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A Laurel Founder's Life
Laurel        Civil War     Japan

June-December 2004

Introduction

Early Years (1804-1834)

Laurel Years (1835-50)

A Life In Transition 1851-1859

Civil War (1860-65)

Department of Agriculture (1866-1971)

Japan (1871-1875)

Final Years (1875-1885)

Credits & Acknowledgements

Resources

Home
Return to Washington
Memoir & Memories
Feb. 21:  A Monumental Dedication
 
Brazier from the Capron Collection, Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Natural History. Courtesy Smithsonian Institution
Brazier from the Capron Collection.  Courtesy Department of Anthropology, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution.
Decorative Box from the Capron Collection. Courtesy Smithsonian Institution
Decorative Dispatch Box from the Capron Collection. Courtesy Department of Anthropology, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution.
 

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Return to Washington
Memoir & Memories
Feb. 21:  A Monumental Dedication
 

 

Final Years      1875-1885

Return to Washington:  Japanese Curios and A Charming Old Lady

Horace Capron returned to Washington from Japan in 1975.  He retained his Japanese connections--buying livestock and a variety of goods, including military equipment, for the Japanese government.  He even sold his house on N street to the government of Japan for their first embassy.

He and Margaret often entertained visitors, and showed off his collection of Japanese artworks. 

February 28, 1880
"I go with Dr. Hayes and see Gen. C. and his Japanese curios with which Dr. is delighted as I am myself.  Dr. thinks Mrs. C. the champion talker....
From the Diary of William G. Markham (Cornell University collection of Regional History and University Archives)
Margaret Capron.  Date unknown Feb. 25, 1880.  "I dined with Capron and spent the eve with Hayes....Mrs. Capron is a charming old lady. From the Diary of William G. Markham (Cornell University collection of Regional History and University Archives)

Horace Capron

Margaret Capron
(date unknown)

 

Memoirs and Memories of Laurel

 

Horace Capron spent the final years of his life working on his memoirs. This autobiography is the basis of much of what we know about Laurel's early years.  The month before his death, his thoughts were still on the Laurel community he had left so long ago.

"During the past year 1883-1884 I have, for the first time in my extended existence...direct[ed] [my mind] to the past in retrospection of events with which I have been more or less identified. Horace Capron Autobiography p.1

He and George Nye, who was Laurel Mill Superintendent in 1885,  must have either met or corresponded. Both were Civil War Union veterans were members of MOLLUS (Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States) and that may be the connection.

January 12, 1885 Nye made the following entry in his diary:

"...Letter to Arms and Capron and sent Capron in his old letter books of 1843." (A letterbook is a volume of correspondence)

Excerpt from Nye Diary, showing Capron reference. Laurel Museum Collection

1885 Nye Diary.  Laurel Museum Collection

   
 

February 21, 1885: A Monumental Dedication

 
Return to Washington
Memoir & Memories
Feb. 21, 1885: 
A Monumental Dedication
 
Washington Monument Dedication (NPS)
 
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February 21, 1885 the Washington Monument was finally dedicated. Horace Capron, who had attended the laying of the cornerstone, was there.

Dedication of the Washington Monument.  February 21, 1885.

Horace Capron tombstone at Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington DC. We do no know where Margaret is buried.

 

The temperature was a bitter 12 degrees.  It was too much for the 80 year old Horace Capron.  He suffered a stroke and died February 22, 1885.

Japanese Minister Ryuichi Kuki was one of the pallbearers at this funeral.

After his death Margaret sold Horace Capron's Japanese Collection to the Smithsonian, and it is among the foundations of that institution's Asian collection.

Horace Capron tombstone at Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C. It is not known where Margaret is buried. Photo by K. Lubieniecki  

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