Capron, William Banfield (1824-1876) and Sarah Brown Capron (1828-1919). Papers, 1830-1876.

Papers, 1830-1931

MS 0044

2 linear feet

(Re-)Processed August 2002 By Jessica Steytler

Copyright: requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the archivist or librarian.




William Banfield Capron was born in Uxbridge, Massachusetts on April 14, 1824, son of William Cargill and Chloe (Day) Capron. His education took him to Phillips Academy, Yale (1848), and Andover Theological Seminary, (1856). He was an ordained Evangelist upon his graduation from Seminary. During his days as a student, William was a private tutor in Baltimore for one year and Principal of Hopkins Grammar School in Hartford, Conn. for six years.

Sarah B. Hooker was born in Lanesboro, Massachusetts in 1828, the daughter of Henry Brown Hooker and Martha (Chickering) Hooker. The family subsequently moved to Falmouth, Massachusetts. Sarah graduated from Wheaton Seminary, and married William Capron on October 1, 1856. Over the course of their marriage, the Caprons had 3 children.

On November 24, 1856 the Caprons sailed to Ceylon, India as missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission. Arriving in Madras in March of 1857, they labored in Tirupuvanum and Mana Madura for the next sixteen years.

From 1872 to 1875, the Caprons visited America, returning to the field in January 1875. The Reverend Capron died the following year on October 6, 1876 of heart disease. Sarah Capron lingered in India for ten years, before returning to America in 1886. She remained active in religious work until her death in 1919.


Scope and Content

This collection is a combination of separate acquisitions to the library. The original collection was donated by Charles Haynes in 1986, and contained letters to and from both Caprons. There were also photographs, journals, and literature about missions.

The second half of the collection was donated to the library in 2001 by Cal Traylor (via the Bostonian Society). The additional material includes more letters from and to Sarah. Laura Capron Keith's (William's sister) correspondence is also featured. Much of that correspondence is from her mother and sister. There are also some letters from her niece, Annie (very possibly William and Sarah's daughter).

Andover Historical Society holds Andover, Mass., West Parish Church Records, 1826-1957, contain some William B. Capron material.


Folder List

Box 1 -- Sarah Capron (1836-1919)
  correspondence, to and from;
includes biographical sketches and post-missionary years
Box 2 -- Sarah Capron (1836-1886)
  journals 1852, 1856-7, 1858, 1860
  poetry, autographs, school study index  
Box 3 -- William Capron (1839-1876)
Box 4 -- William and Sarah Capron
  Letterbook from William and Sarah Capron to the Hookers 1837-1866
Boxes 5-6 -- Capron Relations [Annie Hooker, James Keith, Laura Capron Keith]
  correspondence 1847-1931 (gaps)
    Hooker, Annie 1846-1856
    Hooker, Henry B. 1830-1836
    Capron and Hooker Genealogy  
    Keith, James 1891-1894
    Keith, Laura Capron

      line-a-day diary
1904-1931 (gaps)
Box 7 -- Mission-Related
  Madura Mission, Annual Reports 1856-1877
  Lady Doak College Report 1950
  Historical Sketches  
    India and Ceylon  
    Ceylon Mission  
  Madura Mission, post Capron Years  
  Capron, Sarah B.  
  "Random Observations on Culture and Religion in India"  
    David C. Scudder
      to the Sabbath Schools. Letter of Alice A. Evans re Dr. Scudder
    Miscellaneous letters of Mary Susan Rice and H.W. Ballantine 1863-1864
  Folder: Mission related publications  
  Capron, Annie: Certificate (in Hindi)  
  Photo album: famous figures, friends, and family  
  Hindi-written book (curiosity: 2x2 inches)  
Box 8 -- Oversized Items, Photographs
  Folder: multiple photographs  
    those in envelopes are labeled  
    includes an album and a panoramic shot in India  
  Capron, William - Journal 1865-1866