Chaumont, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray de (1725-1803)


Purchased the royal office of grand maître des eaux et forêts (1753-63). Worked closely with the Compagnie des Indes.

A famous grain dealer, he was an agent of the crown in supplying Paris and the provinces (1767-69). Named intendant of the Hôtel des Invalides (1769-76). Purchased the Hôtel de Valentinois at Passy (1776), where he was host to the American Commissioners (1777).

Became Franklin’s landlord and friend throughout his years as Minister Plenipotentiary. One of the principal suppliers of gunpowder, ammunition, clothing, and other forms of aid to the Americans (1776-81). Plagued by financial troubles (1780), he eventually went bankrupt.

Born Jacques-Donatien Le Ray in Nantes. Added "de Chaumont" to his name after acquiring the château of Chaumont (1750).