In 1859, the Great Pig War entered a new and tragic phase. Two thousand British soldiers, then occupying the US island of San Juan in Puget Sound, Oregon Territory, once again attempted to arrest an American farmer on charges of murdering an English pig that had torn up his potato patch.
The Great Pig War Once again, American forces on the island refused to permit the British to arrest an American citizen on American territory. A fist fight ensued, followed by a gunshot, the infamous "Shot Heard Round the World".
Both sides opened fire. When the news reached London, members of the opposition demanded war. In Washington, Congress demanded reparations and cession of Vancouver Island.
The British government refused to relent and Congress declared war. One week later, advance elements of the Minnesota Militia sailed north down the Red River, and crossed the 49th Parallel. Three days later, the governor of Minnesota declared all of Prince Rupert's Land to be territory of his state. The local Metis population was ecstatic, and dared the British to intervene. (This would be impossible for at least ten months as the area could not be reached by land from Upper Canada.)
A new story by Stan BrinIn May, 1859, The US Army siezed Toronto, facing little opposition. The rest of British North America in the east fell by August. Only British Columbia, where ther war began, remained.
The Royal Navy attempted to blockade the US coast, but could do little to interfere. British Columbia fell the week after Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency in november 1860. The war dragged on for two more years, but to little effect, other than the British loss of the Bahamas. A treaty of peace signed in Copenhagen on July 4, 1863, ratified the reunification of North America.
Seccessionist sentiment in the south remained quiescent for three years as southern officers were active in the war, and southern politicians were reluctant to appear treasonous in wartime.
In 1863, the new northern territories demanded admission to the Union, but the South threatened succession, fearing the newly expanded Senate would vote overwhelmingly against them. Still, the Maritimes were admitted in March,1864, and Upper Canada and Vancouver Island, three months later.
South Carolina seceeded, but President Lincoln immediately mobilized the army and siezed Charleston. He freed all of South Carolina's slaves. Secession remained dormant for a decade.
In November, 1864, shortly after the reelection of Abraham Lincoln, the governor of Minnesota gave up his state's claim to Prince Rupert's Land. "How can we hope to rule a land ten times the size of Texas from a statehouse in St. Paul?"