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St. Georges' State Park is a beautiful park located on the island. The park offers a variety of fun activities to do. With miles of underdeveloped beaches, you can sunbath, go boating, hiking, and camping. The State Park is a great historic site because back in 1799, a ship was wrecked by William Augustus Bowles and an infamous pirate, while trying to get back to another part of Florida.

  • Map of the park.
  • Beautiful walkway to the beach at the State Park.
  • The entrance to the park.
  • Kayaking in the State Park.
  • The historical marker which marks the historical locations within the park.
St. George Island State Park preserves many locations in Florida with great historic significance. Just inside the main entrance of the park, this was where the ship wrecked that carried the infamous pirate and adventurer William Augustus Bowles in 1799. Bowles was once a British soldier, who had been thrown out of the Pensacola for insubordination. Bowles had married into the family of Lower Creek and Seminole chief named Thomas Perryman. After Bowles returned to the British army to help fight the Battle of Pensacola during the Revolution, he wanted to try and establish a Native American empire in Florida. 

Afterward, Bowles was then captured by the Spanish, who had claimed Florida. Bowles then had escaped and found his way to England. The Englishman were very helpful, and sent him back to Florida. He returned to Florida on the ship H. M. S. Fox. As the Fox approached the shore on the east end of St. George Park, it ran aground and was shattered. The name Fox Point still stands today, where this wreck took place. 

"...As there is no possibility of saving the schooner, I trust sir, your humanity will induce you to stop here, and devise with me, some means of removing these unfortunate men, who have nothing more than some provisions saved from the wreck to exist on; the island producing nothing; on the contrary, for two days, during the late gale, the sea made a breach over it, so that for those two days, we were with nearly two feet water on the ground."2

Bowles had been stranded. This was the letter that was delivered by two of Ellicotts sailors. They had been sent in the bay on a small boat. They also brought a letter from Bowles who had requested an audience with the US commissioner. 

Immediately, Elliott went to the relief of the castaways. He informed them he could not disobey and violate US neutrality by giving them more than humanitarian assistance. However, he did deliver the stranded men supplies of food. He also held many discussions with both L.t Woodrigde and Bowles. 

Bowles did soon return to shore where he established "State of Muskogee." He went as far as to commission a group of pirate ships to prey on Spanish shipping in the Gulf of Mexico. In Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Bowles is individually celebrated as the pirate, "Billy Bowlegs."  The east end of the State Park still looks the same as it did when Bowles got stranded there in 1799. It is and will forever be preserved as a sensitive environmental area. 
1. Welcome to Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park. Florida State Parks.

2. Dox, Dale. Where Bowles Was Cast Away. St. George Island State Park - St. George Island, Florida.