Similarly, on May 14, 1812, Congress also decreed that “the territory lying east of Pearl River, west of Perdido, and south of thirty-first degree of latitude, was annexed to the Mississippi territory.” Given the rising tensions with hostile Creeks, and the day-to-day struggle for many within the region to survive the frontier, it is worth noting that such an innocuous land act was important for early pioneers of the future state of Alabama. Settlers in the territory cared deeply about their somewhat muddled claims, some dating back fifteen years, and the saber-rattling bombast of their erstwhile eastern neighbors made many Alabamians nervous.
In early 1812, Alabama frontiersmen knew that Britain’s war to subdue Napoleon raged on, costing the British both blood and treasure. While white settlers in Alabama were likely pleased, both with Congressional sanction of their older land claims and the “official” annexation of the area surrounding the Mobile Bay, those assurances meant little if they were not enforced by arms. Further, many settlers in the Mississippi Territory believed that British intrigue lay behind their troubles with the Creeks and agreed with their North Carolina neighbors that war with Britain was the only way to defend American honor. The notion seemed a “win-win” scenario as America could answer British insults, secure territory on the southwestern border, and perhaps seize all or part of Canada in the process. Moreover, as the British were locked in a war to the finish with their most implacable foe, the French, many doubted the vigor of any military response in North America.