Jean Daniel DUMAS, an officer and a hero of the Monongahéla battle

Jean Daniel DUMAS, son of Samuel and Anne MARTIN, was born on February 24, 1721, in Montauban, in the Tarn et Garonne French département. He was allegedly a cousin of Alexandre and Antoine Libéral DUMAS, as well as of Jean DUMAS "SAINT-MARTIN".

Jean Daniel DUMAS started off as a lawyer but soon became disgusted by this profession. In 1742 he enrolled in the Agenais Regiment as a "lieutenant en second des grenadiers" (second lieutenant of the Grenadiers)"; he then became first lieutenant the following year, and took part in many campaigns in Europe. As a Marine officer, he was first sent to Acadia in 1750, before being billeted to Fort Duquesne (present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). He particularly distinguished himself at the Monongahela Battle on the 9th of July of 1755, following which he was entrusted the command of Fort Duquesne and was made Knight of Saint Louis on the 17th of March of 1756.

He was appointed Major of Québec in May of 1757, and Major General and inspector of the Marine troops in Canada on January 1st 1759. He played a very important part in the Seven Years War in New France, and his services were thought particularly valuable, especially by Governor Vaudreuil.

He returned to France in September of 1760 where he was promoted Colonel the following spring. He was then appointed Second Commander at Hispaniola; before he could even get to Hispaniola, however, he was appointed Commander of "Îles de France et de Bourbon" (respectively Reunion and Mauritius). In 1768, he became Brigadier General of the armies, and was appointed Field Marshall in 1780.

The article Étienne Taillemite wrote on Jean Daniel DUMAS for the Dictionary of Canadian Biography – from where this biography draws some inspiration –, ends with the following paragraph:

"Possessed of a sense of humour, Dumas was a brave, talented, and experienced officer and was also scrupulously honest. Antoine DE SARTINE, who at the time of the affaire du Canada headed the commission on the malpractices committed in the colony, acknowledged that "everywhere the Sieur Dumas was in command, expenses diminished by half on the day of his arrival, and upon his departure rose again to their normal level."


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