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A Slave in the Whitehouse

Nonfiction: 19th Century American History
Unabridged   10.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 04/10/2012

A New York Times Bestseller!
Sound Commentary Best Audiobooks of the Year Pick

A Slave in the White House

Paul Jennings and the Madisons

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781611748598
Digital Download ISBN:9781611748604


The inspiring story of Paul Jennings, a slave in President James Madison’s household, and his long struggle for freedom.

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Product Description

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.

Based on correspondence, legal documents, and journal entries rarely seen before, this amazing portrait reveals the mores and attitudes toward slavery in the nineteenth century, and sheds new light on famous characters such as James Madison, French General Lafayette, Dolley Madison, and many other long-forgotten slaves, abolitionists, and civil rights activists.


“Reader Judith West narrates A Slave in the White House in a direct, straightforward manner, letting this fascinating subject take the spotlight without distraction.”
      —Sound Commentary

“Taylor’s biography is smoothly rendered in West’s clear, brisk tones as she accessibly elucidates everyday details and private scenarios in the Madison White House. Kenerly’s reading is equally engaging, comprising a double does of coverage for history fans.”

“A revealing study . . . Taylor paints a fascinating portrait of slavery, hypocrisy, and one man’s quiet struggle to overcome its injustices.”
      —Publishers Weekly

“An important story of human struggle, determination, and triumph.”
      —Kirkus Reviews

“Throws fascinating light on both the struggles of a black man in 19th-century America and life in the early years of the young American republic.”
      —The Christian Science Monitor

“You might think you know our nation’s past, but this book may surprise you. If you’re up for a great historical biography, in fact, A Slave in the White House will surely keep you in your seat.”
      —Richmond Times-Dispatch

Author Bio

ELIZABETH DOWLING TAYLOR received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. 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.

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