Paul Jennings Quotes

Mr. Madison, I think, was one of the best men that ever lived. I never saw him in a passion, and never knew him to strike a slave, although he had over one hundred; neither would he allow an overseer to do it. Whenever any slaves were reported to him as stealing or "cutting up" badly, he would send for them and admonish them privately, and never mortify them by doing it before others. They generally served him very faithfully. He was temperate in his habits. I don't think he drank a quart of brandy in his whole life.

 
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Citations

Paul Jennings, 1799-?, Former slave of James Madison who, after he purchased his freedom, worked in the Dept. of Interior and then the White House when Madison was elected President, A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison

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Paul Jennings
Paul Jennings
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  • Profession: American Slave Abolitionist, Author

Paul Jennings was a personal servant, as a young slave, to President James Madison during and after his White House years. After buying his freedom in 1845 from Daniel Webster, Jennings is noted for publishing in 1865 the first White House memoir. His book was A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison, described as "a singular document in the history of slavery and the early American republic."

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