The Pig War That Almost Was


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A border conflict between the U.S. and Britain, combined with the ambitions of a future Confederate general, almost turned the Salish Sea into a war zone.

The so-called Pig War of 1859 may have been initiated by the killing of a boar, but other forces were at play that nearly elevated a neighborly conflict into an international conflagration.

The conflict took place on San Juan Island, a disputed territory that was home to both American and British colonists. And on the American side was a future Confederate general eager for conflict.

Crosscut's resident historian Knute Berger told the tale of the conflict in a recent episode of his Mossback's Northwest video series, but there is more to the story.

For this episode of the Mossback Podcast, Berger and co-host Sara Bernard talk about the conflict’s roots, how close the countries came to all-out war and how cooler heads prevailed.

Before listening, we suggest you watch the Mossback's Northwest episode about the Pig War here.



Hosts: Sara Bernard, Knute Berger

Producer: Jonah Cohen

Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten

19 episodes