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DuFour family collection

Identifier: L046

Scope and Contents

The collection include John James DuFour’s daybook of expenses and travel notes (1796–1826), and his instructions and reports for his work in America (1796–1804); maps of the Swiss colony and Vevay (1802–1836); and 1810 description of New Switzerland; John Francis DuFour’s correspondence and appointments to public office; a 1917 transcript of David DuFour’s account of his 1801 voyage from Switzerland to America; and articles by Perret DuFour (1807–1884) on the early history of Switzerland County and the DuFour Family (1869, 1876). A number of the documents were published in Perret DuFour The Swiss Settlement of Switzerland County (Indiana Historical Commission, 1925).


  • 1762-1893


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

The DuFour family, from Canton de Vaud, Switzerland, settled in Kentucky and Switzerland County, Indiana. The principal members of the family were John James DuFour (1763–1827), who established a colony and vineyard near Lexington, Kentucky (1798), sponsored a second colony and vineyard in Switzerland County (1802), and wrote The American Vine Dresser’s Guide (1826); and his brother, John Francis DuFour (1783–1850) who settle in Kentucky (1801) and Vevay, Switzerland County clerk and recorder (1814), probate judge (1839), and member of the Indiana House of Representatives (1828–1829).


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)


This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Bettie Dufour Smith on 1935/11/25.


No further additions are expected.

Item List

Box 1, Folder 1: 1762 – 1813

1762, Jun. 24 Reconnaissance de Communage de Noville and Kennaz (French)

1801, Jan. 13 Pattente pour Jean Jacques DuFour Fils (French)

1802, Jun. 12 Cession de la flachere de derriere les murs de Villeneuve (French)

1810, Mar. 10 Post Master’s appointment – Gideon Granger to John Francis DuFour

1813, Oct. 7 Appointment as County Surveyor – Thomas Posey to John Francis DuFour

Box 1, Folder 2: 1814 – 1815

1814, July 25 Justice of the Peace appointment – Thomas Posey to John Francis DuFour

1814, Sept. 15 Authorization to administer oaths – Thomas Posey to John Francis DuFour

1814, Oct. 17 Copy of proposal for establishing county seat of Switzerland County at Vevay

1814, Oct. 28 Copy of report of Commissioners establishing the county seat of Switzerland County

1815, Sept. 11 Comparution and acte de non Conciliation (French)

Box 1, Folder 3: 1816 – 1826

1817, Jun. 13 Land patent – for land sold to John James DuFour and associates; completion of payments recorded on reverse

1819, Apr. 26 Letter – J. Bigelow to John Francis DuFour

1819, July 17 Land Patent – James Monroe to Abner Clarkson

1819, Aug. 9 Associate Judges appointment – Jonathon Jennings to Abner Clarkson

1821, Jan. 26 Document with seat of Chapelle St. Denis (French)

1821 Attestation or certification for Elisabet, married to Rodolph Ruetochi, member of council of commune for Shafiasheim (German and French)

1822, Feb. 26 Jean Baptiste Noel (French)

1822 Document to Mr. Georgel fils a Remiremont (French)

1826, Feb. 18 Land Patent – John Q. Adams to Abner Clarkson

Box 1, Folder 4: 1827 – 1850

1832, Oct. 17 Passport

1832, Oct. 17 Letter – From office of Minister of War, Paris, regarding military record of Georgel Ventur

1832, Dec. Extract des Registres des ortes de l’etat civil

1836, Sept. Plat of addition to Vevay

1839, Jan. 3 Transcript of Court record concerning ferry at Vevay

1839, May 1 Paper – Henry Matthey

1839, Jun. 10 Probate judges commission – David Wallace to John F. DuFour

1850, Mar. 18 Associate judges commission – Joseph Wright to John F. Dufour

Box 1, Folder 5:

1869 Early history of Switzerland County by Perret DuFour

Box 1, Folder 6:

1876 History of DuFour family by Perret DuFour

Box 1, Folder 7:

1893 Pamphlet The Red River Colony by Augustus L. Chetlain

Box 1, Folder 8:

n.d. Description of New Switzerland

n.d. Fragment of Map

n.d. Instructions pour Mr. Jean Francois DuFour

n.d. Map – Divisional survey of vineyard

n.d. Poem – Empire of Bacchus

n.d. Report of J.F. DuFour to DuFour family

n.d. Two pages of notes

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Brent Abercrombie during April 2010.
DuFour family collection
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.