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 Justin Morgan

Justin Morgan

Birth
West Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 1821 (aged 31–32)
Burial Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont, USA
Memorial ID 6690 · View Source
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Foundation Stallion Morgan Horses. Born in New England, he was said to have been sired by True Briton, "of the best English blood," although John Morgan stated in 1846, that he was sired by the imported horse Traveller. His dam was bred by a Vermont school teacher, Justin Morgan, and was described by as "of middling size, with a heavy chest, of very light bay color, with a bushy mane and tail. " The colt was named Figure. Figure was said to have stood about 14 hands, and to have weighed about 950 pounds, his compact, muscular body and stylish way of moving made an impression, as did his strength, speed, endurance. In 1792, Figure was advertised for stud before he was given as payment for a debt to Justin Morgan. In 1793 through 1795 he was advertised at stud by Justin Morgan. He was then traded to Samuel Allen for land in Moretown, Vermont, and then sold to William Rice in Woodstock who apparently raced him against New York horses Sweepstakes and Silvertail in Brookfield, where the road is still known as 'Morgan Mile,' winning a $50 stake. At that time Figure became known as 'the Justin Morgan horse.' In 1796 he was advertised at stud by a Jonathan Shepard who used him in match races with great success. The following year he was traded for a farm, and his history becomes murky until he resurfaced in 1804 when he was traded to secure a debt. He was owned by the Goss family who advertised him at stud until 1811, when he was sold to Jacob Langmade, who used the horse to haul freight. In 1817, he was sold to Samuel Stone, who offered him as a parade mount for President James Monroe in Montpelier, Vermont. In 1819, Figure was sold for the last time, to Levi Bean of Chelsea, Vermont. In the last year of his life, Figure was put out to pasture where he died from complications to a flank injury, caused by a kick from another horse, at the age of 32. He is remembered as the father of the first American breed of horses now known as Morgans. The children's book, Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry is a fictionalized account of Figure's early life.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 17 Oct 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6690
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Justin Morgan (1789–1821), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6690, citing Justin Morgan Burial Site, Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .