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26 June, 2013
Thomas Jefferson - A Character Sketch
Horse Back Riding to Inauguration
by Ellis, Edward S. (A.M.)


It would seem on the authority of Mrs. Randolph, the great-granddaughter of Mr. Jefferson, in her work, "The Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson," that the President rode "the magnificent Wildair" to the capitol, and hitched to the palisades while he went in to deliver his inaugural. The truth of the incident, however, is not established.

In Jefferson's diary we have this entry:

Feb'y 3, 1801, Rec'd from Col. John Hoomes of the Bowling Green a bay horse Wildair, 7 yr. old, 16 hands high, for which I am to pay him 300 D May 1.

There were no pavements, sidewalks nor railroads then in Washington. There were not even wagon roads. There was no getting about, therefore, for either men or women without horses.

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