Although in 1810 U.S. President James Madison declared the American contention that the Spanish-owned District of Feliciana had been included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the settlers below the 31st parallel between the Pearl and the Mississippi Rivers, fearing that Napoleon of France would try to retake Spanish West Florida before the United States could physically take possession, sucessfully attacked the Spanish forts on the Mississippi River in Feliciana and formed the independent Republic of West Florida.
This was one of only four successful revolutions in North America. They made their own Declaration of Independence, a Constitution, elected a President and a Congress and designed a flag of a single large white star in the center of a dark blue field. It flew over their nation from September 23 until December 6, 1810 when finally Louisiana Territorial Governor William C.C. Claiborne officially and physically took possession of the Florida Parishes.