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Joseph R. Anderson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2073).

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Anderson, Joseph Reid (16 February 1813–07 September 1892), industrialist and Confederate soldier, was born in Botetourt County in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the son of William Anderson and Anna Thomas, farmers. Anderson received his early education in the local schools. After having been rejected twice, he entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1832 at age nineteen. Graduating fourth of forty-nine in 1836, he preferred a post in the elite Corps of Engineers but was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Third Artillery. Soon he was assigned to Fort Monroe, where he met his first wife, Sally Archer, daughter of the post physician, Dr. Robert Archer. They were married in the spring of 1837 and eventually had five children....

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Colt, Samuel (19 July 1814–10 January 1862), inventor and industrialist, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Christopher Colt, a merchant and cotton and wool fabric manufacturer, and Sarah Caldwell. His mother died in 1821, after his father’s once-prosperous business failed. Christopher Colt remarried, indentured Samuel at age ten to a farmer, and a year later, sent him to work at a dyeing and bleaching factory in Ware, Massachusetts. Lack of parental supervision made it easy for Samuel to indulge his taste for firearms and explosives: he had acquired a pistol at the age of seven, and at twelve he detonated a spectacular explosion in Ware Pond....

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du Pont, Eleuthère Irénée (24 June 1771–31 October 1834), industrialist, was born in Paris, France, the son of Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, a political economist, and Nicole Charlotte Marie Louise Le Dée de Raucourt. The boy’s godfather, Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, who became comptroller general of finances under Louis XVI, suggested the name in honor of peace and liberty. Du Pont was raised on his father’s estate, “Bois des Fossés,” near Egreville, where he responded with little enthusiasm to a series of tutors who attempted to educate him. The one subject that did interest him was explosives, and at age thirteen he prepared a report on gunpowder for his father. In the fall of 1785 he entered the Collège Royal in Paris, and two years later Antoine Lavoisier, a noted chemist and friend of Irénée’s father, accepted the youth as a student in the Régie des Poudres et Salpetres, the government agency for the manufacture of gunpowder. After a brief apprenticeship, du Pont took a position at the government powder works at Essonnes, but when Lavoisier left to become one of the commissioners of the national treasury, du Pont quit in 1791 to manage the large publishing house that his father had recently opened in Paris....

Article

Christopher D. Felker

du Pont, Henry (08 August 1812–08 August 1889), manufacturer, was born at Eleutherian Mills, near Wilmington, Delaware, the second son of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours, an industrialist, and Sophie Madelaine Dalmas. In 1823 he was sent to school at Constant’s Mount Airy Seminary in Germantown, Pennsylvania. He left there in 1829, upon his appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, from which he graduated in 1833, becoming brevet second lieutenant of the Fourth U.S. Artillery. Joining his company at Fort Monroe, Virginia, du Pont was ordered with a battalion of his regiment to Fort Mitchell in the Creek Indian country of Alabama. On 15 July 1834 he resigned his commission in the army at the insistence of his father and returned to Delaware to assist him in the manufacture of gunpowder. His father died suddenly in October 1834 and du Pont helped run the business, first with his brother-in-law, ...