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The Pig War


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Scroll down to number 5.  How war almost broke out between the US and Canada.  Some interesting personalities got involved, such as the later Confederate General George Pickett, and Kaiser Wilhelm I.  Enjoy!


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Hey Bill, quite the story. Quoting it below for those who want to read it. Incredible!


It may sound like a bunch of baloney, but the United States and Canada nearly went to war over a dead hog. On June 15, 1859, American farmer Lyman Cutlar killed a large black pig, owned by the Canadian Hudson’s Bay Company, that was eating the potatoes in his garden on San Juan Island, land off the coast of Washington claimed by both the United States and Canada. When British authorities threatened to arrest Cutlar and evict 17 of his fellow countrymen from the island, the U.S. Army dispatched 64 soldiers under Captain George Pickett—later of Gettysburg fame—to the island. British warships sailed to the island, but clear-headed British Rear Admiral Robert L. Baynes refused to attack and “involve two great nations in a war over a squabble about a pig.” For more than a decade, British and American troops peacefully occupied the island until an arbitration commission selected by Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm I ruled in 1872 that the San Juan Islands were American territories.


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