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Victor Marie du Pont papers

1778-1827
 Collection
Accession: LMSS-II

Abstract

Victor Marie du Pont (1767-1827) was a French diplomat who later immigrated to the United States and established various trading companies before moving to Delaware. He was the eldest son of Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739-1817). The collection consists of correspondence, business and personal papers, and writings of Victor Marie du Pont and his wife, Gabrielle Joséphine (de la Fite de Pelleport) du Pont.

Dates

  • 1778-1827

Creator

Extent

0.5 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Victor Marie du Pont (1767-1827) was a French diplomat who later immigrated to the United States and established various trading companies before moving to Delaware. Victor Marie du Pont was the eldest son of Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739-1817). He was born in Paris on October 1, 1767. In the mid-1780s, he was employed at his father's office at the Bureau of Commerce in Paris. In 1788 he came to the United States as part of the French legation and assisted in negotiating a treaty between the State of New York and the five Indian Nations. In the 1790s, du Pont served on a number of French diplomatic missions in the United States. In 1800 he established a trading company, Victor du Pont de Nemours & Co. In 1808 after the failure of this firm, he moved to Delaware and established residence a Louviers on the Brandywine. He established a mill to manufacture cotton cloth and in 1813 became a partner in Du Planty, McCall & Co. Victor du Pont died in Philadelphia on January 30, 1827.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence, business and personal papers, and writings of Victor Marie du Pont and his wife, Gabrielle Joséphine (de la Fite de Pelleport) du Pont.

The Correspondence series consists of Victor Marie du Pont's outgoing and incoming correspondence.

The outgoing correspondence is primarily letters to family members, particularly his brother, Eleuthère Irénée, and contains personal detail relating to their earlier years. Includes original letters to his family members, drafts and retained copies of letters sent, and letters received. Aside from personal elements the correspondence offers much relating to Victor du Pont's business affairs, with references to: his shipments of equipment and payments to or for the powder company, his proposed newspaper advertisement of Du Pont powder for sale in the New York market, and his suggestion that his father distribute some shares in the powder company to his stepsister, Mme [Françoise-Julienne Isle-de-France] Bureaux de Pusy, to strengthen the position of his brother, E. I. du Pont, in the powder company; land values and living conditions in Angelica, New York; his hopes for an expanding American woolen market to benefit from declining Spanish flocks, details concerning the financial establishment of the woolen factory, Du Pont, Bauduy, & Co., and the trip to Europe by Ferdinand Bauduy in its behalf; Victor du Pont's role as friend and mediator in the relations between his brother and Peter Bauduy and with Mme Bureaux de Pusy and his financial position in the Brandywine mill complex; the administration of the Wilmington branch of the Farmers' Bank of the State of Delaware; an evaluation of Madison, Henry Clay, James A. Bayard, Sr., and others in national and state politics; and references to Talleyrand's naturalization papers, a fire at the powder factory (1817), the transfer of Company drafts to his father, du Pont de Nemours, in France by means of George de Caraman, the shipment of Du Pont woolens, and allusions to the activities of members of his family and friends (his sons, Charles and S. F. du Pont, his daughter Amelia's marriage, the travels of General [Jean-Victor] Moreau, Baron [Jean-Guillaume] Hyde de Neuville, the Cazenoves, the d'Autremonts, and Mme Bureaux de Pusy.

The incoming correspondence subseries is arranged and labeled by Victor Marie du Pont concerning the settlement of his debts after his bankruptcy by assignment of his estate (including Kentucky lands and Angelica property) to Guilan McEvers, Bertram P. Cruger, and Moses L. Moses, trustees for his creditors. Claims by others, taxes due, a low market price for land, and an unrewarding trip to Kentucky to dispose of the property there disappointed du Pont's hopes for a profitable arrangement of his accounts. The block includes letters to Victor du Pont from Cruger, Moses, William Lovett, Moses and Lovett, Peter Bauduy; also, two deeds for property near Angelica and in Kentucky, single letters from Peter Bauduy to Cruger, William Warner to Moses, and Cruger to Moses, plus du Pont's observations and conclusions on the Kentucky land title (7 pp.), receipts, and miscellaneous records.

The general contents of this group agree with the description made by Mrs. S.F. du Pont in 1880 of one of the "Bundles of Papers that came from Aunt Eleuthera's" [Eleuthera (du Pont) Smith]: "Business papers, Kentucky, Angelica, etc." [Mrs. S.F. du Pont to Henry A. Du Pont, 10 Sep 1880, Winterthur Manuscripts]. The remaining correspondence to du Pont concerns credits owed to or by du Pont firms with G. Manigault, Talleyrand, Mountflorence, Rezeville, Grouchy, and other debtors and creditors, relations between Peter Bauduy and E. I. du Pont, the claims against the powder company by Talleyrand and by Mme Bureaux de Pusy, the sale of English powder in the American market, the powder market in South America, shipments of American seeds to France by Victor du Pont and his brother, investments by the d'Autremont family in Kentucky lands and French mills, details of administration and the release of the du Pont farm near Angelica, New York, effects of the Burr affair in Louisiana on New York business (1807), journey by Raphael Du Planty to New Orleans, a mission by B. Orsele to Mexico to recover French funds, misuse of a letter forwarded by du Pont in an accusation against Mountflorence to a French minister, a subscription by powder workers to pay an immigrant's passage, Pennsylvania property owned by Amelia, du Pont's daughter, and other subjects, and two lists of American plants whose seeds were requested for French botanists.

The Special paper's series consists of Victor Marie du Pont's writings, student notebooks, and business papers of Victor and Charles I. du Pont, cloth manufacturers. Included are contracts and apprenticeship papers. Also included is a letterbook that Victor du Pont kept while in Paris (1801) on behalf of Du Pont de Nemours, Père et Fils & Cie. Correspondence with Bertram Cruger and Moses L. Moses concern land investments in Kentucky and New York.

Also included are copies of Victor du Pont's student copy books in Latin and Greek (1775-1786), business and personal accounts, including a detailed account of expenses for the voyage of the du Pont family from La Rochelle to the United States (1799-1800). There is also a satirical operetta of 16 pages concerning the family's attempts to build a turnpike near the Brandywine and accounts of Victor & Charles I. du Pont & Company, cloth manufacturers near Wilmington (1810-1825).

The Gabrielle Josephine du Pont's series consists primarily of letters to her brother-in-law E.I. du Pont and his wife. Subjects treated concern the financial position of her family in 1817 (after her husband's transfer to his brother of claims against the powder company) and again in 1834, her unsuccessful plan to visit France in 1818, and the effects of the explosion in the powder mills during the latter year; also, Du Planty's plans to serve the powder company and news of Mme. Cruger's activities.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Related Material

Victor Marie du Pont papers (Accession WMSS:III), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Provenance

Gift of Pierre S. du Pont.

The Longwood Manuscripts comprise the manuscript collections of Pierre Samuel "P.S." du Pont (1870-1954). They formed the core collection of the Longwood Library, established as an independent research library in the year of his death. In 1961 the Longwood Library merged with the Hagley Museum, and the collection became known as The Longwood Manuscripts.

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Victor Marie du Pont papers
Status:
Author:
John Beverley Riggs
Date:
1961
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400