Skip to main content
Notice: The Library is open for research by appointment only, please visit our research services page for more information.

Louise du Pont Crowninshield letters

Creation: 1929-1930
Accession: 1958


Louise du Pont Crowninshield (1877-1958) was an early leader in the field of historic preservation and a collector of antiques and hooked rugs. This collection includes two letters addressed to Nell (McCall) Pringle (1879-1937), of Charleston, South Carolina.


  • Creation: 1929-1930



2 item(s)

Biographical Note

Louise Evelina du Pont (1877-1958) was the daughter of Henry A. du Pont (1838-1926) and Pauline Foster du Pont (1849-1902). She was born, raised, and educated at the family estate, Winterthur, north of Wilmington, Delaware. A debutante whose coming-out party was held in New York in 1896, she socialized with members of the city's most exclusive families. During the late 1890s, she spent the winter months in the city, enjoying shopping and social life during the heyday of high society. Louise du Pont was also interested in charitable causes and in 1897 organized "Willing Helpers," a group of young women which met Saturday mornings to make clothing for babies at a Wilmington day nursery; she headed this group for three years.

In 1900, Louise du Pont married Francis Boardman Crowninshield (1869-1950), a renowned sportsman who raced yachts and was a expert marksman. There were no children by this marriage. The Crowninshields had homes in Marblehead and Boston, Massachusetts; Boca Grande, Florida; and the original du Pont family estate, Eleutherian Mills, north of Wilmington, Delaware.

Louise du Pont Crowninshield actively participated in charitable organizations, horticulture, historic preservation, and collected antiques and hooked rugs. One of her earliest historic restoration projects was the original du Pont family estate; Eleutherian Mills, where she resided during the spring and fall months. With her husband's eye for architectural detail, and Crowninshield's love of nature, tegether, they developed a garden on the ruins of the Saltpetre Refinery which stood between Eleutherian Mills and the Brandywine River.

Crowninshield was a founding trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1949 and was vice-chairman of the board in 1953. In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) appointed her to the Boston National Historic Sites Commission. She was also involved with historic restoration in Virginia, particularly the Kenmore Association, of which she was a regent, (Kenmore was the Fredericksburg, Virginia, home of Fielding Lewis (1725-1781) and his wife, Betty Washington Lewis (1733-1797), George Washington's sister). She often provided financial assistance and artifacts when needed at historic sites. In addition, she was a member or trustee of numerous historical societies, museums, art, and symphony organizations. Crowninshield's additional interests included travel and her pet dogs.

Scope and Contents

There are two letters of June 27, 1929, and August 25, 1930, both addressed to Nell (McCall) Pringle (1879-1937). Pringle lived in Charleston, South Carolina, and was involved with historic preservation there. She was distantly related to Louise du Pont Crowninshield (1877-1958) through Christina Wood of Woodstown, New Jersey. Crowninshield sent both of Pringle's sons to Phillips Andover and her daughter to Wellesley.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Related Materials

Louise du Pont Crowninshield papers (Accession 0471), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Language of Materials


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Louise du Pont Crowninshield letters
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA