A History of the du Pont Legacy in Wilmington & the Brandywine Valley

Since the arrival of Éleuthère Irénée “E.I.” du Pont de Nemours to Delaware in 1800 he and his family have left a wealth of riches for all to enjoy. Learn the du Pont family legacy in the timeline below.

E. I. du Pont - CROP Courtesy of Hagley Museum & Library
Éleuthère Irénée “E.I.” du Pont de Nemours
Immigrant and Founder of a Dynasty

E.I. du Pont is born on June 24, 1771, in Paris, France to Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours and Nicole-Charlotte Marie-Louise le Dée de Rencourt. E.I. du Pont’s father was a political economist who had been elevated to the nobility in 1784 by King Louis XVI — a fact that entitled the family to the honorable “de Nemours” suffix.

Alfred Victor du Pont - CROP Courtesy of Hagley Museum & Library
Alfred Victor Philadelphe du Pont
Leader of the Second Generation

E.I. du Pont’s eldest son is born to Sophie Madeleine Dalmas du Pont in Paris. Altogether, the couple had eight children.

Photo of the Statue of Liberty Matthis Volquardsen
The du Ponts Arrive in America

E.I. du Pont, along with his father and his brother’s family, arrive by ship in Newport, RI on January 1, 1800. The anniversary of the day E.I. du Pont arrived in America is still celebrated by his descendants today.

DuPont Company Logo
The DuPont Company Begins

In 1802, E.I. du Pont founded a gunpowder factory on the banks of the Brandywine River in Wilmington, Delaware. It was the first step along the way to one of the greatest success stories of American industry.

Box of Explosives Loren Elkin
The Second Generation Joins DuPont

After a disastrous explosion at the gunpowder works that killed 33 people, Alfred Victor Philadelphe du Pont helped his father rebuild the company. He was known to work closely with the mill’s employees and was particularly interested in new chemical developments related to gunpowder.

E. I. du Pont - CROP Courtesy of Hagley Museum & Library
The Dynasty’s Founder Dies

E.I. du Pont passed at the age of 63 of unknown causes in Philadelphia. He is buried in the Du Pont de Nemours Cemetery on the family property in Wilmington, Delaware.

Load More


Spotlight on Wilmington