about why the Spanish were forced to surrender at Fort San Marcos.
Gilbert C. Din is professor emeritus of history at Fort Lewis College (Colorado). He is the author of Spaniards, Planters, and Slaves: The Spanish Regulation of Slavery in Louisiana, 1763–1803, which won the General L. Kemper and Leila Williams Award for the best book on Louisiana history.