Thursday, May 12, 2016

Pig drives!

Think of it: pig drives! Like cattle dries, only stranger! Who knew a pig could walk that far or would travel in the desired direction? . . .
Mark Essig, Lesser Beasts: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig (New York: Basic Books, 2015), Prologue
A few farmers from Lexington, Kentucky, walked their hogs through the Cumberland Gap and all the way to Charleston, South Caolina, distance of more than five hundred miles.

. . .

Because droving was a decentralized trade, it's impossible to know its full scale. It is clear, however, that hog drives were at least as significant as the more celebrated cattle drives. The largest cattle drives, from Texas to Kansas, involved as many as 600,000 cattle a year, but they lasted just fifteen years or so. Hog droving, by comparison, involved hundreds of thousands of animals during peak years and on some routes lasted nearly a century. From Kentucky alone, as many as 100,000 hogs per year were driven east to Richmond, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
Id., ch. 12.

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