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A Laurel Founder's Life
Laurel        Civil War     Japan

June-December 2004


Early Years (1804-1834)

Laurel Years (1835-50)

A Life In Transition

Civil War (1860-68)

Department of Agriculture 1866-1871

Japan (1871-1875)

Final Years (1875-1885)

Credits & Acknowledgements



Japan: Capstone to a Career and an Adventure

Japan: Capstone to a Career
A Great Mission
Japan is a Mystery
Betrayal and Friendship
Meeting the Emperor & Home

Capron Statue in Sapporo

"On this wild coast, in this almost unpeopled  Island thus remote, I stand solitary and alone,
a pioneer, as it were, upon the outpost of civilization
…” Horace Capron Japan Journal. p. 89

Map of Japan

Map of Hokkaido in Japan

Maps of Japan and Hokkaido (click to enlarge)


In 1871 at the age of 67, Horace Capron left the Department of Agriculture and accepted an invitation from the Government of Japan to lead a delegation to help develop its northern province of Hokkaido.

The Japanese Government recognized his expertise in farming and mineral development. They considered it a coup to have Capron accept the position.

The Japanese government paid him $10,000 plus expenses to undertake the mission.

Family pressures may also have been a factor. His youngest son, Osmond, had been blinded when rescuing people from a hotel fire – and now depended on his father for support.

In Japan Horace Capron experienced extraordinary beauty, earthquakes, beheadings, betrayal, new lands and new peoples. He met the Emperor-and the Hokkaido's soon-to-be-displaced native population. The experience was the capstone of his career—and an amazing adventure

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