Outpost of Empire: The Royal Marines and the Joint Occupation of San Juan Island

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9780914019466: Outpost of Empire: The Royal Marines and the Joint Occupation of San Juan Island
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The occupation of San Juan Island by the Royal Marines between 1860 and 1872 marked the last time "redcoats" would be stationed in lands south of the 49th parallel. Following the nearly disastrous "Pig War" crisis, their primary mission with their U.S. Army counterparts was keeping the peace on an island considered ripe for the taking by Britons and Americans alike. Drawing on historical, archaeological and photographic research, Outpost of Empire offers an intriguing glimpse of a frontier garrison in the Victorian age.

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Book Description:

A history of the English Royal Marines twelve-year occupation of San Juan Island.

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Outpost of Empire is a fascinating look into the joint occupation of San Juan Island by the Royal Marines and the U.S. Army leading up to the Treaty of Washington. Complementing the research with dozens of historic photographs and illustrations, historian Mike Vouri provides a detailed and inviting insight into camp life in what was at the time still a neutral or disputed territory.

As author of The Pig War: Standoff at Griffin Bay, Vouri detailed the crisis that arose between Great Britain and the United States in 1859 over possession of the San Juan Islands, which lie between Vancouver Island, BC and the U.S. mainland.

In this latest offering Vouri explores how each nation went to great lengths to avoid conflict on the island during the 12-year joint military occupation. The joint occupation was essentially a martial law, enforced by the U.S. Army and the Royal Marines.

To affirm British hegemony and keep the peace in the Pacific Northwest, the Royal Navy brought 164 Royal Marines from Canton, China to Victoria, Vancouver Island in February 1859. Veterans of fighting in the Crimea as well as China, the marines participated in community building and helped keep peace along the Fraser River.

When the Pig War crisis was touched off in July 1859 (an American on San Juan had shot a pig belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company), the marines were dispatched to San Juan Island. They initially lent muscle to British naval forces during the crisis before being assigned peacekeeping duties.

Outpost of Empire explores how the principles of joint military occupation were established by British and U.S. officials, and how, despite numerous attempts by U.S. settlers to circumvent the agreement, peace was maintained until the very end.

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