The Black Count is the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography written by author Tom Reiss. The book traces the life of Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, also known as Alexandre Dumas: a black general who fought in the French Revolution. The narrative is told through historical documents as well as writings of Dumas' son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, who wrote The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo.
Dumas was born in 1762 in the Saint-Domingue French sugar colony currently known as Haiti. His father, Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, was a French nobleman who became a marquis. After establishing a Jeremie coffee plantation in the 1750s, he purchased a slave named Marie Cessette and they had four children together.
Antoine sold his wife and children into slavery, but pawned his favorite son, Dumas, and in August of 1776 he redeemed him. Dumas and Antoine moved to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a small city west of Paris.
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