Du Pont family
|Du Pont family|
Motto: "Rectitudine sto"
|Current region||Delaware and Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Earlier spellings||Du Pont de Nemours|
|Etymology||Du Pont, "Of the bridge"|
|Place of origin||France|
|Members||Sieur Éleuthère Irénée du Pont
Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont
John Eleuthère du Pont
Gov. Pierre S. du Pont IV
Reformed (see Huguenots)
|Estate(s)||Nemours Mansion and Gardens (Wilmington)
Many former Du Pont family estates have been opened to the public as museums, gardens, or parks, such as Nemours Mansion and Gardens, Longwood Gardens, and Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. The family's first American estate, located at Hagley Museum and Library, has been designated a National Historic Landmark. In recent years, the family has continued to be known for its association with political and business ventures, as well as philanthropic efforts on behalf of various organizations such as The Jockey Club, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Grand Opera House.
Two family members were the subjects of well-publicized criminal cases. Heir John Eleuthère du Pont was convicted of murdering wrestling coach Dave Schultz in 1996 and heir Robert H. Richards IV was convicted of raping his 3-year-old daughter in 2009.
The family fortune as of 2016 was $14.3 billion with over 3,500 living cousins around the world, most of whom do not know one another.
Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours was the son of a Parisian watchmaker and a member of a Burgundian Huguenot family, and descendant of a minor noble family on his mother's side. He and his sons, Victor Marie du Pont and Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, emigrated from France in 1800 to the United States and used the resources of their Huguenot heritage to found one of the most prominent of American families, and one of its most successful corporations, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, initially established by Éleuthère Irénée as a gunpowder manufacturer.
In 1802, Éleuthère Irénée du Pont established a gunpowder mill on the banks of the Brandywine River near Wilmington, Delaware. The location provided all the necessities to operate the mill: a water flow sufficient to power it, available timber (mainly willow trees) that could be turned into charcoal fine enough to use for gunpowder, close proximity to the Delaware River to allow for shipments of sulfur and saltpeter, the other ingredients used in the manufacture of gunpowder. There were also nearby stone quarries to provide needed building materials.
Over time the Du Pont company grew into the largest black powder manufacturing firm in the world. The family remained in control of the company up through the 1960s and family trusts still own a substantial amount of the company's stock. This and other companies run by the Du Pont family employed up to 10 percent of Delaware's population at its peak. During the 19th century, the Du Pont family maintained their family wealth by carefully arranged marriages between cousins which, at the time, was the norm for many families.
The family played a large part in politics during the 18th and 19th centuries and assisted in negotiations for the Treaty of Paris and the Louisiana purchase. Both T. Coleman and Henry A. du Pont served as U.S. senators, and Pierre S. du Pont, IV served as Governor of Delaware.
The family has also played an important role in historic preservation and land conservation, including helping to found the National Trust for Historic Preservation, preserving President James Madison's home Montpelier, and establishing numerous museums such as Winterthur and the Delaware Museum of Natural History. The Brandywine Conservancy founded by family member George Alexis Weymouth owns around 2,350 acres (951 ha) of land in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and owns permanent conservation easements on an additional 37,000 acres (14,973 ha). In 2013, Lammot du Pont Copeland's Mt. Cuba Center contributed over $20 million to purchase land for donation to the federal government to form the First State National Historical Park.
Beginning with William du Pont, Jr. and his sister, Marion duPont Scott, many members of the Du Pont family have been involved in the breeding and racing of thoroughbred racehorses, as well as establishing racehorse venues and training tracks.
Spelling of the name
The stylings "du Pont" and "Du Pont" for the family name have both been widely used in published writings. In many publications, the styling is "du Pont" when quoting an individual's full name and "Du Pont" when speaking of the family as a whole, although some individual Du Ponts have chosen to style it differently, such as Samuel Francis Du Pont. The name of the chemical company founded by the family is today styled solid as "DuPont" in the short form (but the long form is styled as E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company); the stylings "Du Pont" and "DuPont" for the company's short name coexisted in the 20th century, but the latter is now consistently used in the company's branding. The solid styling "duPont" is less common, but the Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children uses it, as does the duPont Registry. William S. Dutton's mid-20th-century history of the family business uses "Du Pont" both for the family mentioned generally and for the company's short name but "du Pont" in an individual's full name (for example, "Éleuthère Irénée du Pont", "Henry du Pont", "Alfred Victor du Pont", "Lammot du Pont"); for example, "when he [Lammot du Pont] went to General Henry du Pont with the proposal that the Du Ponts manufacture dynamite, he was answered by a blunt and unqualified 'No!'":116) The first page of Dutton's monograph:3 contains the following footnote about the surname's styling (the mention of "Samuel Dupont" here refers to the 18th-century Parisian watchmaker, not to his 19th-century descendant): "Samuel Dupont used this form of the family name [i.e., Dupont], but beginning in 1763 his son signed himself 'Du Pont.' Later, he added 'de Nemours' to his name to prevent confusion with two other Duponts in the French Chamber of Deputies. Du Pont, in English, is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable. In French, neither syllable is accented.":3
French orthographic tradition for the styling of de (or its inflected forms) as a surname particle, in either nobiliary or non-nobiliary form, is discussed at Nobiliary particle § France. In non-nobiliary form, the prevalent French styling of the name is "Dupont", and thus the choice by Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours to begin styling himself so during the monarchical era hints at social ambition. But the influence of French orthography and prerevolutionary class structure on how English orthography styles surnames today is outweighed by how families and individuals so named style themselves.
Alphabetical list of selected descendants of Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours
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Below is an alphabetical listing of selected notable members of the family. It is followed by a listing of their families in order of descent. The listing is intended only to illustrate the relationships among the notable members of the family and is not a complete genealogy. The only family groupings and lines of descent shown are those necessary to illustrate relationships for notable members of the family. By 1942 there were believed to be 705 direct descendants of Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, and in the 21st century there are well more than 2,000 living members of the family.
- Alexis Felix du Pont (1879–1948)
- Alexis Felix du Pont, Jr. (1905–1996)
- Alexis Irénée du Pont (1816–1857)
- Alexis Irénée du Pont, Jr. (1843–1904)
- Alexis Irénée du Pont, III (1869–1921)
- Alfred Irénée du Pont (1864–1935)
- Alfred Victor Philadelphe du Pont (1798–1856)
- Amy Elizabeth du Pont (1875–1962)
- Benjamin Franklin du Pont (born 1964)
- Charles Irénée du Pont (1797–1869)
- Charles Irénée du Pont, II (1859–1902)
- Coleman Dupont Donaldson (1922–2009)
- Éleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771–1834)
- Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, II (1829–1877)
- Eleuthère I. du Pont
- Ethel du Pont (1916–1965)
- Eugene Irénée du Pont (1840–1902)
- Eugene Irénée du Pont, Jr. (1873–1954)
- Eugene Eleuthere du Pont (1882-1954)
- Eugene Irénée du Pont, III (1914-1934)
- Éleuthère Paul du Pont (1887–1950)
- Francis Gurney du Pont (1850–1904)
- Francis Irénée du Pont (1873–1942)
- George Alexis Weymouth (1936-2016)
- Henry du Pont (1812–1889)
- Henry Algernon du Pont (1838–1926)
- Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969)
- Jane du Pont Lunger (1914–2001)
- John Éleuthère du Pont (1938–2010)
- Irénée du Pont (1876–1963)
- Lammot du Pont I (1831–1884)
- Lammot du Pont II (1880–1952)
- Lisle Elliman du Pont I (1997-pres.)
- Marion duPont (1894–1983)
- Louise Evelina du Pont Crowninshield (1877–1958)
- Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739–1817)
- Pierre S. du Pont (1870–1954)
- Pierre S. "Pete" du Pont, IV (born 1935)
- Richard Chichester du Pont (1911–1943)
- Samuel Francis Du Pont (1803–1865)
- Thomas Coleman du Pont (1863–1930)
- Victor Marie du Pont (1767–1827)
- Victorine du Pont Homsey (1900–1998)
- William du Pont (1855–1928)
- William du Pont Jr. (1896–1965)
- William du Pont III (1952–pres.)
- Reynolds du Pont (1918–1980)
- Thomas Lewars du Pont (1949–pres.)
The following list is not a complete genealogy, but is ordered by descent to show the familial relationships between members of the du Pont family throughout history.
- Bellevue State Park (Delaware)
- Brandywine Creek State Park
- Delaware Museum of Natural History
- Hagley Museum and Library
- Longwood Gardens
- Louviers (Wilmington, Delaware)
- Lower Louviers and Chicken Alley
- Mt. Cuba Center
- Nemours Mansion and Gardens
- Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library
- "Du Pont family". forbes.com. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- "Lunger Estate Makes Major Contribution to Equine Research". The Jockey Club. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- Duvoisin, Marc (28 January 1996). "Family's Reach Influenced Business, Politics And Arts The Du Pont Family Can Take Some Credit For The Creation Of Longwood Gardens, The Atomic Bomb And Nylon Hosiery". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- Nagengast, Larry. "The Past, Present and Future of DuPont". Delaware Today. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- "John E. du Pont, Heir Who Killed an Olympian, Dies at 72". 10 December 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2016 – via The New York Times.
- CNN, By Kevin Conlon and Stephanie Gallman. "Du Pont heir convicted of rape spared prison - CNN.com". cnn.com. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- "Happy Trails". americanroads.net. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- "DuPont Co.'s 19 leaders since 1802". Wilmington News Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- Gross, Scott. "Delaware's dilemma: A fading DuPont". Wilmington News Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- Go Ahead, Kiss Your Cousin by Richard Conniff, From the August 2003 issue, published online August 1, 2003
- Bauers, Sandy (25 July 2002). "Conservancy gains easement Winterthur's pastoral beauty is now protected". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- Montgomery, Jeff. "The Brandywine Conservancy: Preserving Nature, Art, and History" (PDF). Wilmington News Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Delaware's First State National Monument". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
- "Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center". University of Vermont. Archived from the original on 27 December 2001. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- Dutton, William S. (1942), Du Pont: One Hundred and Forty Years, Charles Scribner's Sons, LCCN 42011897.
- Gates, John D. (1979). The du Pont Family. New York: Doubleday & Company. ISBN 0-385-13043-0.
- Duke, Marc. (1976). The du Ponts, Portrait of a Dynasty. New York: Saturday Review Press, E.P. Dutton & Co. ISBN 0-8415-0429-6.
- Dutton, William S. (1942). Du Pont, One Hundred and Forty Years. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
- du Pont, Pierre S. (1942). Genealogy of the Du Pont Family 1739-1942. Wilmington: Hambleton Printing & Publishing.