Site 7: Capen House (Union Oyster House, 41 Union Street)
Capen was the proprietor of a fancy goods store called "At the Sign of the
Cornfields" in this building.He was a
sergeant in the Artillery Company, but was also loyal to the King.He did not evacuate with the troops and was
jailed for a year for his political views.His beliefs were firm and he was imprisoned a second time a year later
for again not rejecting the King.
One of his
apprentices was Benjamin Thompson, who worked in the shop in 1769.He went on to assist General Gage and to
provide intelligence.One of his letters
written in invisible ink survives.He
did evacuate with the troops, but later returned as a Lieutenant-Colonel and
raised the "King's American Dragoons" in New York in 1782.He was a
scientist and inventor, was knighted, and received the title of Count
Rumford.Both the Count and his
daughter were very active in charitable associations for the poor and needy.