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Descendant Of White House Slave Shares Legacy

Descendant Of White House Slave Shares Legacy

August 24, 2009

In 1814, Paul Jennings, a slave in President James Madison's White House, helped rescue George Washington's portrait from the White House before it was burned down by the British. Hugh Alexander, his great-great grandson, calls the legacy "awe-inspiring."

Listen to the Story
All Things Considered
[4 min 18 sec]


This is a very touching story, it brought tears to my eyes.

Paul Jennings:

"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."



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A Slave's Story

A Slave's Story

One hundred ninety five years ago, British troops set fire to the White House. A slave by the name of Paul Jennings was there and published the only known memoir at the time.


Thomas Jefferson 1796, 1800, 1804; James Madison 1808, 1812; Ron Paul 1988, 2008, 2012; Rand Paul 2016.

bump for freedom*))

we are all slaves now.......in some smaller or bigger role.

"Better to fight for something than live for nothing.”
-- George S. Patton
“Complacent ignorance is the most lethal sickness of the soul.”
-- Plato

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