E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Legal Department recordsCreation: 1801-1965
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company is a chemical company more commonly referred to as the DuPont Company, established in 1802. The Legal Department was established as a staff department in 1905. The records of the Legal Department include copies of the 1899 dissolution agreement and the 1902 incorporation correspondence. The collection is organized into seven series: Administrative papers; Litigation; Vital records; Stockholder files; Historical files; Patent Board files; and Reports to the Executive Committee.
- Creation: 1801-1965
- E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. Legal Department (Organization)
15 Linear Feet
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company is a chemical company more commonly referred to as the DuPont Company. The company was established in 1802 by Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739-1817) and his son Éleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771-1834). The company began with the production of gunpowder. The du Ponts purchased a mill site on the banks of the Brandywine River just north of Wilmington, Delaware. During wartime, the company was a major supplier for the United States government. During peacetime, the company marketed their products toward sportsmen and hunters. Throughout the 1900s and 1910s, the company shifted its focus away from gunpowder production and toward chemistry innovations.
The Legal Department was established as a staff department in 1905, following the 1902 reorganization of the company by cousins Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954), Alfred I. du Pont (1864-1935), and T. Coleman du Pont (1863-1930).
Scope and Contents
Records of the Legal Department include copies of the 1899 dissolution agreement and the 1902 incorporation correspondence. Also included are syndicate agreements between T. Coleman, Pierre, and Alfred I. du Pont that document the founding of the modern DuPont Company.
Series I. Administrative papers contains corporate records that designate the formal organization and define the legal existence of companies operated as subsidiaries or absorbed by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, as well as records of the parent company itself. These records include letters patent; bylaws; certificates of organization, incorporation, and dissolution; minutes of board of directors and stockholders meetings; proxies; and stockholder subscriptions.
Series II. Litigation includes documentation of briefs, exhibits, reports, and court decisions and opinions of lawsuits involving the DuPont Company.
Series III. Vital records contains legal agreements pertaining to the acquisition of companies operated as subsidiaries or absorbed by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. These records were considered crucial to establishing a company’s existence and its legal relationship with DuPont.
Series IV. Stockholder files includes material on E.I. du Pont de Nemours Powder Company, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, General Motors antitrust suit and divestiture (1957-1971), and the Christiana Securities Company merger.
Series V. Historical files includes copies of the DuPont Company's original partnership agreements between E.I. du Pont and Peter Bauduy (1801); stock ledger book, stock transfer book, growth statistics, and a history of General Motors Security Company liquidation.
Series VI. Patent Board files includes the minutes of the Patent Board from 1919 to 1955. The Patent Board was established in 1919 by order of the Executive Committee to serve in an advisory capacity to all departments concerning patent matters. The creation of an interdepartmental body was designed to provide a centralized authority over patents through the creation of uniform policies and procedures rather than allowing individual departments to handle these matters on an ad hoc basis.
Series VII. Reports to the Executive Committee contains the Legal Department’s annual, semi-annual, and quarterly reports to the Executive Committee, Executive Committee actions, and related correspondence. These reports provide detailed summaries of the department’s activities and proposed operating budgets for the following year.
This collection is open for research.
Literary rights retained by depositor.
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Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Legal Department records
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- 2021: Laurie Sather