Captured in Africa at the age of eight and sold to a Russian nobleman in Constantinople, this young slave was given to Czar Peter the Great of Russia. Peter the Great of Russia grew very fond of the young slave, who quickly became a favorite of his court. The young black captive was then taken to the Russian Orthodox Church, where he was baptized as given a new name.
After he had completed his schooling in 1716, the Czar sent the African to Paris to study military engineering in order to eventually join the Czar’s army. In Paris, the African repeated his earlier social success by becoming a preferred intimate of the Duc d’Orleans, the Regent.
During that time, the African joined the French Army as a Commander, taking part in the Spanish war of the Czar’s Guard as an engineer lieutenant. Peter died in 1725 and the African was immediately banished to Siberia. While in Siberia, he built the fortress of Selenchinsk, escaping only to be recaptured and returned to exile.