James Armistead Lafayette

About James Armistead Lafayette

Who is it?: Spy
Birth Day: December 10, 1760
Birth Place: New Kent County, Virginia, or Elizabeth City, United States
Died On: August 9, 1830(1830-08-09) (aged 69)\nNew Kent County, Virginia
Birth Sign: Capricorn
Birth name: James

James Armistead Lafayette Net Worth

James Armistead Lafayette was bornon December 10, 1760 in New Kent County, Virginia, or Elizabeth City, United States, is Spy. James Armistead Lafayette was an African-American slave who worked for the ‘American Continental Army’ during the American Revolutionary War as a spy. After James volunteered himself in the ‘American Continental Army’ and upon approval of his master William Armistead, he was assigned to serve the allied French forces commander Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette designated him as a spy. He was first assigned the task to report movements of Brigadier General Benedict Arnold who was initially with the ‘American Continental Army’ but later pulled out to join the British Army. He was highly successful in his pretentious mode of a British spy, so much so that he was assigned by Arnold to guide the British armed forces through the local roads. During the ‘Siege of Yorktown’ he served as a spy under Lafayette and posed to be a fugitive slave and gained confidence of the British lord and Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis. While moving between British camps, he could easily extract information as the British officers un-hesitantly discussed their moves in his presence. He would prepare written reports with detailed information and pass them on to other American spies. Through his espionage he played an instrumental role in enabling the American forces to dominate the ‘Battle of Yorktown’.
James Armistead Lafayette is a member of Spies

💰 Net worth: Under Review

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Biography/Timeline

1748

Armistead, an enslaved man, was owned by william Armistead of Virginia. Most sources indicate that James Armistead was born in 1748 in New Kent County, Virginia, though others put his birth around 1760 in Elizabeth City, Virginia.

1781

After Arnold departed north in the spring of 1781, James went to the camp of Lord Charles Cornwallis and continued his work. He moved frequently between British camps where the officers would speak openly about their strategies in front of him. Armistead documented this information in written reports, which he then delivered to other American spies. In this way, he relayed much information about the British's plans for troop deployment and their arms. The intelligence reports from his espionage were instrumental in helping defeat the British during the Battle of Yorktown.

1787

Although Virginia passed a manumission act in 1782 allowing for the freedom of any slave by his or her owner, James Armistead remained the property of william Armistead. This was because a 1783 law specifically only freed slaves whose owners had used them as substitutes for army Service in exchange for their liberty. This was not the case for Armistead due to being a spy and not a soldier. However, in 1786, with the support of william Armistead – then a member of the House of Delegates – and a 1784 testimonial of his Service from the Marquis de Lafayette, James petitioned the Virginia Assembly for his freedom. On January 9, 1787, the Assembly granted the petition. At that time, he chose to add "Lafayette" to his name to honor the general.

1818

Armistead continued to live in New Kent County with his new wife, one son and several other children and became a rich farmer . In 1818, he applied to the state legislature for financial aid; he was granted $60 for present relief and $40 annual pension for his services in the Revolutionary War.

1824

In 1824, the Marquis de Lafayette returned to the United States at the invitation of President James Monroe. He made a tour of all 24 states, in which he was met by huge crowds and everywhere feted as a hero. While in Virginia, where he visited Washington's grave and gave a speech to the House of Delegates, he abruptly had his carriage stopped when he saw Armistead in the crowd and rushed to embrace him. At around this time, he also wrote a testimonial on Armistead's behalf.