1763 - 1783
James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, scouted the area. He found peach trees, orange groves, and deserted fields. He renamed the island “Amelia Island” in honor of princess Amelia, the daughter of King George II of England. Florida and Fernandina came under British rule. The English flag was raised as the third flag in 1763. During the American Revolution, Fernandina became home for English Loyalists fleeing the colonies.
After establishing a small settlement on the northwestern edge of the island, Oglethorpe negotiates with Spanish colonial officials for a transfer of the island to British sovereignty. Colonial officials agree to the transfer, but the King of Spain nullifies the agreement.
The Treaty of Paris in 1763 ratifies Britain's victory in the Seven Years' War, ceding Florida to Britain in exchange for Havana and nullifying all Spanish land grants in Florida. The Proclamation of 1763 established the St. Mary's River as East Florida's northeastern boundary.