Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours

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Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours
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Personal details
Pierre Samuel du Pont

(1739-12-14)December 14, 1739
Paris, France
DiedAugust 7, 1817(1817-08-07) (aged 77)
Greenville, Delaware, US
Nicole-Charlotte Marie-Louise le Dée de Rencourt
(m. 1766;her death 1784)

Marie Françoise Robin de Poivre(m. 1795)
Children Victor Marie du Pont
Eleuthère Irénée du Pont
Residence Chevannes, Burgundy; Nemours, France

Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (English: /dˈpɒnt/ [1] or /djˈpɒnt/ [1] ; French:  [dypɔ̃] ; 14 December 1739 – 7 August 1817) was a French-American writer, economist, publisher and government official. During the French Revolution, he, his two sons and their families emigrated to the United States.

French Revolution Revolution in France, 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.


His son Éleuthère Irénée du Pont was the founder of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. He was the patriarch and progenitor of one of the United States' most successful and wealthiest business dynasties of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Éleuthère Irénée du Pont French-American chemist

Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours, known as Irénée du Pont, or E. I. du Pont, was a French-American chemist and industrialist who founded the gunpowder manufacturer E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. His descendants, the du Pont family, have been one of America's richest and most prominent families since the 19th century, with generations of influential businessmen, politicians and philanthropists.

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, commonly referred to as DuPont, was an American conglomerate that was founded in July 1802 in Wilmington, Delaware, as a gunpowder mill by French-American chemist and industrialist Éleuthère Irénée du Pont.

Early life and family

Pierre du Pont was born December 14, 1739, the son of Samuel du Pont and Anne Alexandrine de Montchanin. His father was a watchmaker and French Protestant, or Huguenot. His mother was a descendant of an impoverished minor noble family from Burgundy.

French nobility privileged social class in France during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to the revolution in 1790

The French nobility was a privileged social class in France during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to the revolution in 1790. The nobility was revived in 1805 with limited rights as a titled elite class from the First Empire to the fall of the July Monarchy in 1848, when all privileges were abolished for good. Hereditary titles, without privileges, continued to be granted until the Second Empire fell in 1870. They survive among their descendants as a social convention and as part of the legal name of the corresponding individuals.

Burgundy Region of France

Burgundy is a historical territory and a former administrative region of east-central France. It takes its name from the Burgundians, an East Germanic people who moved westwards beyond the Rhine during the late Roman period.

Du Pont married Nicole-Charlotte Marie-Louise le Dée de Rencourt in 1766, also of a minor noble family. They had three sons: Victor Marie (17671827), a manufacturer and politician; Paul François (December 1769–January 1770); and Éleuthère Irénée (1771–1834), the founder of E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company in the United States. Nicole-Charlotte died 3 September 1784 of typhoid. [2]

Victor Marie du Pont de Nemours was a French American diplomat, politician and businessman. He was a member of the Delaware General Assembly, the founder of the Du Pont, Bauduy & Co., wool manufacturers, and brother of Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, the founder of the E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company.

Ancien Régime

With a lively intelligence and high ambition, Pierre became estranged from his father, who wanted him to be a watchmaker. The younger man developed a wide range of acquaintances with access to the French court during the Ancien Régime period. Eventually he became the protégé of Dr. François Quesnay, the personal physician of Louis XV's mistress, Madame de Pompadour. Quesnay was the leader of a faction known as the économistes, a group of liberals at the court dedicated to economic and agricultural reforms. By the early 1760s du Pont's writings on the national economy had drawn the attention of intellectuals such as Voltaire and Turgot. His 1768 book on physiocracy (Physiocratie, Ou Constitution Naturelle du Gouvernement le Plus Avantageux au Genre Humain) advocated low tariffs and free trade among nations, deeply influenced Adam Smith of Scotland.

Ancien Régime Monarchic, aristocratic, social and political system established in the Kingdom of France from approximately the 15th century until the later 18th century

The Ancien Régime was the political and social system of the Kingdom of France from the Late Middle Ages until 1789, when hereditary monarchy and the feudal system of French nobility were abolished by the French Revolution. The Ancien Régime was ruled by the late Valois and Bourbon dynasties. The term is occasionally used to refer to the similar feudal systems of the time elsewhere in Europe. The administrative and social structures of the Ancien Régime were the result of years of state-building, legislative acts, internal conflicts, and civil wars, but they remained and the Valois Dynasty's attempts at re-establishing control over the scattered political centres of the country were hindered by the Huguenot Wars. Much of the reigns of Henry IV and Louis XIII and the early years of Louis XIV were focused on administrative centralization. Despite, however, the notion of "absolute monarchy" and the efforts by the kings to create a centralized state, the Kingdom of France retained its irregularities: authority regularly overlapped and nobles struggled to retain autonomy.

François Quesnay French economist

François Quesnay was a French economist and physician of the Physiocratic school. He is known for publishing the "Tableau économique" in 1758, which provided the foundations of the ideas of the Physiocrats. This was perhaps the first work attempting to describe the workings of the economy in an analytical way, and as such can be viewed as one of the first important contributions to economic thought. His Le Despotisme de la Chine, written in 1767, describes Chinese politics and society, and his own political support for constitutional despotism.

Louis XV of France Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre 1715–1774

Louis XV, known as Louis the Beloved, was King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached maturity on 15 February 1723, the kingdom was ruled by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, as Regent of France. Cardinal Fleury was his chief minister from 1726 until the Cardinal's death in 1743, at which time the king took sole control of the kingdom.

In 1768, he took over from Nicolas Baudeau, editor of Ephémérides du citoyen ou Bibliothèque raisonnée des sciences morales et politiques. He published Observations sur l'Esclavage des Negres in Volume 6.

Nicolas Baudeau French economist

Nicolas Baudeau was a Catholic cleric, theologian and economist, who was born in Amboise, France.

In 1774, he was invited by King Stanisław August Poniatowski of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to help organize that country's educational system. [3] The appointment to the Commission of National Education, with which he worked for several months, helped push his career forward, bringing him an appointment within the French government. [3]

He served as Inspector General of Commerce under Louis XVI. He helped negotiate the treaty of 1783, by which Great Britain formally recognized the independence of the United States, and arranged the terms of a commercial treaty signed by France and England in 1786.

In 1784, he was ennobled by lettres patentes (letters patent) from the king Louis XVI (a process known as noblesse de lettres), which added the de Nemours ("of Nemours") suffix to his name to reflect his residence.

French Revolution

Du Pont initially supported the French Revolution and served as president of the National Constituent Assembly.

He and his son Eleuthère were among those who physically defended Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette from a mob besieging the Tuileries Palace in Paris during the insurrection of 10 August 1792. Condemned to the guillotine during the Reign of Terror, du Pont was awaiting execution when Robespierre fell on 9 thermidor an IV (27 July 1794), and he was spared.

He married Françoise Robin on 5 vendémiaire an IV (27 September 1795). Robin was the daughter of Antoine Robin de Livet, a French aristocrat who lived in Lyon, and the widow of Pierre Poivre, the noted French administrator. After du Pont's house was sacked by a mob during the events of 18 Fructidor V (4 September 1797), he, his sons and their families immigrated to the United States in 1799.

They hoped (but failed) to found a model community of French exiles. In the United States, du Pont developed strong ties with industry and government, in particular with Thomas Jefferson, with whom he had been acquainted since at least 1787 and who had referred to him as "one of the very great men of the age" and "the ablest man in France." [4]

Du Pont engaged in informal diplomacy between the United States and France during the reign of Napoleon. He was the originator of an idea that eventually became the Louisiana Purchase, as a way to avoid French troops landing in New Orleans, and possibly sparking armed conflict with U.S. forces.[ citation needed ] Eventually, he would settle in the U.S. permanently; he died there in 1817.

His son Éleuthère, who had studied chemistry in France with Antoine Lavoisier, founded a gunpowder manufacturing plant, based on his experience in France as a chemist. It would become one of the largest and most successful American corporations, known today as DuPont.

See also

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  1. 1 2 Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster.
  2. Beach, Frederick Converse; Rines, George Edwin (1911). The Americana: A Universal Reference Library ... Americana Company. pp. 121–27. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  3. 1 2 Jacek Jędruch (1998). Constitutions, elections, and legislatures of Poland, 1493–1977: a guide to their history. EJJ Books. p. 164. ISBN   978-0-7818-0637-4 . Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  4. Haggard (December 2009). "The Politics of Friendship: Du Pont, Jefferson, Madison, and the Physiocratic Dream for the New World" (PDF). Proc. Am. Philos. Soc. 153.

Further reading