• “Lesser-known figures of the American Revolution” Second Prize – Jonah Krasa

    Jonah Krasa

    James Armistead
    How James Armistead went from slave to spy.

    Some time in the 1760’s James Armistead was born on a plantation in Virginia. In 1781 James Armisted became a spy for the French and Americans. He was sent to go into the British camp in Yorktown, Virginia while the Americans and the French were planning to attack Yorktown.

    He went into the British camp pretending to be an escaped spy looking for a job. He got a job as Cornwallis’ watier and right hand man. This made it easier and less dangerous to feed information to the Americans.

    When when the Americans approached the British the British sent James Armistead to spy on the Americans.

    So James Armistead became the first double agent! He would give the Americans very important information and would give the British false information. The British did not know this and they gave him access to their movements which he would give to the Americans! James Armistead kept doing this until the battle was over.

    Because of James Armistead’s work on October 19 the British surrendered and the Americans won 9000
    soldiers from the British that would be the deciding factor in the war!

    After the war James Armistead had to go back to slavery because his spy work was not covered in Viginia law. In 1784, Lafayette heard about how his former spy was not free and he sent a letter to Congress. This started some arguing and finally in 1787 James Armistead got his freedom! James Armistead thanked Lafayette and he changed his name to James Armistead-Lafayette.

    After he gained his freedom, he became a
    good father and husband. He died in 1832. That is how James Armisted went from
    slave to spy.

    Jonah Krasa, PGMS 6th Grade

    posted to Cedar Street Times on July 4, 2021

    Topics: Uncategorized, Pacific Grove Middle School, Young Writers' Corner


    You must be logged in to post a comment.