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Lafayette, James (1748–09 August 1830), patriot spy, also known to history as James Armistead, was born in slavery; little is recorded of his parentage or early life except that he belonged to William Armistead of New Kent County, Virginia. In the summer of 1781 James was attending his master while Armistead worked as a commissary in Richmond, supplying patriot forces under the command of the ...

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Tarrant, Caesar (1740–1797), patriot, was born into slavery, probably at Hampton, Virginia. The identity of his parents is unknown. In his early adulthood, Caesar was sold to Carter Tarrant upon the death of his master Robert Hundley. His purchase price exceeded the normal price for male slaves because Tarrant had a particular skill, that of a river pilot. Just how Tarrant acquired the skill is unclear. Typically, the Tidewater area river pilot was white and passed the skill on to his son. In any case, Tarrant would eventually use this skill to parlay his freedom....

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Whipple, Prince (fl. 1776–1783), revolutionary war soldier, was born to unknown parents in Amabou, Africa. When Whipple was about ten, his parents sent him to America with either a brother or cousin, ostensibly to be educated in the manner of Prince’s older brother, who had returned from America four years before. Unfortunately, the captain of the ship on which the two boys traveled diverted to Baltimore, Maryland, and sold them into slavery instead....