On This Day
1776 – British–American peace conference on Staten Island fails to stop nascent American Revolutionary War.
The Staten Island Peace Conference was a brief informal diplomatic conference held between representatives of the British Crown and its rebellious North American colonies in the hope of bringing a rapid end to the nascent American Revolution. The conference took place on September 11, 1776, in the days after the British capture of Long Island and less than three months after the Colonies’ formal Declaration of Independence. It was held at Billop Manor, the residence of loyalist Colonel Christopher Billop, on Staten Island, New York. The participants were the British Admiral Lord Richard Howe, and members of the Second Continental Congress John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Edward Rutledge.
Upon being placed in command of British land forces in the Colonies, Lord Howe had sought authority to peacefully resolve the conflict. However, his power to negotiate was, by design, extremely limited, leaving the Congressional delegation pessimistic over a summary resolution. The Americans insisted on recognition of their recently declared independence, which Howe was unable to grant. After just three hours the delegates retired, and the British resumed their military campaign for control of New York City.
Born On This Day
1847 – Mary Watson Whitney, American astronomer and academic (d. 1921)
Mary Watson Whitney (September 11, 1847 – January 20, 1921) was an American astronomer and for 22 years the head of the Vassar Observatory where 102 scientific papers were published under her guidance.
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