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Henry du Pont letters (photocopies) and Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours autobiography (typescript)

1811-1887 1792
 Collection
Accession: 1903

Abstract

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 consists of photocopied letters from Henry du Pont (1812-1889) and typescript of Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739-1817) autobiography he wrote in 1792. The letters are from sisters Eleuthera du Pont Smith (1806-1876) and Sophie Madeleine du Pont (1810-1888), as well as William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) and M. Saito of the Japanese Navy.

Dates

  • 1811-1887
  • 1792

Creator

Extent

6 item(s) (photoprints)

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

Photocopies of letters from Henry du Pont (1812-1889) and typescript of Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739-1817) autobiography he wrote in 1792. The letters are addressed to du Pont that were copied for circulation among family members in the 1950s or early 1960s. The correspondents include his sister Eleuthera du Pont Smith (1806-1876), describing the death of their brother Alexis I. du Pont (1816-1857) after being fatally injured in an explosion; sister Sophie Madeleine du Pont (1810-1888) reminiscing about the visit of Gen. Lafayette in 1825; William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) introducing Captain Auguste Duban of the French artillery service; M. Saito of the Japanese Navy arranging a tour of the DuPont powder works by a Japanese naval delegation. Additionally, there is a photocopy of Relfs Philadelphia Gazette and Daily Advertiser containing the argument of counsel in the countersuit of Munns v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. after they had Munns arrested for bribing workmen and stealing plans and trade secrets. Finally, the collection includes a bound photocopy of a typescript of chapters nine to fifteen of du Pont de Nemours' autobiography, with the original text in French and an English translation on the facing pages. The translation was edited and corrected in an unknown hand from 1949 to 1950. The manuscript was edited and published by Henry A. du Pont (1838-1926) in 1906.

Access Restrictions

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

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Henry du Pont letters (photocopies) and Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours autobiography (typescript)
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