Bellevue (Murat House)

Now located at the Tallahassee Museum, the c.1840 Bellevue plantation house was moved in 1967 from its original location on Jackson Bluff Road in Tallahassee. From 1854 until 1867, Bellevue was the home of Catherine Murat, great grandniece of George Washington and the widow of French prince Achille Murat, who was a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. Murat was an ardent supporter of the Confederacy. Local tradition holds that, in January 1861, from the grounds of the Capitol building, she fired a cannon which announced that Florida had seceded from the Union. She was an active participant in the local Soldiers Aid Society which supported the Confederate cause. An important part of the war's home front, these societies often met several days a week in members' homes to sew clothing for soldiers, and received official recognition from the state government through legislative appropriations to purchase materials. Murat is reported to have provided food from her plantation for wounded Confederate soldiers receiving care in Tallahassee. The Bellevue Plantation exhibit at the Tallahassee Museum also contains the reconstructed kitchen house and a reconstructed slave cabin.