Well, now those marshes will be even MORE strategically important in WWIII that is coming up (if one believes C2C guests... and now the mainstream media!) Heck I could see some "rebels" or ISIS or whatever they are now called just bringing some buckets and taking them on "refugees" for use in dirty bombs (water balloons are a easy to make) and certainly the troops and tanks of the State actors will need to avoid that region in the land campaigns.
ps: I've always liked and intrigued by micro-nations and attempts by people (often cults, crazies, cranks, and sects) to create new countries, micro-nations, kingdoms, autonomous compounds, etc. Apparently the latest, Liberland, is having some issues with actual settlement but they have a Constitution and members...I also suspect the location, a disputed island between Croatia and Serbia, is not the ideal location for a country, especially without a military, laws, or even, at least yet, residents.
Well since that interests you, let's take a peak at Beaver Island, Michigan
. It isn't all that interesting Geographically - it's the biggest island in Lake Michigan at 55 square miles, it's pretty, it's isolated and has good fishing but nothing odd. At least until you look at it's history: that is a bit unusual as was once home to a Mormon Pirate King.
In June, 1844, Joseph Smith the founder of Mormonism was murdered. This threw the Mormon church into disarray and there was a struggle for control. Brigham Young came out on top and took most of the Mormons with him to Utah. Sidney Rigdon whom Smith had decreed a "Prophet, Seer and Revelator" lead another faction into Pennsylvania. There was a third leader who joined the Mormon church only in February of 1844 named James Strang. Strang was a real piece of work.
He took advantage of Smith's demise in one heck of a hurry. He claimed that an Angel ordained him as Smith's successor at the time Smith was killed and he produced
a Letter of Appointment signed by Smith naming Strang as his legitimate successor. The Mormon leadership excommunicated Strang as a result but many Mormon's
believed in Strang and eventually he have almost 12,000 followers.
In 1848 he would take thousands of followers with him to sleepy Beaver Island, Michigan and setup shop there where he founded the town of Saint James - named after himself naturally. He was originally strongly opposed to Polygamy and it was this stance that garnered him a great deal of support at the time of Smith's death.
Once on Beaver Island he would change his mind and embrace Polygamy - in a big way. He would have five wives and father fourteen children in a relatively short time.
In 1850, Strang would proclaim himself King. He would be coronated in a ceremony that involved a Crown, flowing regal red robe, breast plate, shield, sword and scepter. From there he would tighten his grip on his subjects. He was also faced with a sticky economic problem. How do you support several thousand followers who live on a small, isolated island with limited resources? The answer was piracy and for several years the pirate Mormon's of Beaver Island unleashed hell upon Northern Michigan. Lakeside towns were looted and robbed, saw mills destroyed and ships waylaid. Here are some quotes from a newspaper article written 50 years later
the hull of the boat Eclipse, of which ‘Pirate King’ Strang of Beaver Island was captain half a century ago has been found… Captain Strang ruled over the island with an iron hand and headed one of the the most desperate bands of pirates that ever infested American waters.
“It was the custom to sail forth upon the great lake and lie in wait for unlucky vessels that passed, capture the craft, and either murder the sailors or make them go tot he island and conform to the peculiar faith of the inhabitants which resembled that of the early day Mormons. The whole story of the horrors of Beaver Island probably never will be written, but enough as been learned to show the reign of Strang was of almost heartless and treacherous nature……
“The Eclipse was captured by State officials, after a bloody fight, in 1855 and the vessel was set afire. Nearly all of Strang’s pirates died fighting.
Strang would eventually be brought to trial and somehow came out the victor. Riding high, he ran for a seat on the Michigan legislature and even won. He was
even re-elected in 1855 and did some good work in helping to organize northern Michigan into Counties and Townships. However things were not rosy at home.
As King James he decreed that all women on Beaver Island must wear bloomers. Two of the island's ladies refused to do so and as punishment Strang had their
husbands flogged. Having your back striped by 79 lashes is bound to build up some resentment. Other men also turned against Strang after being whipped.
In June of 1856 the US Navy Gunboat USS Michigan made a port call in Saint James. As Strang walked up to docked ship, two men walked up and shot and
pistol whipped the King. The men then hopped on the USS Michigan which lost no time in putting to sea. The USS Michigan docked at Mackinac Island where the
two men stood trial, were given a trial, found guilty and fined $1.25 for their deed. They were then released to cheering crowds whom hailed them as hero's.
With the King dead, Beaver Island was vulnerable and throngs of locals took revenge upon the pirates. All 2,600 remaining Mormons were ejected from Beaver
Island and they scattered across the country. However his branch of Mormonism still persists and there still Strangite's around today. Although their numbers
are less than 300.
King James Strang
USS Michigan later USS Wolverine
*Disclaimer. Many sources on Strang won't mention the piracy or claim that it was simply rumor. However that is what I was taught in my Michigan History
class in school and I tend to believe it. Here is a pro-Piracy