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African American American Revolution Citizenship Democracy Diversity Resistance We are Overcomers

James Lafayette

AE Curator Aug 02
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During the American Revolution, enslaved African American James Armistead became a valued spy for the Continental Army when the Marquis de Lafayette convinced him to take a position as servant to British General Cornwallis. For his work at Yorktown in 1781, Armistead received nothing, but Lafayette wrote an affidavit advocating for his freedom. Armistead petitioned the General Assembly for manumission and in 1787, he was successful. He took the surname Lafayette and later owned land. The two men named Lafayette met again in 1824, embracing during a procession honoring the French soldier.

Location: New Kent
Image: The Valentine

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