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hepople Lesson Plans
The Role and Status of Africans in Spanish St. Augustine
Prepared by Jeannie Dunn, Gloria Ferguson, S.lun ha Garver, Esperanza Kane, Cary
Palmieri, Mary Alice Schad, and K. C. S.,ith
Intended Grade: 3rd 5th
Correlation to National or Sunshine State Standards:
SS.A.1.2. The student understands historical chronology and the historical
SS.A.4.2. The student understands US history to 1880.
LA.B.2.2. The student writes to communicate ideas and information effectively.
LA.E.2.2. The student responds critically to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama.
Performance Standards: [unspecified]
The students will identify the rights of Africans in St. Augustine during the 18th
Approximate Time Required: [unspecified]
To Be a Slave by Julius Lester (Scholastic Inc., New York, 1968)
Fort Mose Colonial America's Black Fortress of Freedom by Kathleen Deagan
& Darcie MacMahon (University Press of Florida, Gainesville, 1995).
Sterling and Delaney Manumission Case (enough for each group)
Bag filled with even numbers of Xs and O's (enough for entire class).
Teachers should familiarize themselves with the texts, especially the sections
of Fort Mose dealing with Spanish laws governing slavery, laws in Florida
providing sanctuary for slaves running from the English colonies, and
provisions for manumission (legal statement of freedom).
First Activity-the nature of injustice
Students will choose at random an X or O from bag at the start of day.
Throughout the day, the students who have Xs will have to do more work and
will be treated differently than those who have O's.
For example, teacher might move the Xstudents' desks to the back of the room and the
others to the front. The Xstudents might have to clean out their desks while the O's have
free time to read.
Students then (with the aid of teacher) will create KWL foldables on the subject of
their knowledge of the rights of Africans in St. Augustine (see example and
After completion of chart, teacher will read a section of To Be a Slave by Julius
Teacher will explain to students that both enslaved and free Africans in the
Spanish St. Augustine community had rights. See in particular Fort Mose pp. 1-8
and 15-22 and p. 30.
Enslaved: ............... held against one's will as the property of a person or
Free:........ ........ not controlled by the laws or will of others; having liberty
Manumission: ......... the act of freeing a slave from bondage
Primary Source: ..... a document, artifact, or evidence that is original to the
event or time period being studied
In closing the students will complete the final parts of their KWL and then chose a
topic to write about. Some possible choices are:
Write to a slave or to a freed slave and share your feelings.
Write about a time you were treated unfairly and how that made you feel.
Evaluation and Grading:
Writing sample and teacher observation.
Petition by Juana Sterling regarding the legal status of her children
Juana Sterling was a freed slave who had two children with a white
landowner, Daniel A. Delany (her former master). They resided very close to
the Georgia border in Florida. As news arrived that Florida would be ceded to
the United States, Sterling and Delany feared their children might be turned
into slaves. They wanted written proof that the children were free, and they
wanted this proof to be included in the government files of St. Augustine.
They asked Spanish officials in Florida to draw up documents stating that
their children were free people of color, and had never been slaves.
From Senior Captain of the Post Santa Maria:
Juana Sterling a free mulatto and native of this province with due respect
presents herself and says:
That the attached document of manumission in the English language was
given to me by my owner, Don Daniel A. Delany, who is also the father of my
two children, Bertha and Thomas. And wanting to safeguard the children and
their legal status I ask your Majesty to order whoever you see fit to translate
these documents, place them in the archives of the province, and give me
proof that this has been done.
On the edge of the St. Mary River, on the 3rd day of August, 1818.
For M. Sterling
Response to Juana Sterling's Petition:
Juana Sterling received the following response to her petition to legally
declare that her children were free. The individual who wrote the response
was George J.F. Clarke, the governor's local magistrate for the section of
Florida near Georgia.
St. Mary, 10 August 1818
Let it be done as she asks and to that effect Don Francisco and Don Pedro
Pons are witnesses of assistance and Don Domingo Acosta is interpreter.
3. Hold in landscape position. 5, Inside upper right and lower right quadrant label:
Open and cut out upper left quadrant WHAT I LEARNED
6. Fold down upper right quadrant.
Label top of folded right quadrant:
WHAT I WANTTO LEARN
1. Make hot dog fold and crease
4. Inside lower left quadrant label: 2. Make hamburger fold and crease and then reopen.
WHAT I KMOW
9. Turn booklet over and on back label:
7. Fold lower left quadrant over lower right quadrant. WHAT I STILL WANT TO LEARN
Label: KWL: _topic) *
B. Write your name and decorate cover.
WHAT I LEARNED
THIS QUADRANT HAS BEEN CUT OUT
WHAT I K --OW
WHAT I KNOW