Did You Know?

The Link Between St. Augustine and Fort Mosé

As the petition of Francisco Menendez shows, the inhabitants of Mosé were closely linked to St. Augustine, Florida, a community established in 1565 and approximately two miles from Mosé. St. Augustine was founded by Pedro Menendez de Aviles who was sanctioned under King Philip’s asiento to import 500 African slaves to Florida within three years of settlement. According to Jean West, “[E]vidence suggests that African slaves from Havana, Cuba were among St. Augustine’s first settlers.” The connection between Fort Mosé and St. Augustine resulted in “…important social links. .resulting in marriages, baptisms, and fraternal relations between the two communities.” St. Augustine provided a safe haven for the residents of Mosé during the attack of General Oglethorpe in 1740 when the fort was destroyed. When Mosé was rebuilt in 1752, the original inhabitants and their families returned and once again provided protection for not only Mosé, but for St. Augustine as well through the militias, many of which were composed of runaway slaves from the English colonies (West 2004; NPS 2004).

NPS Ethnography Program