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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Key Biscayne in Miami-Dade County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Escaping to Freedom in the Bahamas

 
 
Escaping to Freedom in the Bahamas Marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
1. Escaping to Freedom in the Bahamas Marker
Inscription.  In the early 1820's, enslaved Africans, runaways, and "Black Seminoles" seeking freedom from slave catchers and plantation masters, secretly worked their way down to CAPE FLORIDA. They met with bold captains of sloops from the British Bahamas who offered transportation across the Gulf Stream. In 1821 as reported by eyewitnesses, some 300 freedom seekers bartered for passage aboard 27 sloops, or chose to sail Indian dugout canoes 107 nautical miles to secluded Andros Island. The construction of the CAPE FLORIDA LIGHTHOUSE by the Federal Government in 1825 effectively blocked the escape route.

Bahamian descendents, some of whom still call themselves "Black Seminoles," live in the Red Bays settlement on Andros. Cuba, Haiti and other islands in the Caribbean region were additional destinations along the Florida Underground Railroad.

BILL BAGGS CAPE FLORIDA STATE PARK takes its name from a visionary Miami newspaper editor and civil rights activist from the 1960s.
 
Erected 2004 by National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
 
Location.
Marker on the park trail image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
2. Marker on the park trail
25° 39.977′ N, 80° 9.381′ W. Marker is near Key Biscayne, Florida, in Miami-Dade County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Cape Florida Park Boulevard and South Crandon Boulevard, on the left when traveling south. Marker is near Cape Florida Lighthouse in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1200 S Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne FL 33149, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. U.S. Coast Survey Base Marker (a few steps from this marker); Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); The Archaeology of Key Biscayne (within shouting distance of this marker); Let It Shine! (within shouting distance of this marker); Key Biscayne, The Barrier Island (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bahama Dinghy (within shouting distance of this marker); Dade Heritage Trust’s Cape Florida Lighthouse Brick Program (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Restoration Hardware (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Key Biscayne.
 
Also see . . .
1. Black Seminoles. (Submitted on December 18, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida.)
2. Florida Slaves, the "Saltwater Railroad," and Anglo-American Democracy. (Submitted on December 18, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida.)
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil RightsNative Americans
 
Escaping to Freedom in the Bahamas Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, May 26, 2019
3. Escaping to Freedom in the Bahamas Marker
The marker is a few steps south of the Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage.
Hutchinson painting on marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
4. Hutchinson painting on marker
"Flight to Freedom," by James Hutchinson, c. 1976. Courtesy of the Historical Museum of Southern Florida.
"Map of the Bahamas" on the marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
5. "Map of the Bahamas" on the marker
"Map of the Bahamas" by Permission of Wavyline Charts. c. 2004.(wavylinepublishing.com).
The red line shows the escape route taken by the slaves and Black Seminoles from Cape Florida to the Bahamas.
Cape Florida Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
6. Cape Florida Lighthouse
Erecting the Lighthouse eliminated the escape route from Cape Florida to the Bahamas.
Point of escape over the Gulf Stream image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
7. Point of escape over the Gulf Stream
 

More. Search the internet for Escaping to Freedom in the Bahamas.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 2, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 17, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. This page has been viewed 406 times since then and 53 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 18, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida.   3. submitted on June 2, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.   4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on December 18, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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