Augustin was born into slavery in 1701, baptized Catholic in accordance with the Code Noir and sold away from his mother. He moved from plantation to plantation, as slave owners would leap at the chance to buy him cheaply, only to learn that he was too thin and feeble to be a useful slave.
Due to him changing hands so often, Augustin knew the habits, routines and layouts of plantations and their overseers across Saint-Domingue. Using this knowledge to plan a careful escape, he became one of the few child slaves to survive into adulthood.
At some point afterwards, Augustin became the leader of the Maroon rebellion in the area surrounding Port-au-Prince. He was driven by his faith in Voodoo, and his desire for African independence in Saint-Domingue. He would also gain an ally in Bastienne Josèphe, who acted as a contact between him and the governor of the island, Pierre, Marquis de Fayet.
- "(People say without doing, God does without saying.) The French governor is two-faced. Bastienne helps as she can, but (maroon) independence is long to build. Longer now. A warrior like you would be a great asset to our cause."
- ―Augustin upon meeting Adéwalé, 1735.[src]
In 1735, de Fayet attempted to pressure Augustin into making peace with the government by threatening to punish slaves even harder. At the same time however, the governor had sent a force of overseers to attack the Maroon hideout and arrest Augustin.
The Assassin Adéwalé arrived at this time to deliver a letter detailing the conditions of the peace, having been sent by Bastienne. Although most of the Maroons lost their lives during the attack, Adéwalé managed to kill the overseers and keep them from reporting the location of the hideout.
After Adéwalé freed Augustin, the Assassin claimed that he was obliged to leave Saint-Domingue as soon as possible. Augustin reminded him that leaving would not be possible in the near future, convincing the Assassin to assist the Maroons by liberating slaves and recruiting people for their cause.
After having taken on his first recruits, Adéwalé met with Augustin in Port-au-Prince. The latter suggested that Adéwalé steal the Experto Crede, a ship anchored in the harbor. He also gave him a set of firecrackers stolen by the Maroon recruits to use as a means of diverting guards, and suggested that the Assassin distract the ship's crew by setting a guard tower alight or using Bastienne's prostitutes.
Adéwalé proved successful in this, and took over as the ship's captain. Augustin joined him as the quartermaster, persuading the Assassin to train him in the ways of naval exploration and warfare, in anticipation of Adéwalé's eventual departure. The two soon boarded a slave ship and freed the men aboard.
- Augustin: "My fight is in Port-au-Prince, Adéwalé. I must stay focused."
- Adéwalé: "Build a maroon navy then!"
- Augustin: "Do not mistake my gratitude, Adéwalé. This ship is a grand blessing, and advanced knowledge of the seas, a boon to our cause. But the maroon do not crave an empire. Only independence over our own territory."
- —Augustin and Adéwalé discussing the potential of the expedition, 1735.[src]
After infiltrating a soirée hosted by de Fayet, Adéwalé learned that the governor was funding an expedition to measure the roundness of the Earth. Seeing an opportunity to provide the Assassins and Maroons an advantage in sailing, he decided to have his recruits infiltrate the expedition. Augustin convinced a skeptic Bastienne to support the plan. Three literate slaves from the Wellington plantation, Joachim François, Henri Marchand and Fortunée Jean, were chosen for the task.
As the expedition ship left, it was attacked by pirates. After rushing to rescue the ship, Adéwalé told Augustin that he could explore and recruit from any land and build a Maroon navy with the knowledge gained from the expedition. While assuring the Assassin that he was grateful and realized the potential of the operation, Augustin told Adéwalé that the Maroons simply wanted independence over their territory, not an empire of their own.
- Adéwalé: "The governor will pay with his own life. My creed demands that I see to it."
- Augustin: "(It's useless.) Revenge is cold comfort. Once de Fayet is gone, another tyrant will take his place."
- Adéwalé: "His death must give this generation of warriors hope. They must not abandon the goal of independence."
- —Adéwalé and Augustin discussing retaliation against the governor, 1737.[src]
By 1737, Adéwalé and Augustin had freed hundreds of slaves, causing the French authorities to panic. Curfews were enforced and punishments against slaves were harsher and more frequent. As Augustin had learned of another slave ship, Bastienne attempted in vain to dissuade Adéwalé from boarding, fearing retaliation from de Fayet. As he and Augustin set out to board the ship, Adéwalé spoke of his encounters with slave ships as a pirate and how he had experienced an unfamiliar freedom during that time.
As Adéwalé and Augustin prepared to board the slave ship near Cumberland Bay, Cuba, an escort opened fire on it. After sinking the escort, Adéwalé boarded the slave ship while Augustin prepared to receive survivors. The slave ship eventually sank along with most of the slaves aboard.
Augustin, Adéwalé, Bastienne and the crew of the Experto Crede then buried the dead slaves on nearby land. Enraged, Adéwalé insisted on killing de Fayet. Augustin told him that such an act of revenge would accomplish little, as another governor would simply take his place. However, Adéwalé claimed that the governor's death would give the Maroons hope for independence. Augustin then went to comfort a grieving Bastienne.
Augustin eventually met with Adéwalé at the Maroon hideout, as the latter prepared to assassinate de Fayet. Augustin reminded the Assassin that he would no longer be safe on Saint-Domingue after the governor's death, while the latter remarked that his staying would also endanger the Maroons. Augustin told Adéwalé that he would be sad to see him leave, although the Assassin assured him that they would meet again to celebrate Maroon independence.
Personality and characteristics
From birth, Augustin witnessed the cruelty of the slave trade. He held a strong faith in Voodoo and was resolute in his determination to see the African slaves of Saint-Domingue gain independence. He also saw Adéwalé as a valuable teacher and asset to the Maroon cause, and showed great interest in the latter's origins as a slave and how piracy had granted him freedom.
Augustin was often humble in his demeanor, insisting that Adéwalé held the right to captain the Experto Crede. He was grateful for the Assassin's assistance, never demanding that he stay on Saint-Domingue to continue helping the Maroons. As Adéwalé suggested to Augustin that he use the knowledge gained through the geodesic expedition to explore the world and gather recruits for the Maroons, he declined, stating that he needed to focus on his fight in Port-au-Prince. Augustin also refused to build a navy for the Maroons, as they were not interested in gaining a larger territory.
When Adéwalé proclaimed that de Fayet would pay for his cruelty to the slaves with his life, Augustin attempted to convince him that vengeance mattered little so long as others as brutal would succeed de Fayet. Nonetheless, he eventually supported the Assassin's decision to kill the governor.
Augustin could also be cunning. It was thanks to his familiarity with the layouts and routines of the plantations and their overseers that he was able to plan his escape from slavery. He made use of Maroon tactics, preferring guerilla warfare to larger confrontations. As he and Adéwalé prepared to capture the Experto Crede, he gave the latter a set of firecrackers for distracting guards and also suggested that he created a greater distraction using Bastinne's employees and setting a guard tower alight. Augustin was also supportive of the Assassin's plan to gain knowledge of the results of the geodesic expedition by sending literate Maroon recruits with it.