A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons

Thank you Goodreads for the copy of this wonderful book, A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons”. Paul Jennings story is something that appealed to the history lover in me and the author’s ability to parlay her research into an enjoyable telling of his life and the lives of his ancestors made it a pleasure to read.

Paul Jennings was born into slavery on the plantation of President James Madison. When his was young, he moved with the Madison’s to the Executive Mansion and even played a major role in saving the famous painting of George Washington when the British attacked in 1812. His duties as a “body servant” to President Madison made him closer to the man than anyone other than his wife Dolley. After the death of the President, Mr. Jennings remained a slave serving Dolley Madison until, with the help of Daniel Webster, he was able to buy his freedom.
It was great to learn about the past from a different point of view.


5 thoughts on “A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons

  1. Montpelier had a book reading from this book just this last month. I wanted to go,but sadly I wasn’t able. I look forward to reading the book! I have been doing research on James Madison over the last six month. My husband and I are opening a bed and breakfast on the property where he was born in Port Conway, VA. In my research, I came across the will of his Grandmother, Rebecca Catlett Conway Moore. In her will she gave a choice of five slaves from Belle Grove.

    • Wow, that sounds so interesting! I love Virginia and all its history you are lucky to live there, I’m very envious. I think you will enjoy the book since you have been doing your own research on Madison. Good luck with the bed and breakfast, how old is the house you’re converting?

      • The house was built in 1791. It is already converted, just need to do the landscaping and furnish the house. You can check out my blog and read about it and see some of the picutres.

  2. Pingback: Presidents Madison and Jackson « LE ARTISTE BOOTS

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