This is an American production in the shape of a harness horse, the precise origin of which is obscure, though, according to all accounts, it is descended back to a stallion named Justin Morgan, which was the property of a resident in Randolph, Vermont, whose name he bore. This horse appears to have been foaled somewhere about the end of the eighteenth century, but the date of his being dropped and his pedigree are alike matters of pure conjecture in spite of the many attempts which have been made to ascertain the facts concerning him. Perhaps the consensus of opinion tends to show that Justin Morgan originally came from Canada; but this theory is opposed by many persons on the grounds that the Canadians are not so easy in their action, though, on the other hand, they possess more durable feet.
The Morgan horse is claimed to be the possessor of stamina above the average, and is therefore described as being "entitled to the appellation of a fast traveller", as a good one can cover a great number of miles a day and keep up a good pace. As a useful harness horse, with moderate weight, the Morgans were highly popular some forty or fifty years ago in their native State, where they possess many admirers even now. They are not a big breed, the usual height being from 14 to 15 hands, the prevailing colour being bay. In make, the Morgans are round and heavy, with lean heads, wide and deep chest, the fore-legs are set well apart, clean and sinewy, besides being strong, and, as a transatlantic authority on the breed observes as to make and endurance, they have "that projection of ribs from the spine which is a sure indication of powerful lungs, and consequently of great wind and bottom". No doubt about the middle of the last century the Morgan horses were extremely popular in America, though not adapted for great speed at short distances; but as little, if anything, is now heard of them nowadays outside the State of Vermont, it is evident that they have not succeeded in maintaining the reputation which they then possessed. Of late however, these horses appear to be receiving more attention from American breeders.