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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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 Asland. The construction of the CAPE FLORIDA LIGHTHOUSE by the Federal Government in 1825 effectively blocked the escape route.

Bahamians 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. 25° 39.959′ N, 80° 9.404′ W. Marker is in Key Biscayne, Florida, in Miami-Dade County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Cape Florida Park Boulevard
Marker on the park trail image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
2. Marker on the park trail
and South Crandon Boulevard, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is near Cape Florida Lighthouse in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1200 S. Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne FL 33149, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. U.S. Coast Survey Base Marker (within shouting distance of this marker); Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); Key Biscayne, The Barrier Island (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Let It Shine (about 400 feet away); Homes That Hover (about 500 feet away); Virginia Key Beach Park (approx. 4.8 miles away); Vizcaya (approx. 6.4 miles away); Dinner Key (approx. 6.5 miles 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
 
Hutchinson painting on marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
3. Hutchinson painting on marker
"Flight to Freedom," By James Hutchinson, c. 1976. Courtesy of the Historical Museumof Southern Florida
"Map of the Bahamas" on the marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
4. "Map of the Bahamas" on the marker
"Map of the Bahamas." By Permission of Wavyline Charts. c. 2004. WWW.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
5. 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
6. Point of escape over the Gulf Stream
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 17, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. This page has been viewed 310 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 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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