Siege of Havana
The Siege of Havana was a military action from March to August 1762, as part of the Seven Years' War. British forces besieged and captured the city of Havana, which at the time was an important Spanish naval base in the Caribbean, dealt a serious blow to the Spanish Navy. Havana was subsequently returned to Spain under the 1763 Treaty of Paris that formally ended the war. Before involving his country in the conflict raging in Europe and across the world, Charles III of Spain made provisions to defend the Spanish colonies against the British Royal Navy. For the defence of Cuba, he appointed Juan de Prado as commander-in-chief. De Prado arrived at Havana in February 1761 and began work to improve the fortifications of the city. In June 1761, a flotilla of seven ships of the line under the command of Admiral Gutierre de Hevia arrived at Havana, transporting two regular infantry regiments totalling some 1,000 men. However, yellow fever reduced the defending forces, by the time of the siege, they had been reduced to 3,850 soldiers, 5,000 sailors and marines and 2,800 militia.
The main garrison consisted of: España Infantry Regiment Aragón Infantry Regiment Havana Infantry Regiment Edinburgh's Dragoons Army's gunners Navy's gunners and marines Havana had one of the finest natural harbours in the West Indies. It could accommodate up to 100 ships of the line. A 180 m wide and 800 m long entrance channel gave access to the harbour, Havana housed important shipyards capable of building first-rate man-of-war ships. Two strong fortresses defended the entrance channel, it was garrisoned by 700 men. The south side was defended by the Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta; the channel could be blocked by a boom chain extending from El Morro to La Punta. Havana itself lay on the south side along the channel and was surrounded by a wall 5 kilometres long. Havana was considered impregnable, hadn't been taken since the French pirates in the 16th century; when war broke out with Spain, plans were made in Great Britain for an amphibious attack on Havana. The expedition was under the command of George Keppel, 3rd Earl of Albemarle, with Vice-Admiral Sir George Pocock as naval commander.
This plan called for Jeffrey Amherst to embark 4,000 men from America to join Keppel and to assemble another force of 8,000 men for an attack on Louisiana. During the month of February, British troops embarked, they consisted of: 22nd Regiment of Foot 34th Regiment of Foot 56th Regiment of Foot 72nd Richmond's Regiment of FootOn 5 March the British expedition sailed from Spithead, with 7 ships of the line and 4,365 men aboard 64 transports, arrived in Barbados on 20 April. Five days the expedition reached Fort Royal on the conquered island of Martinique where it picked up the remainder of Major-General Robert Monckton's expedition, still numbering 8,461 men. Rear Admiral George Rodney's squadron, amounting to 8 ships of the line joined the expedition bringing the total number of ships of the line to 15. On 23 May the expedition, now off the northwest corner of Saint-Domingue, was further reinforced by Sir James Douglas' squadron from Port Royal, Jamaica; the force under Albemarle now amounted to 21 ships of the line, 24 lesser warships, 168 other vessels, carrying some 14,000 seamen and marines plus another 3,000 hired sailors and 12,826 regulars.
On 6 June the British force came into sight of Havana. 12 British ships of the line were sent to the mouth of the entrance channel to block in the Spanish fleet. The British planned to begin the operations by the reduction of the Morro fortress, on the north side of the channel, through a formal Vauban-style siege; the commanding position of this fort over the city would force the Spanish commander to surrender. However, this plan did not take into account the fact that the fortress was located on a rocky promontory where it was impossible to dig approach trenches and that a large ditch cut into the rock protected the fort on the land side; the Spanish force under Prado and Admiral Hevia, surprised by the size of the attacking force, adopted a delaying defensive strategy, hoping for a relief force or for an epidemic of yellow fever among the besiegers or for a hurricane destroying the British fleet. Accordingly, the Spanish fleet was kept in the harbour while its sailors and marines were sent to garrison the fortresses of Morro and Punta which were placed under the command of naval officers.
Most of the shot and powder of the fleet as well as its best guns were transferred to these two fortresses. Meanwhile, regular troops were assigned to the defence of the city; the channel entrance was closed with the boom chain. Furthermore, 3 ships of the line were selected among the fleet for their poor condition and sunk behind the boom chain. Realising the importance of the Morro, the Spanish commanders gave it top priority. On 7 June the British troops were landed northeast of Havana, began advancing west the next day, they met a militia party, pushed back. By the end of the day, British infantry had reached the vicinity of Havana; the defence of the Morro was assigned to Luis Vicente de Velasco e Isla, a naval officer, who took measures to prepare and provision the fortress for a siege. On 11 June a British party stormed a detached redoubt on the Cavannos heights. Only did the British command realise how strong the Morro was, surrounded by brushwood and protected by a large ditch. With the arrival of their siege train the next day, the
Battle of Baton Rouge (1779)
The Battle of Baton Rouge was a brief siege during the Anglo-Spanish War, decided on September 21, 1779. Baton Rouge was the second British outpost to fall to Spanish arms during Bernardo de Gálvez's march into British West Florida. Spain entered the American Revolutionary War on May 8, 1779, with a formal declaration of war by King Charles III; this declaration was followed by another on July 8 that authorized his colonial subjects to engage in hostilities against the British. When Bernardo de Gálvez, the colonial Governor of Spanish Louisiana received word of this on July 21, he began to plan offensive operations to take British West Florida. On August 27, Gálvez set out by land toward Fort Bute, leading a force that consisted of 520 regulars, of whom about two-thirds were recent recruits, 60 militiamen, 80 free blacks and mulattoes, ten American volunteers headed by Oliver Pollock; as they marched upriver, the force grew including Indians and Acadians. At its peak, the force numbered over 1,400, but this number was reduced due the hardships of the march by several hundred before they reached the fort.
At dawn on September 7, this force attacked Fort Bute, a decaying relic of the French and Indian War, defended by a small force. After a brief skirmish in which one German was killed, the garrison surrendered; the six who escaped capture made their way to Baton Rouge to notify the British troops there of the fort's capture. After several days' rest, Gálvez advanced on Baton Rouge, only 15 miles from Fort Bute; when Gálvez arrived at Baton Rouge on September 12, he found a well-fortified town garrisoned by over 400 regular army troops and 150 militia under the overall command of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Dickson. The troops consisted of British Army regulars from the 16th and 60th Regiments, as well as some artillerymen, several companies of Germans from the 3rd Waldeck Regiment. Dickson had decided weeks earlier that Fort Bute, built in 1766 and in ruins, was not defensible, had placed most of his troops at Baton Rouge. Beginning in July 1779, he directed the construction of Fort New Richmond.
This fortification was an earthen redoubt with chevaux de frise on the outside. It was surrounded by a moat 18 feet wide and 9 feet deep, fortified with thirteen cannons. Gálvez first sent a detachment of men further up the river to break communications between Baton Rouge and British sites further upriver. Before the fort he was unable to directly advance his own artillery, so Gálvez ordered a feint to the north through a wooded area, sending a detachment of his poorly trained militia to create disturbances in the forest; the British turned and unleashed massed volleys at this body, but the Spanish forces, shielded by substantial foliage, suffered only three casualties. While this went on, Gálvez dug siege trenches and established secure gunpits within musket range of the fort, he placed his artillery pieces there, opening fire on the fort on September 21. The British endured three hours of shelling. Gálvez demanded and was granted terms that included the capitulation of the 80 regular infantry at Fort Panmure, a well-fortified position that would have been difficult for Gálvez to take militarily.
Dickson surrendered 375 regular troops the next day. Gálvez sent a detachment of 50 men to take control of Panmure, he dismissed his own militia companies, left a sizable garrison at Baton Rouge, returned to New Orleans with about 50 men. When informed that Dickson had surrendered Fort Panmure, its commander was irate, believing Dickson had surrendered Panmure to get better terms of surrender. Isaac Johnson, a local justice of the peace, wrote that "In the mighty battle between Governor Gálvez and Colonel Dickson, the Spaniards only lost one man and some say not one, the English lost twenty-five and the commanding officer wounded his head on his tea table"; the victory at Baton Rouge cleared the Mississippi River of British forces and put the lower reaches of the river under Spanish control. Within a few days of Gálvez' victory and Spanish privateers captured several British supply ships on Lake Pontchartrain, including the remarkable capture of one ship carrying 54 Waldecker troops and ten to twelve sailors by a sloop crewed by 14 native Louisianans.
Gálvez was promoted to brigadier general for his successful campaign, his exploits were immortalized in the poetry of Julien Poydras. He began planning an expedition against Mobile and Pensacola, the remaining British strongholds in West Florida, which would culminate in the capture of Pensacola, the West Florida capital, in 1781. Baton Rouge remained in Spanish hands for the rest of the war, Britain ceded both West and East Florida to Spain in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, it would not become American territory until 1821. Deiler, John Hanno; the Settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana and the Creoles of German Descent, Volume 8. Philadelphia: American Germanica Press. OCLC 3557373. Haarmann, Albert. "The Spanish Conquest of British West Florida, 1779–1781". The Florida Historical Quarterly. JSTOR 30150253. Haynes, Robert; the Natchez District and the American Revolution. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-60473-179-8. OCLC 235926690. Gayarré, Charles. History of Louisiana: The Spanish Domination, Volume 3.
New York: Widdleton. OCLC 1855106. Kaufmann, J. E.. Fortress America: the Forts that Defended America, 1600 to the Present. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81294-1. OCLC 56912995. Nester, William R; the Frontier War for American Independence
George Johnstone (Royal Navy officer)
George Johnstone was an officer of the Royal Navy who saw service during the War of the Austrian Succession, the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence, rising to the rank of post-captain and serving for a time as commodore of a squadron. In a multifaceted career he was a member of Parliament, a director of the East India Company, a member of the Carlisle Peace Commission and the first Governor of West Florida from 1763 until 1767. Johnstone was born into a gentry family in 1730, embarked on a naval career. Early in his service there occurred several incidents which revealed both positive and negative aspects of his character, he was involved in encounters with the enemy where he was praised for his bravery, incidents where he was censured for disobedience. He rose through the ranks to his own commands and had some success with small cruisers against enemy merchants and privateers. After the end of the Seven Years' War he had made friends with several powerful figures, was appointed Governor of West Florida.
He achieved a measure of success in the delicate operations of running a new colony, but clashed with his political masters and failed to cultivate support amongst the wider sections of colonial society. Returning to Britain he became active in politics, supporting conciliatory measures for the Americans, the removal of government interference from the affairs of the East India Company, his stance on the former led to his appointment as a member of the Carlisle Peace Commission, but he was accused of offering bribes and the Americans would have nothing to do with him. Returning to active naval service with a lucrative posting as commodore, he cruised with success off Portugal, was entrusted with a secret mission to capture the Cape Colony from the Dutch Republic. While en route to the Cape, he was surprised by a French force sent to thwart his goal, though he fought it off at the Battle of Porto Praya, he allowed the French to push on and reinforce the Cape. Thwarted in his mission, he had some consolation in discovering a valuable fleet of Dutch merchants, capturing most of them.
Returning to politics in England after the war he spoke on a number of issues, but was not asked to join an administration. He became a director of the East India Company towards the end of his life, before illness forced him to retire from business and politics shortly before his death in 1787. George Johnstone was born in 1730 in Dumfriesshire the fourth son of Sir James Johnstone, 3rd Baronet of Westerhall and his wife Barbara Murray, the oldest sister of the literary patron Patrick Murray, 5th Lord Elibank, he was a younger brother of William Johnstone, an older brother of the East India Company official John Johnstone. He began his career at sea in the Merchant Navy entered the Royal Navy in 1746, he served in the War of the Austrian Succession, spending some time aboard HMS Canterbury, where he gained a reputation for bravery for an instance when he boarded an enemy fireship so that it could be towed away from a British squadron off Port Louis, Hispaniola. He spent some time as a midshipman aboard HMS Lark under Captain John Crookshanks.
For reasons unknown Crookshanks refused to grant Johnstone his certificate, upon which Johnstone challenged him to a duel. The challenge being accepted, the two duelled and Crookshanks was wounded in the neck; the end of the war in 1748 left him without active employment, though he passed his lieutenant's examination in 1749. He spent some time in the merchant service during the years of peace, captaining at least one merchant vessel to the Caribbean, he was recalled to the navy at his new rank on the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, serving aboard HMS Bideford. He was however soon court-martialed for "insubordination and disobedience", though he was found guilty his record of gallantry in combat was taken into account, he was given a reprimand in 1757 and ordered to resume his duties. Johnstone went on to serve aboard HMS Dreadnought, seeing action at the Battle of Cap-Français on 21 October 1757 and receiving praise for his bravery from the squadron's commander, Commodore Arthur Forrest. Johnstone however made an enemy of Rear-Admiral Thomas Cotes as a result of a dispute over prize money.
His combative nature was demonstrated in 1758 when, while serving as first lieutenant aboard HMS Trial, he demanded a court martial of his captain Thomas Cookson for alleged incompetence in sailing the ship. The proposed court martial was dismissed out of hand by Admiralty. Despite these incidents, Johnstone was made acting captain of the 70-gun HMS Essex in June 1759. By 1759 Johnstone, by now in poor health, found himself without a ship. After a period of delays, the first lord of the Admiralty George Anson, 1st Baron Anson gave him his first command, the 14-gun sloop HMS Hornet, she was assigned to carry out escort duties in the North Sea, during one of which Johnstone was faced with a mutiny, which he skilfully put down with minimal loss of life. Hornet was ordered to Lisbon. On the voyage, Johnstone captured several prizes, took several more after his arrival. Among them was the 8-gun privateer Chevalier D’Artesay off Granville on 8 January 1761, followed by the 6-gun privateer Société on 15 January.
He was sent to inform Admiral George Rodney in January 1762 of the British declaration of war against Spain. Rodney was able to use this early notice to capture a number of valuable prizes, before the Spanish in the region became aware that they were at war. Johnstone was promoted to post-captain in May 1762, shortly before the end of the Seven Years' War. On 11 August 1762 he received command of the 24-gun HMS Hind, he was appointed to the 24-gun HMS Wager before the end of the year, but rec
Cuba the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet, it is east of the Yucatán Peninsula, south of both the U. S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is capital; the area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometres. The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometres, the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants; the territory, now Cuba was inhabited by the Ciboney Taíno people from the 4th millennium BC until Spanish colonisation in the 15th century. From the 15th century, it was a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, when Cuba was occupied by the United States and gained nominal independence as a de facto United States protectorate in 1902.
As a fragile republic, in 1940 Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in a coup and subsequent dictatorship under Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Open corruption and oppression under Batista's rule led to his ousting in January 1959 by the 26th of July Movement, which afterwards established communist rule under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Since 1965, the state has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba; the country was a point of contention during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, a nuclear war nearly broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Cuba is one of few Marxist–Leninist socialist states, where the role of the vanguard Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution. Independent observers have accused the Cuban government of numerous human rights abuses, including arbitrary imprisonment. Culturally, Cuba is considered part of Latin America, it is a multiethnic country whose people and customs derive from diverse origins, including the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the long period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves and a close relationship with the Soviet Union in the Cold War.
Cuba is a sovereign state and a founding member of the United Nations, the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African and Pacific Group of States, ALBA and Organization of American States. The country is a middle power in world affairs, it has one of the world's only planned economies, its economy is dominated by the exports of sugar, tobacco and skilled labor. According to the Human Development Index, Cuba has high human development and is ranked the eighth highest in North America, though 67th in the world, it ranks in some metrics of national performance, including health care and education. It is the only country in the world to meet the conditions of sustainable development put forth by the WWF. Historians believe the name Cuba comes from the Taíno language, however "its exact derivation unknown"; the exact meaning of the name is unclear but it may be translated either as'where fertile land is abundant', or'great place'. Fringe theory writers who believe that Christopher Columbus was Portuguese state that Cuba was named by Columbus for the town of Cuba in the district of Beja in Portugal.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, Cuba was inhabited by three distinct tribes of indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Taíno, the Guanahatabey and the Ciboney people; the ancestors of the Ciboney migrated from the mainland of South America, with the earliest sites dated to 5,000 BP. The Taíno arrived from Hispanola sometime in the 3rd century A. D; when Columbus arrived they were the dominant culture in Cuba, having an estimated population of 150,000. The Taíno were farmers, while the Ciboney were farmers as well as hunter-gatherers. After first landing on an island called Guanahani, Bahamas, on 12 October 1492, Christopher Columbus commanded his three ships: La Pinta, La Niña and the Santa María, to land on Cuba's northeastern coast on 28 October 1492. Columbus claimed the island for the new Kingdom of Spain and named it Isla Juana after Juan, Prince of Asturias. In 1511, the first Spanish settlement was founded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar at Baracoa. Other towns soon followed, including San Cristobal de la Habana, founded in 1515, which became the capital.
The native Taíno were forced to work under the encomienda system, which resembled a feudal system in Medieval Europe. Within a century the indigenous people were wiped out due to multiple factors Eurasian infectious diseases, to which they had no natural resistance, aggravated by harsh conditions of the repressive colonial subjugation. In 1529, a measles outbreak in Cuba killed two-thirds of those few natives who had survived smallpox. On 18 May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto departed from Havana at the head of some 600 followers into a vast expedition through the Southeastern United States, starting at La Florida, in search of gold, treasure and power. On 1 September 1548, Dr. Gonzalo Perez de Angulo was appointed governor of Cuba, he arrived in Santiago, Cuba on 4 November 1549 and declared the liberty of all natives. He became Cuba's first permanent governor to reside in Havana instead of Santiago, he built Havana's first church made of maso
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814, he was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, never visited Hanover. His life and with it his reign, which were longer than those of any of his predecessors, were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of Britain's American colonies were soon lost in the American War of Independence.
Further wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In the part of his life, George III had recurrent, permanent, mental illness. Although it has since been suggested that he had bipolar disorder or the blood disease porphyria, the cause of his illness remains unknown. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established. George III's eldest son, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent until his father's death, when he succeeded as George IV. Historical analysis of George III's life has gone through a "kaleidoscope of changing views" that have depended on the prejudices of his biographers and the sources available to them; until it was reassessed in the second half of the 20th century, his reputation in the United States was one of a tyrant. George was born in London at Norfolk House in St James's Square, he was the grandson of King George II, the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.
As he was born two months prematurely and thought unlikely to survive, he was baptised the same day by Thomas Secker, both Rector of St James's and Bishop of Oxford. One month he was publicly baptised at Norfolk House, again by Secker, his godparents were the King of Sweden, his uncle the Duke of Saxe-Gotha and his great-aunt the Queen of Prussia. Prince George grew into a healthy but shy child; the family moved to Leicester Square, where George and his younger brother Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, were educated together by private tutors. Family letters show that he could read and write in both English and German, as well as comment on political events of the time, by the age of eight, he was the first British monarch to study science systematically. Apart from chemistry and physics, his lessons included astronomy, French, history, geography, commerce and constitutional law, along with sporting and social accomplishments such as dancing and riding, his religious education was wholly Anglican.
At age 10, George took part in a family production of Joseph Addison's play Cato and said in the new prologue: "What, tho' a boy! It may with truth be said, A boy in England born, in England bred." Historian Romney Sedgwick argued that these lines appear "to be the source of the only historical phrase with which he is associated". George's grandfather, King George II, disliked the Prince of Wales, took little interest in his grandchildren. However, in 1751 the Prince of Wales died unexpectedly from a lung injury at the age of 44, George became heir apparent to the throne, he inherited his father's title of Duke of Edinburgh. Now more interested in his grandson, three weeks the King created George Prince of Wales. In the spring of 1756, as George approached his eighteenth birthday, the King offered him a grand establishment at St James's Palace, but George refused the offer, guided by his mother and her confidant, Lord Bute, who would serve as Prime Minister. George's mother, now the Dowager Princess of Wales, preferred to keep George at home where she could imbue him with her strict moral values.
In 1759, George was smitten with Lady Sarah Lennox, sister of the Duke of Richmond, but Lord Bute advised against the match and George abandoned his thoughts of marriage. "I am born for the happiness or misery of a great nation," he wrote, "and must act contrary to my passions." Attempts by the King to marry George to Princess Sophie Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel were resisted by him and his mother. The following year, at the age of 22, George succeeded to the throne when his grandfather, George II, died on 25 October 1760, two weeks before his 77th birthday; the search for a suitable wife intensified. On 8 September 1761 in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, the King married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, whom he met on their wedding day. A fortnight on 22 September both were crowned at Westminster Abbey. George remarkably never took a mistress, the couple enjoyed a genuinely happy marriage until his mental illness struck, they had 15 children -- six daughters. In 1762, George purchased Buckingham House for use as a family retreat.
His other residences were Windsor Castle. St James's Palace was retained for
Treaty of Aranjuez (1779)
The Treaty of Aranjuez was signed on 12 April 1779 by France and Spain. Under its terms, Spain agreed to support France in its war with Britain, in return for French assistance in recovering the former Spanish possessions of Menorca and the Floridas. By declaring war on Great Britain on 21 June 1779, Spain became involved in the American Revolutionary War; the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht that ended the War of the Spanish Succession confirmed British possession of the Spanish island of Menorca and the port of Gibraltar, giving them naval dominance in the Western Mediterranean. During the Seven Years' War in 1756, Britain lost Menorca to France but captured the key Spanish colonial cities of Havana and Manila in 1762; as part of the 1763 peace settlement, Britain regained Menorca and exchanged Havana and Manila for the Spanish colonies of East Florida and West Florida. France compensated Spain for these losses by transferring ownership of Louisiana. West Florida controlled entry to the Mississippi River through the port of Mobile and included the Gulf Coast areas of modern-day Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Both Floridas were overwhelmingly Loyalist and refused invitations to the First Continental Congress in 1774. When the American Revolutionary War began in 1776, the British blockade of New England meant Spanish ports such as New Orleans and Havana became a vital supply route for the colonists; this support was provided unofficially since Spain's Chief Minister, Count Floridablanca, hoped diplomacy would persuade Britain to return Menorca and the Floridas and remove illegal settlements in Central America. Peace with Britain was viewed as essential for his domestic reforms, while Spanish colonies in the Americas or New Spain were vulnerable to British naval power; this concern was heightened by border disputes with Britain's ally Portugal over the Río de la Plata basin. Several minor wars were fought over this and other territorial disputes, the latest being the 1776-1777 Spanish–Portuguese War. In October 1777, Portugal and Spain settled their differences by the First Treaty of San Ildefonso, followed by the Treaty of Pardo in March 1778.
Unlike the 1762-1763 Spanish-Portuguese War, the American War meant Britain was unable to help its ally. In February 1778, France and the United States signed a Treaty of Alliance, in which France recognised US independence and provided military support; the American War now became part of a wider, global conflict, undermining efforts to reach a diplomatic solution with Britain. On 12 April 1779, France and Spain signed the Treaty of Aranjuez and Spain formally declared war on Britain on 21 June; the terms of the Treaty were confidential. One important feature of the Treaty was that Spanish forces would only attack British possessions outside the United States. Both Charles III and Floridablanca were concerned by the potential impact of the American Revolution on Spain's own colonies, which had an important role in plans for modernising and expanding the Spanish economy. In addition, there had been constant disputes over encroachment by American colonists into New Spain before the war. Another less well-known impact of the Treaty is arguably still current today.
France agreed in a secret clause to continue the war until Spain recovered Gibraltar, while the 1778 Franco-American Treaty committed the signatories not to make a separate peace. The combination tied US independence to Spain's recovery of Gibraltar, without the knowledge of the Continental Congress; the result was a deep and abiding distrust of'foreign entanglements.' The Treaty of Aranjuez made Spain part of the Revolutionary War but its role is overlooked, since it was not involved. In addition, while Spain's biggest impact was on the war in America, by far its greatest investment of money and men was on the Great Siege of Gibraltar that began in June 1779. Between 1779-1781, Bernardo de Gálvez, Governor of Louisiana, captured West Florida and parts of East Florida, securing the Mississippi supply route and expelling Britain from the Gulf Coast, his contribution is remembered by the city of Galveston, named after him and he was awarded honorary US citizenship in December 2014. The Spanish agreed to defend the French West Indies, allowing Admiral de Grasse to intercept a British relief convoy at the Battle of the Chesapeake in September 1781.
By preventing resupply of the garrison, Chesapeake forced Cornwallis to surrender Yorktown in October, a decisive point in the achievement of US independence. In 1782, Menorca fell to a combined Spanish fleet. With the capture of the Floridas, these constituted significant successes for Spain. However, the largest effort was devoted to the Great Siege of Gibraltar which after three years had made little progress despite enormous expenditures of both money and men; the imposition of heavy taxes and'voluntary' donations to pay for the war caused unrest in much of the Spanish Empire, including the 1781 Revolt of the Comuneros in New Granada. By 1782, French finances were exhausted and began negotiations with Britain on a peace settlement in April. At first Spain insisted on continuing the war until Gibraltar fell, as stipulated by the Treaty of Aranjuez but withdrew that requirement after the disastrous repulse of a combined French and Spanish assault in September 1782. Under the Peace of Paris, Britain returned Menorca and the Floridas, allowing Spain to claim success although the loss of Gibraltar remains an issue to this
The Suwannee River is a major river that runs through South Georgia southward into Florida in the southern United States. It is a wild blackwater river, about 246 miles long; the Suwannee River is the site of the prehistoric Suwanee Straits which separated peninsular Florida from the panhandle. The headwaters of the Suwanee River are in the Okefenokee Swamp in the town of Georgia; the river runs southwestward into the Florida Panhandle drops in elevation through limestone layers into a rare Florida whitewater rapid. Past the rapid, the Suwanee turns west near the town of White Springs, Florida connects to the confluences of the Alapaha River and Withlacoochee River. Starting at the confluences of those three rivers, that confluence forms the southern borderline of Hamilton County, Florida; the Suwanee bends southward near the town of Ellaville, followed by Luraville, Florida joins together with the Santa Fe River from the east, south of the town of Branford, Florida. The river drains into the Gulf of Mexico on the outskirts of Suwannee, Florida.
The Spanish recorded the native Timucua name of Guacara for the river that would become known as the Suwannee. Different etymologies have been suggested for the modern name. San Juan: D. G. Brinton first suggested in his 1889 Notes on the Floridian Peninsula that Suwannee was a corruption of the Spanish San Juan; this theory is supported by Jerald Milanich, who states that "Suwannee" developed through "San Juan-ee" from the 17th-century Spanish mission of San Juan de Guacara, located on the Suwannee River. Shawnee: The migrations of the Shawnee throughout the South have been connected to the name Suwannee; as early as 1820, the Indian agent John Johnson said "the'Suwaney' river was doubtless named after the Shawanoese, Suwaney being a corruption of Shawanoese." However, the primary southern Shawnee settlements were along the Savannah River, with only the village of Ephippeck on the Apalachicola River being securely identified in Florida, casting doubt on this etymology. "Echo": In 1884, Albert S. Gatschet claimed that Suwannee derives from the Creek word sawani, meaning "echo", rejecting the earlier Shawnee theory.
Stephen Boyd's 1885 Indian Local Names with Their Interpretation and Henry Gannett's 1905 work The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States repeat this interpretation, calling sawani an "Indian word" for "echo river". Gatschet's etymology survives in more recent publications mistaking the language of translation. For example, a University of South Florida website states that the "Timucuan Indian word Suwani means Echo River... River of Reeds, Deep Water, or Crooked Black Water". In 2004, William Bright repeats it again, now attributing the name "Suwanee" to a Cherokee village of Sawani, unlikely as the Cherokee never lived in Florida or South Georgia; this etymology is now considered doubtful: 2004's A Dictionary of Creek Muscogee does not include the river as a place-name derived from Muscogee, lacks entries for "echo" and for words such as svwane, sawane, or svwvne, which would correspond to the anglicization "Suwannee". The Suwannee River area has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years.
During the first millennium CE, it was inhabited by the people of the Weedon Island archaeological culture, around 900 CE, a derivative local culture, known as the Suwanee River Valley culture, developed. By the 16th century, the river was inhabited by two related Timucua language-speaking peoples: the Yustaga, who lived on the west side of the river. By 1633, the Spanish had established the missions of San Juan de Guacara, San Francisco de Chuaquin, San Augustin de Urihica along the Suwannee to convert these western Timucua peoples. In the 18th century, Seminoles lived by the river; the steamboat Madison operated on the river before the Civil War, the sulphur springs at White Springs became popular as a health resort, with 14 hotels in operation in the late 19th century. This river is the subject of the Stephen Foster song "Old Folks at Home", in which he calls it the Swanee Ribber. Foster had named the Pedee River of South Carolina in his first lyrics, it has been called Swanee River because Foster had used an alternative contemporary spelling of the name.
Foster never saw the river he made world-famous. George Gershwin's song, with lyrics by Irving Caesar, made popular by Al Jolson, is spelled "Swanee" and boasts that "the folks up North will see me no more when I get to that Swanee shore". Both of these songs feature banjo-strumming and reminiscences of a plantation life more typical of 19th-century South Carolina than of among the swamps and small farms in the coastal plain of south Georgia and north Florida. Don Ameche starred as Foster in the fictional biographical film Swanee River; when approaching the Suwannee River via several major highways, motorists are greeted with a sign which announces they are crossing the Historic Suwannee River, complete with the first line of sheet music from "Old Folks at Home". This is Florida's state song, designated as such in 1935. In 2008, its original lyrics were replaced with a politically correct version. There is a Foster museum and carillon tower at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs.
The spring itself is called White Sulphur Springs because of its high sulphur content. Since there was a belief in the healing qualities of its waters, the Springs were long popular as a health resort; the idiom "up the Swannee" or "down the swanny" means something is going badly wrong, analogous to "up the creek without a paddle". A unique aspect of the Suwannee River is the Suwannee River Wilder