Morgan Horses

Did Justin Morgan really have a horse?

The first Morgan horse was named Figure. He was born about 1789. His owner, Justin Morgan, brought Figure to Vermont. Figure was a strong and fast horse. He was the father of many horses that were also strong and fast. These horses became known as Morgan horses.

Vermonters liked Morgan horses. These horses could pull plows and carriages. Morgan horses were usually smart and obedient. When Vermonters moved west in the mid 1800s, some brought their Morgan horses with them. During the Civil War, the cavalry(soldiers who fight while riding horses) used many Morgan horses.

In 1945, Marguerite Henry wrote a book called Justin Morgan Had a Horse. The book is based on the true story of Justin Morgan and the first Morgan horse. But the book also has some parts that the author imagined. In the book, the horse is called Little Bub. This type of book is called historical fiction.

Today, the Morgan Horse Farm in Weybridge, Vermont, breeds(to grow or raise from a selected group of parents) Morgan horses. You can visit the farm to learn more about this famous breed(a type of animal that comes from a selected group of parents) of horses from Vermont.

Thinking About History

Historians ask questions to think deeply about history.

Historians do not know all the details about Justin Morgan's life or Figure's life. Why is it important to know that the book Justin Morgan Had a Horse is historical fiction and not a biography?

Copy and paste this citation to show where you did your research.

Vermont Historical Society. "Morgan Horses." Vermont History Explorer. Accessed September 28, 2023.

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