James Armistead Lafayette


Revolutionary War Image

The portrait here is of General Lafayette of Revolutionary War fame. I snapped the portrait hanging on a wall at Bassett Hall in Williamsburg, Virginia.

I recently came upon a story relating to General Lafayette’s servant James. James was an enslaved man of Mr. William Armistead of New Kent County, Virginia. With his master’s consent, James joined the Continental Army and was assigned to serve the Marquis de Lafayette. At the risk of his life, James entered British camps and brought back information to the Marquis. After the war was won, a petition was offered to gain James his freedom and to compensate his master. Adopting the the patronymic of General Lafayette, James Armistead Lafayette began his new life as a free man.

James’s story was found in “Forgotten Patriots.”

The image, Portrait of General Lafayette, is subject to copyright by Edna Barney. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, an administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.

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