June 15, 1859 marked the start of the Pig War, a conflict between the United States and Great Britian over the international boundary in the San Juan Islands of Washington state.
Here are a few facts about the Pig War you may not have known.
First: It was a bloodless conflict, except for that of one pig. Lyman Cutlar, an American farmer living on San Juan Island killed a pig belonging to an Irishman, Charles Griffin, who was employed by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Second: The US and UK disagreed as to which nation held the claim to the islands, and British authorities threatened to arrest Cutlar. This resulted in an American military force being deployed to the island, with the British responding in kind.
Third: Calmer heads prevailed as negotiations were undertaken to determine the sovereignty of the islands. The military forces built camps on the island and settled in while the talks continued. During the 12-year negotiations, the troops stationed on the island became friendly, celebrating each other’s national holidays together and competing in athletic events. The incident ended in 1872 when Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany determined the border to run though Haro Strait, where it remains today.
Our question: Who are the San Juan Islands named after?