St. Augustine in St. Johns County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Fort Mose Historic State Park
Some of the residents of Mose, like Francisco Menéndez, fought in the 1715 Yamasee War against the English of Carolina. They later fled south to St. Augustine with their Indian allies, and some brought Yamasee wives. In St. Augustine the people of Mose also interacted with, and sometimes intermarried with members of the Timucua, Ybaja, Chiluque, Costas, Chaschis, and Chickasaw cultural groups.
In 1759, militiamen at Fort Mose identified themselves as four distinct African ethnic groups: Mandinga, Carabali, Congo, and Mina. Most spoke several languages, including English, Spanish, and Arabic. They also spoke Native American, as well as African languages. Some had lived in African cities, and many were skilled artisans, linguists, and farmers.
Mose residents had varied cultural and religious backgrounds. Some were Muslims, some were already Catholics, and some practiced local African religions. Mose’s leader, Francisco Menéndez, was a literate Mandinga. Many of the Mandigas were Muslims and they were noted for resisting enslavement in Africa and in the Americas.
Above: Modern African horseman
Right: Mandinga woman,
Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Virginia Library
Left: The King of Congo greets the Capuchin monks.
Above: Several sizes and shapes of glass trade beads were found at the Fort Mose excavation. Larger, faceted beads were possibly rosary beads.
Location. 29° 55.71′ N, 81° 19.521′ W. Marker is in St. Augustine, Florida, in St. Johns County. Marker is on Fort Mose Trail 0.2 miles east of North Ponce De Leon Boulevard (U.S. 1), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is within Fort Mose Historic State Park, beside the sidewalk leading from the parking lot to the visitor center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15 Fort Mose Trail, Saint Augustine FL 32084, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Middle Passage (here, next to this marker); British Enslavement (a few steps from this marker); Escape & Flight (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Mose I (within shouting distance of this marker); El Pueblo de Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose (within shouting distance of this marker); Bloody Mose (within shouting distance Fort Mose II (within shouting distance of this marker); Evacuation (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Augustine.
More about this marker. Marker is a large, rectangular composite plaque, mounted horizontally on waist-high posts.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Fort Mose Historic State Park
Also see . . . Francisco Menendez.
Born in Africa, Francisco Menéndez was brought to America as a slave in the early 1700s. He escaped and fled from the British territories in 1724 to St. Augustine, Florida, which was then controlled by the Spanish. After converting to Catholicism and agreeing to join the St. Augustine militia, he was granted his freedom. He rose to the rank of captain, and in 1738 he was put in charge of the first free black settlement in America, Fort Mose. (Submitted on December 11, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • African Americans • Colonial Era • Forts, Castles • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 11, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 338 times since then and 6 times this year. Last updated on December 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 11, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 6. submitted on December 11, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.