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Fort Mose

Fort Mose

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Discover the story of Fort Mose in the only book for children about the first free Black community in America
 
In 1724, Francisco Menendez escaped from a plantation in the colony of South Carolina and, with a small group of men, headed south to Florida, at the time a Spanish colony, to the town of St. Augustine. There he was granted his freedom. He soon became a member of the Black militia and helped defend the area from English invaders. In 1738, Menendez helped found the first legally sanctioned free Black community in America. It was called Fort Mose, and it lay just north of St. Augustine.
 
There were thirty-eight households of men, women, and children living together at Fort Mose, creating a frontier community that drew on a range of African backgrounds and blended them with the local Spanish, Native American, and English peoples and cultures. Fort Mose became a southern destination for travelers of the Underground Railroad many years before the birth of its legendary “conductor,” Harriet Tubman.