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St. Augustine in St. Johns County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

African Origins

Fort Mose Historic State Park

 
 
African Origins Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, December 10, 2014
1. African Origins Marker
Inscription.  Fort Mose (Moh-Say) was a multicultural community of people originally from West and Central Africa, along with some Native Americans.

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
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the Mandigas were Muslims and they were noted for resisting enslavement in Africa and in the Americas.

Captions:
Above: Modern African horseman

Right: Mandinga woman, Senegal, 1850s
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.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansColonial EraForts and CastlesNative Americans. A significant historical year for this entry is 1715.
 
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. Marker is within Fort Mose Historic State Park, beside the sidewalk leading from the parking lot to the visitor center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15 Fort Mose Trail, Saint Augustine FL 32084, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
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
African Origins Marker (<i>center detail view</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, December 10, 2014
2. African Origins Marker (center detail view)
(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 of this marker); 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.)
Marker detail: Map showing location of various African cultural groups that lived at Fort Mose image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Map showing location of various African cultural groups that lived at Fort Mose
Mandinga, Mina, Carabali and Congo.
 
 
Marker detail: The Great Mosque of Djenne image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: The Great Mosque of Djenne
Located in south central Mali, was a vivid expression of new found faith by Koy Konboro, Djenne’s first Islamicized ruler.
Marker detail: The kingdom of Benin, in west Africa image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
5. Marker detail: The kingdom of Benin, in west Africa
The kingdom of Benin, in west Africa, was famous for its advanced architecture. Sixteenth-century Dutch explorers considered Benin’s four-story palace as modern as the ones in Europe.
African Origins Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, December 10, 2014
6. African Origins Marker (wide view)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 11, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 745 times since then and 124 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.

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Jul. 13, 2024