Guillaume-Mathieu Dumas

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Guillaume-Mathieu Dumas
Louise Adelaide Desnos, nee Robin (1807-1870) - Le general Comte Dumas (1753-1837).jpg
Born(1753-11-23)23 November 1753
Montpellier, France
Died 16 October 1837(1837-10-16) (aged 83)
Paris, France
Allegiance Royal Standard of the King of France.svg Kingdom of France,
Flag of France 1790-1794.PNG Kingdom of France (1791-1792),
Flag of France.svg French First Republic,
Flag of France.svg First French Empire,
Flag of the Kingdom of France (1814-1830).svg Bourbon Restoration,
Flag of France.svg July Monarchy
Years of service 1780–1815
Rank General of Division
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War,
French Revolutionary Wars,
Napoleonic Wars
Awards Name inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe,
Other work Peer of France,
Member of the council of state,
Author of military memoirs

Guillaume Mathieu, comte Dumas (23 November 1753 – 16 October 1837) was a French general.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.


Born in Montpellier, France of a noble family, he joined the French army in 1773 and entered upon active service in 1780, as aide-de-camp to Rochambeau in the American Revolutionary War. He had a share in all the principal engagements that occurred during a period of nearly two years. On the conclusion of peace in 1783 he returned to France as a major.

Nobility privileged social class

Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be largely honorary, and vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can also carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is typically hereditary.

Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau French noble

Marshal Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau was a French nobleman and general who played a major role in helping the Thirteen Colonies win independence during the American Revolution. During this time, he served as commander-in-chief of the French Expeditionary Force that embarked from France in order to help the American Continental Army fight against British forces.

American Revolutionary War War between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, which won independence as the United States of America

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America.

During 1784 to 1786 Dumas explored the archipelago and the coasts of Turkey. He was present at the siege of Amsterdam in 1787, where he co-operated with the Dutch against the Prussians.

Turkey Republic in Western Asia

Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. Istanbul is the largest city, but more central Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority; the size of the Kurdish population is a subject of dispute with estimates placing the figure at anywhere from 12 to 25 per cent of the population.

Amsterdam Capital city of the Netherlands and municipality

Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 854,047 within the city proper, 1,357,675 in the urban area and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country but is not its capital, which is Haarlem. The Amsterdam metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, which has a population of approximately 8.1 million.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

After the outbreak of the French Revolution (1789) he acted with Lafayette and the constitutional liberal party. The National Constituent Assembly entrusted him with the command of the escort which conducted King Louis XVI to Paris after the Flight to Varennes (June 1791). In 1791 as a maréchal de camp he was appointed to a command at Metz, where he rendered important service in improving the discipline of the troops.

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

National Constituent Assembly (France) former political body formed from the National Assembly on 9 July 1789 during the first stages of the French Revolution

The National Constituent Assembly was formed from the National Assembly on 9 July 1789 during the first stages of the French Revolution. It dissolved on 30 September 1791 and was succeeded by the Legislative Assembly.

Louis XVI of France King of France and Navarre

Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last King of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as Citizen Louis Capet during the four months before he was guillotined. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, son and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792.

Chosen a member of the Legislative Assembly in the same year by the département of Seine-et-Oise, he was in 1792 elected president of the Assembly. When the extreme republicans gained the ascendancy, however, he judged it prudent to make his escape to England. Returning after a brief interval, under the apprehension that his father-in-law would be held responsible for his absence, he arrived in Paris in the midst of the Reign of Terror, and had to flee to Switzerland.

Seine-et-Oise former French department (1790-1968)

Seine-et-Oise was a département of France encompassing the western, northern, and southern parts of the metropolitan area of Paris. Its préfecture (capital) was Versailles and its official number was 78. Seine-et-Oise was abolished in 1968 as part of the reorganization of the départements of the Paris metropolitan area.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Reign of Terror period during the french revolution

The Reign of Terror, or The Terror, is the label given by most historians to a period during the French Revolution after the First French Republic was established.

Soon after his return to France he was elected a member of the Council of Ancients in the period of the Directory. After the coup of the 18th Fructidor (4 September 1797) Dumas, being proscribed as a monarchist, made his escape to Holstein, where he wrote the first part of his Précis des événements militaires (published anonymously at Hamburg, 1800).

Recalled to his native country when Bonaparte became First Consul (1799), Dumas took over the organisation of the "Army of Reserve" at Dijon. In 1805 he was nominated a councillor of state. He did good service at the Battle of Austerlitz (2 December 1805), and went in 1806 to Naples, where he became minister of war to Joseph Bonaparte.

On the transfer of Joseph to the throne of Spain (1808), Dumas rejoined the French army, with which he served in Spain during the campaign of 1808, and in Germany during that of 1809. After the Battle of Wagram (5–6 July 1809), Dumas participated in negotiating the armistice with Austria.

In 1810 he became grand officer of the Legion of Honour and a count of the Empire. In the Russian campaign of 1812 he held the post of intendant-general of the army, which involved the charge of the administrative department. The privations he suffered in the retreat from Moscow brought on a dangerous illness. Resuming, on his recovery, his duties as intendant-general, he took part in the battles of 1813, and was made prisoner after the capitulation of Dresden.

On the accession of Louis XVIII (1814), Dumas rendered his new sovereign important services in connection with the administration of the army. When Napoleon Bonaparte returned from Elba in the Hundred Days (1815), Dumas at first kept himself in retirement, but Joseph Bonaparte persuaded him to present himself to the Emperor, who employed him in organising the National Guard.

Obliged to retire after the restoration of Louis XVIII (1815), Dumas devoted his leisure to the continuation of his Précis des événements militaires, of which nineteen volumes, embracing the history of the war from 1798 to the peace of 1807, appeared between 1817 and 1826. A growing weakness of sight, ending in blindness, prevented him from carrying the work further, but he translated Napier's Peninsular War as a sort of continuation to it.

In 1818 Dumas returned to favour and became a member of the council of state, from which, however, he was excluded in 1822. After the July Revolution of 1830, in which he took an active part, Dumas was created a peer of France, and re-entered the council of state. He died at Paris on 16 October 1837.

Besides the Précis des événements militaires, which forms a valuable source for the history of the period, Dumas wrote Souvenirs du lieutenant-général Comte Mathieu Dumas (published posthumously by his son, Paris, 1839).


Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Dumas, Guillaume Mathieu". Encyclopædia Britannica . 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 657. 

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