Image: Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739 - 1817)

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Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (December 14, 1739 – August 7, 1817), was a French noblemen, writer, economist, and government official, who was the father of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, the founder of E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company, patriarch and progenitor of one of America's richest business dynasties of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Early life and family

Pierre du Pont was born December 14, 1739, the son of Samuel Dupont and Anne Alexandrine de Montchanin. His father was a watchmaker and French Protestant or Huguenot. His mother was a member of an impoverished noble family from Burgundy. He married Nicole Charlotte Marie Louise le Dée de Rencourt in 1766, also of a minor noble family. They had two grown children, including Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, the founder of E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company in the United States.

Ancien Régime

With a lively intelligence and high ambition, du Pont became estranged from his father, who wanted him to be a watchmaker, and developed a wide range of acquaintances with access to the French court. Noblesse de lettres: Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours made noble by "lettres patentes" (letters patent) from the king Louis XVI 1784. Eventually he became the protege of Dr. François Quesnay, the personal physician of Louis XV's mistress, Madame de Pompadour. Quesnay was the leader of a faction known as the économistes, a group of liberals at the court dedicated to economic and agricultural reforms. By the early 1760s Pierre Samuel’s writings on the national economy had drawn the attention of intellectuals like Voltaire and Turgot. His book Physiocracy, which advocated low tariffs and free trade among nations, deeply influenced Adam Smith.

In 1774 he was invited by King Stanislas Augustus of Poland to organize that country’s educational system.

He served as Inspector General of Commerce under Louis XVI, helped negotiate the treaty of 1783, by which Great Britain formally recognized the independence of... (read more)
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Added: 5 years ago.
Topic: 4. Physiocratic School



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