Hello everyone! I’m am so excited to share the first episode in a new history series, Unsung Heroes! I’m thrilled to showcase men and women of American history who are often overlooked, especially by the younger generation! Without further delay, let’s dig into the life of James Armistead!
James Armistead was born around 1760. Living most of his life as a slave in New Kent, Virginia, I haven’t found much information about his younger years. But when he reached his late teens/early twenties, he asked his master, William Armistead, for permission to offer his services to Gen. Lafayette during the American Revolution. Every American can be grateful that Mr. Armistead gave his consent, for we owe our freedom to the brilliant Patriot, James.
Gen. Marquis de Lafayette was glad to have James, who ended up becoming America’s first double agent! Fooling the British into believing he was a runaway, James collected valuable intel to the Patriot armies. One of his more famous bits of intel almost led to the capture of the traitor Benedict Arnold!
In the siege of Yorktown, it was only because of James’ warning to Lafayette and Washington that British reinforcements were on the way. This allowed them to divert them from Yorktown and defeat the British forces there, which led to the end of the war and the independence of our great nation, America.
Because James served as a spy and not a soldier, he was excluded from the “Fight for your Freedom” deal made with slaves who fought for our country. But he didn’t give up. Pursuing legal action, James waited for many years to become free. But thanks to a letter to Congress from Marquis de Lafayette, James’ patience was rewarded, and in 1787, he became a free man!
He lived out his life on a 40-acre farm with his wife and children. They bore the last name of Lafayette in gratitude to the man who helped them secure a free life in America.
James Armistead Lafayette passed away in 1832, around 72 years of age.
We owe a debt of gratitude to this brave Patriot, who paved the way for freedom for every American…
Likewise, may we be brave in paving the way for others worldwide enslaved to sin. May we daily pray for laborers and do all in our power to get the Gospel into their hands. Never deny our Savior and never give up until all have heard.
Writing Prompt: Have you ever heard of James Armistead? Have a fun fact to share about him? Do you have a recommendation for an Unsung Hero we should mention? Share your thoughts below!
Have a blessed day, and God Bless America!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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