Sky Thibedeau's Reviews > The Rogue Republic: How Would-Be Patriots Waged the Shortest Revolution in American History

The Rogue Republic by William C. Davis
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Feb 20, 2012

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Read in April, 2011

About 200 years ago the Florida Panhandle, the southern sections of Mississippi and Alabama, and parts of Louisiana comprised a territory known as West Florida. West Florida was a backwater that came under control of various of the European Colonial powers at the time. It had been controlled at varuious times by France, Britain, or Spain. At the time of our story, it was again in the hands of Spain though actual Spanish speaking settlers were outnumbered by English speakers who had either fled the US as British Loyalists or were American land speculators.

The Kemper Brothers of Ohio had migrated to the area with a business partner in the late 1700's. The parties got into a dispute over land which was arbitrated by the Spanish authorities who found in favor of the Kemper's partner. Agitated the brothers move across the border to Mississippi and become firebrands and outlaws crossing into West Florida causing trouble trying to get their land back.

Loyal colonists cross into Mississippi and seize the brothers to take them to the authorities but they eventually escape before being sent to Havana. The border incursion causes difficulties between the Spanish officials and the US Government which views the territory as part of the Louisiana Purchase and therefore American territory.

The brothers especially Rueben become famous among the Americans and the American inhabitants of the Territory who decide to take advantage of Napolean's overthrow of the Bourbon's in Spain to kick the Spanish government out.

General Claiborne the American Governor of Louisiana and President Monroe do everything they can to encourage the Rebellion coveting the Territory themselves but not wanting to provoke a European Power be it France or Spain to War,

Davis' book chronicles the fight for independence won by the settlers and their short lived 'Republic'. It is an event not covered in many history books outside of Mississippi and Alabama Jr. High State history classes. He brings the period and the Characters of the Bonnie Blue Flag Republic to life.

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