On May 15, 1859, an American settler on San Juan Island shot a pig belonging to the Hudson’s Bay Company. This seemingly insignificant act was the spark that almost set aflame the strangest of many confrontations between Britain and the United States on the northwest coast of North America.
On one side of the border dispute over the strategically located San Juan Islands was Governor James Douglas, determined to protect the interests of the Hudson’s Bay Company and prove the military superiority of Britain. On the other side was General William Selby Harney, spoiling for a fight and believing in America’s manifest destiny to rule the continent.
In this lively account of the conflict that became known as the Pig War, Rosemary Neering traces the events that led to the standoff in the San Juans and brings to life the memorable characters who played leading roles in the drama. The book is an excellent travel companion to anyone visiting the San Juans and the original American and British camps that are open to the public.
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts,
and of the province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.