Archive for September 21st, 2022

Dumas Family Illustrates Color Blindness In France… And The Napoleons and Nazis Who Hated It.

September 21, 2022

Anybody obsessing about race and color in the first order is a racist (which makes much of the US old mental system racist, as it obsesses about race and color, to this day, and in official census and questionaires). Whereas worrying about those who obsess about race and color is not racist, but prudent. Racists and the color obsessed have obsessive systems of thoughts and emotions, which are reflected all over their mental systems.

Hence the admiration for Napoleon, a systemic, strident racist and enslaver, is an admiration for a racist and enslaver mentality… which shows up clearly in Napoleon’s obsessive fascism. Admiring Napoleon has united the most dangerous sort of scoundrels, worldwide. Admiring Napoleon is actually a form of racism. Several French generals of African ancestry opposed the forerunner of Hitler. Here is a portrait of one of Napoleon’s enemies, général Alexandre Dumas. 

French republican général Alexandre Dumas; Attributed tо Louis Gauffier/ Portrait d’un chasseur dans un paysage, dit portrait d’Alexandre Dumas père/ cm 34/huile sur papier marouflé sur carton/ 32,5 x 25 cm/ (c) Bayonne, Musée Bonnat-Helleu / Cliché A. Vaquero

Napoleon, a Corsican aristocrat, or let’s say hereditary bandit, was thus cut off from a completely different mental tissue than the best minds of the French Revolution, of which there were hundreds, if not thousands. Napoleon was felt, early on, to be a danger for the Republic, and the Revolution, and thus the glory seeking Corsican was encouraged to embark in his Egypt expedition: the French Republic’s leadership hoped he would die there (Napoleon went, in the hope of defeating the Ottomans, spreading the Revolution there, becoming a new Alexander; but he discovered that Islamists had no affinity for the concept of Republic, and besides he couldn’t get to the ammunition in Saint Jean D’Acre, which he besieged in vain, and UK admiral Nelson defeated the French fleet).

A post mortem painting of general Dumas.

The French Revolution and Republic had top generals who were of African descent, such as the father of Alexandre Dumas, Thomas Alexandre Davy de La Pailleterie, represented above in a Nineteenth Century painting (it’s actually inspired by the physionomy of his son, the author of the “3 Mousquetaires” and “Reine Margot”, who immortalized D’Artagnan, head of king’s Musketeers)… For what Dumas the general really looked like, see the sculpture below (which was melted by the Nazis…)

Thomas Alexandre Dumas, of his true name Thomas Alexandre Davy de La Pailleterie, was father of the famous novelist Alexandre Dumas père, whose son, Dumas Fils, was himself a famous writer and author of La Dame aux camélias. These three generations of Dumas have something which sets French civilization away from, and above, racist, color obsessed culture. In France the Dumas trio is famous and was memorialized in an entire city square in Paris…I was exposed to French culture for decades… 

But one day I came across some US writing informing me that Dumas was “black”. I had seen pictures of Dumas and I had not noticed, for decades, that he looked a bit African in some ways! But the US are all about “color” to this day, and many a US citizen has a keen eye for race. However, curiously, while the whites are white and the blacks are black (even when they look mostly white), the Asians are Asian (not “yellow” as they used to be… Some Asians are whiter than white, indeed…), and the RedSkins, well, now are proudly “indigenous”…

The Nazis went out of their way to destroy the memories of the Dumas family. They melted his statue! There are fewer things which the Nazis hated more than descendants of French, or French-like Senegalese with partial African ancestry. They found thousands in Germany and sterilized all of them. (A French-Senagalese military regiment was also assassinated by Rommel’s 7th Panzer division in 1940… To its eternal shame…)

Dumas was not the only man of mixed African parentage to have gained great prominence in Eighteenth Century France. Another son of a nobleman and a freed black woman from Guadeloupe became one of the most renowned fencers—and violinists—of the 18th century. Taking the title Chevalier de Saint-Georges, he went to a prestigious school, he had the patronage of Marie-Antoinette and served in the king’s honor guard. When the American founding father John Adams visited Paris in 1779 he wrote that this “mulatto man is the most accomplished man in Europe in riding, shooting, fencing, dancing, music.”

Raising spectacularly through the ranks, on merit alone, as his father died within days of him entering the army, Thomas Alexandre Dumas, Thomas Alexandre Davy de La Pailleterie, became general in chief of a major French army by age 32.

His mother, Marie-Cessette Dumas (1714–1786) was enslaved in Saint Domingue (now Haiti). His father was a French noble from Normandy, who “bought from a certain Monsieur de Mirribielle a negress named Cesette at an exorbitant price…” Several official documents describe her as pure “African”, “negress”, namely born in Africa, and then transported to Saint Domingue (and explicitly not of mixed race). It’s not clear when she died [1].

Thomas Alexandre Dumas was one of several famous French officers of color. Napoleon famously mistreated another, Toussaint Louverture….

A statue of General Dumas was erected in Place Malesherbes (now Place du Général Catroux) in Paris in Autumn 1912 after a long fundraising campaign spearheaded by Anatole France and Sarah Bernhardt. It stood in Place Malesherbes for thirty years, alongside statues of Alexandre Dumas’s descendants Alexandre Dumas, père (erected 1883) and Alexandre Dumas fils (erected 1906), as well as of Sarah Bernhardt. Offended by this triumph of African ancestry over racism in general, and Austrian troops in particular, the deranged Nazis, challenged by the indomitable warrior spirit of this half African, destroyed it in the winter of 1941–1942. The statue below is more faithful to the appearance of general Dumas than the painting above:

 

Tom Reiss, in his (Pulitzer Prize-winning) biography of Thomas Alexandre Dumas, The Black Count, writes that “[Dumas] was a consummate warrior and a man of great conviction and moral courage. He was renowned for his strength, his swordsmanship, his bravery, and his knack for pulling victory out of the toughest situations. But he was known, too, for his profane back talk and his problems with authority. He was a soldiers’ general, feared by the enemy and loved by his men, a hero in a world that did not use the term lightly.”  

Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was a man of African descent leading European troops as a top general officer. He was the first person of color in the French military to become brigadier general, divisional general, and general-in-chief of a French army with 53,000 soldiers. His military career started under King Louis XVI.

Born in Saint-Domingue, Thomas-Alexandre was the son of Marquis Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, a French nobleman, and of Marie-Cessette DUMAS, a slave of African descent. He was born into slavery because of his mother’s status, but his father took him to France in 1776, spent lavishly on him, and had him educated. At some point the father, destitute, sold the son, and later repurchsed him!

Slavery had been illegal in metropolitan France since 656 CE (re-affirmed in 1315 CE, under Louis X, son of Philippe Le Bel) and thus any slave would be freed de facto by being in France (or anywhere in Western Europe, where Bathilde’s law applied, as most Western European regime’s were descendants of the Frankish/Carolingian/Roman empire…)

His father helped him enter the French military. Dumas took his mother’s name, because his father didn’t want the family name soiled by a low officer’s commission. Dumas Senior rose through the ranks, starting in 1786… in the Queen’s dragoons… Under Lafayette, he helped to kill insurgents… and was later exonerated by a revolutionary tribunal when he explained that to kill those 50 insurgents had saved 2,000…

***

General Dumas made few political statements, but those he made suggest deeply felt republican beliefs. One month after the French National Convention abolished slavery in the colonies (4 February 1794), Dumas sent a message to troops under his command, and that was the entire Army of the Alps, fighting Italy’s Austrian occupiers and collaborating Italians, who had been trying to invade France in the name of plutocracy:

“Your comrade, a soldier and General-in-Chief … was born in a climate and among men for whom liberty also had charms, and who fought for it first. Sincere lover of liberty and equality, convinced that all free men are equals, he will be proud to march out before you, to aid you in your efforts, and the coalition of tyrants will learn that they are loathed equally by men of all colors.” 

At that point Dumas was higher in the military hierarchy than Napoleon (who had just been promoted to general from captain, for his exploit of defeating the British in the siege of Toulon). Dumas led the 53,000 soldiers of the army of the Alps to victory, in the battles of Petit Saint Bernard and Mont Cenis. Dumas’ soldiers used revolutionary ice crampons to go up ice cliffs during combat. 

General Dumas joined the Army of Italy in Milan in November 1796, serving under the orders of commander-in-chief Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon was a political navigator, but also a bandit: tension between the two generals began as Dumas resisted Napoleon’s rapacious policy of allowing French troops to expropriate local property

In December 1796, Dumas was in charge of a division besieging Austrian troops at the city of Mantua. By Christmas he intercepted a spy carrying a message to the Austrian commander with important tactical information. On 16 January 1797, Dumas and his division halted an Austrian attempt to break out of the besieged city and prevented Austrian reinforcements from reaching Mantua. The French were thereby able to maintain the siege until French reinforcements could arrive, leading to the city’s capitulation on 2 February 1797. 

General Dumas was then forced by Napoleon’s hostility below his rank…. Under General Masséna in February 1797, Dumas helped French troops push the Austrians northward, capturing thousands. It was in this period that Austrian troops began calling him the der schwarze Teufel (“Black Devil”, or Diable Noir in French)

In late February 1797, Dumas transferred to a division commanded by General Joubert, who requested Dumas for his republicanism (in contrast to Napoleon’s dictatorial tendencies). Under Joubert, Dumas led a small force that defeated several enemy positions along the Adige River. Dumas’s achievement in this period came on 23 March, when the general drove back a squadron of Austrian troops at a bridge over the Eisack River in Clausen (today Klausen, or Chiusa, Italy). For this the French began referring to him as “the Horatius Cocles of the Tyrol” (after a hero who saved ancient Rome). Napoleon called Dumas by this, and rewarded him by making him cavalry commander of French troops in the Tyrol; he also sent Dumas a pair of pistols. Dumas spent much of 1797 as military governor, administering Treviso province, north of Venice. 

The expedition to Egypt was partly conceived by the Republic’s government in the secret hope that Napoleon would die there, but he didn’t. During the return debacle, Dumas was made prisoner, and spent several years in captivity. When finally liberated, he couldn’t restart his military career, as Napoleon’s dictatorship was in its bloom. Dumas soon died of stomach cancer…

His son and grandson would become extremely successful writers, a most honored profession in France. None of the Dumas got promoted and extolled as “black” men, because the French mentality was, and is, and should be, that they were men, great and glorious men, and no appearance could spoil or even interfere in any way, with their essence.

In recent years, though, under US influence, skin color has been advocated as an important factor to consider in France… This is an exact example of racism: judging people on how they look, or where their families came from.

Whereas skin color was not a consideration for advancement or minority status in Rome…for however long Rome lasted… And Rome lasted a long time… In Tenth Century “Francia”, peasants and aristocrats still thought they were living in Rome… And, we actually have strident revolutionary songs and philosphies from the time, where humanity is affirmed, and the equality among people, fustigating the pretentions of plutocrats (evil-power) soon to call themselves “aristocrats (best-power). In these ancient protests of the Tenth Century, which were crushed with mass massacres by the self-declared aristocrats, we see social justice struggling… but color never appears.  

In a way, so far, color blindness has been a Roman (not Greek! [2]) tradition which thereafter lived, and still lives in France. In what became the USA, we know exactly when the decision of brandishing color was taken: at the end of the Seventeetn Century, racist, greedy judges decided that “color” meant people were “aliens” and thus couldn’t own property. So wealthy and not so wealthy people with some African origins were dispossed by the thieves who founded what became the American US judicial system.

It’s no coincidence that the Frankish/Roman empire is at the cultural root of both the British and American regimes. The traditions of the Franks/Romans were the best, or, at least, on crucial points, superior. Thus any deviation should be carefully studied in the present civilization. But that starts with realizing that, until modern time, the color of skin was not a factor.

Patrice Ayme

***

[1] Dumas in 1801, states “Marie-Cezette” will be in charge of General Dumas’s properties in Saint-Domingue. This evidence makes it unlikely that Marie-Cessette Dumas died earlier.

Thomas-Alexandre Dumas may have deliberately entered a false death date for his mom on the marriage certificate. He had a good reason to claim she was dead at the moment of his marriage in Villers-Cotterêts, France, in 1792. If she were living, he would have been required to consult her opinion on the marital union!

***

[2] The Greeks were much more racist than the Romans, and this is why they failed and the Romans succeeded. The Greeks expressed racism towards non Greeks, the Athenians expressed at some point racism against non-Athenians (stupid laws passed under Pericles, affecting his own son), and the Spartans were certainly racist against everybody (and Sparta died from this racism)

 


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