In a marshy Florida fort a couple of miles north of Saint Augustine, for up to 120 years before Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the inception of the Thirteenth Amendment, African-Americans had been living free. The community was called Fort Mose - a beacon of progressivism in Colonial America. Spain, which ruled Florida at the time, established Fort Mose as a sanctuary for escaped slaves from British Carolina, making it America's first legally sanctioned, free black community.
It is a little-known piece of American history, discovered by archaeologists only in the mid-1980s. In the short time since then, the Fort Mose site has inspired a book... More >>>