James Armistead Lafayette was born into slavery in Virginia around 1748. With the permission of his master, Armistead enlisted in the Revolutionary War under General Lafayette. Working as a spy, Armistead gained the trust of General Cornwallis and Benedict Arnold, providing information that allowed American forces to prevail at the Battle of Yorktown. Armistead died in 1830, having successfully petitioned for his freedom in 1787.
Katherine Egner Gruber, curator at Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, shares newly uncovered research on the life and times of James Lafayette