Black Founders Part IV: James Armistead

In honor of Black History Month, Glenn featured a four-part series on America’s black founders. America has a rich tradition of strong men and women playing prominent roles in the founding of our country — including patriotic black Americans. But you won’t hear about them in school. It simply doesn’t fit with the progressive narrative. Political correctness has watered down and left out the stories of these patriots with strong moral character and courage. It’s past time to set the record straight.

You want to heal our land? It starts with telling the truth. This four-part series puts a laser focus on Americans that might otherwise be lost to history, highlighting how they stood shoulder to shoulder with fellow patriots. Join Glenn as he cracks open the history books to give these great founders their due and helps preserve the amazing stories of America’s black founders.

Part IV: James Armistead

Long before there was a CIA, NSA, MI5 or KGB, a long time before there was James Bond or even movies at all, there was a 33-year-old slave named James Armistead. Despite having lived his entire life in slavery, James Armistead wanted to help his country. In 1781, James asked for permission to join the revolutionary cause, and it was granted.

James joined the army and landed in the service of the Marquis de Lafayette. What Lafayette needed most was information --- and a spy. James Armistead was more than willing to oblige, becoming what well may be the first double agent in our nation's history.

Posing as an escaped slave, James entered Benedict Arnold's camp as a waiter and a guide, sending information back to Lafayette. He later returned north with Arnold, earning the British commander's confidence, traveling freely between both sides. In addition to gaining knowledge about the British, he also fed them inaccurate data. It was incredibly dangerous work that would surely bring the death penalty should he be discovered.

One day, there was a huge breakthrough when Armistead discovered that the British naval fleet was moving 10,000 troops to Yorktown, Virginia, making it a central post for their operation. Lafayette and General George Washington were stunned by the news, recognizing this could be a big break for the Continental Army.

Using the intricate and detailed data Armistead provided, Washington lay siege to the town. A massive and devastating American victory at Yorktown resulted in the surrender of Great Britain on October 19th, 1781, essentially ending the war. The colonies had won, thanks to Armistead's intelligence, defeating the greatest military might on the planet.

In 1783, as a reward to the slaves who fought for American independence, Congress passed the Emancipation Act. Unfortunately, the act applied only to soldiers, not spies. Thus, James was considered ineligible for emancipation. It was a tough ruling under the circumstances, but Virginia law dictated that slaves could not be freed from their owners --- even upon the death of that owner. And the Emancipation Act did nothing to change that for James. That same Virginia law is the reason Thomas Jefferson was never able to free his slaves.

Given the heroic service James Armistead had devoted to his country, Lafayette found the ruling unacceptable. The marquess wrote a testimonial for James' freedom. On November 30th, 1786, James with his owner's support, used Lafayette's testimonial to support his petition to the Virginia Assembly that he be granted freedom. On January 9th, 1787, the Virginia General Assembly finally granted emancipation to James Armistead.

As a free man, James purchased 40 acres of land, became a farmer, married and raised a family. Many years later, the Virginia legislature granted him a pension of $40 a year for his heroic service.

Forty years after he had last seen Lafayette, James heard the news that his old friend and commander was returning to visit the United States. Lacking the funds to travel, the white townspeople took up a collection to help. In 1824, the Richmond Enquirer reported that James was recognized by the marquess who called him by name and embraced him. The years had done nothing to diminish their respect, admiration and friendship.

Six years later, on August 9th, 1830, at the age of 82, our first war spy, the revolutionary war spy and former slave, James Armistead Lafayette died a free man on his farm in New Kent County, Virginia.

Featured Image: The Frederick Douglass Statue in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol Visitors Center, at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

This week on "The Glenn Beck Podcast," civil rights activist and Woodson Center founder Bob Woodson joined Glenn to call out the leftists in the "race grievance industry," like the Rev. Al Sharpton and Black Lives Matter, Inc., who, he says, are "profiting off the misery of their people."

Woodson lived through the appalling segregation laws of the last century and has a much different message about what it means to be "oppressed" than the so-called "anti-racist" activists today.

Woodson said he believes the real struggle for impoverished minority communities "is not racial." He argued that leftists "at the top" derive "moral authority" by claiming to represent "so called marginalized groups," while they prosper at the expense of those "at the bottom."

"There's nothing worse than self-flagellating guilty white people and rich, angry black people who profit off the misery of their people," Woodson said.

"I call what Sharpton and some of those are doing is worse than bigotry. It's treason. It's moral treason against their own people," he added. "The only time you hear from them is when a white police officer kills a black person, which happens maybe 20 or 21 times a year, but 6,000 blacks are killed each year by other blacks. So, in other words, their message is black lives only matter when taken by someone white, which means you are betraying the black community when you turn your back on 20 children that are slaughtered and you don't march in that community and demand that those killers be turned over to the police."

'The problem is not racial," Woodson asserted. "The problem is the challenge of upward mobility. Any time you generalize about a group of people, blacks, whites, Native American, and then you try to apply remedies, it always benefits those at the top at the expense of those at the bottom. ... It's a bait and switch game where you're using the demographics of the worst of these, to get resources that helps the best of these, or those who are prospering at the top. So, if I was the president, I would say an end to the race grievance business, that America should concentrate on the moral and spiritual free fall that is consuming people at the bottom."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation, or enjoy the full podcast here or wherever you listen to podcasts:

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Following President Joe Biden's first joint address to Congress, Glenn Beck joined fellow BlazeTV host and author of the new book, "American Marxism," Mark Levin to expose what they called the "Liar-In-Chief's" radical plans for our country and to explain why the far Left's proposals and programs are really a "frontal attack" on our Constitution, our country, and our way of life.

"Substantively, this is a frontal attack on our Constitutional system of limited government. It is a frontal attack on our capitalist system. He's basically throwing out all the bromides for the radical left groups that now form the base of the modern Democrat Party. And I make the case that ... this is Marxist bullcrap in its broadest sense," Levin stated.

"Here we are, a country now where one man can get up in the middle of the night and make a list of everything he wants to do to the country," he added, speaking figuratively. "It's like an unreality where we're living in separate worlds ... the whole thing is a fraud."

Watch the video clip below to hear Levin expose the lies and misinformation in Biden's speech and explain why he believes the true message is absolutely chilling for the future of our nation:

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After months of delays and COVID-19 excuses, President Biden finally delivers his address to the joint session of Congress. It is a truly historic moment, as only a few hundred members of Congress received an invite. While some have compared this speech to JFK's moon landing challenge, it will likely be more like FDR's New Deal nightmare. Will Speaker Pelosi continue her tradition of ripping up the president's speech? Will VP Harris cackle to a quiet audience?

Glenn Beck teams up with fellow BlazeTV host Mark Levin, author of the new book "American Marxism," to take on the progressive plans that could completely transform our economy and our way of life. Steve Deace, BlazeTV host and author of "Faucian Bargain," joins to discuss why it's not enough for conservatives to just lament the dangerous Democrat agenda; we must activate against the woke infection of our institutions. Plus, a power panel to rival CNN talking heads: Stu Burguiere, BlazeTV host of "Stu Does America," and Jason Buttrill, head researcher and writer for Glenn Beck.

Watch the video below:

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The less-than-favorable reaction to Caitlyn Jenner's bid for governor of California as a Republican has shown that leftists and so-called "transgender rights activist" care more about political party than actual transgender rights. Despite the fact that if she wins, Jenner would be the first trans governor in our nation's history — and prove that Republicans aren't 'transphobic' — Leftist activists would rather back Gavin Newsom — a cisgender, white male.

"Make no mistake: we can't wait to elect a #trans governor of California. But @Caitlyn_Jenner spent years telling the #LGBTQ+ community to trust Donald Trump. We saw how that turned out. Now she wants us to trust her? Hard pass," tweeted Equality California, one of the state's largest LGBTQ-rights groups.

"With all due respect, @Caitlyn_Jenner, you are running as a Republican?! Republicans deny your existence and are trying to erase trans youth. HELL NO," tweeted leftist activist and actress Alyssa Milano.

"Well done Caitlyn Jenner, running for governor wins you the one medal you never got: stupidest mother***ker on earth. Running as a Trump Republican & entering a world that hates you," tweeted "Sons of Anarchy" star Ron Perlman.

In this clip from the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn and producer Stu Burguiere discussed the Left's hostile reaction to Jenner's candidacy for California governor and agreed that leftist trans activists are showing themselves to be more "leftists" than "trans activists."

"If Caitlyn Jenner did, let's say, run for governor and win as a Republican, wouldn't that go a long way to advance what [trans rights activists'] goal supposedly is? Like, if you really believe Republicans hate trans people and what you want is for society to have trans people accepted more broadly, what better way to accomplish that than having a Republican trans candidate?" Stu asked.

"Yeah, see, but you just said the key words: 'If you really believe.' They don't really believe anything. I don't think they even really believe that Republicans hate gay people. I don't think they actually believe that. That's just a slogan that's been drilled in their head," Glenn said. "It doesn't have anything to do with race or gender, or really anything else. It has everything to do with politics. That's it."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


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