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Letter from Dolley Madison to John Payne Todd (July 17, 1845)

In this letter to her son, John Payne Todd, dated July 17, 1845, Dolley Madison expresses frustration that her slave Paul Jennings, whom she had hired out to President James K. Polk, had taken leave without returning on time.

Transcription from Original

July 17th. 45.

My dear Son—

I wish to say a few words on the subject of Paul—whom you have not mentioned since he left here for Orange. I hired him to the President, who (as well as myself) gave him the privilege of 2 or 3 weeks to visit his family—when he was to have returned & entered upon his duties again—It was of importance to me that he shd. have been punctual, but he has not appeared or written an apology—of course he will lose the best place and his mistress conveniant resources. I hope you recd. my last acknowledging the $30. I am waiting with impatience your next, by which I hope to know so much. Yours ever

M.