James was an enslaved worker at Tuckahoe during the Wight period. He is mentioned by name in the will of Edwin Wight which suggests he was a trusted manservant. Wight stipulated that upon his death, he desired for James to be freed and given $100 “for the purpose of sending him out of the state of Virginia”. The laws at that time stated that once an African American was freed, they were required to leave the state within one year or they would risk recapture and being forced back into slavery. As James’ name does not appear on the 1850 inventory list for Edwin Wight’s estate, we assume that he was indeed granted his freedom.