Royal Gift

Few animals are bestowed the name, “Royal Gift.” But as a gift from the Spanish King Charles III to George Washington, such a name for a donkey would be appropriate.

Animal husbandry was a significant part of Washington’s life at Mount Vernon, and one of his most highlighted, noteworthy farm animals was Royal Gift, the Spanish jack ass. This prized creature, sent to Washington by the Spanish king in 1785, played an integral part in breeding mules – Washington’s long desired wish for increasing the ease of farm labor. To learn more on this uncommon but fascinating part of Washington’s life, visit the links provided below.

Letters and Documents related to Royal Gift

Mount Vernon Links

Newspaper Articles

  • Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser article, 23 March 1787, Vol. 14, Issue 24, Page 1.

Published Works

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