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More Montpelier (The Ultimate Nerd Trip – Finale)

By on Jun 10, 2012 in Presidents | 3 comments

“Can you tell me where Dolley Madison’s dogs are buried?” asked the very direct woman at the Montpelier visitors’ desk. This is one of the strangest questions I have ever heard on a Nerd Trip, and it is part of why I enjoy them – you meet some kooky characters along the way. Who would know that Dolley Madison’s dogs are buried at Montpelier?

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Paul Jennings – Black History Month

By on Feb 29, 2012 in Historic Persons | 0 comments

I had never heard of Paul Jennings until we encountered him on a Nerd Trip to Montpelier, home to our fourth president James Madison. Jennings was a slave who served as Madison’s personal assistant during the White House years and afterward. Jennings is a fascinating witness to history, writing the first White House memoir, called “A Colored Man’s Reminiscence of James Madison,” published in 1865. I bought a copy at the Montpelier gift shop.

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