Wars are never good but certain wars fought back in history do give us a moment or two of laugh despite the fact that at least someone or something lost life. One such war is the Pig War of 1859. Though considered as a war, the Pig War was never really a war in truest sense because not even a single bullet was fired. So, what’s the funny aspect of this so called Pig War and why at all is it named after a pig? That’s what we intend to learn today in this list of 20 interesting Pig War facts.
Interesting Pig War Facts: 1-10
1. The British Empire and the United States confronted each other over a boundary dispute. San Juan Islands was the territory around which the dispute began because the territory turned out to be a military strategic point.
2. Such boundary disputes were pretty common on the wake of westward exploration and three countries that were commonly involved in such disputes were Spain, United States and Great Britain. They frequently disputed over the Oregon region which back then included parts of British Colombia, certain areas of Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho and Washington.
3. However, the Spaniards stopped their claims in Oregon region by early 1800s but the British Empire and the United States were unable to let go off their claims and San Juan Islands remained the most sought after prize for both the nations.
4. The Americans claimed the territory based on their idea of ‘manifest destiny’ and the British on the other hand claimed the territory based on the fact that British-operated Hudson’s Bay Company had commercial and trade activities in the territory before the Americans started claiming it their own.
5. The tensions between the two countries started mounting until something weird happened in 1859. In between, the Oregon Treaty was signed in 1846 on June 15 but neither of the countries were happy with the same. The Oregon Treaty divided the Oregon Country/Colombia District between the two nations.
6. Since 1846, the two countries were involved in several non-military disputes over the Oregon Treaty. While the two countries kept confronting each other, the Hudson’s Bay Company had already started operating on the islands and converted it into a sheep ranch.
7. By mid-1859, 29 American settlers moved into the territory and started farming operations because the lands were pretty fertile.
8. On 15 June, 1859 – exactly 13 years after the Oregon Treaty was signed – one American settler named Layman Cutlar (who claimed land under Donation Land Claim Act) found a big black pig happily munching on his tubers.
9. That wasn’t really the first time Cutlar notice his garden ransacked by a pig but this time the pig really go on his nerves and Cutlar lost his patience. He pulled out his gun, aimed and shot! The poor pig was doomed and died on spot!
10. In an upsetting swing of events, it turned out that Cutlar had killed the pig of Mr. Charles Griffin – an Irishman employed by Hudson’s Bay Company for operating the sheep ranch. It was not just the only pig Griffin owned. There were several others and Griffin had always allowed them to roam around freely.