Images: Uprisings and Maroons in the Americas

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Maroon in the United States

Slavery (created [1857?]), [1857?]

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / Photographs and Prints Division

ID# 497439

Maroon in the United States

Osman was an African Muslim who had ran away and lived as a maroon in the swamps. The first known free black community in North America was a settlement of fugitive Africans called Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose. Located near St. Augustine in Spanish Florida, it operated from 1739 to 1763. Some maroons established camps in Elliott's Cut, between the Ashepoo and Pon Pon rivers in South Carolina; and in the Indian nations of Alabama and Mississippi. In the eighteenth century, others had taken refuge in Spanish Florida with the Seminole Indians. Black and native Seminoles joined forces against the U.S. army during two wars in 1812 and 1835. By the nineteenth century, several thousand maroons lived in the Great Dismal Swamp on the border between Virginia and North Carolina.