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William Panton was a Scottish merchant, a founder of the powerful trading firm of Panton, Leslie & Company, based in British East Florida. The firm traded with the Native Americans of Florida and in the Spanish Borderlands. By 1795 its sway reached northward from Pensacola to Fort San Fernando (formerly Chickasaw Bluffs) on the site of present-day Memphis, and westward to New Orleans, with posts at Mobile and several places in Florida, the Bahamas, and around the Caribbean. Panton and his firm enjoyed a monopoly on trade with the tribes of the southeast, extended by successive governors of Spanish Florida.