Communications Director Kathy Catron reminds Historic City News readers that an exciting reenactment of the 1740 Battle of “Bloody Mose”, which forced the British to retreat from Spanish Florida, will be held on June 22, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Fort Mose Historic State Park and will feature interpretations and demonstrations of military and civilian life in Spanish Florida during the War of Jenkins’ Ear (1739-1743).
The Battle of Bloody Mose Anniversary Commemoration will be held at Fort Mose Historic State Park, located three miles north of St. Augustine’s city gates. Although there are no remains of the earth and wooden structures, visitors can still view the land where the settlement once stood. Stroll down the sundrenched boardwalk and imagine life in the eighteenth century. Learn more about the story of Fort Mose in the newly constructed visitor center and museum or explore the grounds and view one of the many exhibits available.
“From the early days of its founding through the 1960’s, African-Americans have played key roles in the story of St. Augustine,” Catron told local reporters. “This vital contribution by people of color is well-documented — but not well-known.”
• For example, St. Augustine is easily recognized for its Spanish and British cultural history; but, did you know that the America’s oldest city is also the birthplace of African-American history?
• The first recorded birth of a person of African descent in what would become the United States occurred in St. Augustine in 1606.
• The first people of African descent to make their homes in what is now the United States did not come here as slaves – they were officers, soldiers and sailors in the Spanish military of the 16th century.
• The first legally sanctioned African-American town in the nation was founded in 1738 in Spanish Florida. Former slaves escaping their English masters founded Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, a military community, which is today known as Fort Mose.
• Freed at the end of the Civil War, former local slaves created the Lincolnville district, originally called “Little Africa” — an area that has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
• In 1963 and 1964, Civil Rights demonstrations in St. Augustine, and the violent attempts to stop them, gained national and international media attention. In St. Augustine’s Plaza de la Constitucion, the Andrew Young Crossing commemorates the June 9, 1964 Civil Rights march led by Young, and there is a monument dedicated to the St. Augustine Foot Soldiers who participated in the Civil Rights Movement.
Visitors to St. Augustine can tour many other key sites and markers related to the turbulent struggle for civil rights with the aid of a self-guided cell phone tour available for download at www.accordfreedomtrail.org/