"The Daily Show" Highlights Paul Jennings


When Paul Jennings created his memoirs, he probably never imagined he would have an audience of millions. This is exactly what happened on last night’s episode of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” though. Former Montpelier Director of Education Elizabeth Dowling Taylor joined Stewart to discuss her new book “A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons.” You can watch the episode on “The Daily Show” website.

Taylor’s book details the fascinating life of Paul Jennings, who was born a slave at Montpelier, helped rescue George Washington’s portrait before the British burned the White House, and served as the enslaved manservant to James Madison. Talk about a witness to history!

Jennings was a history-maker, too. He eventually achieved his freedom through Senator Daniel Webster and worked in the U.S. Pension Office. He became a prominent, property-owning citizen in the newly-established nation’s capital. Finally, he authored the first White House memoirs: “A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison.”

Taylor will host her first lecture and book signing at Montpelier on February 1 at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Visit our website to learn more. We hope you will join us for this special event!










Montpelier Staff