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DUPONT DE

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Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 689 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DUPONT DE L'EURE, JACQUES CHARLES (1767-1855), French lawyer and statesman, was born at Neubourg (Eure), in Normandy, on the 27th of February 1767. In 1789 he was an advocate at the parlement of Normandy. During the republic and the empire he filled successively judicial offices at Louviers, Rouen and Evreux. He had adopted the principles of the Revolution, and in 1798 he commenced his political life as a member of the Council of Five Hundred. In 1813 he became a member of the Corps Legislatif. During the Hundred Days he was vice-president of the chamber of deputies, and when the allied armies entered Paris he drew up the declaration in which the chamber asserted the necessity of maintaining the principles of government that had been established at the Revolution. He was chosen one of the commissioners to negotiate with the allied sovereigns. From 1817 till 1849 he was uninterruptedly a member of the chamber of deputies, and he acted consistently with the liberal opposition, of which at more than one crisis he was the virtual leader. For a few months in 183o he held office as minister of justice, but, finding himself out of harmony with his colleagues, he resigned before the close of the year and resumed his place in the opposition. At the revolution of 1848 Dupont de 1'Eure was made president of the provisional assembly as being its oldest member. In the following year, having failed to secure his re-election to the chamber, he retired into private life. He died in 1855. The consistent firmness with which he adhered to the cause of constitutional liberalism during the many changes of his times gained him the highest respect of his countrymen, by whom he was styled the Aristides of the French tribune. DU PONT DE NEMOURS, PIERRE SAMUEL (1739-1817), French political economist and statesman, was born at Paris on the 14th of September 1739. He studied for the medical profession, but did not enter upon practice, his attention having been early directed to economic questions through his friendship with Francois Quesnay, Turgot and other leaders of the school known as the Economists. To this school he rendered valuable service by several pamphlets on financial questions, and numerousarticles representing and advocating its views in a popular style in the Journal de l'agriculture, du commerce, et des finances, and the Ephemerides du citoyen, of which he was successively editor. In 1772 he accepted the office of secretary of the council of public instruction from Stanislas Poniatowski, king of Poland. Two years later he was recalled to France by the advent of his friend Turgot to power. After assisting the minister in his wisely-conceived but unavailing schemes of reform during the brief period of his tenure of office, Du Pont shared his dismissal and retired to Gatinais, in the neighbourhood of Nemours, where he employed himself in agricultural improvements. During his leisure he wrote a translation of Ariosto (1781), and Memoires sur la vie de Turgot '(1782). He was drawn from his retirement by C. G. de Vergennes, minister of foreign affairs, who employed him in 1782 in negotiating, with the English commissioner Dr James Hutton, for recognition of the independence of the United States (1782), and in preparing a treaty of commerce with Great Britain (1786). Under Calonne he became councillor of state, and was appointed commissary-general of commerce. During the Revolution period he advocated constitutional monarchy, and was returned as deputy by the Third Estate of the bailliage of Nemours to the states-general, and then to the Constituent Assembly, of which he was elected president on the 16th of October 1790. But his conservative opinions rendered him more and more unpopular, and after the loth of August 1792, when he took the side of the king, he was forced to lie concealed for some weeks in the observatory of the Mazarin College, from which he contrived to escape to the country. During the time that elapsed before he was discovered and arrested he wrote his Philosophie de l'univers. Imprisoned in La Force (1794), he was one of those who had the good fortune to escape the guillotine till the death of Robespierre set them free. As a member of the Council of Five Hundred, Du Pont carried out his policy of resistance to the Jacobins, and made himself prominent as a member of the reactionary party. After the republican triumph on the 18th Fructidor (4th of September) 1797 his house was sacked by the mob, and he himself only escaped transportation to Cayenne through the influence of M. J. Chenier. In 1799 he found it advisable for his comfort, if not for his safety, to emigrate with his family to the United States. Jefferson's high opinion of Du Pont was shown in using him in 1802 to convey to Bonaparte unofficially a threat against the French occupation of Louisiana; and also, earlier, in requesting him to prepare a scheme of national education, which was published in 1800 under the title Sur l'education nationale clans les Etats-Unis d'Amerique. Though the scheme was not carried out in the United States, several of its features have been adopted in the existing French code. On his return to France in 1802 he declined to accept any office under Napoleon, devoted himself almost exclusively to literary pursuits, and was elected to the Institut. On the down-fall of Napoleon in 1814 Du Pont became secretary to the provisional government, and on the restoration he was made a councillor of state. The return of the emperor in 1815 deter-mined him to quit France, and he spent the close of his life with his younger son, Eleuthere Irenee (1771-1834), who had established a powder manufactory in Delaware. He died at Eleutherian Mills near Wilmington, Delaware, on the 6th of August 1817. His family continued to conduct the powder-mills, which brought them considerable wealth. The business was subsequently converted into the E. I. Du Pont de Nemours Powder Company. His grandson, Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont (1803-1865), played a conspicuous part as a U.S. naval officer in the American Civil War. His great-grandson, Henry Algernon Du Pont (b. 1838), president of the Wilmington & Northern railway, was a soldier in the Civil War, and afterwards a United States senator. Du Pont's most important works, besides those mentioned above, were his De l'origine et des progres d'une science nouvelle (London and Paris, 1767) ; Physiocratie, ou constitution naturelle du gouvernement le plus avantageux au genre humain (Paris, 1768) ; and his Observations sur les effets de la liberte du commerce des grains (1760). They are gathered together in vol. ii. of the Collection des iconomistes (1846). See notices of his life (1818) by Silvestre and Baron de Gerando; also Schelle, Du Pont de Nemours et l'ecole physiocratique (1888).
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