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Running Out Of Gunpowder
How a fateful day of hunting in 1802 led to the founding
of Du Pont and its rise as a dominating power


By:  Nick Howard  |  Date: April 2018  |  Contact the Author

Pierre Samuel du Pont, a Frenchman, immigrated with his family to America in 1799. Before setting sail, he was warned that the French were rather unpopular in the now independent colonies. But tiring of French politics, America drew him like a magnet. Samuel was a printer and publisher in France and he would develop a close relationship to U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. He would return to France in 1802 and play a pivotal role in America’s purchase of the French territories.

This large swath of land along the Mississippi River Valley, south from the Gulf of Mexico northward, would make up 13 new American states. Samuel laid the groundwork for his family to settle in the state of Delaware. The original idea of business was the colonization of lands in Delaware. But this would prove difficult as did many other ideas he dreamed up. But he had sons – and in 1802 fortune would change by serendipity.


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