Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Pascalis plantation

Pascalis Plantation / Pascalina
Pascalis Plantation Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, July 2008
1. Pascalis Plantation Marker

Pascalis Plantation
Elizabeth Pascalis purchased these 790 acres in 1835, settled here with her son Cyril Ouviere, and brought the orphaned children of her daughter, here, to live. Cyril, a civil engineer, was a resident engineer constructing the Charleston-Hamburg railroad (world’s longest when completed in 1833). In 1834 he helped lay out and survey streets in nearby Aiken.

Elizabeth Pascalis, born in Philadlephia and widow of the brilliant Dr. Felix Pascalis-Ouviere, MD, willed this house, once know as Pascalina, to her granddaughter, Theodosia Canfield, and husband John C. Wade, in 1863. The Wades were living here in February of 1865 when Union general Hugh Judson Kilpatrick used the house as headquarters during the Battle of Aiken. Theodosia's mother was a young poet Francesca Canfield. The house remained in the family until 1944.

Dr Felix A. Pascalis -1762 France-July 1833 at 71 Liberty St NY,NY-
New York, Death Newspaper Extracts, 1801-1890 (Barber Collection- Felix Alex Cuviere Pascalis MD Publication: 22 Jul 1833) an Italian physician and scholar who had married a 
native of Philadelphia, Elizabeth, and resided several years in Philadlephia.
Francesca was born in August 1803 in Philadelphia. In 1810 NY NY
her father had a boy and a girl under 10. While she was a child her 
parents removed to New York where Dr Pascalis was conspicuous 
not only for his professional abilities but for his writings upon various 
curious and abstruse subjects in the medical field and philosophy 
and was intimate with many eminent persons among whom 
was Dr Samuel L Mitchill who was so pleased with Francesca that in 1815, 
when she was in the twelfth year of her age, he addressed to her the 
following playful and characteristic Valentine -
Descending snows the earth o'erspread 
Keen blows the northern blast 
Condensing clouds scowl over head 
The tempest gathers fast 
But soon the icy mass shall melt 
The winter end his reign 
The sun's reviving warmth be felt 
And nature smile again. 
The plants from torpid sleep shall wake 
And nursed by vernal showers. 
Their yearly exhibition make 
Of foliage and of flowers 
So you an opening bud appear 
Whose bloom and verdure shoot 
To load Francesca's growing year 
With intellectual fruit 
The feathered tribes shall flit along 
And thicken on the trees 
Till air shall undulate with song 
Till music stir the breeze 
Thus like a charming bird your lay 
The listening ear shall greet. 
And render social cireles gay 
Or make retirement sweet 
Then warblers chirp and roses open 
To entertain my fair 
Till nobler themes engage her hope 
And occupy her care 
In school Miss Pascalis was particularly distinguished for the facility with 
which she acquired languages. At an early period she translated with ease and elegance from the French 
Italian Spanish and Portuguese and her instinctive appreciation of the 
harmonies of her native tongue was so delicate that her English 
compositions in both prose and verse were singularly musical as well as 
expressive and correct. The version of a French song 
Quand reverrai je en un jour ete 
is among the memorials of her fourteenth year and though much less 
compact than the original it is interesting as an illustration ol her own 
fine and precocious powers. While yet at school Miss Pascalis translated 
for a friend a volume from Lavater and soon afterward she made a 
beautiful English version of the 
Roman Nights from Le Notti Romane al Sepolcro Dei Scipioni 
of Ales sandroVerri. She also translated The Solitary and The Vine Dresser 
from the French and wrote some original poems in Italian which were 
much praised by judicious crities. She was a frequent contributor under 
various signatures to the literary journals and among her pieces for this 
period that are preserved in Mr Knapp's biography is an address to her 
friend Mitchill which purported to be from Le Brun. A marriage of 
convenience was arranged for Miss Pascalis with Mr Canfield a broker 
who after a few months became a bankrupt and could never retrieve his 
fortunes. She bore her disappointments without complaining and when 
her husband established a financial and commereial gazette she labored 
industriously to make it attractive by literature but there was a poor 
opportunity among tables of currency and trade for the display of her 
graceful abilities and her writings probably attracted little attention. 
She was a good pianist and she painted with such skill that some of her 
copies of old masters deceived clever artists. Her accomplishments 
however failed to invest with happiness a life of which the ambitious 
flowers had been so early blighted and yielding to consumption which 
can scareely enter the home of a cheerful spirit she died on the 28th 
of May 1823 before completing the twentieth year of her age. 
Dr Pascalis whose chief hopes were centred in his daughter abandoned 
his pursuits  and after lingering through ten disconsolate years died in 
the summer of 1833 and the death of her husband in the following autumn
prevented the publication of an edition of her works which he had 
prepared for that purpose. 

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