Foundation receives major grant to build historic Fort Mose near St. Augustine

One of the most important cultural and historical sites in the United States

This historic grant is crucial because it will enable the reconstruction of Fort Mose, one of the most culturally significant sites in African American history and United States history.

—Julia Gill Woodward

TALLAHASSEE, FL, USA, February 28, 2022 / —
The Florida State Parks Foundation announced today that it has received a $933,500 grant from the Florida African American Cultural and Historical Grants Program. Out of more than 150 applicants, the Foundation’s grant proposal ranked 16th. Grant funds will be used to build a representation of historic 1738 Fort Mose just north of St. Augustine.

The site of the fort, now Fort Mose Historic State Park, is designated as a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fort Mose was the site of the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what is now the United States. In 1738, the Spanish Governor of Florida chartered the colony of Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, or Fort Mose for short, as a place for former slaves fleeing English colonies in the Carolinas.

Over the next 25 years, Fort Mose and Spanish St. Augustine became a sanctuary for Africans seeking freedom from slavery amid a large-scale power struggle between European New World nations.

The only condition for obtaining their freedom was that they had to declare their allegiance to the King of Spain and become members of the Catholic Church.

“This historic grant opportunity is critical because it will enable the construction of a representation of Fort Mose, one of the most culturally significant sites in African American history and United States history. -even,” said Julia Gill Woodward, CEO of the Foundation.

In addition to the grant, the Foundation has secured $250,000 in matching funds through generous support from Florida Park Service, Jacksonville Jaguar Foundation, Florida Blue, Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, St. Johns County and Mr. Mark Bailey. .

The purpose of the grant program is to fund construction projects at facilities in Florida that showcase the contributions, culture, or history of African Americans.

Priority is given to projects that encourage the design or construction of new equipment or the renovation of existing equipment in an area of ​​high cultural value in which no equipment exists; improve the beauty or aesthetic value of facilities named in honor of significant African Americans, or restore facilities listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Florida State Parks Foundation, founded in 1993 as Friends of Florida State Parks and renamed in 2018, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to support and help maintain the Florida Park Service, its 175 award-winning parks. and trails, local Friends groups and more than 20,000 park volunteers.

Julia Gill Woodward
Florida State Parks Foundation
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