Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Pierre-Samuel Dupont de Nemours

The bio below comes from a published article and may now be dated.

The following biographical infor­mation comes from Mossner and Ross (1977, 311n1): “Pierre-Samuel Dupont de Nemours (1739-1817), philanthropist, economist, Deputy to the National Assem­bly, and translator of Ariosto. He impressed the économistes by his Réflexions sur l’écrit intitulé: Richesse de l’État (1763), and publicized Quesnay’s system in frequent articles for two journals he edited: Journal de l’agriculture (1765-6) and Éphémérides du citoyen (1768-72), also he published Quesnay’s writings together with an analysis in Physiocratie (1768). His treatise De l’origine et du progrès d’une science nouvelle (1767) and the Tableau raisonné des principes de l’économie politique (1775) are among his important contributions to the literature of economics. He became the friend and confidant of Turgot and served under him in the French Government, 1774-6; later he wrote memoirs of Turgot (1782), then enlarged these for an edition of Turgot’s complete works (1808-11). As a practical politician he took part in the early stages of the French Revolution, but his views clashed with those of the Jacobins, and after running a clandestine press he was imprisoned, surviving this period solely as a result of the fall of Robespierre. In 1799 he emigrated to the United States and a year later, at Jefferson’s request, he prepared a plan for national education. At this time his son, Eleuthère Irénée, set up a gunpowder mill in Delaware, thus founding the family chemical industry. The father returned to France in 1802 to assist in the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, and was active in bringing down Napoleon’s regime in 1814, but a year later returned to America where he died.”