By 1810, the situation of Florida's black refugees had become acute. Georgians were contending that almost five million dollars of slave property had "stolen itself" to Florida. President James Madison and Secretary of State James Monroe wanted to aid the Georgians, but because of tense relations with England, Madison and Monroe were fearful of alienating Spain. As a result, they pushed for covert action. In 1811, after 30 rounds of voting in a secret session, Congress finally gave President Madison authorization to use covert force to seize Florida.
Smith Plot 112-5, Twyman 43.
Part 1, Early Years: l