Staten Island Peace Conference
The Staten Island Peace Conference was a brief meeting held in the hope of bringing an end to the American Revolutionary War. The conference took place on September 11, 1776, at Billop Manor, the residence of Colonel Christopher Billop, on Staten Island, New York; the participants were the British Admiral Lord Richard Howe, members of the Second Continental Congress John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Edward Rutledge. Since Lord Howe's authority was, by design limited, the Congressional delegation was pessimistic about the meeting's outcome; the conference, held in the days after the British capture of Long Island, lasted just three hours and was a failure. The Americans insisted on recognition of their declared independence, Howe's limited authority was inadequate to deal with that development. After the conference, the British continued their military campaign for control of New York City; when British authorities were planning how to deal with their rebellious North American colonies in late 1775 and early 1776, they decided to send a large military expedition to occupy New York City.
Two brothers, Admiral Lord Richard Howe and General William Howe, were given command of the naval and land aspects of the operation respectively. Since they believed it might still be possible to end the dispute without further violence, the Howe brothers insisted on being granted diplomatic powers in addition to their military roles. Admiral Howe had discussed colonial grievances informally with Benjamin Franklin in 1774 and 1775, without resolution. General Howe believed that the problem of colonial taxation could be resolved while retaining the supremacy of Parliament. At first King George III reluctantly agreed to grant the Howes limited powers, but Lord George Germain took a harder line, insisted that the Howes not be given any powers that might be seen as giving in to the colonial demands for relief from taxation without representation or the so-called Intolerable Acts; as a consequence, the Howes were only granted the ability to issue pardons and amnesties, but not to make any substantive concessions.
The commissioners were mandated to seek dissolution of the Continental Congress, re-establishment of the pre-war colonial assemblies, acceptance of the terms of Lord North's Conciliatory Resolution regarding self-taxation, to promise a further discussion of colonial grievances. No concessions could be made unless hostilities were ended and colonial assemblies made specific admissions of Parliamentary supremacy. After the fleet arrived in July 1776, Admiral Howe made several attempts to open communications with Continental Army General George Washington. Two attempts to deliver letters to Washington were rebuffed because Howe refused to recognize Washington's title. Washington did however agree to meet in person with one of Howe's adjutants, Colonel James Patterson. In the meeting on July 20, Washington learned that the Howes' diplomatic powers were limited to the granting of pardons, to which he responded that the Americans had not committed any faults and thus did not need pardons. Lord Howe sent a letter to Benjamin Franklin detailing a proposal for a truce and offers of pardons.
After Franklin read the letter in Congress on July 30, he wrote back to the admiral that "Directing pardons to be offered to the colonies, who are the parties injured, can have no other effect than that of increasing our resentments. It is impossible we should think of submission to a government that has with the most wanton barbarity and cruelty burnt our defenseless town, excited the savages to massacre our peaceful farmers, our slaves to murder their masters, is now bringing foreign mercenaries to deluge our settlements with blood." He pointed out to the admiral that "you once gave me expectations that reconciliation might take place." Howe was somewhat taken aback by Franklin's forceful response. In the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776, British forces occupied western Long Island, compelling Washington to withdraw his army to Manhattan. General Howe paused to consolidate his gains, the brothers decided to make a diplomatic overture. During the battle they had captured several high-ranking Continental Army officers, including Major General John Sullivan.
The Howes managed to convince Sullivan that a conference with members of the Continental Congress might yield fruit, released him on parole to deliver a message to the Congress in Philadelphia, proposing an informal meeting to discuss ending the armed conflict between Britain and its rebellious colonies. After Sullivan's speech to Congress, John Adams cynically commented on this diplomatic attempt, calling Sullivan a "decoy-duck" and accusing the British of sending Sullivan "to seduce us into a renunciation of our independence"; the Congress did however agree to send three of its members – Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Edward Rutledge – to a conference with Lord Howe. They had no further authority; when Howe learned of the committee's limited authority, he considered calling the meeting off, but decided to proceed after discussion with his brother. None of the commissioners believed. Lord Howe sought to meet with the men as private citizens, since British policy did not recognize the Congress as a legitimate authority.
In order that the conference might take place, he agreed to the American demand that they be recognized as official representatives of the Congress. The house of Christopher Billop on Staten Island was selected to be the meeting place, it had been occ
Hugh Mercer was a Scottish soldier and physician. He served with the Jacobite forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie, with the British forces during the Seven Years' War, but became a brigadier general in the Continental Army and a close friend to George Washington. Mercer died as a result of his wounds received at the Battle of Princeton and became a fallen hero as well as a rallying symbol of the American Revolution. Mercer was born near Rosehearty, at the manse of Pitsligo Kirk, Scotland, to Church of Scotland minister Reverend William Mercer of Pitsligo Parish Kirk and Ann Monro. At 15, he attended the University of Aberdeen, Marischal College, studying medicine and graduated a Doctor, he was assistant surgeon in the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745, was present at the Battle of Culloden when Charles' army was crushed on 16 April 1746, many survivors were hunted down and killed. As a fugitive in his own homeland in 1747, Mercer fled Scotland after months in hiding, he bought his way onto a ship and moved to America, settling near what is now Mercersburg and practiced medicine for eight years.
In 1755, when General Edward Braddock's army was cut down by the French and Indians during the first British attempt to take Fort Duquesne, Mercer was shocked by the same butchery he remembered at Culloden. He came to the aid of the wounded and took up arms in support of the army that a few years prior had hunted him, this time as a soldier, not a surgeon. By 1756, he was commissioned a captain in a Pennsylvania regiment, accompanied Lt. Col. John Armstrong's expedition on the raid of the Indian village of Kitanning in September 1756. During the attack, Mercer was badly separated from his unit, he trekked 100 miles through the woods for fourteen days and with no supplies, until he found his way back to Fort Shirley, where he was recognized and promoted. He rose to the rank of commanded garrisons, it was during this period that Mercer developed a lifelong and warm friendship with another colonel, George Washington. Both Washington and Mercer served under British General John Forbes during the second attempt to capture Fort Duquesne.
Forbes occupied the burned fort on 25 November 1758. Forbes ordered the construction of a new fortification to be named Fort Pitt, after British Secretary of State William Pitt the Elder, he named the settlement between the rivers "Pittsburgh", modern Pittsburgh. Forbes's health, poor for much of the campaign, began a rapid decline during his occupation of Fort Pitt. On 3 December 1758, now gravely ill, Forbes began the arduous journey back to Philadelphia leaving Colonel Hugh Mercer in command of Fort Pitt. General Forbes died in Philadelphia on 11 March 1759, he was buried in Christ Church in Philadelphia. Mercer's first task was to construct a temporary fort to hold the two forks of the Ohio in case the French were able to execute their plans to return in the Spring of 1759. Drawings of the time call this temporary fortification "Mercer's Fort." It stood at the site of what is today a parking lot between Point State Park and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Building. After befriending several Virginia men, Mercer moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1760 to begin his medical practice anew at the conclusion of the war.
When Mercer arrived in Fredericksburg, it was a thriving Scottish community that must have been a happy sanctuary for a Scotsman who could never again see his homeland. He became a noted businessman in town, buying land and involving himself in local trade, he became a member of the Fredericksburg Masonic Lodge in 1767, sat as its Master a few years later. Two members of this same lodge and James Monroe, would become American Presidents, at least eight members were generals of the American Revolution Soon after this, Mercer opened a physician's apothecary and practice, his apothecary in Fredericksburg, Virginia is now a museum. George Washington's mother, Mary Washington, became one of Mercer's patients, Mercer prospered as a respected doctor in the area. Mercer married Isabella Gordon and fathered five children: Ann Mercer Patton, John Mercer, William Mercer, George Weedon Mercer, Hugh Tennant Mercer. In 1774, George Washington sold Ferry Farm, his childhood home, to Mercer, who wanted to make this prized land into a town where he and his family would settle for the remainder of his days.
During 1775, Mercer was a member of the Fredericksburg Committee of Safety, on 25 April he was one of the members of the Independent Company of the Town of Fredericksburg who sent a letter of concern to then-Colonel George Washington when the British removed gunpowder from the magazine at Williamsburg. In an August vote, Mercer was excluded from the elected leadership of the new regiments formed by the Virginia Convention because he was a "northern Briton," but on 12 September he was elected Colonel of the Minute Men of Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline Counties. On 17 November Mercer was one of 21 members chosen for the Committee of Safety of Spotsylvania County. On 11 January 1776, Mercer was appointed colonel to what soon became the 3rd Virginia Regiment of the Virginia Line, the next day George Weedon was appointed lieutenant colonel. Future president James Monroe and future Chief Justice of the United States John Marshall served as officers under his command. In June 1776 Mercer received a letter from the Continental Congress, signe
Hesse or Hessia the State of Hesse, is a federal state of the Federal Republic of Germany, with just over six million inhabitants. The state capital is Wiesbaden; as a cultural region, Hesse includes the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The German name Hessen, like the name of other German regions is derived from the dative plural form of the name of the inhabitants or eponymous tribe, the Hessians, short for the older compound name Hessenland; the Old High German form of the name is recorded as Hessun, in Middle Latin as Hassia, Hassonia. The name of the Hessians continues the tribal name of the Chatti; the ancient name Chatti by the 7th century is recorded as Chassi, from the 8th century as Hassi or Hessi. An inhabitant of Hesse is called a "Hessian"; the American English term Hessian for 18th-century British auxiliary troops originates with Landgrave Frederick II of Hesse-Cassel hiring out regular army units to the government of Great Britain to fight in the American Revolutionary War.
The English form Hesse is in common use by the 18th century, first in the hyphenated names Hesse-Cassel and Hesse-Darmstadt, but the latinate form Hessia remains in common English usage well into the 19th century. The German term Hessen is used by the European Commission in English-language contexts because their policy is to leave regional names untranslated; the synthetic element hassium, number 108 on the periodic table, was named after the state of Hesse in 1997, following a proposal of 1992. The territory of Hesse was delineated only as Greater Hesse, under American occupation, it corresponds only loosely to the medieval Landgraviate of Hesse. In the 19th century, prior to the unification of Germany, the territory of what is now Hesse comprised the territories of Grand Duchy of Hesse, the Duchy of Nassau, the free city of Frankfurt and the Electorate of Hesse; the Central Hessian region was inhabited in the Upper Paleolithic. Finds of tools in southern Hesse in Rüsselsheim suggest the presence of Pleistocene hunters about 13,000 years ago.
A fossil hominid skull, found in northern Hesse, just outside the village of Rhünda, has been dated at 12,000 years ago. The Züschen tomb is a prehistoric burial monument, located between Lohne and Züschen, near Fritzlar, Germany. Classified as a gallery grave or a Hessian-Westphalian stone cist, it is one of the most important megalithic monuments in Central Europe. Dating to c. 3000 BC, it belongs to the Late Neolithic Wartberg culture. An early Celtic presence in what is now Hesse is indicated by a mid-5th-century BC La Tène-style burial uncovered at Glauberg; the region was settled by the Germanic Chatti tribe around the 1st century BC, the name Hesse is a continuation of that tribal name. The ancient Romans had a military camp in Dorlar, in Waldgirmes directly on the eastern outskirts of Wetzlar was a civil settlement under construction; the provincial government for the occupied territories of the right bank of Germania was planned at this location. The governor of Germania, at least temporarily had resided here.
The settlement appears to have been abandoned by the Romans after the devastating Battle of the Teutoburg Forest failed in the year AD 9. The Chatti were involved in the Revolt of the Batavi in AD 69. Hessia, from the early 7th century on, served as a buffer between areas dominated by the Saxons and the Franks, who brought the area to the south under their control in the early sixth century and occupied Thuringia in 531. Hessia occupies the northwestern part of the modern German state of Hesse, its geographic center is Fritzlar. To the west, it occupies the valleys of the Rivers Lahn, it measured 90 kilometers north-south, 80 north-west. The area around Fritzlar shows evidence of significant pagan belief from the 1st century on. Geismar was a particular focus of such activity. Excavations have produced bronze artifacts. A possible religious cult may have centered on a natural spring in Geismar, called Heilgenbron; the village of Maden, now a part of Gudensberg near Fritzlar and less than ten miles from Geismar, was an ancient religious center.
By the mid-7th century, the Franks had established themselves as overlords, suggested by archeological evidence of burials, they built fortifications in various places, including Christenberg. By 690, they took direct control over Hessia to counteract expansion by the Saxons, who built fortifications in Gaulskopf and Eresburg across the River Diemel, the northern boundary of Hessia; the Büraburg
Burdett's Landing called Burdett's Ferry, is a site on the west bank of the Hudson River located in Edgewater, New Jersey. Ferries used Burdett's Landing as a departure point for transporting agricultural produce from New Jersey across to New York. In the Revolutionary War it played a role in the movement of American supplies and soldiers, in the 19th century it served as a landing for steamboats. There is no longer a ferry service at the landing. Burdett's Landing lay adjacent to a 250-foot bluff known as Mt. Constitution, now known as Fort Lee Historic Park; the bluff slopes downward on levels out sufficiently to make access practical. Burdett's Landing was created here in a small cove. A 1900 history described it as lying at "the bottom of a clove giving easy access to the top of the Palisades and at the outlet of a small watercourse known as Dead Brook." The landing no longer exists, the property lies in the current Edgewater Colony, an organization which owns all land cooperatively. A plaque beside the Edgewater Colony's meeting hall, located about 100 feet from the original site, commemorates Burdett's Landing.
The Lenni Lenape of the Algonquian nation were present in the vicinity prior to the founding of Burdett's Landing and appear to have lived in the area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. Their presence diminished as contact with colonists led to illnesses and loss of their traditional lands through encroachment. In the mid-18th century the land which would become Burdett's Landing was owned by a freed slave, who had received it in exchange for his work shoring up a road to the top of the bluff with several hundred yards of retaining wall. Stephen Bourdette, a New York merchant of Huguenot heritage, purchased 400 acres in the Fort Lee/Edgewater vicinity from the freedman in 1756, he built a gambrel-roofed stone house in a forest clearing at the bottom of the gorge, moved his father named Étienne Bourdette, into the residence. Stephen Bourdette's parcel of land gained access to outlying areas via the Hackensack Turnpike, a route followed today north and south by Hudson Terrace and a section River Road, connecting with Main Street in Fort Lee for destinations to the west.
A stage line ran from the landing to Hackensack via Leonia. For commerce with travelers, Bourdette founded a trading ferry service. In 1758 he began ferrying goods and people from a protected area of shoreline on the Hudson River in periaugas; these were row-and-sail vessels with a shallow draft, capable of carrying heavy loads. Burdett's Landing was used by farmers sending their products across to the Bloomingdale section of Manhattan, which at that time was the west side of New York between 23rd and 125th Streets, he is noted as operating sloops to various points and a row-and-sail ferry to about 152nd Street in Manhattan. Stephen's brother, Peter, a farmer, living in Hackensack, came to Burdett's Landing with his wife in about 1760 to look after Étienne, Senior, in his old age; the father died at 80, Stephen gave the property to Peter "several years before the war." General George Washington issued orders to General Mercer to summon all available troops and erect a fort on the west side of the Hudson River.
The land to which Washington referred lay on the Bourdette property. Construction commenced in July 1776 on the new fort, it was located on the western side of the road. Concurrently, Fort Washington was being built directly across the river in New York. At first efforts were concentrated close to the water level near the Bourdette dwelling. Fortifications were added atop the bluff under the supervision of Joseph Philips, Battalion Commander of the New Jersey State Militia; the Bourdette's ferry service was taken over by the Army, Peter Bourdette was forced to vacate his house. At the end of September 1776, Fort Constitution was renamed Fort Lee, for General Charles Lee of the Continental Army. George Washington used the stone Bourdette house for his headquarters when he passed time at Fort Lee. At this stage of the war the ferry operated as a supply line and the only link between Forts Lee and Washington; the Ferry was the site of a minor skirmish on October 27th, 1776, between two British frigates on the North River and various Colonial units in the area.
The British came up the river either to attack the Ferry or to support their ground forces on Harlem Plain. However, they did little or no damage to the colonials, while one of the British ships was damaged by artillery on York Island before they withdrew. Peter Bourdette's sixteen-year-old son named Peter, provided assistance to the American war effort by direct use of the landing. During the week leading up to the evacuation of Fort Lee he rowed back and forth across the river gathering information for General Washington on the anticipated movements of the British forces. Well after dark on the night before the battle for New York at Fort Washington, George Washington was rowed from Burdett's Landing to the middle of the Hudson River for a strategy session with his senior officers in charge of New York, who rowed to meet him. On November 16, 1776 George Washington witnessed the battle for New York from across the river on the bluff of Fort Lee, above Burdett's Landing. General Washington ordered the retreat from Fort Lee on November 20, which left the B
Turtle was the world's first submersible vessel with a documented record of use in combat. It was built in 1775 by American David Bushnell as a means of attaching explosive charges to ships in a harbor, for use against Royal Navy vessels occupying North American harbors during the American Revolutionary War. Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull recommended the invention to George Washington, who provided funds and support for the development and testing of the machine. Several attempts were made using Turtle to affix explosives to the undersides of British warships in New York Harbor in 1776. All failed, her transport ship was sunk that year by the British with the submarine aboard. Bushnell claimed to have recovered the machine, but its final fate is unknown. Modern replicas of Turtle have been constructed and are on display in the Connecticut River Museum, the U. S. Navy's Submarine Force Library and Museum, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, the Oceanographic Museum; the American inventor David Bushnell made the idea of a submersible vessel for use in lifting the British naval blockade during the American War of Independence.
Bushnell may have begun studying underwater explosions while at Yale College. By early 1775, he had created a reliable method for detonating underwater explosives, a clockwork connected to a musket firing mechanism a flintlock, adapted for the purpose. After the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, Bushnell began work near Old Saybrook on a small, individually-manned submersible designed to attach an explosive charge to the hull of an enemy ship, which, he wrote Benjamin Franklin, would be, "Constructed with Great Simplicity and upon Principles of Natural Philosophy."Little is known about the origin and influences for Bushnell's invention. It seems clear Bushnell knew of the work of the Dutch inventor Cornelius Drebbel. According to Dr. Benjamin Gale, a doctor who taught at Yale, the many brass and mechanical parts of the submarine were built by the New Haven clock-maker, silversmith, brass manufacturer and inventor Isaac Doolittle, whose shop was just a half block from Yale. Though Bushnell is given the overall design credit for the Turtle by Gale and others, Doolittle was well known as an "ingenious mechanic", metalworker.
He had both designed and manufactured complicated brass-wheel hall-clocks, a mahogany printing-press in 1769, brass compasses, surveying instruments. He founded and owned a brass foundry where he cast bells. At the start of the American Revolution, the wealthy and patriotic Doolittle built a gunpowder mill with two partners in New Haven to support the war, was sent by the Connecticut government to prospect for lead. Though the design of the Turtle was shrouded in secrecy, based on his mechanical engineering expertise and previous experience in design and manufacturing, it seems Doolittle designed and crafted the brass and the moving parts of the Turtle, including the propulsion system, the navigation instruments, the brass foot operated water-ballast and forcing pumps, the depth gauge and compass, the brass crown hatch, the clockwork detonator for the mine, the hand operated propeller crank and foot-driven treadle with flywheel. According to a letter from Dr. Benjamin Gale to Benjamin Franklin, Doolittle designed the mine attachment mechanism, "those Parts which Conveys the Powder, secures the same to the Bottom of the Ship".
The most important innovation in the Turtle was the propeller, as it was the first known use of one in a watercraft: it was described as an "oar for rowing forward or backward", with "no precedent" design and in a letter by Dr. Benjamin Gale to Silas Dean as "a pair of oars fixed like the two opposite arms of a windmill" and as "two oars or paddles" that were "like the arms of a windmill...twelve inches long, about four wide." As it was brass, it was thus designed and forged by Doolittle. Doolittle likely provided the scarce commodities of gunpowder and lead ballast as well; the wealthy Doolittle, nearly 20 years older than the Yale student Bushnell, was a founder and long time Warden of Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green, was in charge of New Haven's port inspection and beacon-alarm systems – suggesting that Doolittle provided much of the political and financial leadership in building the Turtle as well as its brass and moving parts. In making the hull, Bushnell enlisted the services of several skilled artisans, including his brother the farmer Ezra Bushnell and ship's carpenter Phineas Pratt, like David Bushnell, from Saybrook.
The hull was "constructed of oak, somewhat like a barrel and bound by heavy wrought-iron hoops." The shape of the hull, Gale informed Silas Deane, "has the nearest resemblance to the two upper shells of a Tortoise joined together." Named for its shape, Turtle resembled a large clam as much as a turtle. It dived by allowing water into a bilge tank at the bottom of the vessel and ascended by pushing water out through a hand pump, it was propelled vertically and horizontally by hand-cranked propellers. It had 200 pounds of lead aboard, which could be released in a moment to increase buoyancy. Manned and operated by one person, the vessel contained enough air for about thirty minutes and had a speed in calm water of about 3 mph. Six small pieces of thick glass in the top of the submarine provided natural light; the i
Battle of White Plains
The Battle of White Plains was a battle in the New York and New Jersey campaign of the American Revolutionary War fought on October 28, 1776, near White Plains, New York. Following the retreat of George Washington's Continental Army northward from New York City, British General William Howe landed troops in Westchester County, intending to cut off Washington's escape route. Alerted to this move, Washington retreated farther, establishing a position in the village of White Plains but failed to establish firm control over local high ground. Howe's troops drove Washington's troops from a hill near the village. British movements chased Washington across New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. Washington crossed the Delaware and surprised a brigade of Hessian troops in the December 26 Battle of Trenton. British General William Howe, after evacuating Boston in March 1776, regrouped in Halifax, Nova Scotia, embarked in June on a campaign to gain control of New York City; the campaign began with an unopposed landing on Staten Island in early July.
British troops made another unopposed landing on Long Island on August 22, south of the areas where General George Washington's Continental Army had organized significant defenses around Brooklyn Heights. After losing the Battle of Long Island on August 27, General Washington and his army of 9,000 troops escaped on the night of August 29–30 to York Island. General Howe followed up with a landing on Manhattan on September 15, but his advance was checked the next day at Harlem Heights. After an abortive landing at Throg's Neck, he landed troops with some resistance at Pell's Point on October 18 to begin an encircling maneuver, intended to trap Washington's army between that force, his troops in Manhattan, the Hudson River, dominated by warships of the Royal Navy. Howe established a camp at New Rochelle, but advance elements of his army were near Mamaroneck, only 7 miles from White Plains, where there was a defended Continental Army supply depot. On October 20, General Washington sent Colonel Rufus Putnam out on a reconnaissance mission from his camp at Harlem Heights.
Putnam discovered the general placement of the British troop locations and recognized the danger to the army and its supplies. When he reported this to Washington that evening, Washington dispatched Putnam with orders to Lord Stirling, whose troops were furthest north, to march to White Plains, they arrived at White Plains at 9 am on October 21, were followed by other units of the army as the day progressed. Washington decided to withdraw most of the army to White Plains, leaving a garrison of 1,200 men under Nathanael Greene to defend Fort Washington on Manhattan. General Howe's army advanced with troops from his center and right moving along the road from New Rochelle to White Plains, while a unit of Loyalists occupied Mamaroneck; the latter was attacked that night by a detachment of Lord Stirling's troops under John Haslet, who took more than thirty prisoners as well as supplies, but suffered several killed and 15 wounded. As a result, Howe moved elements of his right wing to occupy Mamaroneck.
On October 22, Howe was reinforced by the landing at New Rochelle of an additional 8,000 troops under the command of Wilhelm von Knyphausen. Washington established his headquarters at the Elijah Miller House in North White Plains on October 23, chose a defensive position that he fortified with two lines of entrenchments; the trenches were situated on raised terrain, protected on the right by the swampy ground near the Bronx River, with steeper hills further back as a place of retreat. The American defenses were 3 miles long. Beyond that, on the right, was Chatterton's Hill, which commanded the plain over which the British would have to advance; the hill was occupied by militia companies numbering several hundred including John Brooks' Massachusetts militia company. On October 24 and 25, Howe's army moved from New Rochelle to Scarsdale, where they established a camp covering the eastern bank of the Bronx River; this move was made in the hopes of catching Charles Lee's column, which had to alter its route toward White Plains and execute a forced march at night to avoid them.
Howe remained at Scarsdale until the morning of October 28, when his forces marched toward White Plains, with British troops on the right under General Henry Clinton, Hessian troops on the left under General von Heister. While Washington was inspecting the terrain to determine where it was best to station his troops, messengers alerted him that the British were advancing. Returning to his headquarters, he ordered the 2nd Connecticut Regiment under Joseph Spencer out to slow the British advance, sent Haslet and the 1st Delaware Regiment, along with Alexander McDougall's brigade to reinforce Chatterton Hill. Spencer's force advanced to a position on the old York road at Hart's corners and there exchanged fire with the Hessians led by Colonel Johann Rall that were at the head of the British left column; when Clinton's column threatened their flank, these companies were forced into a retreat across the Bronx River, orderly with pauses to fire from behind stone walls while fire from the troops on Chatterton Hill covered their move, but turned into a rout with the appearance of dragoons.
Rall's troops attempted to gain the hill, but were repelled by fire from Haslet's troops and the militia, retreated to a nearby hilltop on the same side of
Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; the unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government, based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover; the early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746.
In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, to become the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. The Kingdom of Great Britain was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801 with the Acts of Union 1800; the name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used in 1474; the use of the word "Great" before "Britain" originates in the French language, which uses Bretagne for both Britain and Brittany. French therefore distinguishes between the two by calling Britain la Grande Bretagne, a distinction, transferred into English; the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain".
Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it came into being in 1801. The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain; the term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name. The kingdoms of England and Scotland, both in existence from the 9th century, were separate states until 1707. However, they had come into a personal union in 1603, when James VI of Scotland became king of England under the name of James I; this Union of the Crowns under the House of Stuart meant that the whole of the island of Great Britain was now ruled by a single monarch, who by virtue of holding the English crown ruled over the Kingdom of Ireland. Each of the three kingdoms maintained laws.
Various smaller islands were in the king's domain, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This disposition changed when the Acts of Union 1707 came into force, with a single unified Crown of Great Britain and a single unified parliament. Ireland remained formally separate, with its own parliament, until the Acts of Union 1800; the Union of 1707 provided for a Protestant-only succession to the throne in accordance with the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The Act of Settlement required that the heir to the English throne be a descendant of the Electress Sophia of Hanover and not be a Catholic. Legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. In practice it was a continuation of the English parliament, sitting at the same location in Westminster, expanded to include representation from Scotland; as with the former Parliament of England and the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Great Britain was formally constituted of three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Crown.
The right of the English peerage to sit in the House of Lords remained unchanged, while the disproportionately large Scottish peerage was permitted to send only 16 representative peers, elected from amongst their number for the life of each parliament. The members of the former English House of Commons continued as members of the British House of Commons, but as a reflection of the relative tax bases of the two countries the number of Scottish representatives was reduced to 45. Newly created peers in the Peerage of Great Britain were given the automatic right to sit in the Lords. Despite the end of a separate parliament for Scotland, it retained its own laws and system of courts, As its own established Presbyterian Church, control over its own schools; the social structure was hierarchical, the same elite remain in control after 1707. Scotland continued to have its own excellent universities, with the strong intellectual community in Edinburgh, The Scottish Enlightenment had a major impact on British and European thinking.
As a result of Poynings' Law of 1495, the Parliament of Ireland was subordinate to the Parliament of England, after 1707 to the Parliament of Great Britain. The Westminster parliament's Declaratory Act 1719 (also called the Dependency of Ireland