Scope and Contents:
The William du Pont papers primarily encompass the years of his active business life from the early 1880s to his death in 1928. There are also some papers from his early life and after his death. This includes some early personal correspondence from his school years, agreements regarding tracts of land which constituted his property in Brandywine and Christiana Hundreds in New Castle County, Delaware, and business papers related to the companies whose activities started before William du Pont's involvement or lasted after his death. There is also a gap in his general correspondence and for invoices and receipts for the first decade of the twentieth century when the family lived at Montpelier, Virginia. Series I., Subseries C. contains correspondence with lawyers and family members concerning William du Pont's inheritance from his parents and the estate of his late wife Annie Rogers du Pont. A draft of William du Pont's last will is stored with miscellaneous financial papers in Series VI.The majority of business-related correspondence of William du Pont is in Series II: General Correspondence. The series covers the entire period of du Pont's business life, except for the years from 1902 to 1912, when his main residence was at Montpelier, Virginia. Correspondence reflects his major activities: involvement with powder and dynamite companies; investments in railroads, transportation, utilities, and banking enterprises; membership in horse and cattle breeding societies and clubs, horse show organizations, and hunting clubs; contacts with horse breeders and dealers; relations with publishers of periodicals and books on horse and cattle breeding and races (subscription, advertising, photograph contribution); and construction, renovations, and repairs at personal properties and business buildings. Many letters pertain to charity requests and donations.William du Pont's business contacts were both local and national. Among his Delaware, Virginia, and Georgia correspondents are contractors, farm, and construction suppliers, utility companies, personal secretaries, farm managers, and employees (Robert H. Blain, J. S. Burtsfield, Hugh B. Craig, S. Sharp Craig, Edmund C. McCune, Earl E. Edinger, F. M. Modena). His involvement with the horse industry is documented in correspondence with organizations such as the American Jersey Cattle Club, Percheron Society of America, the National Horse Show Association of America, Advanced...
1863-1945; Majority of material found within 1880-1928