Friday, June 24, 2011

The Death of Florida's Princess, 1867

The Princess Murat
Madame Catherine Daingerfield Willis Murat, the French Princess who was also a great-grandniece of President George Washington, lived for much of her life near Tallahassee.

Her passing during the summer of 1867 was covered with great sadness in the state's leading newspapers

The following appeared in the Tallahassee Sentinel of August 8, 1867:

A SAD ANNOUNCEMENT. – Madame C.D. MURAT, relict of Prince Achille Murat, died at her Jefferson county plantation, on Tuesday morning last, after an illness of several months’ duration. Sad as this announcement is, it is not altogether unexpected to our readers. Few indulged the hope, latterly, that a vigorous constitution would survive the ravages of the terrible typhoid fever that has so long threatened to remove from the scene of her usefulness, in this community, the noble victim of the destroying angel. At an advanced age of sixty years, and over, one of the rarest gems that ever ornamented the society of the South – one of the purest minded and most unselfish of her sex – a blessing and an honor to the age in which she lived – has gone to reap the reward of her fervent piety and her wide-spread benevolence.

Belleview, Home of a Princess
The poor will sadly miss the charitable assistance of one of their “ministering angels” – the rich will search in vain for another such exemplar – whilst all classes will sincerely lament a death which, at her ripe age, seems untimely.

We leave to some abler pen the mournfully pleasant task of paying proper tribute to the memory of one whose whole life has been a blessing, and whose death is now mourned as a public calamity.

Princess Murat's home, Belleview, still stands. A beautifully restored part of the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science, it provides a unique look into the life of a real princess. The home is open daily for self-guided tours daily. To learn more, please visit

No comments:

Post a Comment