The Shooting of a British Pig that Almost Started a War
“Charlie Griffin's British pig was in my potatoes again！”bellowed Lyman Cutler one day in 1859.The next time the pig snuffled into Cutler's potato patch, he shot it.The pig's owner swore to have Cutler jailed, and this almost started a war.
At that time San Juan Island, where both men lived, was claimed by both the United States and Britain.When word reached the United States that the British were going to try an American for shooting a pig, U.S.troops were dispatched to Puget Sound.The British, in turn, sent warships.The Americans then sent more troops.
U.S.General Winfield Scott talked the matter over with the British governor；national honor was now involved.The general and the governor agreed to occupy the island together, and the troops returned home without any arrest being made.
The dispute was finally settled in 1872, when San Juan Island was awarded to the United States.