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Enslaved at the White House

Slavery

Paul Jennings was enslaved by President James Madison at the White House, but his wife and children were enslaved at Montpelier, James Madison’s plantation near Orange, Virginia. After purchasing his freedom, Jennings settled in Washington, D.C., where he became an abolitionist. In 1848 he helped over 70 men, women, and children attempt to escape slavery in what became known as the Pearl Incident.