Pig War

Out Yonder : ' Pig War,' sunken ship stirred up trouble with France

By Ross McSwain

Over a 167-year period, the great state of Texas and its parent, the Republic of Texas, have had to negotiate with the government of France twice. Both disputes were settled with a compromise.

The first dispute, in 1841, was called the "Pig War," the name given to the quarrel between French diplomat Alphonse Dubois de Saligny and the Lamar administration that resulted in a temporary rupture of diplomatic relations between France and the Republic of Texas. More about this later.

The most recent dispute had to be settled in 2003 through the U.S. State Department and then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright who met with representatives of the French government to solve the difficulty.

This situation came to light recently when some 50 or more local and area history buffs met at Fort Concho to hear about the story of the 17th century shipwreck that may have played a role in changing the history of North America.