The treaty had deliberately left the northern border undefined, and Spain chose to interpret the boundaries of Western Florida as everything between the Chattahoochee, Mississippi, and Tennessee Rivers (Mississippi, Alabama, western Kentucky and Tennessee).
Georgia considered its border with Florida to be much farther south (the latitude of the current Florida-Georgia border), and at the time its territorial claims extended west all the way to the Mississippi.
Unable to resolve these, the new states finally followed the lead of Virginia and ceded their western lands to the central government.
They had little affection for the United States and because many had married native women, they were able to exploit their family connections among the Creek
Georgia, however, was in no mood to compromise and, in the absence of a strong federal government under the Articles of Confederation, acted on its own by sending officials west to take over the government in the Natchez district.
Spanish soldiers promptly expelled them, and Georgia responded with words which sounded as if it intended to take on Spain by itself.
No fighting resulted, but at the same time, rumors reached the Spanish that Carolina frontiersmen were raising an army to invade Louisiana.
However, without enough soldiers to defend both Florida and Louisiana, it settled on the same strategy as the French had used against the British – dominate trade and provide arms to frontier tribes to resist the expansion of settlement .
To increase their influence with the Creeks in Georgia and Alabama, the Spanish issued new licenses to British trading companies: Panton and Leslie which operated out of Pensacola; and Mather and Strother in New Orleans.
The traders who worked for Panton and Leslie were mostly former Tories whose property had been confiscated by rebel state governments during the revolution.
Actually, the advantage went well beyond this, and Alexander McGillvray (a tory, mixed-blood trader) became the chief spokesman for the Creek council.
With concerns running high among the tribes about how much land the Americans intended to take, the Spanish effort soon bore fruit.
The Chickamauga Cherokee of Dragging Canoe, who had been fighting the Americans in Tennessee for many years, signed the following month and soon afterwards began receiving regular shipments of arms and ammunition from Pensacola and Mobile.
Mather and Strother’s traders also lured the Chickasaw to Mobile in July, and Ugulaycabe (Wolf’s Friend) signed a similar agreement with the Spanish on behalf of the Chickasaw.
An illegal treaty forced on the Creeks at Augusta in 1783, encroachment by its citizens into Creek lands, and the confiscation of eastern Chickasaw lands for service to the British during the war had driven McGillvray and the Creeks into the arms of the Spanish.
Perhaps because George Washington and other important Virginians were heavily invested in land along the Ohio River, the attention of the American Congress was focused on fighting the Ohio tribes of the British-backed Western Alliance, and the last thing wanted was for Georgia to start another war in the Southeast.
To prevent this, Congress appointed a commission to meet with the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creeks, and Chickasaw at Hopewell on South Carolina’s Keowee River and establish tribal territories with a boundary for the southern frontier
With meeting set for October of 1785, McGillvray convened a council of the southern tribes at Little Tallasee (Alabama) that ericans.
However, the Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Choctaw were suspicious of his intentions, and all McGillvray got was a general erican claims to tribal lands.
When the Spanish took control of Louisiana, there had been little contact between them and the Chickasaw since De Soto, but the old conquistadors had changed during the last 200 years.