By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 28, 2020: Today, August 28, 2020, Google’s Doodle spotlighted on Alexandre Dumas, also known as Alexandre Dumas Père. But while Dumas achieved fame in France for his illustrious fiction career, including The Three Musketeers, (1844) and The Count of Monte Cristo, (1844–1845), his roots run straight to slavery in Haiti through his grandmother.
Dumas’ father, General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, was born in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, present-day Haiti, to Marquis Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, a French nobleman, and Marie-Cessette Dumas, an enslaved black woman.
Cessette Dumas was owned by Davy de La Pailleterie on the plantation called La Guinaudée until Antoine’s departure in 1775. A 1776 letter from a retired royal prosecutor in Jérémie to the Count de Maulde, the son-in-law of Thomas-Alexandre Dumas’s uncle, Charles Davy de la Pailleterie, states that Alexandre-Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, also known as Antoine de l’Isle, “bought from a certain Monsieur de Mirribielle, a negress named Cesette at an exorbitant price,” then, after living with her for some years, “sold … the negress Cezette” along with her two daughters “to a … baron from Nantes.”
But at age 14, Thomas-Alexandre was taken by his father to France, where he was educated in a military academy and entered the military for what became an illustrious career. Alexandre Dumas was born in 1802 in Villers-Cotterêts in the department of Aisne, in Picardy, France to Thomas and Marie-Louise Élisabeth Labouret, the daughter of an innkeeper.
After writing additional successful plays, Dumas switched to writing novels in the 1830’s. In August 1844, he released The Count of Monte Cristo, making today, the book’s 136th anniversary.