Pierre Samuel Du Pont De Nemours, a French economist and statesman, born in Paris, Dec. 14, 1739, died near Wilmington, Delaware, Aug. 6, 1817. Two pamphlets on the finances, published at the age of 23, gained him the acquaintance and regard of the celebrated Ques-nay. Of all the economists, Du Pont did most to give currency to the doctrines of the school. His work, De l'exportation et de l'importation des grains (1764), caused Turgot to seek his acquaintance, and they became intimate friends. During the next eight years Du Pont published among other books Physiocratie, an analysis of Quesnay's system (1768), and Le commerce de la compagnie des Indes (1769); he also edited the Journal de l'agriculture, du commerce et des finances, and from 1768 the Ephe-merides du citoyen, the organ of the school. Upon the suppression of the latter in 1772, Du Pont, who had received various titles and decorations from foreign princes, was invited to Poland by King Stanislas Augustus, and made secretary of the council of public education, and governor of his nephew, Prince Adam Czartoryski. When Turgot became comptroller general (1774), Du Pont was recalled to France, and took part in all the reform measures of that minister, particularly in financial matters, most of the principles upon which the French treasury is now conducted being derived from the measures which Du Pont attempted to carry out at that time.
He also prepared the scheme for provincial administration recommended to the king by Turgot. Upon Turgot's disgrace (1776), Du Pont was banished from Paris, and busied himself with agricultural and literary pursuits, reappearing in print with a translation of a part of Arios-to's Orlando furioso (1781), and after Turgot's death with a memoir of his friend (1782). Recalled to public life by Vergennes, he negotiated with the English envoy, Dr. James Hutton, the treaty of 1782, which recognized the independence of the United States, and later the commercial treaty of 1786 with Great Britain. For these services he was made councillor of state and inspector general of agriculture and commerce. In 1787 he was secretary of the assembly of notables, and instigated and drew up the famous memorial upon abuses which Calonne laid before it. On the fall of this minister the personal interference of Louis XVI. saved him from another banishment. Member of the states general from Nemours in 1789, and later of the constituent assembly, of which he was twice president, he was a steadfast advocate of constitutional monarchy and opposed the extreme revolutionists. For his opposition to the issue of assignats he was mobbed on leaving the assembly, and his life was with difficulty saved by the national guard.
Upon the dissolution of the constituent assembly he exerted himself to resist the excesses of the revolution, but was marked for destruction after the 10th of August, 1792, when he went armed to the palace with his son to defend the king. He succeeded in escaping to the country after being hidden in the observatory for several weeks by the astronomer Lalande, and while in concealment wrote his Philosophie de l'univers. Finally arrested and imprisoned in La Force, the death of Robespierre saved him from the guillotine. As soon as he was liberated he renewed his struggle against the Jacobins, and helped to organize the unsuccessful revolt of the sections. He was elected member of the council of ancients from Loiret, and became president of the council on the success of the reactionary party in the elections of 1797. When the republicans broke up the councils with Augereau's troops, Du Pont's house and property were destroyed by the mob, and he narrowly escaped transportation to Cayenne. In 1799 he emigrated with his family to America, where he was received with much consideration.
Returning to France in 1802, he declined the various appointments which Napoleon offered him, but as a friend of both countries was instrumental in bringing about the treaty of 1803 by which Louisiana was sold to the United States. During the empire he published a work on the bank of France (180G), and Memoires sur differents sujets d'histoire naturelle (1807), and wrote many papers for the institute of France and other learned societies of which he was a member. His plan of national education for the United States, prepared at the request of Jefferson, and published in 1812, though not carried out in the country for which it was intended, has been partly adopted in France. Upon the fall of Napoleon (1814), Du Pont was secretary of the provisional government, and at the restoration became councillor of state. On Napoleon's return from Elba he rejoined his sons in America, where he died two years afterward. In addition to numerous pamphlets on financial and political subjects, Du Pont also published De l'origine et des progres d'une science nouvelle (1767); De l'administration des chemins (1767); Objections et reponses sur le commerce des grains et des farines (1769); Observations sur les effets de la liberie du commerce des grains (1770); Table synoptique des principes de l'economie politique (1775); Idees sur les secours a don-ner aux pauvres malades dans une grande ville (1786); Notice sur la vie de M. Poivre (1786); Analyse historique de la legislation des grains depuis 1692 (1789).