Old City Cemetery in Tallahassee, Florida

The Murat Grave Site

When I lived in Tallahassee, I used to stroll through the historic old city cemetery on Sunday afternoons in the fall where many illustrious Floridians were buried. Prince and Princess Murat are buried here, as well (shown below).

Of all the places in the United States, Tallahassee, Florida, is probably the last you would expect to find a member of the Bonaparte family buried. Prince Achille Murat was the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and the son of General Jochaim Murat, King of Naples, Italy, back in the days of individual city states.

In the 1820s, Prince Achille Murat settled in St. Augustine in Florida and later purchased a large estate near Tallahassee, which he named Lipona. Murat lived in Tallahassee for the rest of his life, serving in the local militia and reaching the rank of a colonel. In 1824, he was elected alderman of Tallahassee, and then the city mayor in 1825. The following year he married Catherine Willis Gray, the great-grandniece of George Washington, thus making an incongruous connection between Washington and Napoleon.

Murat died in 1847 and was buried in Tallahassee. Emperor Napoleon III provided his widow, Catherine Murat, with a large pension until her death in 1867. Catherine was buried next to her husband in Tallahassee and her siblings erected a monument in her memory.

The Murats’ story meant nothing to me in those years, however, having never heard tell of them. I had no idea that Napolean Bonaparte had had any connection to Florida. He didn’t, actually. Friends from my parish, St. John’s Episcopal Church, told me the story and challenged me to search for the Murat grave sites, since I lived in that area between the church and Florida State University. So I did. I was particularly impressed with the pink marble baronial arms set in the surround, appearing rather faded in this photo below. Now, I challenge you, my readers, to go find it if you ever find yourself in this historic part of Old Florida.

Author: www.rosesintherainmemoir.wordpress.com

Celebrating just over fifty years of holy matrimony, I am blessed to be a mother of two and grandmother of seven. Much of my writing speaks to the culture and tradition of the Deep South, where I spent the first thirty-five years of my life before relocating to the Pacific Northwest. As a poet and essayist, I’ve published both online and in print media. I launched this INVITATION TO THE GARDEN blog the summer of 2017 on WordPress.com. I look forward to hearing your stories, too!

4 thoughts on “Old City Cemetery in Tallahassee, Florida”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: