James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Eleuthère Irénée DuPont de Nemours and Company, [ca. 1 June] 1812

From Eleuthère Irénée DuPont de Nemours
and Company

[ca. 1 June 1812]

About ten Years ago an establishement has been formed in the State of Delaware which by its extent, its nature and its perfection may be considered as of some importance to the country.1 The said establishement being now put on the le[d]ge of destruction by the shamefull undertaking of an individual who has succeded in drawing upon himself the attention and the favors of the governement2 the following facts may be of some public interest and the Sub[scr]ibers think it a duty to themselves to Publish them.

E. I. d. P. d N & Co

Draft (DeGH). Addressed “to the President of the United States and the honorable the members of Congress.” Undated. Conjectural date assigned here on the basis of evidence related in n. 2. Enclosure not found.

1DuPont was probably referring to Eleutherian Mills, the gunpowder factory he founded in 1803.

2It is likely that DuPont was referring to Thomas Ewell, who in late 1811 announced his plans to open a gunpowder manufactory in the Washington, D.C., area. Ewell wrote several letters soliciting government contracts, and on 1 Dec. 1811 he informed Eustis that he had garnered an exclusive contract with the Navy Department, requesting “the exclusive privilege for a few years of supplying the public with the gun powder wanted near Washington.” On 21 Dec. 1811 Eustis assured Ewell of “every disposition” on his part to extend “such a portion of the business of this Department, as may comport with the public interests.” Ewell pressed the issue by writing again to both Eustis and JM. By 20 May he had secured a contract with the War Department, though not so large a one as he would have liked (Ewell to Eustis, 4 Nov. and 1 and 4 Dec. 1811, 12 Feb., 20 Apr., and 20 May 1812 [DNA: RG 107, LRRS, E-1:6, E-2:6, E-8:6, E-10:6, E-26:6, E-47:6, E-52:6]; Eustis to Ewell, 21 Dec. 1811 [DNA: RG 107, LSMA]; Ewell to JM, 15 Apr. 1812).

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