General Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, also known as Alexandre Dumas. Dumas shared the status of the highest-ranking black officer in the Western world only with Toussaint Louverture (who in May 1797 became the second black general-in-chief in the French military) until 1989. Born in Saint-Domingue, Alexandre Dumas was of mixed race, the son of a white French nobleman and a black slave mother. He was born into slavery because of his mother’s status but was also born into nobility because of his father’s. His father took the boy with him to France in 1776 and had him educated.