The Republic of Indian Stream: The Forgotten Country Between the U.S. and Canada

Bess Lovejoy
iStock / iStock

Borders can get messier than you might expect—especially back in the days before GPS.

The 1783 Treaty of Paris, which settled hostilities between the brand-new United States and Great Britain, left the U.S.-Canada boundary line a little open to interpretation, at least in a certain corner of what is now New Hampshire. The treaty said the border would follow the "northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River," but there were several tributaries that potentially qualified for the description. The U.S. and Britain disagreed about which body of water counted, and as a result, a 280-square-mile patch of land between two tributaries was subject to taxation by both countries. The residents of the area eventually got fed up with paying double duty, and in 1832 they declared independence as the Republic of Indian Stream.

Although their initiative was only recognized by the United States and not Britain, they still managed to raise a militia, draft a constitution, elect their own government, and print their own stamps. But the country only lasted a few years, before a variety of international incidents led to its demise. Today, the area is known as Pittsburg, New Hampshire. For the full story, check out Half as Interesting's video below.