From ––– Dumont
ALS: American Philosophical Society
<Tuesday, [May 20(?), 1777]9, in English; at Mrs. Desmoulin’s, Rue des Batailles, Chaillot: Mr. Sayre, on his departure, left with me four letters and duplicates to be sent on the first two ships sailing for America, and told me to find out which vessels those would be. He introduced me to you, and I should have applied in person if I had not feared to be troublesome. Signed Dumont, “son of the Marquis D’aubarede,”1 and endorsed by Franklin: “Mr. Dumont. Chaillot Chaillot no Date.”>
9. Arthur Lee and Stephen Sayre, appointed his secretary, left Paris for Prussia on the 15th: Julian P. Boyd, “The Remarkable Adventures of Stephen Sayre,” Princeton University Library Chron., II, (1941), 58. We are guessing that Dumont wrote on the following Tuesday.
1. If nothing seems to be known of Dumont, a good deal is known of his father-in-law, or conceivably his father. Guillaume-Claude-d’Aubarède, comte de Laval and baron de Chamousset (1717–95), commonly called the marquis d’Aubarède, was an army officer turned adventurer. He had lived for some time in England on a government pension, apparently awarded for a scheme to further British trade in Mexico by fomenting revolution there, but was eventually imprisoned in the Fleet (he had earlier been in the Bastille) and then returned to France. He had been a friend of Sayre in London, and in the summer of 1777 furnished him at his request with a memorandum on how the American army should be used; a copy went to the French ministry. (Stevens, Facsimiles, XIX, no. 1741, pp. 2–3; the memorandum, unsigned but in Dumont’s hand, is in the Harvard University Library.) A few months later the marquis interceded for Sayre with Vergennes; see the note on Sayre to BF below, Oct. 27.