Dumouriez, Charles François

Dumouriez, Charles François shärl fräNswäˈ dümo͞o-rēāˈ [key], 1739–1823, French general in the French Revolutionary Wars. After fighting in the Seven Years War, he was employed by King Louis XV on several secret missions. His career was fading when the outbreak of the French Revolution opened new prospects for him. Although close to the Jacobins in 1790, he offered his services to King Louis XVI and became (Mar., 1792) minister of foreign affairs in a ministry that included several Girondists and that sought war with Austria. Made minister of war (June, 1792), he resigned to take the marquis de Lafayette's place as an army commander when the latter was charged with treason (Aug., 1792). Dumouriez helped defeat the Prussians at Valmy (Sept., 1792), drove the Austrians from Belgium at Jemappes (Nov., 1792), and invaded the Netherlands (Feb., 1793). Defeated (March) at Neerwinden, he began negotiations with the Austrians, and after turning over to them the commissioners sent from Paris to investigate his defeat he finally (Apr., 1793) deserted to the Austrian lines. After wandering over Europe, disavowed even by the French royalists, he settled (1800) in England.

See his memoirs (both English and French ed. 1794; enl. French ed. 1823); A. Chuquet, Dumouriez (1914, in French).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies