Fund By: July 14, 2016
James Armistead was born into slavery in Virginia around 1748. Working as a spy for the Patriots, Armistead gained the trust of General Cornwallis and Benedict Arnold, providing information that allowed American forces to prevail at the Battle of Yorktown.
After volunteering in the Patriot cause, James Armistead was stationed under the Marquis de Lafayette, the commander of allied French forces. He was ordered to pose as a runaway slave hired by the British to spy on the Americans. Under that identity, Armistead successfully infiltrated British General Charles Cornwallis’ headquarters as well as turncoat Benedict Arnold’s.
Thanks to Armistead’s crucial reports, generals Lafayette and Washington were able to prevent the British from sending 10,000 reinforcements to Yorktown, and the British surrendered on October 19, 1781, ending the war.
Despite his critical actions, Armistead was not eligible for emancipation under the Act of 1783 for slave-soldiers, since he had served as a spy, so he lived out the rest of his life as a slave in Virginia.
An action-packed historical espionage story, The Revolutionary follows the human trials and tribulations of a man whose selfless belief in freedom drove him to risk everything.