U.S. History

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

Elizabeth Dowling Taylor

About the Program

Elizabeth Dowling Taylor recounts the life of Paul Jennings, born into slavery in 1799 and a servant to President James Madison.  The author reports on Mr. Jennings life as a slave in the White House and his relationship with James and Dolley Madison.  Upon gaining his freedom in 1847, Mr. Jennings was involved in the Pearl Affair; the largest, single slave escape ever attempted and authored the first White House memoir, A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison.  Elizabeth Dowling Taylor speaks at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. 

About the Authors

Elizabeth Dowling Taylor

Elizabeth Dowling Taylor is the former director of education at James Madison's Montpelier and former director of interpretation at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.


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Program Information

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

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Past Airings

  • Tuesday, September 4th at 1:30pm (ET)
  • Tuesday, September 4th at 5:30am (ET)
  • Sunday, February 26th at 4:45am (ET)
  • Saturday, February 25th at 2:15pm (ET)
  • Monday, February 20th at 5pm (ET)
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