In your course on British empire and Florida you will be exploring books, maps, and manuscripts that document how British imperial ambitions shaped the development of the American Southeast and the Caribbean. In focusing on Florida and the British empire, you have three eras of involvement:
Although British-period cartography would eventually excel at producing accurate coast surveys and maps of the Floridas, this illustration from the mid-eighteenth century gives some sense of common misapprehensions about Florida. Attributed to Thomas Kitchin, this very "Inaccurate" Map of East and West Florida, showing the peninsula broken up by waterways, was published in 1765 to accompany an article in the London Magazine. Similar promotional pieces, or outright calls to invest and settle in the Floridas, appeared in the the Gentleman's Magazine and the London Chronicle or Universal Post. The London Magazine and the Gentleman's Magazine can both be found online.
This 1774 edition of Thomas Jefferys' A Description of the Spanish Islands and Settlements on the Coast of the West Indies, first published in 1763 during the Seven Years' War (shortly after the British capture of Havana, Cuba) is a good example of British aspirations to expand in the New World Empire at the expense of Spain. Jefferys outlined the advantages British subjects and investors would gain if they controlled various cities and ports in Spanish territory, giving detailed accounts and maps of the various places. By the time the 1774 editon came out, at least some possessions, such as East and West Florida, had in fact changed hands, and were under British control. Jefferys produced wonderful maps of St. Augustine and Pensacola, and a large-scale map of Florida, that are still considered brilliant pieces of cartographic work.
Facsimile available at Eighteenth Century Collections Online.
Besides the Colonial America database, you may also want to consult other databases like British History Online, Early American Imprints, and Early English Books Online. These databases are listed alphabetically at the A-Z Index for databases accessible through the University of Florida library system.
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