Cementing African-Spanish ties even further, in 1738, the residents of St. Augustine established Fort Mose (Moh-say), a military garrison manned by fugitive slaves and free blacks. The garrison and its accompanying town formed the first legally sanctioned free black community in the present-day United States. Mose was the first line of defense against the British colonies. Its black warriors promised King Charles,
"[T]hat we shall at all times be the most cruel enemies of the English; and that we shall risk our lives in service to Your Majesty until spilling the last drop of our blood in defense of the Great Crown of Spain and Our Holy Faith."
Landers 28-30, Wright "Dispatches" 144-49, 175 (author's translation).