I am a newspaper reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Richmond, VA. I came across your posts as I have begun researching the life of James Armistead Lafayette for a short children's story I'm writing for the paper as part of our Jamestown 2007 effort.
Since some of the info I've found quite frankly seems to be sort of squirrely, I've decided to do as much original research as possible. Family history is my hobby and for the life of me I don't want to be writing myths about this man.
I will be happy to share what I have found so far. I've just begun, so it isn't much.
I found a reference to him in:
Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, 1775-1783. Ed. by John H. Gwathmey. Richmond, VA. 1938(13, 872p.): 453.
It says: James Lafayette
Birth Date: 174?
Page number: 41
If you put his name into ancestry.com into the historical resources, you'll come up with resources like these. Access to ancestry is free at your local Family History Center(of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
American National Biography, 24 volumes. Edited by John A. Garraty and Marck C. Carnes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.(AmNatbi)
The Negro Almanac....later editions published as The African-American Almanac. A reference work on the Afro American. Use the index to locate biographies. biography contains portrait.
Who Was Who in the American Revolution. New York: Facts on File, 1993.(WhAmRev)
There are too many cited sources to type in.
Hope this helps.