James Armistead Hero, Patriot, First every Double (Secret ) Agent.   1748-1830

James Armistead is remembered as the most important spy of the American Revolutionary War. In 1781, when Armistead was twenty-one , he heard that the Marquis de Lafayette, a young Patriot volunteer from France, needed someone to spy on the British. James asked his master William Armistead a farmer if he could offer his service to General Lafayette to spy on the British, his master agreed. James was brave and smart. He was just the person needed to serve as an intelligence agent. Lafayette ask Armistead to go to British General Cornwallis's (who was the top commanding General in British army) camp and pretend he wanted to join their army. Armistead appeared at the British camp he offered to be a servant and guide for his freedom. No one suspected he was a spy, instead they saw a smiling black man willing to serve their meals and be their guide. While he served food and drink, he listen. Often he aided Cornwallis in his tent keeping his ears and eyes wide open for talk about the war. General Cornwallis was impressed with James, he ask James (not knowing he's a spy) to spy on Americans for the British. Now James had the perfect setup. He could move back and forth between both camps, carrying true information to the Patriots and false information to the British. Based on Armistead's reports, General Lafayette moved his troops. General Washington sent word that French and American forces would join Lafayette's to cut off British troops. Led by Lafayette's small force Patriots surrounded the British, 10 day's later Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington, at Lafayette's headquarters. Cornwallis saw James Armistead wearing an American uniform. The final battle was over. James Armistead had given crucial information that was vital in ending the war. James Armistead Hero, Patriot, Master Spy.    (put pointer on picture)                  (Menu Link)                  (Home Page Link)

James Armistead Double agent, spy