What’s In a Name? Hawk Channel

Jefferys 1776

The territory of Florida was held by the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1763-1783.   Florida was a territory of Great Britain through out the American Revolutionary War.  It was during this time that Florida was divided into East and West Florida.  West Florida expanded its boundary into the lower third if modern-day Alabama and Mississippi.

Map of the New Governments of East and West Florida, 1763


In 1765 and 1770 William Gerard de Brahm, appointed, “His Majesty’s Surveyor General of the Southern District of North America” was at the Keys, charting the waters and the islands.  Politically-correct de Brahm named many of the features for British politicians.   Only a few have survived the passage of time.  Hawk Channel, once spelled Hawke Channel is one.  He wrote, “The river between the two peninsulas [meaning the Keys and the reef], now  Hawke Channel, affords a very safe communication.”