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University of MD at Baltimore in 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
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
feeds the mutual flame.


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

[photograph]
"The von Kapfff 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
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location.
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.
39° 17.379′ N, 76° 37.411′ W. Marker is in University of MD at Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker can be reached from the intersection of West Fayette Street and North Greene Street. Marker is on the grounds of Westminster Hall and Burying Ground. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 519 West Fayette Street, Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 26 other markers are within walking distance 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: The Influence of Maximilian Godefroy (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
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 Swashbuckling Merchant (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: Where Baltimore's History Rests in Peace (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). Touch for a list and map
Kindred Souls image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 29, 2017
5. Kindred Souls
The announcement of von Kapff's marriage to Hester H. Dider (1780-1821), daughter of a wealthy 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.
Close-up of image on marker
of all markers in University of MD at Baltimore.
 
The von Kapff Vault image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 29, 2017
6. The von Kapff Vault
“The von Kapff 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.
Close-up of photo on marker
International Trade image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 29, 2017
7. International Trade
Von Kapff & 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
Close-up of newspaper clipping on marker
View north from the von Kapff vault image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
8. View north from the von Kapff vault
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 26, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,519 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 27, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   4. submitted on April 3, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   5, 6, 7. submitted on May 30, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   8. submitted on March 27, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.
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Sep. 25, 2020