Images: Black Abolitionists in France

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Thomas-Alexandre Dumas

Steward, T. G., The Haitian revolution, 1791 to 1804; or, Side lights on the French revolution, New York, T. Y. Crowell Company 1914

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division

ID# 1242857

Thomas-Alexandre Dumas

Thomas-Alexandre Dumas (1762-1806) was born Alexandre Thomas Davy de la Pailleterie, the son of a French nobleman and Louise-Cessette Dumas, an enslaved African woman. He settled in France with his father while his mother and two siblings remained in Saint-Domingue. Dumas enrolled in the Queen's Regiment in 1786 and during the French Revolution became Lieutenant-Colonel of the "Légion Franche de Cavalerie des Américains et du Midi", a black legion. A General at 31, he fought in France, Italy, and Egypt under Napoleon, but refused to participate in the 1802 war against the black insurgents in Saint–Domingue. His son, Alexandre Dumas, is one of the most celebrated authors in the world.