Fort Mose was located two miles north of St. Augustine; it was made of log walls reinforced with a type of berm. The fort protected many thatched huts where an estimated 100 men, women, and children were believed to live. There was a ditch that surrounded the Fort and inside the ditch were pointed stakes and prickly cactus and palms. The area surrounding Fort Mose was nothing more than farmland, and homes for the freedmen.
The majority of the people who would live there had been born in the western half of Africa. These men and women had been captured, and then taken across the ocean to the Americas to become slaves.
The Second Edict of the King of Spain stated that all escaped slaves had to also serve in the militia for 4 years before becoming free. The black militia was well-known in the area for their bravery. The captain of this militia was Francisco Menendez, an escaped slave. According to the AIA/CFS, Captain Menendez was a "role model." He was well respected by people in both Fort Mose and in St. Augustine and had a reputation as a fierce fighter.
The first Fort was built in 1738, and destroyed in 1752.