Ibrahim Hannibal was born in Lagon, northern Ethiopia. He was born in 1697 and died on May 14, 1781 in Suida, or present-day Leningrad Oblast. He was the son of an Ethiopian prince and was taken hostage by the Arab slave traders. He was then shipped to Moscow in 1706 where he was sold into slavery and Tsar Peter (a.k.a. Peter the Great) and his wife (Christina Queen of Poland) adopted him. They got him baptized when he was eight years old and instead of treating Hannibal like a slave brought as a present, the Tsar and Queen treated Ibrahim as they would their own child. The Tsar and queen as changed his name from Ibrahim to Abraham.
Tsar Peter sent him to France to learn mathematics and civil and military engineering from the best. He had high expectations for Ibrahim as he would with his own son. He studied at the Ecole d'Artillerie of La Fere under Bernard Forest de Belidor and afterwards, at the Ecole d'Artillerie of Metz, an institution founded by Sebastien Le Preste and Marquis de Vauban. During studies, war between France and Spain broke out in 1718. Ibrahim joined the French army but was unfortunately captured by Spain. He was finally released four years later and became Lieutenant. He then continued his studies.
When Ibrahim returned to Russia in 1723, his advanced training allowed him to become first as an engineer. He then became a math tutor to the Tsar’s private guard units.
Tsar Peter sent him to Siberia for three years to complete an engineering project. He helped build a fortress and led many construction projects. This is where he became a master engineer. Ibrahim finished his service in Siberia in 1733 and returned to the court in 1741. He was very loyal to Tsar Peter and after he has passed away, Ibrahim was exiled to Siberia and China for sixteen years because he refused to be a part of court intrigues.
When Tsar Peter’s niece Anna came to the throne, she showered Ibrahim in gifts and made...