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Francisco Menendez

Francisco Menendez was a formerly enslaved person who became the commander of Fort Mose (pronounced Moh SAY), the first free Black community in colonial North America. He was fluent in Mandika, English, Spanish and Yamassee (a Native American language).

Fort Mose was self-governing and economically self-sustaining. In 1740, Menendez's militia successfully thwarted the British, but the community disbanded in 1763 when Spain ceded Florida to the British and many of its Black residents, including Menendez, his wife and their four children fled to Cuba.

The fort is no longer standing, but the grounds now make up the Fort Mose Historic (Florida) State Park.


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