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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 (1851-1859)

Civil War (1860-68)

Department of Agriculture (1866-1871)

Japan (1871-1875)

Final Years (1875-1885)

Credits & Acknowledgements




Leaving Laurel

Laurel Years:
An Orderly Village
Birth of a Lifelong Passion
A Presidential Visit &
 a Monumental Cornerstone
Leaving Laurel

Louisa Capron Monument on the ground of the Patuxent Wildlife  Center
Louisa Capron's monument in the Snowden Family cemetery located on the grounds of the Patuxent Wildlife Center (Click to enlarge.) Photo Dave Mann
Louisa Capron grave inscription.

Inscription on Louisa's Gravestone (l) and infant son Nicholas (r). (Click to enlarge.) Photos Dave Mann


Did Horace Capron own slaves?
The answer may lie in his list of assets.

Horace Capron's
Assets & Debtors

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Horace Capron's life and fortunes suffered major setbacks starting around 1849.

Louisa died March 27, 1849,  at the age of 37. She was buried in the Snowden family cemetery, along with an infant son Nicholas, who had died in 1836.

Horace was was left a widower with 5 children:  Horace Capron Jr., Albert, Osmond, Adeline, and Elizabeth.

It is possible that his sister, Louisa Kirwan Thiers, who was living in Laurel at the time, helped care for the family.

  Horace Capron's youngest sister Louisa Kirwan Thiers. She and her husband moved to Laurel around 1848 and lived there until 1850. She later moved to Wisconsin and lived to be 111 (!) years old.  

Economic Disaster

Horace also faced economic disaster.  Prices of his stocks fell.  His debts increased. 

Was it because of the economic recession?  Mismanagement?  Overextension of his agricultural interests--or all three?

"The primary cause of my troubles...was no doubt the result of an over weening confidence in my abilities for overcoming every obstacles that came in my way...The commendation of
 the press of the whole country had confirmed it.
Horace Capron Autobiography p. 78

Capron became an "Insolvent Debtor" and lost all his possessions, his manufacturing and his
agriculture properties. 

He and his family left Laurel, though it would be years before his affairs were completely settled.