A Slave in the White House
Paul Jennings and the Madisons
Publication Date: April 2012
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Paul Jennings was born into slavery on the plantation of James and Dolley Madison in Virginia, later becoming part of the Madison household staff at the White House. Once finally emancipated by Senator Daniel Webster later in life, he would give an aged and impoverished Dolley Madison, his former owner, money from his own pocket, write the first White House memoir, and see his sons fight with the Union Army in the Civil War. Based on correspondence, legal documents, and journal entries rarely seen before, this amazing portrait reveals the mores and attitudes toward slavery in the nineteenth century, and sheds new light on famous characters such as James Madison, French General Lafayette, Dolley Madison, and many other long-forgotten slaves, abolitionists, and civil rights activists.