Friday, May 8, 2015

And the Horse He Rode In On

Our theme this month is animals, so my thoughts immediately went to some fascinating details I like share with students when I do a school visit relating to my book The Many Faces of George Washington.  

George Washington trained his own horses and was considered to be an expert horseman.  During the American Revolution, General Washington rode one of two horses.  One was a brown horse named Nelson.  The other was a white horse named Blueskin.  During battle (yes, Washington actually fought in battle) he rode Nelson because the noise and chaos didn’t bother the calm horse.  But when Washington was just going about everyday life, he rode Blueskin. 

In portraits painted during the 18th century that depict Washington during the Revolution, he is shown with one of these two horses.  If the scene depicts a scene following a battle, Nelson is pictured.  But when the painting is not a battle scene, Blueskin is with him. 
General George Washington at Trenton by John Trumbull

Mount Vernon created three wax figures of George Washington. 
This one depicts General Washington at Valley Forge riding Blueskin.

Find out more about George Washington's historic home
To see a portrait of Washington with Nelson:
It fascinates me to think how much American history happened on horseback!
Carla Killough McClafferty
Remember to enter our book giveaway to win a copy of Stefanie Lyons’ YA novel in verse DATING DOWN (Flux). The deadline to enter is midnight May 15.


Bobbi Miller said...

Really, really fascinating!!

Carmela Martino said...

I love details like this, Carla. Thanks so much!

April Halprin Wayland said...

It's the personal details like this that make history riveting. Thanks, Carla!