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Dupont De Nemours, Pierre Samuel (1739-1817)
Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, was a French writer, economist, and government official, who was the father of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, the founder of E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company.

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 and 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. 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.

French Revolution
He was initially a supporter of the French Revolution and served as president of the National Constituent Assembly. At this time, he added the name of the Nemours district south of Paris to his name to distinguish himself from other du Ponts in the Assembly. He and his son Eleuthère Irénée du Pont were among those who physically defended Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette from a mob besieging the Tuileries Palace in Paris during the insurrection of August 10, 1792. He was condemned to the guillotine during the Reign of Terror, but his execution was still pending when Robespierre fell on 9 Thermidor and he was spared. He married Françoise Robin 5 Vendémiaire an IV (27 September 1795). After his house was sacked by a mob in 1797 during the events of 18 Fructidor, he and his entire family left for the United States in 1799. They hoped (but failed) to found a model community of French exiles.

In the United States, he developed strong ties with industry and government, in particular with Thomas Jefferson. Pierre engaged in informal diplomacy between the United States and France during the reign of Napoleon. He was the originator of an idea that eventually became the Louisiana Purchase, as a way to avoid French troops landing in New Orleans, and possibly sparking armed conflict with U.S. forces.

Eventually, he would settle in the U.S. permanently; he died there in 1817. His son, Eleuthère Irénée, founded what would become one of the largest and most successful American corporations: E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.

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