Science & Culture

Fort Mose

El Pueblo de Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose

Since 1688, Negro slaves from the English colonies had found refuge in Spanish St. Augustine.

On March 15, 1738, Governor Manuel de Montiano freed them in the name of the King, and later formed a village for them, named Gracia Real, at Mose. Here the freedmen would cultivate the ground and learn the Catholic religion. For their protection, a moated earthwork was erected, called Fort Mose.

In 1740, during the British attack against St. Augustine, the freedmen evacuated Mose and Scotch Highlanders occupied it.

At daybreak, June 26, in a decisive blow, the Spaniards ejected the enemy from the fort and later demolished it. The freedmen resettled the village and rebuilt the earthwork in 1752, and later formed a militia company. The British dismantled Fort Mose during their rule in Florida. After their return, the Spaniards rebuilt defenses at Mose in 1797.

The East Florida Patriots occupied the deserted site in 1812 during their ill-fated attempt to overthrow Spanish rule.

The local garrison, aided by the Negro militia and Indians, forced them to withdraw.