Anxious to promote the prosperity of that noble State, Jefferson urged upon Dupont Virginia as the place where his contemplated works should be established, and detained him with the courtesies of his home until he could exhibit to him the capabilities and attractions of the country.
Dupont accepted the invitation, and willingly and carefully examined the various places brought under his notice. After a few weeks of inspection and exploration, he reluctantly informed Jefferson that he could not see his way clear to settle in Virginia.
"Is it that the country is not favorable?" asked his entertainer.
"No," was the reply; "it is magnificent."
"Cannot favorable locations be procured? Is not water-power abundant? Cannot materials be found?"
"Yes, yes, but I do not like one thing that I find here."
"But what is that?"
"It's your institution of slavery. I cannot settle where it will be around me."
So Dupont came north, and the powder-manufactories were not established in Virginia.
The city of Paterson, near New York, was then a small village, with its glorious falls of the Passaic not utilized to death as they are to-day, and without a manufactory of any importance within its precincts. Dupont was freely offered a location there, and was strongly inclined to accept it. Every thing was favorable; the position of the land, the unbounded facilities of water-power, ease of transportation, accessibility to a large city, all pointed out the desirableness of the locality; but the sagacious man declined all offers.
"I see," said he, "that this beautiful spot will not remain many years as it is now. Before long, a city or town will grow up just here; extensive manufactories, attracted by this unlimited supply of water, with so many feet of fall, will line the banks of this river. When that time comes, the inhabitants will not brook the presence of a powder-mill, and I, after years of labor, and when all my works are established, will be compelled to move off and away. I must find some place where I can reasonably hope to remain undisturbed."
The secluded banks of the Brandy wine, in Delaware, invited him, and the works were erected in its quiet valley.
The tract of land first purchased was large, occupying both banks of the river. It has, in the lapse of years, been gradually increased in size. The Duponts never sell, but are always ready to buy land which lies in their vicinity. The same policy which shaped the action of the father has been continued by the sons—to acquire a property so extensive that no neighboring proprietor can be near enough to desire the removal of their works or be injured by their proximity. This they have accomplished. The country, for perhaps a mile on either side of the Brandywine River, is in their possession, and no one