Paul Jennings was born into slavery on the plantation of James and Dolley Madison in Virginia. As a young boy, he was part of the Madison household staff at the White House. Toward the end of the Madisons' time there, he helped rescue the portrait of George Washington before the British burned down the White House. Later, he became Mr. Madison's personal attendant during his retirement and160;got married to a slave in a plantation further off. Longing for freedom, he was finally emancipated by Senator Daniel Webster and became an abolitionist. He would later give an aged and impoverished Dolley Madison, his former owner, money from his own pocket,160;write the first White House memoir,160;and see160;his sons fight with the Union Army in the Civil War. He died a free man160;in northwest Washington at 75.160;
Based on correspondence, legal documents, and journal entries rarely seen before, this amazing portrait of the times reveals the mores and attitudes toward slavery160;of the nineteenth century, and sheds new light on famous characters such as James Madison, who believed the160;white and black populations160;could not coexist160;as equals; French General Lafayette who was appalled by this idea; Dolley Madison, who160;ruthlessly sold Paul after160;her husband's death; and many more. It also introduces160;readers to160;slaves, abolitionists, and civil right activists160;hitherto160;forgotten.
Genre: History, Biography + Autobiography
Subgenre: United States / 19th Century, Presidents + Heads of State