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This Day in Georgia History

May 09, 1740

Escaped Slave Captured in Florida

With James Oglethorpe’s invasion of Spanish Florida now underway, a scouting party of 50 Creek Indians left camp at 4 a.m. During the day, they chased some Spanish soldiers, who were able to return to the safety of their fort. The Indians also captured a “Spanish Negro.” This term refers to a former slave - probably from South Carolina - who had escaped to freedom in Florida. Many of these escaped slaves became Spanish soldiers, and in fact there was an entire unit known as the Black Militia stationed at Fort Mose north of St. Augustine. Also on May 9, Oglethorpe’s invasion force was joined by two sloops and four schooners from South Carolina with provisions and reinforcements for the siege of the Castillo de San Marcos fortress in St. Augustine.