This envelope is addressed to Paul Jennings, a former enslaved domestic servant of James and Dolley Madison. Inside the envelope is a letter of recommendation from Daniel Webster, an antislavery senator and statesman from Massachusetts, whose signature is at upper right. In 1848 Webster purchased and freed Jennings, with the understanding that the former slave would work off the purchase price. This envelope contained a letter from Webster dated June 23, 1851, in which he recommended Jennings as an "honest, faithful and sober" servant. Jennings used that letter to help secure a job at the pension office in the Department of the Interior.
Citation: From folder 3 of the Alfred Chapman Papers, #1545. Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.