On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress learned that General George Washington had refused to accept a letter, meant to open peace negotiations, from British General William Howe and his brother, Admiral Richard Viscount Howe, because it failed to use the title “general.” Congress responded by proclaiming that the commander in chief acted “with dignity becoming his station,” and directed all American commanders to receive only letters addressed to them in the “characters they respectively sustain.”
While congress was voting on the approval of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania early in July of 1776, the Howe brothers were busy assembling the largest European forces to land in the Americas on Staten Island, New York. General Washington had spent much of the spring of 1776 moving his 19,000 men from Boston to New York. There they would confront the 30,000 men under the Howe brothers.
The Howe brothers … Read more »Continue