[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail:
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

The Story of the West Florida Rebellion
by
Stanley Clisby Arthur

The Book and the Author

Stanley Clisby Arthur was a journalist and author of several popular books on various Louisiana subjects; as befits a newspaperman, he is best known for Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'em; but he also wrote Walking Tours of Old New Orleans; Old Families of Louisiana; Audubon: An Intimate Life of the American Woodsman; The Story of the Battle of New Orleans; a biography of the pirate Jean Lafitte, etc.

The book transcribed here, and an even rarer historical work, The Story of the Kemper Brothers, seem to belong to his early career; they both first appeared in serial form in the Democrat, a newspaper in St. Francisville, the Louisiana town that was once the capital of the West Florida Republic.

Contents

Frontispiece

1

Maps

132, 146, 147

Introduction

3

Part I: The Purchase

25

Part II: The Convention

49

Part III: The Revolt

89

Part IV: The Republic

109

Part V: The County

133

Maps

The Proposed British Seat of Government in West Florida

Frontispiece

The Theatre of Action

132

Spain's West Florida

146

The County of Feliciana

147

Illustrations

The First Flag

4

The Second Flag

11

The Third Flag

13

The Fourth Flag

24

The Twin-starred Kemper Brothers' Flag [The Fifth Flag]

26

A Flag that never Flew over Feliciana

48

The Bonnie Blue Flag [The Sixth Flag]

108º

The Seventh Flag

141

[decorative delimiter]

Technical Details

Edition Used

The edition followed in this transcription is the original and probably the only one, published by The St. Francisville Democrat, St. Francisville, La., 1935. It is in the public domain because the copyright was not renewed at the appropriate time, which would have been in 1962 or 1963: details here on the copyright law involved.

Illustrations

The illustrations in the printed book are all black and white, consisting of a photo of an old map as a Frontispiece; three maps; and eight woodcuts or lithogravures of the flags that flew — and in one case, did not fly — over West Florida. These last are handsomely and accurately hatched according to standard heraldic conventions, and I've merely colorized them accordingly (more precisely, to as close to the modern official colors as possible: the red in the Spanish flag, for example, is not the same as the red in the American); I also colorized the engraved maps according to the same conventions as elsewhere on this website, which makes them much easier to read.

I've moved the maps, which in the printed edition are scattered thru the book, to a single webpage; and some of the other illustrations from their original pages to places that made better sense to me; their original pages are noted in the Table of Contents above.

Proofreading

As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if successful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

This transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree. As elsewhere on this site, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

Arthur is a poor writer, and then the printed book was wretchedly proofread if at all; this double-whammy forced me to abandon my usual practice if the reader were not to drown in a sea of little bullets and notes. As I input the text, it became clear that most of the errors were not due to the original documents but to poor modern editing; so in correcting all these typos, instead of marking each one with a bullet and the variant, there is no bullet, but the printed text is only given in a comment in the sourcecode, like this: <!‑‑ printed: thsi ‑‑>. I also dealt this way with some of the punctuation — a bare minimum — and I put the essential accents and diacriticals on such words as François and Doña; cedillas and tildes, necessary though they be, are uniformly absent from the printed edition, very likely because they were not to be had in the typesetter's case.

Some proper names were hard to deal with. Bayou Sara/Sarah and St./Ste. Helena I left as I found. For Grand Pré I adopted a standard spelling, where the author himself sometimes omits the accent, sometimes adds a hyphen, and at least once writes Grande Pré, which last is a downright mistake. Other less prominent names I dared not standardize, although I feel sure there must be a correct spelling (St. John's Plain and variants; Benjamin Williams/William, Harries/Herries). A small group of names like Chifoncté and Tangipahoa bloom out in a profusion of variants surely due to the original sources, and I didn't touch them.

Beyond these errors, which I fixed or left, I left a number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. that can't be called mistakes — especially if they occur in proper names or quotations from source documents — but might jar today's reader: they're marked <!‑‑ sic ‑‑> in the sourcecode, just to confirm that I did check them.

Any remaining mistakes are thus probably my own, so please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have in front of you a copy of the printed book, or by even better fortune, one of the source documents.

Pagination and Local Links

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this linep57); these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.


My icon for the book is a colorized version of an engraving that appears four times in it: the Lone Star flag of the Republic of West Florida.


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Site updated: 11 Sep 10