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Ancient History Of The Mule








The mule seems to have been used by the ancients in a great variety of
ways; but what should have prompted his production must for ever remain
a mystery. That they early discovered his great usefulness in making
long journeys, climbing mountains, and crossing deserts of burnings and,
when subsistence and water were scarce, and horses would have perished,
is well established. That he would soon recover from the severe effects
of these long and trying journeys must also have been of great value in
their eyes. But however much they valued him for his usefulness, they
seem not to have had the slightest veneration for him, as they had for
some other animals. I am led to believe, then, that it was his great
usefulness in crossing the sandy deserts that led to his production. It
is a proof, also, that where the ass was at hand there also was the
horse, or the mule could not have been produced. Any people with
sufficient knowledge to produce the mule would also have had sufficient
knowledge to discover the difference between him and the horse, and
would have given the preference to the horse in all service except that
I have just described. And yet, in the early history of the world, we
find men of rank, and even rulers, using them on state and similar
occasions; and this when it might have been supposed that the horse,
being the nobler animal, would have made more display.

The Scriptures tell us that Absalom, when he led the rebel hosts against
his father David, rode on a mule, that he rode under an oak, and hung
himself by the hair of his head. Then, again, we hear of the mule at the
inauguration of King Solomon. It is but reasonable to suppose that the
horse would have been used on that great occasion, had he been present.
On the other hand, it is not reasonable to suppose that the ass, or any
thing pertaining to him, was held in high esteem by a nation that
believed they were commanded by God, through their prophet Moses, not to
work the ox and the ass together. It must be inferred from this that the
ass was not held in very high esteem, and that the prohibition was for
the purpose of not degrading the ox, he being of that family of which
the perfect males were used for sacrifice. The ass, of course, was never
allowed to appear on the sacred altar. And yet He who came to save our
fallen race, and open the gates of heaven, and fulfil the words of the
prophet, rode a female of this apparently degraded race of animals when
He made his triumphal march into the city of the temple of the living
God.


List of Mules Received, died, and Shot, at the Depot of Washington,
D.C., from 1st February, 1863. to 31st July, 1866.

1863 1864 1865

Month Received Died Shot Received Died Shot Received Died Shot

Jan. .. .. .. 624 14 76 3,677 66 226
Feb. 135 96 7 329 16 62 1,603 84 150
Mar. 2,552 150 4 448 10 64 2,823 77 169
Apr. 2,906 118 61 1,305 15 47 6,102 106 223
May. 1,087 56 46 2,440 18 52 11,780 68 211
Jun. 3,848 120 118 4,410 76 48 19,304 178 49
Jul. 1,731 94 335 4,702 74 125 13,398 462 68
Aug. 5,250 51 159 5,431 88 231 1,275 284 23
Sep. 2,834 72 248 1,198 64 176 1,536 3 18
Oct. 1,166 36 202 1,468 81 134 876 .. ..
Nov. 2,934 30 204 3,036 35 123 252 3 ..
Dec. 2,832 14 113 3,923 66 158 324 4 ..

Total 27,275 837 1,497 29,414 557 1,296 62,950 1,335 1,137

1866
Received Died Shot

169 .. ..
34 2 1
13 .. ..
29 1 ..
20 1 ..
2 .. ..
62 .. ..
.. .. ..
.. .. ..
.. .. ..
.. .. ..
.. .. ..

329 4 1



DATE RECEIVED DIED SHOT
1863............. 27,275 837 1,497
1864............. 29,414 557 1,296
1865.............. 62,950 1,335 1,137
1866.............. 329 4 1

Total........... 119,968 2,733 3,931





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Previous: Something More About Breeding Mules



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