- Dec 11, 2006
Fort Mose, Fla.: The First 'Emancipation Proclamation'
Courtesy of Black Past
Founded in 1738, Fort Mose, located just north of St. Augustine, is the United States' first free black settlement. Amid the fight for control of the New World, Great Britain, Spain and other European nations relied on African slave labor. The king of Spain issued an edict: Any male slave of the British colonies who escaped to the Spanish colony of Florida would be set free -- as long as he declared his allegiance to Spain and the Catholic Church. The settlement was abandoned when the British took possession of Florida in 1763