Winner of a first prize in architecture from the Académie royale des sciences in 1721; after working at the map and chart depository of the Ministry of the Navy, he was appointed first geographer to Louis XV in 1729 and geographer of the Académie royale des sciences in 1730.
From the description of Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1718. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 79414280
Étienne Dutilh was born to Pierre and Marie Dutilh in Marsac (also known as Clairac), France in 1732. During the 1770s, Dutilh established himself as a merchant in London and Rotterdam before immigrating to Philadelphia in 1783. Several Dutilh family members remained in Europe to continue their mercantile business in places like Amsterdam and England. As a result, Étienne Dutilh had strong trading ties to Europe for the next decades. When he came to Philadelphia, Dutilh established the mercantile house Étienne Dutilh and Company in the 1780s, trading primarily with the West Indies. In 1790, he forged a partnership with John Gotlieb Wachsmuth under the name Dutilh and Wachsmuth. During their partnership, Dutilh traveled frequently, leaving the management of the business to Wachsmuth. Dutilh and Wachsmuth owned about seven vessels, which traveled mainly between the West Indies and North America, as well as northern Europe; Theodosia, Lydia, Commerce, and Isabella were names of some of the vessels. Some of the goods traded by Dutilh and Wachsmuth were: sugar, cigars, coffee, indigo, flour, gunpowder, cotton, and wine. Around 1797, Wachsmuth and Dutilh dissolved their partnership and Wachsmuth partnered with John Soullier, who was an associate of Dutilh. This business lasted until 1814. Étienne Dutilh anglicized his first name to Stephen around 1804 and passed away six years later, leaving a wife and several children. Wachsmuth married Dutilh's widow and lived with his combined family in Germantown until his death in 1826.
Around 1630, the first permanent French settlement in the Antilles (also known as the West Indies) was established on Tortuga, after the French seized it from the Spanish. Over the next several decades, France, England, and Spain vied for control of islands in the Antilles, most specifically the island that was later known as Hispaniola. In 1665, King Louis XIV officially recognized the French colonization of Saint-Domingue, which became known as the Pearl of Antilles in western Hispaniola. French and British power in the Caribbean soon overcame the previous Spanish influence, and Spain eventually ceded control of Saint-Domingue to France. Initially, French settlers to the Caribbean operated small farms with indentured servants, but the African slave trade was introduced to the islands by the mid-seventeenth century. Sugar and coffee were cultivated for export. During the first half of the eighteenth century, France and England fought a series of wars that affected the French West Indies--the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714), the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748), and the Seven Years' War (1756-1763). French vessels were often in danger of capture by the British in the Caribbean during these wars.
From the description of French West Indies collection, 1712-1857. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 419517781