Fort Mose Historic State Park
Fort Mose Historic State Park (originally known as Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose) is a U.S. National Historic Landmark (designated as such on October 12, 1994) , located two miles north of St. Augustine, Florida, on the eastern edge of a marsh. It is also a Florida State Park. Also spelled Fort Moosa or Fort Mossa. Fort Mose (pronounced "Moh-say") was the first free black settlement legally sanctioned in what would become the United States. The community began when Florida was a Spanish territory.

Historical background
As early as 1687, the Spanish government had begun to offer asylum to British slaves and in 1693 that asylum was made official by the Spanish Crown, that made it known that runaways would find freedom in Florida, in return for Catholic conversion and a term of four years of service to the Crown.

Fort Mose
Incoming freedom seekers were recognized as free, taken into the Spanish militia and placed into service at the Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose military fort north of St. Augustine, which was established in 1783 by the Colonial Governor, Manuel de Montiano. The military leader at the fort was a Creole man of African origin, who was baptized as Francisco Menendez by the Spanish In 1740, English forces led by James Oglethorpe attacked and destroyed the fort. Its inhabitants fled to St. Augustine, where they stayed until Fort Mose was rebuilt in 1752. After Florida was ceded to the English in 1763 most of the inhabitants, including many black militia troops, migrated to Cuba with the evacuating Spanish. Because Fort Mose became a haven for escaped slaves from the English colonies to the north, it is considered a precursor site of the Underground Railroad.

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