Special Collections in Skillman Library stewards a distinctive collection of books and manuscripts. This collection has grown over the almost 200 year history of the college, and includes a section dedicated to the Marquis de Lafayette. For Black History Month, Thomas Lannon, Director of Special Collections & Archives, created an exhibit to tell a more complete story of James Armistead Lafayette, a Black spy who supported the Patriots and the Marquis de Lafayette during the American Revolution.

In the story, Lannon outlines recent scholarship into the identity of James, an enslaved person who supported the patriotic cause during the American Revolution and provided information to Lafayette during the decisive Battle of Yorktown. Among the holdings in Special Collections, is the actual letter Lafayette wrote to George Washington to share the critical information James was able to provide. Also on display is a copy of the testimonial by Lafayette that was instrumental in helping James to earn his freedom from the Virginia General Assembly in 1787.
Read the complete article on the Lafayette website.