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Augustin Dieufort was born into slavery in 1701, sold away from his mother, and passed from plantation to plantation as owners leapt at the chance to buy him cheaply, only to find him too thin and frail to be of much use.
Changing hands so often gave Dieufort an advantage: he learned the layouts, routines and habits of plantations and their overseers across Saint-Domingue. He used this knowledge to plan a careful escape, and thus became one of the few child slaves to survive adulthood.
A deeply faithful man, Dieufort was baptized Catholic in accordance with the rules of the Code Noir, but drew his spirituality from Voodoo, and his strength from his unwavering drive for African independence in Saint-Domingue.