Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine (HM1J39)

Location: Saint Augustine, FL 32084 St. Johns County
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Country: United States of America
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N 29° 54.218', W 81° 18.818'

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First Permanent European/African/Native American Settlement on U.S. Mainland.

Beginning in the early 1500s and continuing for more than three centuries, about 12 million African were transported across the Atlantic Ocean into slavery, in what has come to be known as the Middle Passage—the largest forced migration in history. About 2 million died during the voyage and approximately 500,000 were delivered directly to the North American mainland.

The ancient settlements already existing in Florida were approached and traversed in the 1500s by the Spanish conquistadors, British slave traders, and French Huguenots. Africans arrived with them. Part of the Fort Caroline settlement, north of St. Augustine, consisted of free Africans. Pedro Menendez de Aviles, the Spaniard who landed near this spot in 1565, was accompanied by both free and enslaved Catholic Africans.

As European settlements on these shores grew, the small military outpost at St. Augustine was soon joined by British colonies to the north based on plantations with slave labor. As early as 1687, enslaved people escaping from the British made their way to the Spanish colony where they earned their freedom. By 1738 their numbers were sufficient to establish Fort Mose, the first legally sanctioned community of formerly enslaved people, as the northern defense of St. Augustine. Black freedom existed side-by-side with slavery throughout the colonial and early American years. There were times in the various colonial periods when St. Augustine had a black majority.

Records show that several ships made their way to St. Augustine with captive Africans. Slavery continued in St. Augustine until the Civil War. This was one of the first areas of the Confederacy to return to Union control, and in the fall of 1862 the Emancipation Proclamation was publicly read at Liberation Lot, south of downtown, by a Union officer appropriately named, Liberty K. Billings. "Little Africa" (Lincolnville) was settled by freed Blacks in 1866.

This is one of a number of markers placed at Middle Passage ports to honor those who survived the grueling journey, to remember those who did not, and to celebrate the many contributions of their descendants in creating this nation.
HM NumberHM1J39
Year Placed2015
Placed ByMiddle Passages Ceremonies and Port Markers Project
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, February 9th, 2015 at 1:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 469721 N 3308148
Decimal Degrees29.90363333, -81.31363333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 54.218', W 81° 18.818'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 54' 13.08" N, 81° 18' 49.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)904
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 84 Water St, Saint Augustine FL 32084, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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