Townsend Harris was the first Consul General of the United States to Japan, and the founder of the City University of New York (CUNY). He is particularly known for the US-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce, also known as the Harris Treaty.
Following Commodore Perry's 1854 Convention of Kanagawa, a US consulate was established at Shimoda. Harris arrived there in August 1856, and became the first US consul general resident in Japan. After roughly two years of negotiations and difficulties, on July 29, 1858, he was finally able to convince the Tokugawa shogunate to agree to a treaty, opening a number of ports to US trade, and granting Americans a degree of extraterritoriality, among other points.
- Dower, John. "Yokohama Boomtown: Foreigners in Treaty Port Japan (1859-1872)." MIT Visualizing Cultures. 2008.