James Lafayette was born in slavery about 1748 near here. His master William Armistead was commissary of military supplies when in the summer of 1781 the Marquis de Lafayette recruited James as a spy. Posing as a double agent, forager, and servant at British headquarters, James moved freely between the lines with vital information on British troop movements for Lafayette. The Virginia General Assembly freed James in 1787 in recognition of his bravery and service, on the written recommendation of Lafayette, whose name he took for his own. He died in Baltimore on 9 Aug. 1830.
Geographic Location: New Kent County
Physical Description of Location: 11930 New Kent Highway (State Route 249), New Kent, VA 23124. Marker is on right when traveling east.
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