Long before the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” in Jacksonville, Georgia has always kept an eye on Florida.
Georgia founder James Oglethorpe built Fort Frederica and the surrounding town on St. Simons Island in 1736 to defend the three-year-old colony from the Spanish in Florida. The fort at the mouth of the Altamaha honored King George II’s son Frederick, the Prince of Wales.
The Georgia colony was established, in part, as a military buffer between the Spanish to the south and other British colonies to the north. It was fated to become the focal point of hostilities. Fort Frederica housed British and Georgia soldiers, the Scots Highland independent company of Foot, and their Native American allies. Georgians had attacked St. Augustine in 1740; the Spanish retaliated two years later against Fort Frederica. The resulting British victory at the Battle of Bloody Marsh decisively ended the Spanish threat.
Ground zero for this international clash of empires was preserved when Fort Frederica National Monument was established on May 26, 1936, Today in Georgia History.