Not forgotten – Raleigh Marshall (’05) discovers his great-great-great-grandfather, Paul Jennings

By Jazmine Otey (’20)

Raleigh Marshall (’05) recalls being surrounded by history since elementary school. Coach lamps that once belonged to Founding Father James Madison were mounted on the wall in Marshall’s basement.

There were also nearly a thousand black-and-white photos scattered about, many of which were taken by Addison N. Scurlock, a prominent photographer in Washington, D.C.’s African American community. Within the collection was a photo of Marshall’s great-grandmother, Pauline Jennings Marshall.

But it wasn’t until 2008 that Marshall discovered the significance of the family heirlooms within his ancestral home. Through his great-grandmother, he is the great-great-great-grandson of Paul Jennings, an African American enslaved attendant to James Madison and his family.

Elizabeth Dowling Taylor, a researcher, author and former director of education at Montpelier, Madison’s estate, invited Marshall to Montpelier to participate in a reading of the preamble of the U.S. Constitution, along with collateral Madison descendant Madison Iler Wing.

Madison banner 2018

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