Wednesday, January 17, 2007

William Augustus Bowles (1763-1805)

January 16, 1792: Leading a force of 300 Creek and Seminole warriors, Willaim Augusts Bowles has surrounded St.Marks, Florida. After holding out for several weeks, the Spanish will surrender to Bowles today. They will seize the supplies and will be forced out by a Spanish force in a few months. Bowles will conquer the fort again on May 19, 1800.


William Augustus Bowles (1763-1805)

Born in Frederick, Maryland in 1763, William Augustus Bowles represented one of the very few loyalists west of the Chesapeake Bay to join the British cause.

As a young teenager, he was commissioned with the rank of ensign in the First Battalion of Maryland Loyalists in the spring of 1778. He followed the regiment to Pensacola and resigned, only to return more than a year later. After the British surrender at Fort George, he returned with his regiment to New York where he performed in several theatre productions with British officers.

After the war, he returned to Florida to live with his friends, the Creek Indians. He became their leader of sorts and kept the United States terrified of Indian uprisings in the Florida territory. Bowles married a Creek woman and adopted the Creek ways. He routinely visited London in his native Indian garb, attracting considerable attention. Eventually, however, his old enemies, the Spanish, caught up with him and he was imprisoned in Cuba where he died in 1805.

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