Alexandre DUMAS, merchant and notary

Alexandre DUMAS, son of Jean DUMAS and Marie Anne FABART (or FAVART), was born within a protestant family around 1726, in Nègrepelisse, a small town located in the surroundings of Montauban in the Tarn-et-Garonne region (France). He died in Québec (city) on 11 July 1802.

Alexandre DUMAS was a merchant, a businessman, a militia officer, a notary, a lawyer and a politician. He arrived in New France in 1751 together with his cousin Jean DUMAS "SAINT-MARTIN", and was joined by his brother Antoine Libéral DUMAS the following year.


Alexandre DUMAS first married Marie Josephe LAROCHE "FONTAINE", daughter of Augustin and Marie Louise CORBIN, and widow of Jean Baptiste RÉQUIEM. They had five children, four of who died at an early age. There was no further progeny.

Alexandre DUMAS remarried on 15 September 1776 with Marie Françoise FOURNEL in Québec's Anglican church (Holy Trinity). The marriage agreement which was signed on the same day before notary Michel Amable BERTHELOT D'ARTIGNY shows/indicates/states that he was a tradesman and that he lived on Rue des Pauvres.

He married for a third time on 5 May 1802 in Québec Protestant church with Catherine LEE a few months only before his death.


Upon his arrival in New France in 1751, Alexandre DUMAS acted as an agent for important Huguenot merchants. He soon had financial interest in the Gulf of St. Lawrence fisheries and formed an association with former faux saulnier1 (salt smuggler) Pierre RÉVOL and Québec navigator Servant DURANT, with whom he acquired the post of Gros-Mécatina. After scandal and financial setbacks aroused, he returned to France in the autumn of 1758. In the summer of 1760 however he came again to New France and resumed his activity as a retailer, forming associations as much with New France Frenchmen as with English merchants. In 1767 together with eight associates, among which his cousin Jean, he obtained a sixteen-year lease for a large piece of land that included the Forges du Saint-Maurice.

Alexandre DUMAS served as a captain in the Canadian militia during the 1775-1776 American invasion and was amongst those who repelled Benedict Arnold's attack. In 1778 he acquired for himself the lease for the Forges du Saint-Maurice but lost it in 1783. Increasing financial problems compelled him to abandon trade. He then became notary in 1783 and was quite successful in this profession. He also took an interest in politics and was a Member of Parliament at the Legislative Assembly created by the Constitutional Act of 1791 between 1797 and 1800.

Should you wish to learn more about Alexandre DUMAS's career, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography presents a very interesting article dedicated to this man who played a major role in his days.

Possible links




1 See en.wikipedia.org/Wiki/Gabelle