Conference Keynote Address To Discuss Black Florida Colonial Leader

Jan 28, 2015

by Staff

The leader of a Spanish colonial Florida city of free blacks will be the subject of a special lecture in the Florida Lecture Series at Florida Southern College on Feb. 14. The lecture, “Filling in the Missing Pieces: The Extraordinary Life of Captain Francisco Menendez, Leader of the Free Black Town of Gracia Real de Santa Theresa de Mose,” will be given by Dr. Jane Landers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, as the keynote address of the Florida Conference of Historians, which will be held on the FSC campus Feb. 13-15.

A banquet, followed by Dr. Landers’ lecture, begins at 7 p.m. in the Hollis Wellness Center at FSC. The guest registration fee for the banquet meal and address is $35, due by Feb. 6. Visitors may attend lectures and panel discussions during the remainder of the conference for free. A schedule of the lectures and registration information is located on the Annual Meeting page of the Florida Conference of Historians website,

The conference and the lecture are hosted by the Lawton M. Chiles, Jr., Center for Florida History at FSC.

Dr. Landers is the author or co-author of six books. Her first book, “Black Society in Spanish Florida,” won the Frances B. Simkins Prize for Distinguished First Book in Southern History. She also directs the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies Digital Archive hosted by the Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt, which is preserving endangered ecclesiastical and secular documents related to slavery in the Americas.

“We are thrilled to be the host for this important annual conference and to have such a distinguished lecturer as Dr. Landers,” said Dr. James M. Denham, director of the Center for Florida History. “Her knowledge of slavery in the Caribbean and Atlantic basin is immense, and we are grateful she will share some of her insights with us. This promises to be the largest and best meeting of the Florida Conference of Historians, and we invite visitors to join us.”

About the lecture series…
The Florida Lecture Series brings speakers to the Florida Southern College campus to explore Florida life and culture from a wide range of disciplines, including history, public affairs, law, sociology, criminology, anthropology, literature, and art.