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

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

by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor, Annette Gordon-Reed
3.7 12

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Overview

A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor

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. He died a free man in northwest Washington at 75. Based on correspondence, legal documents, and journal entries rarely seen before, this amazing portrait of the times reveals the mores and attitudes toward slavery of the nineteenth century, and sheds new light on famous characters such as James Madison, who believed the white and black populations could not coexist as equals; French General Lafayette who was appalled by this idea; Dolley Madison, who ruthlessly sold Paul after her husband's death; and many other since forgotten slaves, abolitionists, and civil right activists.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781137000187
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 485,710
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Elizabeth Dowling Taylor received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Over a 22-year career in museum education and historical research, she was Director of Interpretation at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and Director of Education at James Madison's Montpelier. Most recently a Fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Taylor is now an independent scholar and lecturer. She lives in Barboursville, Virginia.

Annette Gordon-Reed, historian and legal scholar, has a triple appointment at Harvard University, where she is Professor at the Law School, History Department, and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. In 2009 she won the Pulitzer Prize in history for her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.


Elizabeth Dowling Taylor received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Over a 22-year career in museum education and historical research, she was director of interpretation at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and director of education at James Madison’s Montpelier. Most recently a fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Taylor is now an independent scholar and lecturer. She is the author of A Slave in the White House. She lives in Barboursville, Virginia.

Annette Gordon-Reed is the author of The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in History and the National Book Award. She holds three appointments at Harvard University: professor of law at Harvard Law School, professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. A MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, she is also the author of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy; the coauthor with Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., of Vernon Can Read!; and the editor of Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History. She lives in New York City.

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A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disappointing. Too much about the Madisons and not about Jennings. I would rate this 3 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Our Book Club gave it a 2. Seemed like a stretch to make a book about Jennings and the writing showed it. 
kkid1 More than 1 year ago
A great read that reveals much about some of our founding fathers and a man who truly held little or no animosity toward his master(s).
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sounds like a book that should be put in school libraries.