The blacks in St. Augustine during this time were now all Catholic, and with fears of retribution in their heads, the blacks made sure to celebrate every Catholic holiday and feast. They insisted, however on celebrating these holidays in decidely African ways. They dressed in traditional African garb for the celebrations and ate traditional African foods.
But as the economy in St. Augustine worsen, so did the attitude of the poor Spanish sour against the blacks. Many people began insisting that the blacks be resettled back at Fort Mose. But the blacks did not wish to leave their established homes and businesses in the city to start anew in the wilderness. There were riots and eventually, many black leaders who resisted were killed. Many blacks fled this fighting in their own town and rebuilt the fort near where the old one had once stood.
Many also stubbornly stayed and with few blacks in competition for jobs and businesses, the anger towards the blacks who stayed diminished.
Fort Mose began to thrive, also. The soil was excellent for crops and the salt water river that flowed near the fort was full of fish and shellfish. Good and fair trading sprung up between Fort Mose and St. Augustine. And runaway slaves continued to join the ranks of the blacks living there.
Everything seemed to be going well for Fort Mose and St. Augustine. Unfortunately, other events would now control the fate of the first black settlement in America.
The French and Indian War, which was part of a wider European conflict known as the Seven years War had pitted England and Prussia against France, Austria, Russia and Spain. The French and Indian War was concluded by the Treaty Of Paris of February 10, 1763. It was signed by England, France, and Spain.
By the Treaty of Paris in 1763, France lost Canada in favor of Great Britain and all claims to territory east of the Mississippi, while Spain, in order to recover Cuba which Britain had taken, ceded Florida. New Orleans went with Louisiana to Spain, but with these exceptions England now held the whole of North America east of the Mississippi.
When the Spanish abandoned its lands, it did not abandon its people. They took everyone, including the Indians and the blacks to Cuba with them. The Spanish crown granted them lands, tools and even gave them money.
Fort Mose was officially gone, but slaves still made their way to the area trying to escape. Many lived in the woods, and some joined the Seminole Indians in the swamps. The Fort might have been gone, but the dream lived on.