Father of the American Mule

After the Revolutionary War, and before the US Constitution was written, George Washington devoted himself to farming. The king of Spain gave him a gray male donkey called Royal Gift and Lafayette gave him a black male donkey called Knight of Malta. “Royal Gift was big and lumbering but lacking in animal spark, whereas Knight of Malta was small but lusty.” Washington bred the two and ended up with a male known as Compound, large like Royal Gift but feisty like Knight of Malta. Eventually Compound (mated with horses) produced 57 mules, and mules were on their way to becoming the preeminent beast of burden for America. “In addition to his better-known title of Father of His Country,[George] Washington is also revered in certain circles as the Father of the American Mule.” (Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life.)

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One Response to “Father of the American Mule”

  1. chosenrebel Says:

    Fascinating piece of trivia. I never knew that.

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