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Charles Irénée du Pont (March 29, 1797 – January 31, 1869) was an American manufacturer and politician, and an early member of the prominent du Pont family business. He was a nephew of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, the founder of the E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, and a member of the Delaware General Assembly.

Charles I. du Pont
Charles Irénée du Pont.jpg
Member of the Delaware Senate
from the New Castle County district
61st (January 5, 1841–January 3, 1843)
62nd (January 3, 1843–January 7, 1845)
63rd (January 4, 1853-January 2, 1855)
68th (January 2, 1855 – January 6, 1857)
Personal details
Charles Irénée du Pont

(1797-03-29)March 29, 1797
Charleston, South Carolina
DiedJanuary 31, 1869(1869-01-31) (aged 71)
Louviers, Delaware
Resting placeDu Pont de Nemours Cemetery
  • Dorcas Van Dyke
  • Anne Ridgely
Childrenwith Dorcas
  • Victor
  • Mary Van Dyke
  • Charles, Jr.
with Anne
  • Amélia
  • Henry
ParentsVictor Marie du Pont
Gabrielle Josephine de la Fite
RelativesE. I. du Pont (uncle)
Pierre du Pont de Nemours (grandfather)
Occupationmanufacturer, politician


Early lifeEdit

Du Pont was born March 29, 1797, in Charleston, South Carolina, the eldest son of French immigrants Victor Marie du Pont de Nemours (born 1767 in Paris) and Gabrielle Joséphine de la Fite de Pelleport (born 1770 in Stenay). He lived with his parents in New York City until they established themselves in the wool manufacturing business at across from the Brandywine Creek from the Eleutherian Mills near Greenville, Delaware.

He was educated at Mount Airy College in Germantown, Philadelphia, from 1809 to 1813, when he left school to work with his father in Delaware.[1]

Professional careerEdit

In 1815, the textile manufacturing company of Du Pont, Bauduy & Co. ended acrimoniously. fr:Pierre de Bauduy de Bellevue, a Frenchman who had invested in the business in 1803, eventually sued the du Ponts over various disagreements. (The lawsuit was decided in the du Pont's favor in 1924.)[2]

After de Bauduy's departure, Charles and his father formed the partnership of Victor & Charles I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. After Victor's death in 1827, the firm continued to operate as Charles I. du Pont & Co., with the U.S. Army as a major client for its cloth. Charlies retired in 1856, at which point E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co. purchased his company.[1]

Civic and political careerEdit

In addition to his business interest, du Pont was very active in civic and political affairs. Du Pont was a member of the Whig Party, who served in the State Senate from New Castle County for four terms in the Delaware General Assembly from 1841-1847.

He was elected a director of the Farmers' Bank of Delaware in 1830, and served as president of the bank from 1865-1868. In 1853, he was made director of the Delaware Railroad Company, and was also a director of the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad Company and the Columbia Insurance Co. of Philadelphia. He was also of the Brandywine Manufacturers' Sunday School and vice president of the Delaware Improvement Association.[1]


In 1824, du Pont married Dorcas Montgomery Van Dyke (born 1806), daughter of U.S. Senator and Representative Nicholas Van Dyke III and granddaughter of Delaware Governor Nicholas Van Dyke, Jr.. Their wedding was attended by the Marquis de Lafayette.[3] They had three children, Victor, Mary Van Dyke and Charles, Jr.

After Dorcas' death in 1838,[4] he married Ann Ridgely (born 1815). Like his first wife, Ridgely was the daughter of a U.S. Senator and Representative from Delaware, Henry M. Ridgely. They had two children, Amélia Elizabeth (who married her cousin Eugene du Pont) and Henry Ridgely.

Du Pont died January 31, 1869, at Louviers, his family estate, and is buried at the Du Pont de Nemours Cemetery at Winterthur, near Greenville.


  1. ^ a b c "Du Pont, Charles I. (Charles Irénée), 1797-1869. Papers, 1807-1892". Hagley Museum and Library. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ Bessie Gardner Du Pont (1920). E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company, a History, 1802-1902. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. pp. 48–51. ISBN 978-1295712120.
  3. ^ "Redletter Nuptials for Van Dyke Girls". The Sunday Morning Star. June 12, 1949. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  4. ^ "du Pont, Dorcas Montgomery (Van Dyke) (1806-1838)". Hagley Museum and Library. Retrieved January 20, 2015.

External linksEdit