Glennette Tilley Turner presents thestory of Fort Mose in the only picture book for children about the first free Black community in America.
In 1724, Francisco Menendez escaped from a plantation in the colony of South Carolina and, with a small group of men, headed south to Florida, at the time a Spanish colony, to the town of St. Augustine. There he was granted his freedom. He soon became a member of the Black militia and helped defend the area from English invaders. In 1738, Menendez helped found the first legally sanctioned free Black community in America. It was called Fort Mose, and it lay just north of St. Augustine.
There were 38 households of men, women, and children living together at Fort Mose, creating a frontier community that drew on a range of African backgrounds and blended them with the local Spanish, Native American, and English peoples and cultures. Fort Mose became a southern destination for travelers of the Underground Railroad many years before the birth of its legendary “conductor,” Harriet Tubman.
“Turner’s graceful account clearly distinguishes between fact and supposition. . . . A significant addition to African American history collections for young people.” —Booklist (Starred Review)
**STARRED REVIEW**Booklist, 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."
"A useful addition . . . 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