FORT MOSE by Glennette Tilley Turner


And the Story of the Man Who Built the First Free Black Settlement in Colonial America
Age Range: 8 - 12
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Another too-little-known chapter in African-American history is revealed in this rich story of the first free black settlement to legally exist in what later became the United States. Founded in 1738 in St. Augustine in what was then Spanish Florida, Fort Mose offered sanctuary to slaves who escaped from English colonies. It would become home to approximately 100 people. Turner begins with the story of Francisco Menendez. With little historical record of his life, the author must speculate on what Menendez's life was like in West Africa before he was captured and sold into slavery in South Carolina. She does so responsibly, reminding readers of the paucity of source material and extrapolating from what is known of the slave trade at the time. In St. Augustine, Menendez became captain of the black militia that was vital to defending the settlement from English attack and the leader of the Fort Mose community. Illustrated throughout with archival images, this handsomely designed book offers an eye-opening look at a hitherto little-known community and a notable figure in Colonial American history. (glossary, source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8109-4056-7
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2010