A visit to Thomas Jefferson Pasteur’s plantation in Silver Spring (1855)

In 1855, Lady Amelia Murray (one time lady in waiting to Queen Victoria) came to America. During this visit she came to view “the Silver Spring” of which she had heard much. She referred to the Pasteur plantation in her diary.

Silver Springs, Florida, Feb. 21st, 1855

Mr. Mann drove me yesterday to see the plantation of Mr. P___, a gentleman’s place, where there is really a fine grove of orange trees; they are indigenous, some of them standing in a clearing, and others, as the undergrowth in the forest, extending down to the river which flows from the Sliver Spring. Some of these are 30 feet high, loaded with fruit of a kind called here “bitter sweet”. They are good, if all the pulp is carefully taken out; but eaten without that operation they are as bitter as what we call Seville oranges.

I saw several little green paraquets with yellow heads, the only kind of parrot common in Florida. Rattlesnakes are frequent, but they always get out of the way, if they can; wolves and panthers, too, are only dangerous to sheep and dogs. A gentleman hunting in this neighbourhood lately, on a mule, the animal trod upon a snake, which stung him so that he died in a few minutes; and some days ago, a tiger cat jumped out upon a negro who drove it off by a stab with his knife; but the man’s clothes were torn and he was so terribly frightened that he could give no clear account of his assailant; these are the only casualties from wild beasts I have heard of, and I have seen nothing of the kind to alarm me.

Source: Annie B. Norman

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