Published in 1954, Rembert Patrick's "Florida Fiasco" details the aggressive schemes developed by President Madison and Secretary of State Monroe in the attempted acquisition of Florida. Patrick shows that George Matthews's influence over General John McIntosh inspired him to plan a revolt in east Florida in the hopes of turning the conquered territory over to Matthews. The plot was thwarted when Spanish minister Luis de Onis heard of the coming attack and appealed to the British. Thus begins the five-year attempt which was led in succession by George Matthews, David Mitchell, and Thomas A. Mitchell. Patrick's account includes the plotting of undercover agents, manipulation of discontented nationals, denials by high officials, and adventurers seeking rich rewards.
No longer will it be necessary for historians to nibble at the fringes: the story has been written.|His well-ordered reconstruction of events and his recording of personality clashes constitute a valuable addition to the history of the southeastern frontier.|The book provides a useful synthesis of events on the Florida frontier.