History and Bounderies get changed over the darndest things.
That Time The U.S. And Britain Went To War Over A Pig
Along the Rockies and the Pacific coastline, on a small shared island, the United Kingdom and United States turned a small land dispute into a heated, full-fledged confrontation.
Land disputes were relatively common in North America in the 19th century. With explorers pushing into new territories, boundary disputes between nations were bound to come up. The Oregon Treaty was devised to clear up one such dispute, between America and Britain, along the Rockies and the Pacific coastline, at the border of Oregon and what is now Canada.
The treaty split the land fairly evenly at the 49th parallel west, with one exception. Confusion and disagreement over what constituted the middle of the San Juan Channel led to both countries claiming sovereignty of San Juan Island.
For 13 years, both British and American citizens lived on the island, with little animosity. The British set up the Hudson’s Bay Company, a successful salmon curing and sheep ranching company, on the island, while Americans settled on the land and farmed.
It wasn’t until 1849 that the boundary dispute started to cause trouble, and it was all set off by a pig.
How it Happened
The Brig, for everything else. Pirates-at-large. Free booze.
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