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Below is a list of the names and foaling or purchase dates (if known) of Thomas Jefferson's riding horses.

Horse Name Foaled Sold, Given Away, or Died
1758 unknown; last reference June 2, 17782
1763; purchased from Francis Willis ca. 17734 given away (date unknown)  
1764 unknown
The General 1769; purchased from Alexander Spotswood in 1775  
Crab 1771
Everallyn purchased 1774
Alfred 1774
Caractacus 1775 unknown; last reference 17906
Ethelinda 1776
Silvertail 1773
Orra Moor 1778
Peggy Waffington 1778
Zanga 1778
Odin 1778
Polly Peachum 1778
Silveret 1780
Assaragoa 1779
Raleigh 1777
Tarquin purchased 1790
Brimmer purchased 1790
Remus & Romulus (carriage horses) Unknown
Matchless purchased 1791
Fitzpartner purchased 1799
Wildair purchased 1801
Castor unknown
Diomede unknown
Bremo Spring 1806; purchased by Jefferson 1814
Wellington purchased 1815
Tecumseh purchased 1815
Peacemaker purchased 1819
The Eagle purchased 1820

- List compiled by Gaye Wilson, February 1999, based on Betts, Farm Book, 87-109.

Further Sources

  • 1. "Ally Croker" was a famous eighteenth-century Irish folk song.
  • 2. MB, 1:465.
  • 3. Most likely not named by Jefferson.
  • 4. MB, 1:333.
  • 5. Cú Chulainn was a hero from Irish mythology, probably familiar to Jefferson from James Macpherson's Works of Ossian (1765).
  • 6. Jefferson to Charles Lilburne Lewis, February 22, 1790, in PTJ, 16:192.


Lisameissner's picture
I read a passage in Randall's Jefferson on page 339 that Cornwallis's troops destroyed Jefferson's Elk Hill plantation. He states that the army carried off horses, and those not capable of service killed. Are there any records that indicate the disposition of the horses listed above?
William Jr's picture
Dumas Malone and H.S. Randall cite a letter that Jefferson wrote to Dr. William Gordon, July 16, 1788, that explained the damage to Elk Hill. (Malone, "Jefferson and His Time," vol. 1, pg. 390. Randall, "The Life of Thomas Jefferson," vol. 1, pg. 339). As Jefferson recalled the Elkhill devastation in 1788, we can safely presume that the horses were lost, with fates unknown.
William Jr
aberkes's picture
Lisa, Jefferson's Farm book contains information on the ultimate fate of some of Jefferson's horses. His Memorandum Books also contain some information on them. I'll try to fill in some info here soon...
Anna Berkes
jgalle's picture
Here is a paper waiting to be written here! Actresses, gods, chieftains, and opera heroines were just a few sources of inspiration for the names Jefferson gave to the many horses he owned and rode during his life time. Polly Peachum, Peggy Waffington, Odin, Caractacus, and The Eagle are just a few of the evocative names that tug at the imagination. A wonderful, albeit brief, summary of Jefferson's horses can also be found in Jefferson's Farm Book.
Jillian Galle


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