Historic re-enactors demonstrate life at Fort Mose in the mid-1700s. Free Event

Flight to Freedom Re-Enactment

Thursday, Friday & Saturday, May 6, 7, 8, 2021 | 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Fort Mose

This annual living-history event tells the story of Fort Mose’s significance in African-American history.

East of U.S. 1 & North of Schooner's Seafood
15 Fort Mose Trail, St Augustine, FL, 32084
(904) 823-2232
  • History will come alive on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 6, 7 and 8, 2021, at Fort Mose with its annual Flight to Freedom event.

    During the three-day living history showcase, re-enactors demonstrate what life was like for the hundreds of slaves who traveled the southern route of the Underground Railroad to Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose (Fort Mose). Visitors will find themselves back in 1738 as they walk along a wooded trail and encounter escaped slaves seeking freedom, helpful Natives, compassionate friars, and slave catchers determined to thwart them all. The travelers will be lead to safety by a Boatsman who will take them to Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, the first legally sanctioned black community in north America.

    Visitors will meet Captain Francisco Menendez, the leader of the community, witness a militia muster, and learn from the women of Fort Mose as they work on their daily duties. 

    The annual event usually takes place in February to commemorate Black History Month but was pushed to May this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    CDC guidelines will be followed for the event. Masks are recommended, and social distancing is required. Entrance to the event will be restricted to ensure capacity requirements are met. The on-site visitor center and museum will be closed during the event.  

    Activities include historical demonstrations and guided walks along the park's Freedom Trail, which represents the journey of escaping slaves from coastal Carolina to Spanish Florida.

    Hundreds of freedom seekers fled slavery in the British colonies and came to Fort Mose in Spanish Florida from 1687 until 1763. The escape route ended in 1763, when the British took control of Florida, thus ending Florida's run as a sanctuary. The experience of this perilous journey and the historical context in which it occurred is re-created by living history demonstrators in this annual Fort Mose event.

    For more information, call (904) 823-2232 or visit here.

    Admission: Admission to the park grounds and to the event are free. The visitor center and museum will be closed during the event. Donations to the Fort Mose Historical Society and membership enrollment to the organization will be gratefully accepted.

    When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 6, 7 and 8, 2021.

    Where: Fort Mose State Park is located at 15 Fort Mose Trail, just north of St. Augustine's historic district.

    Fort Mose is the site of the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what is now the United States. The settlement was chartered by the Spanish governor of La Florida in 1738 and was called Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose. It served as a haven for those fleeing slavery from the English colonies in the Carolinas. Fort Mose has been recognized for its national significance and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994.

    The Annual Flight to Freedom heritage Event is sponsored Fort Mose Historic State Park and the Fort Mose Historical Society, with the support of volunteers from the Fort Mose Militia and other historical re-enactment groups.

    Financial support for this event is provided, in part, by a Visitor Experience grant from the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council and by a State of the Arts grant made possible by the St. Johns Cultural Council. The Society is also grateful for assistance from its valued Partners including Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine Garrison and St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum.

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