Saturday, April 14, 2012


Along with 18,970 mercenaries hired from Freiedrich Wilhelm II, Landgraf of Hesse-Cassel, the British hired thousands of other German mercenaries during the American War of Independence.  Britain's King George III, using his authority as Elector of the German state of Hannover, sent 2,373 Hannoverian mercenaries to man British garrisons at Gibraltar and Minorca.

By using of German troops in Minorca, George III freed British troops to serve in his campaigns in America.   Please consult David Hackett Fischer, Washington's Crossing (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), pages 52-54, 60.  Sarah Percy, Mercenaries: The History of a Norm in International Relations (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), page 123.  

Physician and investor Dr. Andrew Turnbull recruited Minorcans, Greeks, Italians and others to serve on his indigo plantation of New Smyrna in the British province of East Florida.  This diverse collect of indentured servants, whose descendants are still collectively known as "Minorcans" in Florida, reached the peninsula in 1769.  The Florida Minorcans did not encounter those German mercenaries.  For more on the Minorcans, see Patricia C. Griffin, Mullet on the Beach: The Minorcans of Florida, 1768-1788 (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1991).