Coastal Encounters opens a window onto the fascinating world of the eighteenth-century Gulf South. Stretching from Florida to Texas, the region witnessed the complex collision of European, African, and Native American peoples. The Gulf South offered an extraordinary stage for European rivalries to play out, allowed a Native-based frontier exchange system to develop alongside an emerging slave-based plantation economy, and enabled the construction of an urban network of unusual opportunity for free people of color. After being long-neglected in favor of the English colonies of the Atlantic coast, the colonial Gulf South has now become the focus of new and exciting scholarship. Coastal Encounters brings together leading experts and emerging scholars to provide a portrait of the Gulf South in the eighteenth century. The contributors depict the remarkable transformations that took place-demographic, cultural, social, political, and economic-and examine the changes from multiple perspectives, including those of Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans; colonizers and colonized; men and women. The outstanding essays in this book argue for the central place of this dynamic region in colonial history.