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Perdido River: Wikis


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Perdido River
Length 60 miles (100 km)
Perdido Pass, the mouth of the Perdido River and Perdido Bay at Orange Beach, Alabama. Alabama State Route 182 crosses the inlet.

The Perdido River is a river in the U.S. states of Alabama and Florida, approximately 60 miles (100 km) long. The river forms part of the boundary between the two states along nearly its entire length and drains into the Gulf of Mexico. During the early 19th century it played a central role in a series of rotating boundary changes and disputes among France, Spain, Great Britain, and the United States.

It rises in southeastern Alabama in Escambia County approximately 8 miles (11 km) NW of Atmore. It flows south approximately 5 miles (8 km) to latitude 31°N, south of which it forms the remainder of the Alabama/Florida border. It flows generally ESE in a winding course and enters the north end Perdido Bay on the Gulf of Mexico approximately 10 miles (15 km) west of Pensacola, Florida.

The word perdido is Spanish for "lost".


From 1682 to 1763 the Perdido formed the boundary between the French colony of Louisiana and the Spanish colony of Florida. Following the British victory over the French in the French and Indian War, the United Kingdom received the French colonial territory west of the Perdido, as well as the Spanish colony of Florida, while Spain received the French territory west of the Mississippi River. The British divided the new territory into West Florida and East Florida at the Apalachicola River (whose main tributary the Chattahoochee River forms a large portion of the present boundary between Alabama and Georgia, and a small part of the Florida/Georgia boundary). In 1783, as part of the Treaty of Paris, Britain returned all of Florida to Spain, which at the time controlled all of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

In 1800 as part of the Treaty of San Ildefonso, Spain returned Louisiana to France, retaining control of the territory east of the Mississippi as Florida. In 1804 France subsequently sold Louisiana to the U.S. in the Louisiana Purchase. A boundary dispute erupted between the U.S. and Spain, with the U.S. claiming the land west of the Perdido as part of the original French territory of Louisiana, whereas the Spanish claimed that only the portion of Louisiana west of the Mississippi had been returned to France. The Gulf Coast south of 31 degrees latitude between the Mississippi and Perdido remained disputed between the two nations. The dispute was finally resolved in 1819 in the Adams-Onís Treaty, in which Spain ceded all of Florida to the United States. The Perdido became the boundary of the Florida Territory in 1822.

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Coordinates: 30°27′0″N 87°22′54″W / 30.45°N 87.38167°W / 30.45; -87.38167



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