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E.I. du Pont's daughters album and scrapbook (microfilm)

1823-1837
 Collection
Identifier: 1611

Abstract

Eleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771-1834), founder of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., and Sophie Madeleine Dalmas du Pont (1775-1828) had four daughters: Victorine (1792-1861), Evelina (1796-1863), Eleuthera (1806-1876), and Sophie (1810-1888). The daughters maintained this album (in microfilm form) of prints, sketches, watercolor designs, selection of poetry, and autographs. It was returned to Victorine after the original recipient died in 1823, at which point she continued it.

Dates

  • 1823-1837

Creator

Extent

1 item(s) (Microfilm)

Biographical Note

Eleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771-1834), founder of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., and Sophie Madeleine Dalmas du Pont (1775-1828) had four daughters: Victorine (1792-1861), Evelina (1796-1863), Eleuthera (1806-1876), and Sophie (1810-1888).

Victorine du Pont, the eldest child, was born in Paris and came to the United States in 1800. She was educated at a school for French-speaking children in New York and, after the family moved to Delaware, at a Wilmington boarding school and Mrs. Rivardi's Academy for Young Ladies in Philadelphia. As the eldest child and with an ailing mother, she was responsible for overseeing her younger siblings. Du Pont married Ferdinand Bauduy (1791-1814) in 1813, but he died six weeks later, and she never remarried. After a period of grieving, she became involved in the Brandywine Manufacturers' Sunday School, sponsored by her father to teach workers' children, and was a teacher and superintendent until her death. Victorine also taught her siblings, nieces and nephews at home.

Evelina Gabrielle du Pont was born in Paris and came to the United States in 1800. She attended the female seminary of Madame Rivardi in Philadelphia from 1807 to 1811. In 1816 she married James Antoine Bidermann (1790-1865), one of her father's business associates. They had one child, James Irénée Bidermann (1817-1890). She and her husband traveled to France in 1827-1828 and 1837-1839. In 1839 they began to build their home at Winterthur, Delaware, where they resided until her death.

Eleuthera du Pont was born at the family home, Eleutherian Mills. She was educated at home by her sister, Victorine, and then attended Mrs. Hughes's Boarding and Day School in Philadelphia from 1821 to 1823. She married Thomas MacKie Smith (1809-1852), a physician, in 1834; they had no children. The Smiths toured Europe in 1846-1847. Eleuthera retrieved many of the papers of her grandfather, Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739-1817), and brought them back to the United States. After her husband's death, she became more involved with the Brandywine Manufacturers' Sunday School which served the children of du Pont company workers, succeeding her older sister Victorine as superintendent in 1861. Eleuthera and her younger sister Sophie Madeleine were also interested in family history and genealogy and together arranged and transcribed family papers.

Sophie Madeleine du Pont, the youngest daughter, was born at the family home, Eleutherian Mills. She was educated at home by her sister, Victorine, and then attended Mrs. Grimshaw's school in Philadelphia for several months in 1825. In 1833, du Pont married her first cousin, Samuel Francis du Pont (1803-1865), a son of Victor du Pont and Gabrielle Josephine de La Fite de Pelleport du Pont. There were no children by this marriage. Du Pont resided along the Brandywine her entire life, first in her parents' home, and then in her husband's home, Louviers, located across the river. Her interests included family history, drawing, literature, religion, politics, and missionary work. Due to Samuel Francis du Pont's naval career, which often kept him away from home, the couple frequently corresponded. After her husband's death, she edited two volumes of selections of his papers and was concerned with rehabilitating his reputation, which had suffered after he was blamed for the failure of the Union Navy's attack on Charleston. Suffering from a variety of health problems, du Pont was frequently housebound and consequently regularly corresponded with friends and family whom she was unable to visit.

Scope and Contents

Microfilm of album of prints, sketches, watercolor designs, selection of poetry, autographs, etc., kept by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont's (1771-1834) daughters. A note by Sophie du Pont (1810-1888), dated 1837, explains that the original album had been presented to Antoinette Brevost (-1823) when she moved to Pittsburgh, and after her death, it was returned to Victorine du Pont Bauduy (1792-1861), who continued it.

Du Pont family and friends, beyond the daughters, also contributed drawings and poems. The sketches include plants, flowers, outdoor scenes, and people. The poems may have been copied from other sources, but if so, the original authors' names are not recorded. Among the du Ponts may be found the names Sophie, Victorine, Alexis I., Eugene, and the initials S.F., A.E., S.M., E.E., and H.E. Other names include L.A. Cazenove, E. Bidermann, Margaretta, Charlotte Grimshaw, Julia Shubrick, and many others.

On the second page is found the signature of the Marquis de Lafayette, a friend of the du Pont family. He wrote “After having seen near half a century ago the Banks of the Brandywine a scene(?) of bloody fighting, I am happy now to find it the seat of industry, beauty, and mutual friendship.” Lafayette visited the du Ponts during his American tour of 1824 to 1825. A printed poem about Lafayette’s visit to the U.S. is pasted on the page.

The last section is marked as album ("diary") of Eleuthera du Pont Smith (1806-1876).

Location of Originals

Originals held at the Winterthur Library (no. 65X623), Winterthur, Delaware.

Access Restrictions

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

Use Restrictions

Not to be reproduced.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
E.I. du Pont's daughters album and scrapbook (microfilm)
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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