Waiting for British Attack (05:20)
In 1702, 1,500 residents of St. Augustine took refuge in Castillo de San Marcos from incoming English troops. Native tribes who resisted Spanish efforts to convert them to Catholicism joined the soldiers. Carolina governor James Moore led the troops, seeking to increase England's hold in Spanish territory.
British Attack Castillo de San Marcos (05:10)
St. Augustine appeared deserted when Moore's troops reached it and they began firing on the fort; a siege lasted 52 days. The fort's coquina walls withstood the gunfire.
Siege of St. Augustine (03:37)
British soldiers became angry with Moore as conditions inside the fort worsened. Both sides sent word to the Caribbean for help. Spanish warships arrived from Havana and ended the siege, but Moore's troops burned the city as they retreated.
Moore and the Slave Trade (08:48)
Desperate to overcome the financial loss of the attack on St. Augustine, Moore began enslaving Native Americans. He created teams of slave raiders, who captured Native people from Spanish missions throughout La Florida; raiders killed those who refused to cooperate.
Spanish Missions (01:34)
As Moore's raids continued, many Spanish missions in La Florida were burned or abandoned. The mission had supplied most of the crops to St. Augustine.
Slavery in Early America (05:56)
Africans and people of African descendant had been living freely in St. Augustine since its founding. Spanish colonies had slaves, but chattel slavery based on race was a product of British colonies. La Florida had granted British slaves asylum if they converted to Catholicism.
Free Black Community (06:12)
British plantation owners feared La Florida's openness to runaway slaves would harm the economy. Escaped slave Francisco Menendez fought against the British with Native Americans and the black militia in La Florida. He became the leader of the freed slaves at Fort Mose in 1738.
Uncovering Fort Mose (09:33)
Historian Jane Landers discovered census records from the first free black settlement in the United States. She and archaeologist Kathleen Deagan learned what life was like in the settlement. The Fort Mose militia fought British troops at the Battle of Mose.
End of Spanish La Florida (02:34)
St. Augustine was Spain's stronghold in La Florida for 200 years. To keep the port in Havana, the Spanish signed over the rights of La Florida to the British; the people of St. Augustine viewed it as betrayal.
Credits: The British Are Coming: Episode 3 (01:39)
Credits: The British Are Coming: Episode 3
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