“Using a plethora of previously unexamined documents from a number of archives, this work provides the first clear understanding of William Augustus Bowles and his exploits along the Spanish Gulf Coast and among the Creek Indians, demonstrating unequivocally that the glory-seeking adventurer was not the tragic heroic figure that he and previous historians have claimed.”—F. Todd Smith, University of North Texas
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.