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

Henry du Pont incoming letters (photocopies)

Creation: 1825 Creation: 1881
Accession: 0576


Henry du Pont (1812-1889) was an American military officer and son of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771-1834), founder of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., and Sophie Madeleine Dalmas du Pont (1775-1828). The collection contains two photocopied letters to du Pont, one from his nephew, James Irenee Bidermann (1817-1890), and the other letter from his sister, Sophie Madeleine du Pont (1810-1888).


  • Creation: 1825
  • Creation: 1881



2 item(s)

Biographical Note

Henry du Pont (1812-1889) was an American military officer and son of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771-1834), founder of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., and Sophie Madeleine Dalmas du Pont (1775-1828). He was born in 1812 at Eleutherian Mills near Wilmington, Delaware. He attended the Mount Airy Military School in Germantown, Pennsylvania, from 1823 to 1829 and then went to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduating in 1833. As a Second Lieutenant, he joined the 4th Artillery at Fort Monroe in Virginia. After a year of active duty, du Pont resigned his commission and joined the family business in 1834. A few months later, his father died, and du Pont with his elder brother, Alfred du Pont (1798-1856), and brother-in-law, James Antoine Bidermann (1790-1865), took over management of the company.

In 1837, du Pont married Louisa Gerhard (1816-1900). The couple had nine children, including Henry Algernon (1838-1926), Evelina (1840-1938), Ellen Eugenia (1843-1907), Louisa Gerhard (1845-1863), Sara (1847-1876), Victorine Elizabeth (1849-1931), Sophie Madeleine (1851-1931), Mary Constance (1854), and William (1855-1928).

In 1841, du Pont was on the staff of the Governor of Delaware, and from 1846 to 1861 was Adjutant-General for the State of Delaware. In 1861, he was made Major General of the State troops, commanding Delaware's volunteers; thereafter, he was known as "The General." It is said that he, as much as anybody, kept Delaware on the Union side during the Civil War.

Du Pont was active in Delaware politics, first as a Whig and then as a Republican. He also farmed and became the third owner of Winterthur, one of his family's estates.

Scope and Contents

Two photocopied letters to Henry du Pont (1812-1889). The first letter is from James Irenee Bidermann (1817-1890), of Paris, France, in 1881 to his uncle, introducing [Octave] Bureaux de Pusy of the Ministere de la Guerre, attached to the French military mission sent to the United States for the Yorktown Centennial celebration. The second letter is from Sophie Madeleine du Pont (1810-1888) to her brother, recalling the visit of General LaFayette to the du Pont family at Eleutherian Mills and at Louviers on June 24-25, 1825. The letter was apparently written from memory many years after the event.

Access Restrictions

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

Language of Materials


Related Names


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Henry du Pont incoming letters (photocopies)
John Beverly Riggs
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