Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, born Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie (1762 – 1806), was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars. Born to a white nobleman and one of his black slaves in Saint-Domingue, Dumas was nevertheless raised in privilege, being brought to France where he received an aristocratic education. Serving in the French Army, Dumas became an ally of the Assassin Brotherhood, helping them foil a Templar plot to overthrow the French Republic in 1793. He also became a subordinate of Napoleon Bonaparte, and a personal associate of the Assassin Arno Dorian.
Rising to become the highest-ranking mulatto of all time in a European army, Dumas led the revolutionary army in various military expeditions before falling out with Bonaparte. After returning to France, he had a son, Alexandre Dumas, who became a famous writer. Thomas-Alexandre himself died of stomach cancer in 1806.
Dumas was born to a minor French nobleman, Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, and a black slave, Marie-Cesette Dumas in Saint-Domingue. In 1776, Dumas' father sold him into slavery so that he could legally be brought to France and live as a free man there. In the meantime, his mother and siblings were sold and remained slaves. His only memories of them existed in the form of a few letters and other mementos.
Early military career
- "Officer from the Antilles makes good! Captain Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, born in the Caribbean, has proven his valor here in France. An accomplished soldier, the young captain has charmed one and all, in some contrast to his friend and colleague, the taciturn Captain Bonaparte."
- ―Le Patriote describing Dumas.[src]
Well over six feet tall, Dumas was fearless and decided to join the French Army, in which men with four generations of nobility on their father's side could enlist as commissioned officers. Although he qualified in these conditions, his mixed race background meant that he was forced to enlist as a private. He did so under his mother's family name, so as not to shame his father's family with holding such a low rank.
As the French Revolution, Dumas continued to serve in the army and went on to have a spectacular career, eventually reaching the rank of General. Accepting a commission in the "Black Legion", composed of free men of color, Dumas served as second-in-command to its commander, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and became a military hero of the new republic. His popularity also outshined that of his fellow General, Napoleon Bonaparte.
Foiling the coup d'état
- "Seeing you fight reminds me of my days in the Free Legion. Good, the guards can't hear us now. It seems you were the right choice for our little plot. Marcourt is in there with some of his associates, and he doesn't suspect anything. This traitor needs to be removed, for the safety of the revolution."
- ―Dumas while leading the Assassins to the conspirators at the Hôtel des Invalides, 1793.[src]
At some point, Dumas became an ally of the Assassin Brotherhood. By July 1793, General Marcourt and a group of Templar conspirators in the revolutionary army plotted to overthrow the French republican government in a coup d'état in order to accelerate the increasing chaos of the revolution, and Dumas feigned sympathy with the conspirators to learn more of their plans. The conspirators arranged a tournament that challenged its contestants in fighting and acrobatics in an plot to recruit skilled troops for the coup. Dumas contacted the Brotherhood and invited them to compete in the tournament so that they could gain an audience with Marcourt and the conspirators and kill them.
After Arno Dorian and a team of Assassins won the tournament, Dumas led them to the conspirators at the Hôtel des Invalides. There, the Assassins were successful in eliminating Marcourt and the conspirators. Later that year, Dumas became commander-in-chief of the Army of the Alps.
By 1795, Dumas had begun serving under Bonaparte. When the latter prepared to take a romantic walk with Joséphine de Beauharnais, he charged Dumas with ensuring their safety from a group of royalists. Dumas did so by having Arno eliminate the royalists who planned to ambush the couple along their route.
When Austrian forces under the Duke of Brunswick marched on Paris, royalists planned to signal the vulnerability of the city defenses to them through Chappe signal towers. In order to give his men time to dig in, Dumas contacted Arno again and had him sabotage the towers to cut off the royalists' communication with the Duke. Later on, the Templars attempting to blackmail Dumas into forsaking his loyalty to Bonaparte by stealing his family letters and mementos from his time in Saint-Domingue. However, Arno was able to recover them from a Templar hideout and return them to Dumas.
While campaigning against the Austrians in northern Italy in 1797, Dumas became known for single-handedly driving back an entire squadron of Austrian troops at a bridge over the river Eisack. For this, Napoleon nicknamed him "the Horatius Cocles of Tyrol", in reference to a Roman military hero.
Eventually, Dumas began clashing with Bonaparte. After being captured and imprisoned by the Kingdom of Naples in 1799, Bonaparte initially made no attempt to secure his release. When he finally did in 1801, Dumas returned to France ill and impoverished, and was denied a pension from the army. Dumas died of stomach cancer in 1806. His son, Alexandre, became one of the most widely read French authors of all time.
- Dumas' son, Alexandre, wrote the novel Joseph Balsamo which is, ironically, centered around the existence of secret societies.
- Dumas' model is nearly identical to that of Captain Xavier, an assassination target that was featured in Assassin's Creed: Unity's singleplayer demo for E3.
- Dumas' outfit is almost identical to Napoleon's artillery outfit, except with less decorations and more intricate gold braid designs on the back.