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Horace Capron papers

Call Number: MS 128

Scope and Contents

The Horace Capron Papers consist of twenty inches of correspondence and business papers spanning the period 1837 to 1884, with the bulk of material falling in the years 1872-1874 and 1877-1880.

The correspondence consists largely of Capron's communications with the Japanese "Kaitukushi" or "Commissioner for opening up and developing" regarding the agricultural modernization of the island of Yesso, now Hokkaido. Other correspondence, between Capron and various assistants and Japense or American officials, also relates to the development of Yesso. The letters are catalogued by Capron's correspondents under their names and under his name in the manuscript catalog.

The business papers consist largely of receipts and orders for farm equipment, plants and livestock from the United States, and of telegrams confirming their shipment to Japan. There are also several memoranda concerning relations between Japanese and American officials, plus several contracts and leases.

The miscellaneous papers consist of two articles written by K. Kuroda, Governor of Yesso, for the Japanese Gazette: an article(?) by Benjamin Smith Lyman on the Japanese climate; a handwritten list of Japanese-name plants with their English and botanical equivalents; and miscellaneous notes, addresses, and newspaper clippings.

The Horace Capron Papers were given to Yale University Library by Albert S. Capron in 1950.


  • 1837-1884


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Albert S. Capron, 1950.


2 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Mainly correspondence between U.S. and Japanese officials dealing with the business of the Kaitakushi (of which General Capron was commissioner and adviser), a department of the Japanese Government in charge of the settlement of Hokkaido. Persons prominent in the collection include David Amomen, Thomas Antisell, Murray S. Day, Joseph Henry, Thornton A. Jenkins, Governor K. Kuroda, Benjamin S. Lyman, Henry S. Monroe, George M. Robeson, John R. Rogers, William Tecumseh Sherman, and James R. Wasson.

Biographical / Historical

Horace Capron: worked in cotton manufacturing, 1829-1834; in 1834 commissioned colonel of the 32nd Regiment of Maryland Militia; opened a cotton factory, 1836; active in progressive farming and agricultural societies; from 1852-1854 special agent over certain Indian tribes in Texas; served in the Civil War, attaining rank of Brigadier-general in the Illinois cavalry; in 1867 appointed U.S. Commissioner of Agriculture, remaining until 1871, when he was appointed by the Japanese government as commissioner and chief advisor to the Kaitakushi Department in the development and settlement of Hokkaido; returned to the U.S. in 1875.

Guide to the Horace Capron Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Thomas J. Connors
February 1979
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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