Sensitive to the great change in my position; and
longing for relief …I obtained a commission as special Agent of
certain tribes of Indians in Texas, and along the Rio Grand
Horace Capron Autobiography p 79.
Horace Capron ended an
important phase in his life when his Laurel ventures failed.
Many adventures and significant accomplishments lay ahead of
him -- but none of these would have seemed obvious at the
time his finances collapsed. He needed work, and an
opportunity to make a new beginning. He wrote to
members of Congress, including Daniel Webster, looking for a
He was able to find a
commission in Texas. When it finished, he moved to
drawback to a life in Texas, [was] the presence of
venomous reptiles of all descriptions—Everything bites
there. Your first experience with the rattle
snake…will literally start you out of your boots.”
Horace Capron Autobiography p. 94.
whilst reconnoitering around the ruins of an old Mission
on the San Saba, an immense snake crawled out from under
a pile of rubbish upon which I was standing…My trusty
six shooter was soon out [and] I …put a ball through two
lengths of his coil. …he measured 9 feet in
Horace Capron Autobiography p. 95
My own sympathies were entirely with
the Indians….Simple justice to the Indian in all our
transactions, would...not only have saved all the
suffering and bloodshed of the past, but reconciled them
to the gradual change, which our civilization required
to fit them for the position of useful citizenship.
HC Autobiography p. 94
I would most respectfully recommend to
the Government of the United States that before a war of
extermination is waged upon these poor misguided, but
brave bands, that the truth of what I have written may
be inquired into….”
Horace Capron report to the Hon. Geo. W.
Manypenny, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1853, as
reported in HC Autobiography p. 127
Back to top
The Texas that Capron experienced in
1853-4 was still a frontier, and had only been a
state six years. He visited San Antonio, where
the famous battle of the Alamo was still part of
does not seem to have been completely enamored of
Texas -- and found some of the native fauna a
Capron’s Texas charge was to move Native American
tribes, including Delawares, Shawnees, Creeks,
Comanches, Kickapoos, Wichitaws and others to new
territories. His attitudes reflect conventional
thought of his time.
He does not seem to have questioned either the
mission or the morality of his work. He
however, deeply troubled by how the Indians were
Comanche Chief Quanah
|Eunice Capron (Horace's mother) in
later years. Photo courtesy
Horace Capron's Texas
adventure ended with a new administration (his was a
political appointment). In January 1854 he
married Margaret Baker of New York. We know
very little about Margaret, other than that her
father's name was William. We do not know
how and when Horace met her.
Horace's mother Eunice had
moved to Illinois and owned a farm. This was
the farm to which Horace and his new wife and his
children moved, and which he purchased.
Sadly, his daughter Adeline had died in 1852. Their new
home was known as The Mansion.
In Illinois Horace again
began farming.. His took up his previous focus was on his
favorite North Devon breed, and he again won
prizes. Agriculture had clearly superseded
factories as his primary interest
and passion. He eventually moved to a second farm in
|The Mansion Alden,
Illinois. There are rumors The Mansion was a stop on the
underground railroad, but no evidence currently supports
this. The house, minus the cupola, still stands and is
Photo courtesy Banfield Capron.