Third Thursday Lectures are presented by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in partnership with and held at the Mandarin Community Club, located at 12447 Mandarin Rd. Refreshments begin at 6:30 pm with the lecture at 7 pm. It is free and all are invited and encouraged to attend.

Mandarin Community Club, 7 PM
February 21 honoring Black History Month

Fort Mose Historical Society, The Fort Mose Story: A Story That Must Be Told

Did you know that a very important piece of African-American history is located a mere 20 miles south of Mandarin, just east of U.S. 1? The area of the site of Fort Mose, which was the northern defense of St. Augustine, is now a Florida State Park that offers picnic areas, a boardwalk, a visitor center, and a museum. At this lecture, four members of the Fort Mose Historical Society will present a program that tells you the whole story. They will present themselves in period dress and tell us about this very important story.

“Established in 1738 by Colonial Spanish Florida’s Governor Manuel Montiano, Fort Mose gave sanctuary to Africans challenging enslavement in the English Colony of Carolina. Approximately 100 Africans lived at Fort Mose, forming more than 20 households. Together they created a frontier community which drew on a range of African backgrounds blended with Spanish, Native American and English cultural traditions. Fort Mose was legally sanctioned by the Spanish Government making it the first free African settlement to legally exist in the United States.

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 joined the Catholic Church.” (