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Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Bernard von Kapff

 
 
Bernard von Kapff image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
1. Bernard von Kapff
Inscription. Bernard von Kapff (1770-1829) put his stamp on early Baltimore as a merchant, public figure and leader of the German community. A native of Detmold in northern Germany, von Kapff established a tobacco importing business in 1795, and later joined fellow German Frederick W. Brune to create a prosperous mercantile house.

Von Kapff served from 1817-1822 as vice president of Baltimore's German Society, an organziation formed to protect the rights of German immigrants. He also donated $12,000 toward the construction of Baltimore's Battle Monument.

The von Kapff vault originally held the remains of Bernard, his wife, Hester, their son, J. Frederick (ca. 1820-1865), and his wife, Anne (1825-1911). Anne was later removed to Greenmount, and the others to a Philadelphia cemetery.

[painting]
Kindred Souls The announcement of von Kapff's marriage to Hester H. Dider (1780-1821), daughter of a weathly Baltimore merchant and burying ground lot owner, published in the Baltimore Federal Gazette on May 30, 1804 included this verse:
Two kindred souls can only meet,
Tis love that makes the bondage sweet
And feeds the mutual flame.


Bernard J. von Kapff, copy after Robert Fields, oil on canvas, ca. 1800. Private collection

[photograph]
"The von Kapfff
Bernard von Kapff marker and vault image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
2. Bernard von Kapff marker and vault
vault (lot 157) defies categorization and is unique in Baltimore. Its canted entrance, lotus capped pilasters, and enormous urn make it vaguely Egyptian; it was perhaps a response to the Buchanan-Calhoun pyramid and the Godefroy Gates."

Mary Ellen Hayward and Kent Lancaster, Baltimore's Westminster Cemetery & Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1984.

View of Westminster taken between 1885 and 1902
C.M. Kipner, photographer
Courtesy of the Enoch Pratt Free Library / State Library Resource Center, Baltimore, Maryland

[newspaper clipping]
International Trade Von Kapf & Brune, one of early Baltimore's leading commercial firms, imported German linens, exported produce and tobacco, acquired its own ships, and became active in the South American coffee trade. One of their ships made the Valparaiso-to-Baltimore voyage in a record-setting 69 days.

Advertisement published in Federal Gazette & Baltimore Daily Advertiser, September 25, 1815
 
Location. 39° 17.379′ N, 76° 37.411′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker can be reached from the intersection of West Fayette Street and North Greene Street. Click for map. Marker is on the grounds of Westminster Hall and Burying Ground. Marker is at or near this postal address: 519 West Fayette Street, Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 26 other markers are within walking distance
James McHenry and Bernard von Kapff markers image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
3. James McHenry and Bernard von Kapff markers
Von Kapff is on the right.
of this marker. Local Hero, National Leader (here, next to this marker); James McHenry, M.D. (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named James McHenry (a few steps from this marker); Believe it or Not (a few steps from this marker); The Carriage Gates of Westminster Burying Ground (within shouting distance of this marker); Infusing Style and Sophistication: (within shouting distance of this marker); A Beloved General (within shouting distance of this marker); Dugan-Hollins Family Vault (within shouting distance of this marker); The Gilmors (within shouting distance of this marker); Among Family: Poe’s Original Burial Place (within shouting distance of this marker); Original Burial Place of Edgar Allan Poe (within shouting distance of this marker); Final Rest (within shouting distance of this marker); Fame, Fortune and Financial Scandal (within shouting distance of this marker); A Swashbuckling Merchant
McHenry and von Kapff vaults, as seen from the distance image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
4. McHenry and von Kapff vaults, as seen from the distance
McHenry is on the left, von Kapff, the right.
(within shouting distance of this marker); “…a truly affectionate wife” (within shouting distance of this marker); Monumental Lives (within shouting distance of this marker); An 18th-Century Burying Ground (within shouting distance of this marker); A Mother’s Grief (within shouting distance of this marker); A Monument to the Memory of Edgar Allan Poe (within shouting distance of this marker); A La Memorie D’Edgar Allan Poe (within shouting distance of this marker); Westminster Hall & Burying Ground: (within shouting distance of this marker); John McDonogh (within shouting distance of this marker); The McDonoghs of Baltimore (within shouting distance of this marker); Poe’s Baltimore (within shouting distance of this marker); Westminster Church and Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Among the Illustrious Men (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers
View north from the von Kapff vault image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
5. View north from the von Kapff vault
in Baltimore.
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesIndustry & CommerceNotable Persons
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,258 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   4. submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   5. submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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