Kemper, Reuben, d. 1827, American adventurer, b. Virginia. With his brothers Nathan and Samuel he settled c.1800 in Feliciana, just above Baton Rouge, in West Florida, then Spanish territory. Expelled from their land by the Spanish authorities, they crossed the border into Mississippi Territory, where they organized a small force and declared West Florida independent of Spain. An attempt to take Baton Rouge in 1804 failed. The three were kidnapped in 1805 but were rescued by a U.S. force as they were being taken down the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge by the Spanish. Other forays were climaxed in 1810 by Reuben's attempt to occupy Mobile. He failed and was arrested and detained by U.S. authorities while the Spanish dispersed the rest of his band.
See I. J. Cox, The West Florida Controversy (1918, repr. 1967).
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