Primary Resource

Letter from Paul Jennings to Dolley Madison (April 23, 1844)

In this letter to Dolley Madison, dated April 23, 1844, Paul Jennings, a Madison-owned slave, reports on the goings-on at the Madison plantation, Montpelier. He mentions Madison's son, Payne Todd, and notes that his (Jennings's) wife, Fanny, is ill.

Transcription from Original

Orange, April 23

Dear mistris

I write you A fiew line to let you Know that I arrive safe home with the horses an wagon Charley deserted me betwen Alaxandra an Auquan miles I hope he is at home I could not find doctor winstons becose it was night the peaple ar All well except stephen hariet is much better sary better milley was quite sic yesterday the little children ar all well. The peple ar goin on as well as thay can the lot is cleand up Every thing looks green an beautiful mr & mrs howards sends their kindes love to you an miss Annay thay wer much to here from you. I found faney vary porley but she says she is better then she was in the winter mas payne is quite well an was at Courte on monday A greate inquiaries Abute your helth mas payn wants me to do som painting at todds Burgh I Could not get Enney fish in fredrix mr Allen told me he would send them up as soon he got them by wagon. Mother is well sends her love to you fanney sends her love to you an miss anney an Elen faney is vary thankful to you for my Coming to see her love to sukey Beckey henry Ralph Elen nick no more to say I Reman your servent

Paul Janning