Cover image for Fort Mose : and the story of the man who built the first free black settlement in colonial America
Title:
Fort Mose : and the story of the man who built the first free black settlement in colonial America
ISBN:
9780810940567
Publication Information:
New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2010.
Physical Description:
42 p. : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 27 cm.
General Note:
Illustrations and maps taken from historical documents, also photographs of historical objects.
Contents:
The story of Francisco Menendez -- His early life in Africa -- Life in England's America -- Life in Spain's America -- The building of Fort Mose -- Slave revolts and their effect -- Petitions to the King -- Rebuilding Fort Mose -- The demise of Fort Mose -- Afterword: Fort Mose today.
Reading Level:
NC 1180 L Lexile
Summary:
Follows the history of slavery from West Africa to America, recounts what daily life was like, and describes the founding of the Spanish colonies.
Holds:

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Summary

Summary

In this one-of-a-kind historical picture book, author Glennette Tilley Turner tells the story of Fort Mose, which was founded in St. Augustine, Florida, and was the first free African settlement to legally exist in what later became the United States. Fort Mose was not only the first free black settlement, but it was also the most southern link of the Underground Railroad as a haven of refuge, just as cities in Canada were the northern most link.

Beginning with the story of Francisco Menendez, the Captain of the Black Militia of St. Augustine, FORT MOSE follows the history of slavery from West Africa to America, recounts what daily life was like, and describes the founding of the Spanish colony's Fort Mose. Established in 1738, Fort Mose gave sanctuary to escaped Africans, challenging slavery in the English colonies. Approximately one hundred Africans lived together, creating a frontier community that drew on a range of African backgrounds, blending them with those of Spanish, Native American, and English people and cultural traditions.

The book includes more than forty archival images, an afterword about uncovering Fort Mose (which is now part of the National Parks), a glossary, an author's note, a bibliography, and an index.

Praise for Fort Mose
Starred Review:
"Turner's graceful account clearly distinguishes between fact and supposition. The paragraphs discussing the transport of slaves and their treatment at the "pest" house on Sullivan's Island are particularly vivid and informative. Brightening every page of this large, handsome book are deep-green borders of tropical leaves. A significant addition to African American history collections for young people. - Booklist , starred review

"This is a useful addition to libraries with strong African-American history collections, and for teachers and librarians looking for unique stories about colonial America." - School Library Journal

"This handsomely designed book offers an eye-opening look at a hitherto little-known community and a notable figure in Colonial American history." - Kirkus Reviews


Author Notes

Glennette Tilley Turner has written nine children's books, including An Apple for Harriet Tubman and Running for Our Lives . She has a master's degree in history and children's literature; has spoken at ALA, NCTE, BCALA, and the Library of Congress; has presented at Illinois library, historical, and reading organizations; and has served as an advisor to the National Park Service. She lives in Wheaton, Illinois.


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-In the 18th century, some Africans escaped slavery in England's southern colonies to find freedom in the Spanish colony of Florida. As a leader of St. Augustine's community, African-born Francisco Menendez helped establish Fort Mose, the first free black community on North American soil. Turner does an excellent job of explaining how the residents of Fort Mose probably blended African, English, and Spanish traditions to create a unique-and uniquely American-culture. Her careful choice of words and images demonstrates that drawing such conclusions about early American history can be difficult when written records are hard to find and sketchy at best. For instance, a 16th-century sketch of a Florida Timucua Indian village is juxtaposed with a 20th-century photo of a West African village. Captions explain that Menendez "would have been familiar" with the design of these African buildings. The text also elaborates on how Fort Mose buildings probably combined Native American and African architectural elements. An afterword explains that Fort Mose no longer stands, but its site is included in Florida's state-park system. Turner describes her research in an author's note. This is a useful addition to libraries with strong African-American history collections, and for teachers and librarians looking for unique stories about colonial America.-Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Horn Book Review

Although few historical documents exist about the establishment of Fort Mose, Turner builds a credible account of the life of Francisco Menendez, a slave who became "captain of the black militia at Fort Mose," using threads of historical evidence mixed with plausible speculation. Archival photographs, drawings, and maps enrich the readable and well-documented text. Websites. Bib., glos., ind. (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

(Nonfiction. 8-12)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* This well-researched book introduces Francisco Menendez, a strong, remarkable African man whose struggle for freedom in America predated the Civil War and even the American Revolution. Born in West Africa around 1700, Mendez was captured and sold as a slave in South Carolina. After fighting with the Indians of the southeast in the Yamasee War, in which they rose up against the English colonists, he went to St. Augustine seeking sanctuary and freedom but was enslaved by the Spanish. Eventually, he was granted unconditional freedom and named the leader of Fort Mose, Florida, the first officially sanctioned free black town in what is now the United States. Though there are challenges in writing Menendez's life story when so little is known, particularly about his early life, Turner's graceful account clearly distinguishes between fact and supposition. The paragraphs discussing the transport of slaves and their treatment at the pest house on Sullivan's Island are particularly vivid and informative. Back matter includes a glossary, source notes for quotes, and an extensive source bibliography. Brightening every page of this large, handsome book are deep-green borders of tropical leaves. Illustrations include period paintings, drawings, maps, and documents. A significant addition to African American history collections for young people.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist