Du Simitière, Pierre Eugène
- Sarah J. Weatherwax
(b Geneva, Switzerland, Sept 18, 1737; d Philadelphia, PA, Oct 10, 1784).
American painter, draftsman, collector and museum proprietor of Swiss birth. Du Simitière, the son of Jean-Henri Ducimitière (or Dusimitière), an East Indies broker and Judith-Ulrique Cunegonde Delorme, studied art at the University of Geneva. In 1757 he left Amsterdam for the West Indies to document and sketch native flora and fauna and to collect historical materials, launching more than a decade of traveling and collecting in the New World including stops of varying lengths in New York City, Charleston, SC, Burlington, NJ, Boston, MA, Newport, RI, and Philadelphia, PA. In 1769 Du Simitière became a naturalized American citizen, living in Philadelphia (except for a two year sojourn in the West Indies) from 1770 until his death in 1784.
Du Simitière planned to write a natural and civil history of the West Indies and North America based on the large quantities of books, cartoons, manuscripts, coins, newspapers, natural history specimens, broadsides and art he amassed during his travels, but that project never came to fruition. In ...