Perret Dufour was born August 21, 1807, in Jessamine County, Kentucky, where his family was engaged, with others, in developing what they called the "First Vineyard." In March, 1809, he went with the family to the "Second Vineyard," where Vevay, Indiana is now located. Here he lived until his death on January 5, 1884.

From an early age he was active in public affairs, and occupied many positions of importance in the growing community: he was postmaster of Vevay for eight years; justice of the peace for over twenty years; and in 1842 was elected a member of the state legislature. He was also a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church. During most of his life he was engaged in merchandising.

He was a son of John Francis Dufour, who was connected with the Swiss vineyards in America from their beginning, and a nephew of John James Dufour, who more than any other person is to be regarded as their founder. His wife, who survived him, was Eliza M. Clarkson, daughter of Abner Clarkson, who also figured in the early history of Vevay. These associations, together with an extraordinarily retentive and accurate memory, made him the repository of local traditions. He also preserved many family papers and used public records extensively. He was well qualified, therefore, to be chronicler of the Dufour family and of early Vevay.

In 1869, Perret Dufour contributed to the Vevay Democrat a series of articles on pioneer days in the community, and in 1876, historical material written by him appeared in the Vevay Reveille. This latter was used as the basis for the "History of Switzerland County" printed on pages 989-1138 of the History of Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland Counties, Indiana (Chicago, 1885). In 1921, the Vevay Enterprise reprinted some of the earlier newspaper material. The articles from the Vevay Democrat were reprinted in the four numbers of the Indiana Magazine of History, volume 20 (1924).

The most complete manuscript of Perret Dufour's historical narrative which has been preserved, and evidently the one in which he gathered together the sum of all his historical labors, was written in 1876, chiefly in the summer and early fall. Corrections and additions were embodied in this as late as the early fall of 1882, bringing to date references to individuals and lists of public officers. Thirty-four of the thirty-five installments of the manuscript written in 1869 for the Vevay Democrat have also been preserved. Both the 1876 and 1869 manuscripts, together with a number of other documents, the most important of which appear in the appendix of this volume, have been presented to the Indiana State Library by Mrs. Bettie Dufour Smith, of Vevay, granddaughter of Perret Dufour.

The 1876 manuscript, here printed complete for the first time, constitutes the text of this volume. It is printed as originally written, the revisions and additions incorporated in it being given in the notes. To make the history as complete as possible, supplementary material from the manuscript of 1869, so cited, is also printed in the notes. The punctuation and the paragraphing of the manuscript are not always clear, but have been followed as closely as possible. Very often dashes were used instead of periods. Professor Logan Esarey, of Indiana University, explains that this resulted from the use of a quill pen, with which it was difficult to make dots; consequently periods have been substituted for the dashes in such instances. The italics of the original have been omitted where they coincided exactly with quoted sections. Newspaper titles have been italicized.

Miss Nellie C. Armstrong and Mrs. Ruth Williams Spilver prepared the manuscript for publication and made most of the notes. Miss Mayme Snipes, head of the Switzerland County Public Library at Vevay, has been of very great help in securing material and in furnishing local data. Professor Gino A. Ratti, of Butler College and Professor Charles Mosemiller, of Indiana University, have assisted in the translation of some of the French documents in the appendix.

There are now living in Vevay and its vicinity persons who were born in the Swiss colony and its vicinity who recollect the fears, entertained by the settlers, of Indian depredations. The writer well remembers, of his father having gone back to the "first Vineyard" and Lexington on business - that his mother (who died on the 4th of March 1876) taking her three children Perret, Marcellina, and Hevila over the river and staying at Samuel Sanders during, her husbands absence, for fear the Indians might make an attack on the family. The writer well recollects meeting Indians, and that, they offered the "pipe of Peace" and he took the pipe and put it to his mouth as if to smoke, which was taken by the Indian as a sign of friendship.

Mrs. Lucy Detraz can relate the appearance of some Indians who came to her fathers (Jean Daniel Morerods) house - she was near the fence on the side of the house next to where the town of Vevay is laid out - when the Indians came to the fence from the direction of Vevay got over and went to the house set their rifles by the door, and began muttering to John David Dufour (her uncle) who was then living with them. Lucy was so frightened that she ran up into the loft and got into a barrell to hide from the Indians.

The Swiss Settlement of Switzerland County Indiana
by Perret Dufour
Published by the Indiana Historical Commission, Indianapolis 1925


The little Swiss colony which settled along the Ohio River at Vevay, in what is now known as Switzerland County, Indiana, was composed of French Swiss citizens of the commune of Chatelard, district of Vevay, Canton de Vaud, Switzerland.

John James Dufour was the first person of this colony to arrive in America. He made his first trip in March, 1796, visiting Berne, Lausanne, Rouen, and Paris before embarking on the brig Sally, destined for Philadelphia. He went as far west as St. Louis. During the trip, he carefully viewed the land along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. In 1798, he made a trip on horseback from Pittsburgh to Lexington, Kentucky, arriving at Lexington on August 28, where a vineyard association was organized. He made an extensive search for a suitable place for a vineyard and after making a report to the association, they decided on October 2, 1798, to purchase a tract of 630 acres in the big bend of the Kentucky River, four miles above the mouth of Hickman's Creek. The work was begun by clearing the land and preparing it for grape culture and fruit growing, help being hired to clear it ready for the plow. The clearing was continued through the fall, winter, and spring, so that in the spring of 1799 some six acres were planted in vines.

John James Dufour, in his Vine-Dresserís Guide, says that the Kentucky association was formed under the same principles as the one at Philadelphia, "though not knowing, however, which of those societies had been first; but the Kentucky Vineyard Society, may be with great propriety considered as the beginner, the true introducer of the cultivation of grape vines into the United States."

On January 29, 1799, John James Dufour left the "First Vineyard" for New York and Philadelphia to purchase grapevines and fruit trees for the commencement of the vineyard and orchards. Ten thousand vines were purchased, representing thirty-five varieties of the best grapes. The greater part was obtained from the gardens of a Mr. Legaux, Spring Mill, near Philadelphia. Others were secured in a garden at New York, and a small part bought from a German nurseryman at Baltimore. More vines were later brought directly from his own vineyards in Switzerland, when his brothers and sisters came to America. On March 6, 1799, he returned to the "First Vineyard." The vines and trees were planted during the month of April, 1799, and grew so well that in the spring of 1800, John James Dufour wrote to his father, brothers and sisters, giving them an account of the splendid growth of the vines and advising them to make preparations to come and join him the next spring.

There were seventeen members of the little band that on the first day of January, 1801, gathered together at Lausanne, Switzerland, to bid farewell to home and friends before embarking for the new home they were seeking in the wilderness of America. There were young men and maidens, matrons and infants, men of mature years, and youths of tender age. The silent resourceful heroism of that little band of French Swiss commands the admiration of the world today.

As the last farewell was spoken, the last look given to mountains and lake, the aged father Dufour bade them kneel while he asked God's blessing upon them and His guidance and protection during their long journey over land and sea. Father Dufour besought them to keep the Sabbath holy and, until a church could be built, to assemble every Sunday in one of their homes for religious services. To this end he sent them books of sermons in the French language and sermons of his own writing, some of which found their way to New York, where they were translated and circulated as tracts. Nearly all these French Swiss were Presbyterians, and they kept the faith, following the teachings of their forefathers during many trials of spirit and body. Father Dufour concluded the parting ceremonies by reading the Ninetieth Psalm, recommending it to the prospective voyagers for their future guidance and instruction, asking particularly that it be read at the funeral service of each one of these Swiss emigrants and their descendants, a wish which has been carefully complied with, even to the present generation.

In May, 1801, the following seventeen persons arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, after a boisterous voyage of one hundred days: Daniel Dufour and Frances E. Dufour, his wife; Jeane Marie Dufour; Antoinette Dufour; John Francis Dufour; Susanne Margarette Dufour; John David Dufour; Peter Borallay, his wife, his son Peter, and daughter; Philip Bettens, his wife and daughter; Jean Daniel Morerod; Francis Louis Siebenthal and his son, John Francis Siebenthal.

These people crossed the Allegheny Mountains in wagons to Pittsburgh. The women and children and those that could not walk were weighed and brought as freight by the hundred pounds. Arriving at Pittsburgh, they proceeded down the Ohio River and were met by John James Dufour at Marietta, Ohio, on June 18. They went the remainder of the way to Lexington, Kentucky, by land, arriving on July 3, and were present at a barbecue and celebration on the Fourth. On July 6, this colony arrived at the "First Vineyard." John James entered into an arrangement with his brothers and sisters to work the vineyard from that time as common property.

The Swiss colony stopped for some months in Kentucky before proceeding down the Kentucky River to the Ohio in order to reach the Indiana lands which had been purchased for them by John James Dufour. The beauty of hilltop and river appealed to these weary wanderers far from home, and inspired them with new hope and courage. The Ohio River with its picturesque banks and musical ripple of waters, the song of the wild birds, the many-hued flowers of the woods offered a warm welcome to these tired home-seeking people. The solitude of centuries untold was broken. Those were happy days in the wilds of Indiana, clearing the land, building log cabins, making furniture and spinning-wheels, planting, harvesting and milling-while the sound of the clanging loom and the buzz of the spinning-wheel kept time with the rhythm of the axe in the woodlands beyond. The story of sacrifice and the adherence to principle was told in echoes that were wafted from all these industries.

But it was not all work, for these homes of long ago were merry many a night with music and the dance. The Swiss were warm-hearted and hospitable and enjoyed entertaining their friends, especially the Kentuckians from across the river. Dancing was a favorite amusement, and the old-time fiddler was an important character in the community. His tunes were often lacking in time and melody, but as they served the dancers, criticism was never heard.

With reference to the Kentucky, or "First Vineyard," John James Dufour says in the Vine-Dresser's Guide: "Three years we were in full expectation, and worked with great courage-a great many species of vines showed fruit the third year; one vine of the sweet water was full of eminently good grapes .... [but] a sickness ... took hold of all our vines except the few stocks of Cape and Madeira grapes, from each of which we made the fourth year some wine.

"The failure of the first plantation caused a relaxation among the shareholders, and not only a great difficulty was experienced in collecting the subscribed money, but the subscription of all the shares was never performed, so that all our stock was made use of, for paying the hiring of negroes and other hands, and we were never able to purchase a single share or even to pay for the land. "

The vineyard association dissolved and the full burden of the "First Vineyard" rested on the colony of Swiss. John James Dufour says that they kept good courage and began anew, with the Cape and Madeira grapes of which they had had so few at first. John James was obliged to return to Europe in 1806 and remained there during and after the War of 1812, until 1816. John Francis and Daniel Dufour tried to keep the vineyard going but did not succeed. One spring the entire crop was taken by the early frosts. They abandoned the place in 1809, crossed the Ohio River and joined others of the colony who had started the second vineyard at Vevay in 1802, and who were having success.

In 1802, John James Dufour petitioned Congress to pass an act authorizing him and his associates to enter lands in Indiana on an extended credit, with a view of giving them an opportunity of introducing the culture of the grape into the United States. On the first of May, 1802, an act was passed by Congress giving them the privilege of selecting land on a credit of twelve years. The payment fell due in 1814. Since John James Dufour was in Europe, and because it was considered unsafe to cross the Atlantic Ocean during the war, he sent a memorial to Congress stating the fact, and Congress passed an act extending the term of payment five years. John James Dufour returned in 1816, and the final payment for the lands at two dollars per acre at 6 per cent per annum, was completed the next year.

Under this act, about 2,500 acres had been selected, and approximately 1,200 acres more adjoining were entered and paid for in the usual way. This land extended down the Ohio River from Hunt's Creek to Indian Creek, and after the colonists began to settle there, they gave it the name of New Switzerland.

The first few years were spent by the colonists in clearing the land, fencing it and preparing it for the plow, and in building their homes, which were of substantial brick construction. The lands were covered with heavy forests of beech, poplar, oak and elm, and a thick undergrowth overrun with wild vines.

The first wine was made in 1806 and 1807. The quantity was limited, but it was very good in quality. The vineyards were enlarged each year; in 1808 the vintage yielded 800 gallons and in 1809, about 1,200 gallons. In 1817, Samuel R. Brown wrote: "As early as 1810, they [the Swiss] had eight acres of vineyard, from which they made 2,400 gallons of wine, which, in its crude state, was thought by good judges, to be superior to the claret of Bordeaux .... The principal proprietors of the vineyards, are the Messrs. Dufours, Bettens, Morerod, Siebenthal .... they also cultivate corn, wheat, potatoes, hemp, flax, etc." Edwin Dana, in 1819 says: "In 1815, about 100 hogsheads of wine were produced." Five thousand gallons of wine were reported in 1828. Timothy Flint spoke of having "seen vineyards in Kentucky on a small scale. But this experiment on such a noble scale, so novel in America, was to me a most interesting spectac1e."

The history of this Swiss colony was written by Perret Dufour, son of John Francis Dufour, one of the founders. In May, 1924, the writer visited Vevay and secured from Mrs. Bettie Dufour Smith the complete history together with the series of articles prepared for the newspapers, original family manuscripts, and early manuscripts concerning Switzerland County.

HARLOW LINDLEY,
August 1, 1924 Earlham College

The Swiss Settlement of Switzerland County Indiana
by Perret Dufour
Published by the Indiana Historical Commission, Indianapolis 1925


John James Dufour the father of the Dufours who came to America in 1801 was a citizen of the Commune of Chatelard District of Vevay Canton de Leman, which name was changed to "De Vaud" in Helvetia.

His sons John, James [John James], and Daniel were the issue of a first marriage, the children by a second marriage were Jeane Marie, born May 4th 1779, Antoinette, born March 8th 1771 [1781 ?]-John Francis born May 15th 1783, Susanne Margaritte born October 5, 1785, John David born 3rd November 1788 and Amie born February 28th 1791.

The father of these children wishing them to follow the occupation in life which he and his father and grandfather before him had followed, they being "vinedressers" and not having means sufficient to establish them all in that business, concluded to make arrangements for their emigration to America, where with the means he could give them they could each secure a good tract of land on which to commence their business of cultivating the vine. Accordingly in the month of March 1796 John James Dufour the eldest son, who, was deprived of the right hand and arm up to near the elbow, left his native village on his voyage to America. Visiting Berne, Lausanne, Rouen and Paris [he] came to Havre where he engaged passage on the Brig Sally destined for Philadelphia, for which passage he paid fifty dollars also the freight of his trunks and to be fed at the second table during the passage.

The vessel sailed on the 10th of June and landed at Philadelphia on the 12th of August - leaving Philadelphia he proceeded towards the great west passing through Wilmington Del. and Baltimore crossed the Allegany mountains to Pittsburgh, then to Marietta Ohio where he stayed a day or two, when he started down the river to visit Illinois - during that trip he went to Kaskaskia, Saint Louis and other points on the Mississippi river and purchased a large quantity of lead, which he sent up the river in a barge he had hired to Pittsburg. The barge sunk and he had a great deal of trouble, and a great risk of loosing the whole cargo for it was in February that he started for Illinois - and the Mississippi and Ohio rivers were very high while making the voyage up the Ohio with the barge.

The lead was disposed of at Pittsburg, some left with merchants on commission and some of it was not disposed of unti1 work was commenced at the "First Vineyard" when he exchanged some for iron nails and other articles needed in the cultivation of the land.

During his trip down the river from Marietta he viewed the land along the Ohio river, and also along the Mississippi from the mouth of the Ohio up as far as Saint Louis - he then went to Lexington Kentucky, having traveled on horseback from Pittsburgh, through Wheeling, Va., Washington Ky arriving at Lexington on the 28th of August 1798 - he then went to Frankfort, and in company with Mr. Brown, Senator in Congress (I suppose, as he in his notes calls him the Senator) made an extensive search for a suitable place for a vineyard. He then started to coast along the Kentucky river - arrived next day at Steels. The next day [he] arrived at Anderson near General Scotts - next day arrived near Cords ferry - next day arrived at David Walkers near the Hickman road but found no place that pleased him except one near Frankfort but the price was too high - next day he arrived at Lexington left his horse, and went on foot to Cleaveling (perhaps Cleaveland) landing there he procured a canoe and he descended the river to the mouth of Hickman Creek. On the 2d of October 1798 he arrived at Lexington once more.

On his arrival he reported to the Vineyard Society that he had seen 3 or 4 places, which pleased him on which to establish a vineyard - and it was decided to purchase in the Big bend of the Kentucky river four miles above the mouth of Hickman creek a tract of 630 acres of one James Haselrig. P<>On the 13th of October he contracted for the agent of the Society for the purchase of the land for the vineyard, of James Haselrig and prepared to commence work on the land. The work was commenced by clearing the land and preparing it fit to set out vines-persons being hired to clear it ready for the plow at a stipulated price per acre. The clearing was continued through the balance of the fall and the winter and spring so that in the spring of 1799 there was some 6 or 7 acres planted out in vines.

On the 29th of January 1799 John James Dufour, left the First Vineyard (as he termed it) for New York and Philadelphia via Crab Orchard The Wilderness, Powells Valley, Clinch river, Russell courthouse, Rock Gapp, Wolf Creek, Walkers Creek Botetout, Lexington, Charlottesville, Monticello, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Alexandria, Washington City and Baltimore to procure grape vines to set out, for the commencement of the vineyard. 10,000 vines were purchased at Philadelphia of one Legau[x] at from four to Eight Dollars per hundred comprising thirty-five different varieties for which $338.00 was paid - a small lot of vines were purchased at Baltimore for which $15.33 [was paid]. Thirty-six fruit trees were purchased to plant on the vineyard farm for which Twelve dollars was paid. A lot of different kinds of seed were also purchased for which Two Dollars and fifty cents was paid.

Having finished his purchases of vines and fruit trees on the 6th of March 1799 John James Dufour commenced his return Journey to the First Vineyard. The cost of transporting the vines and trees to Pittsburg was Ninety-four dollars.

The vines and fruit trees thus purchased were planted out during the month of April 1799 and grew rapidly in the rich virgin soil of the river bottom and grew so well that in the spring of 1800 John James Dufour wrote to his father brothers and sisters, giving an account of the rapid growth of the vine and advising them to be making preparations to come and join him the next Spring. In the meantime he caused the vineyard to be cultivated and attended in a proper manner. On the 14th of November 1799 he had a settlement of accounts with the Vineyard Company for moneys received by him and paid out on account of the company and it was found that there was a balance due him of Four hundred and thirty one Dollars and Eleven cents - as certified on the Book of account kept by him with the Company by C. Banks acct.

The vineyard was worked and dressed by laborers white and Black under the superinte[n]dance and direction of John James Dufour until the arrival of his brothers and sisters in 180l.

Let us now turn our attention for a while to the other side of the Atlantic, to the home of the Dufour family and see them and their friends meeting

To bid farewell to their native land.

On the first of January 1801 Daniel Dufour, Francis [Frances] E. Dufour his wife, Jeane Marie Dufour, Antoinnette Dufour, John Francis Dufour Susanne Margarette Dufour John David Dufour, Peter Borallay, his wife his son Peter and a Daughter, Philip Bettens, his wife and Daughter Jean Daniel Morerod, Francis Louis Siebenthal, his son John Francis Siebenthal in all seventeen Souls met at the appointed place in their native village for the purpose of taking a last, long farewell, of home, friends, native country and all the comforts and Luxuries of a country that had been settled for centuries to cross the Broad Atlantic, to find a home in an almost unknown and howling wilderness, where instead of the voice of kind friends and the ringing of the church bells their ears would be saluted by the whoop of the wild Indian and the howl of the wolf.

It must have been an affecting scene to behold these young men and women, some in their teens and two or three infants and youth [s] of tender years Standing there receiving the kind farewell of friends and relatives, and bidding farewell to friends, relatives and home perhaps never to see each other again this side of Eternity to settle in such a wilderness as this part of Indiana then was - and to see the aged father Dufour with his snow white head standing in their midst praying to God to give them a prosperous voyage, to protect them in their wanderings in the wilderness and asking that they might all so live as to please Him that they might all meet in that Heavenly Home prepared for all who love and serve Him in this life. These Seventeen persons proceeded to Havre where they took passage for America.

After a boisterous voyage of One hundred days they arrived at Norfolk Virginia in May 1801 - from thence they crossed the Allegany mountains in wagons to Pittsburg. The women, small children and those that could not walk were weighed and brought as freight by the hundred pounds. Arriving at Pittsburg they proceeded down the Ohio river - and were met by John James Dufour (who had heard that they were on the way down the river) at Marietta Ohio on the 18th of June, arriving at Maysville which was then called Limestone, they went by land to Lexington where they arrived on the 3rd day of July and were present at a barbacue and celebration of the 4th day of July 1801.

On the 6th of July The Dufour Brothers and Sisters and their companions in the voyage arrived at the first Vineyard. John James Dufour entered into an arrangement with his brothers and sisters to work the vineyard from that time as common property.

From that agreement it is proper to suppose that in the Settlement made in November 1799 that the company had been dissolved.

They continued to work the vineyard under that arrangement except as one or other of the Sisters married until 1804. In 1802 Jean Daniel Morerod Married Antoinette Dufour, and they and Philip Bettens his wife and daughter came down the Kentucky river to the mouth and up the Ohio to their land. John James Dufour accompanied them, when they landed John James Dufour took an axe and stepping on shore said "I will cut the first tree on our lands," ascended the steep bank and felled a sapling near, where the house now stands in which Charles Norrisez now [1869] resides.

From the foregoing it appears that there must have been great anxiety on the part of John James Dufour and his two young brothers as he terms them for a fair and vigorous effort made by them, to test the feasibility of a successful introduction of the cultivation of the grape vine in the United States, as Congress had sold to John James Dufour and his associates, a tract of land on the borders of the Ohio river, on a portion of which the City of Vevay was laid out and lying between Indian and Plum Creeks, that John Francis Dufour continued to attend to the First Vineyard until 1809 when he removed to New Switzerland.

In 1802 John James Dufour petitioned congress to pass an act authorizing him and his associates to enter lands on an extended credit, with a view of giving them an opportunity of introducing the culture of the grape in the United States.

On the first of May 1802 an act was passed by congress and became a law giving them the privilege of selecting four Sections of land on a credit of Twelve years. Under that act about 2,500 acres were selected. About 1,200 acres more adjoining was entered and paid for, as other purchasers of the public land entered land - and after they commenced settling on these lands, the Colonists give to it the name of New Switzerland There were but few settlers near these lands when the settlement by the Swiss families was commenced.

The lands thus selected were fractional Sections Seven and Eighteen in Town 1 of Range two, sections Twelve and fifteen, and fractional Section Thirteen Fourteen, Twenty Two, Twenty Three, and Twenty Seven in Town Two of Range three west extending along the Ohio river from Hunts Creek down to the lands of Francis E. Mennet, whose father Samuel Mennet, Frederick L. Raymond, Frederick Deserens, Louis Gex and Luke Oboussier had joined the Swiss Colony and purchased some of the lands.

The lands thus selected by John James Dufour and his associates were divided and sold in the following manner.

The lands of Samuel Mennet were first set off. Next above 319 acres to Louis Gex and Luke Oboussier, who had 50 acres just below the tract on which the widow Norrisez now resides 150 acres just below the Gex tract to Frederick Louis Raymond and Frederick Deserens, 160 back from the river in Section fifteen to James Stewart.

The next tract commencing on the river was set off for John Francis Siebenthal and contained about 192 acres being the tract owned by the heirs of William Norrisez. The next was a tract of 192 acres set off to David Golay - now owned by Danglade. The next tract of 192 acres was set off for Philip Bettens. The next tract of 192 acres above the Bettens tract was set off for Jean Daniel Morerod. The next tract above was set off for Daniel Dufour, and contained 192 acres - next above that [the] tract to John Francis Dufour was laid off to contain 214 acres as it was run so as to include the in lots of the original plat of Vevay - next above one Share of 192 acres for John James Dufour - and one above that of 192 acres to Daniel Vincent Dufour son of John James Dufour - one above the last of 192 acres for John David Dufour - one above that for Antoinette Dufour then Morerod - one above that of 192 acres for Susanna Margarette Dufour - and one above that of 192 acres for Jeane Marie Dufour - these lands have since been divided and subdivided and much of it is now owned by other persons than the descendants of the first settlers. Besides these lands John James Dufour purchased at a public sale of public lands at Cincinnati 795 acres of land on the Ohio river above the mouth [of] Log Lick Creek and below Florence.

Sometime in 1806 Jeane Marie Dufour was married to John Francis Siebenthal and Susanne Margaritte Dufour was married to Elisha Golay and they left the first Vineyard and came to New Switzerland.

In 1804 John Francis Dufour having attained his majority not wishing to work the vineyard in common, each of the Brothers and sisters were allowed wages for their work.

Samuel Mennet it appears was in the United States at the time the Dufour family left their native country - he married in the neighborhood of the First Vineyard a Miss Hogan.

In 1804 Louis Gex and his brother in law Luke Oboussier, David Golay and his family, Frederick Louis Raymond, and Frederick Deserens came to New Switzerland.

In 1806 John James Dufour left the First Vineyard to return to his native country to settle up his affairs in that country, sell some property and make such arrangements as were necessary to be made in order that he might be prepared to pay for the land bought of the United States. On the 9th of April 1806 he took passage at New York on board the brig Young Edward, Captain Patterson Morris, in the Steerage, the passage charged being Fifty Dollars. On the 15th May he arrived at Plymouth, England remained in England until the 27th June, went to Rotterdam, Breda, Antwerp, Bonne, Hall & Pond in Holland Paris and Dijon in France, arriving at Montreux a suburb of Vevay on the 20th of August 1806.

Here he employed himself in arranging his business affairs and selling some pieces of property he had, to raise the money to pay on the land bought of the Government - however he did not get his affairs arranged so as to return, before the war of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States commenced - the payment for the lands falling due in 18142 and it not being considered safe to make the voyage across the Atlantic during the war, he sent a memorial to congress, stating the facts, and congress passed an act extending the time of payment five years longer. He returned in 1816, and the final payment for the lands at Two Dollars per acre and Six per cent per annum interest was completed in 1817. Those of the colony here and who had commenced improvements were fearful the land would be forfeited for non payment, as there was no prospect of making the amount from the sale of the products of the farms.

The products of the First Vineyard in the year 1803 was considerable - the friends of the project resolved to send a Specimen of the wine to the City of Washington. For this purpose two kegs containing about Five gallons each, which were so arranged that they might be thrown across a pack saddle on a horse. John Francis Dufour Started for Washington City on horseback, leading a horse with the kegs of wine, and arrived in that city safely - the wine was presented to a committee of Congress by President Thomas Jefferson for the Vineyard association.

The Swiss Settlement of Switzerland County Indiana
by Perret Dufour
Published by the Indiana Historical Commission, Indianapolis 1925


Deb Murray