Fort Mose Mission Statement
On June 26, 1996 the founding members of the Fort Mose Historical Society: African American Community of Freedom, donned knee high rubber boots and waded into the marsh, heading towards a small patch of trees surrounded by water and mud flats. In the mid-morning sun on the site of Garcia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose or Fort Mose, these visionaries voted the Fort Mose Historical Society into existence. Since that day, the Fort Mose Historical Society has been instrumental in the preservation and interpretation of the Fort Mose site. Fort Mose is the site of the first free African settlement in what is now the United States. Founded in 1738, it is one of the original sites on the southern route of the Underground Railroad. The primary mission of the Fort Mose Historical Society is to support the Florida Park Service in its efforts to preserve, protect and interpret this remarkable site and to interpret the significance of the Fort Mose community for present and future generations. Since its inception, the Fort Mose Historical Society has been instrumental in the development and implementation of a number of work projects, events, outreach programs, educational activities, interpretive programs, and fundraising events supporting the organization’s mission statement. Currently in its 16th year, the Fort Mose Historical Society is dedicated to assuring that the Fort Mose site and the story of its African inhabitants are seamlessly woven into the tapestry of American history.
Fort Mose: Birthplace of Freedom
Hidden away in the marshes of St. Augustine, Florida is one
of the most important sites in American history: the first
free community of ex-slaves, founded in 1738 and called Gracia
Real de Santa Teresa de Mose or Fort Mose (pronounced Moh-Say).
More than a century before the Emancipation Proclamation,
slaves from the British colonies were able to follow the original
"Underground Railroad" which headed not to the north,
but rather south, to the Spanish colony of Florida. There
they were given their freedom, if they declared their allegiance
to the King of Spain and joind the Catholic Church.
Fort Mose was the northern defense of St.Augustine, the nation's
The events that took place there should cause all American
history textbooks to be rewritten.
Fort Mose Historical Society
The Fort Mose Historical Society is dedicated to bringing
this story to the American people and the people of the world,
so it will no longer be a part of our hidden history. We began
meeting in 1995, the same year that Fort Mose was declared
a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. government. We were
incorporated in 1996, and serve as the official Citizens Support
Organization for the Florida Park Service, which owns the
Fort Mose site. We have sponsored many public programs to
increase knowledge of the Fort Mose story, worked to acquire
land so that a museum can be built in the area, and we welcome
your membership and support as we carry the effort to turn
our dream into realty.