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“H” is for Hogs.

“H” is for Hogs. Hogs were probably introduced into South Carolina by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Later, English settlers purchase swine from Virginia. As early as the 1680s, South Carolina exported pork to other English colonies. Pork became a mainstay of the diet of all Carolinians—black and white. Hog killing was an important ritual of rural life that endured well into the 20th century and the meat was preserved by salting and smoking. By the late 20th century, hog farming had become a highly specialized and capital-intensive enterprise. However, large-scale swine production has unpleasant social and environmental consequence. In the late 1990s the collapse of hog prices from sixty cents to fifteen cents a pound resulted in a reduction of the hog population to levels not seen since 1867.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.