LOCATION: Fort Mose Historic State Park

Founders Day: The Founding of Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose

Founders Day Fort Mose
  • 15 Fort Mose Trail
  • St. Augustine, FL 32084
  • Phone: 904-823-2232
  • Admission: Free
  • Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
March 18, 2023

Witness the processions, pageantry, ceremony, and cannon salutes surrounding the official founding of Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, or ‘Fort Mose’, in 1738. This marks the 284th anniversary of the historic event that established Fort Mose as the first legally sanctioned free Black community in North America.

Join in the celebration as Captain Francisco Menendez, members of his free African militia, and members of the Fort Mose Militia officially receive their freedom from enslavement. Witness the official blessing of the site by Franciscan Friar Don Joseph de Leon.

Presented by the Fort Mose Historical Society, Founders Day takes place from 10 a.m. - noon. Admission to the event is free; however, there is a charge of $2.00 for adults who wish to explore the Visitors Center museum; children 5 and under enter free.

Schedule of Events:

10:00 am - Ceremony

Opening with Respect to the Flag

Prayer by the Priest

Welcome by Charles Ellis (CSO President)

25th Anniversary Announcements by Thomas Jackson (CSO Vice-President)

10:30 am Program Starts

Spanish Governor Don Manuel de Montiano Speech

Priest Blessing

Francisco Menendez Speech

11:15 am Interactive Program

Militia / Spanish soldiers & Ladies of Mose reenactors

Bring Fort Mose to Life

12:00 - Noon

Closing Ceremony


Fort Mose Historic State Park, 15 Fort Mose Trail, St. Augustine. For more information, visit www.fortmose.org/founders-day-2022