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Pig War

March 9th, 2004 · No Comments

Michael Hanscom wrote a detailed summary of The Pig War of San Juan Island or how the border for the United States was drawn, with a runaway pig sparking tensions between American and British settlers. The military situation and negotiation that ensued involved Robert of Robert’s Rules of Order and the Kaiser of Germany. There’s illustrations in the piece and a list of great links at the end of his post.

I have been to the park on San Juan Island. I think I remember reading signs or plaques about the war but I’d never understood it as well as I have now, after reading Michael Hanscom’s post. I did remember the bit about a pig, and I think I saw a garden with a white-picket fence in the park.

We went to the San Juans often in the summer when I was a child, our family walking onto the ferry for a day of adventures. Once we went to the marine biology labs. One time we discovered a deer skull, we curious young scientists carrying it home in a plastic sack.

The last time I was on San Juan Island was probably eleven years ago with Ted. We had been married one year, taking our first big vacation since our honeymoon, coming out West to visit my family. A friend in the area loaned us his car, an original Acura, and we took it up to the San Juans, for some time for the two of us alone.

I remember driving around the island, how the car took the curves, swift and sweet. I remember taking my husband home, introducing my love to the land I loved, sharing with him the secrets of my childhood, the memories that made me. I remember the island roads beside the beaches, the black of asphalt, the green of grass, the blue of the sea.

Tags: places