Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War between Great
Britain and the United States, recognized American independence
and established borders for the new nation. After the British
defeat at Yorktown, peace talks in Paris began in April 1782
between Richard Oswarld representing Great Britain and the
American Peace Commissioners Benjamin Franklin, John Jay,
and John Adams. The American negotiators were joined by Henry
Laurens two days before the preliminary articles of peace
were signed on November 30, 1782. The Treaty of Paris, formally
ending the war, was not signed until September 3, 1783. The
Continental Congress, which was temporarily situated in Annapolis,
Maryland, at the time, ratified the Treaty of Paris on January
Library of Congress Web Site | External
Web Sites | Selected Bibliography
Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation
This collection contains congressional publications from 1774 to 1875, including the following references to the Treaty of Paris in the Journals of the Continental Congress:
- April 11, 1783 - The
Continental Congress issued a proclamation "Declaring
the cessation of arms" against Great Britain.
- April 15, 1783 - The preliminary
articles of peace were approved by Congress.
- January 14, 1784 - The Treaty of Paris was ratified by Congress.
Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United
States, a six-volume set, includes a wide variety
of documents related to the peace negotiations with Great
Britain during the American Revolution, as well as biographical
information on the American Peace Commissioners Benjamin Franklin, John Adams,
and John Jay.
A selection of items related to the peace negotiations include:
Adams kept a journal of the peace negotiations that is
included in this set. Adams's entry for November
30, 1782, discussed the signing of the preliminary
articles of peace.
- After the signing of the Treaty of Paris, John
Adams informed Congress in a letter dated September
5, 1783, that "On Wednesday, the 3d day of this month,
the American ministers met the British minister at his
lodgings at the Hôtel de York, and signed, sealed,
and delivered the definitive treaty of peace between the
United States of America and the King of Great Britain."
Franklin, and Jay sent another letter to Congress
on September 10, 1783, formally announcing that the definitive
peace treaty had been signed.
the Journals of the Continental Congress
and The Revolutionary Diplomatic
Correspondence of the United States to locate
additional information on the negotiations and ratification
of the Treaty of Paris.
American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and
Other Printed Ephemera
The Printed Ephemera collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history.
from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention
This collection contains 277 documents relating to the work of Congress and the drafting and ratification of the Constitution. Items include extracts of the journals of Congress, resolutions, proclamations, committee reports, and treaties.
Washington Papers at the Library of Congress
The complete George Washington Papers collection from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 65,000 documents.
- George Washington's copy of the Preliminary
Articles of Peace between the United States and Great
Britain, which were signed in Paris on November 30, 1782.
- On April 18, 1783, Washington issued General
Orders to the Continental Army announcing the "Cessation
of Hostilities between the United States of America and
the King of Great Britain."
Washington's papers to find additional documents related
to the American Revolution and the end of the war.
Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress
The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 27,000 documents. On November 12, 1782, Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson
as an additional commissioner to join John Adams, Benjamin
Franklin, John Jay and Henry Laurens in Europe to negotiate
a peace treaty with Great Britain. Winter weather delayed
Jefferson's departure, and Congress eventually withdrew
the appointment on April 1, 1783.
papers contain numerous documents related to the peace negotiations
with Great Britain:
- United States Congress to American Peace Commissioners, August 1782, Instructions; Fisheries; Indian Affairs; Canada; with Copy
- United States Congress to American Peace Commissioners, August 1782, "Report of Instructions to Ministers for Negotiating Peace"
- United States Congress Peace Treaty Commission, April 1, 1783, Resolution Releasing Thomas Jefferson from Appointment as Peace Commissioner
- United States Congress to American Peace Commissioners, October 29, 1783, Instructions to Negotiate Peace
Jefferson recounted the events surrounding the ratification
of the Treaty of Paris by Congress in his Autobiography
Draft Fragment, in which his entry for January 14,
1784, states that "Delegates from Connecticut having
attended yesterday, and another from S. Carolina coming
in this day, the treaty was ratified without a dissenting
Back in Time: The Continental Congress Ratified the Treaty
of Paris, January 14, 1784
Franklin: In His Own Words
An online exhibition that indicates the depth and breadth
of Benjamin Franklin's public, professional, and scientific
accomplishments through important documents, letters,
books, broadsides, and cartoons. This exhibition includes
a section on the Treaty
Creating the United States
This online exhibition offers insights into how the nation’s founding documents were forged and the role that imagination and vision played in the unprecedented creative act of forming a self–governing country. The section Creating the Declaration of Independence: Peace contains a copy of the Preliminary Articles of Peace, November 30, 1782.
Bull & Uncle Sam: The American Revolution
This exhibition includes a map used by the British and
American peace negotiators in Paris in the fall of 1782
to delineate the boundaries of the original territory
that became the United States.
Congress ratified preliminary articles of peace ending
the Revolutionary War with Great Britain on April 15,
On September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed,
bringing the Revolutionary War to its final conclusion.
Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris on January
14, 1784, officially establishing the United States as in
independent and sovereign nation.
Originals II, The Treaty of Paris, National Archives
and Records Administration
Documents, Treaty of Paris, National Archives and Records
Paris Peace Treaty of 1783 and Associated Documents,
Avalon Project at Yale Law School
Treaty of Paris, The Lehrman Institute
of Paris, Department of State
Bemis, Samuel F. The Diplomacy of
the American Revolution. Bloomington: Indiana University
Press, 1957. [Catalog Record]
Dull, Jonathan R. A Diplomatic History
of the American Revolution. New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1985. [Catalog Record]
Hoffman, Ronald, and Peter J. Albert, eds. Peace
and the Peacemakers: The Treaty of 1783. Charlottesville:
Published for the United States Capitol Historical Society
by the University Press of Virginia, 1986. [Catalog Record]
Morris, Richard Brandon. The Peacemakers:
The Great Powers and American Independence. New York:
Harper & Row, 1965. [Catalog Record]
Schiff, Stacy. A Great Improvisation:
Franklin, France, and the Birth of America. New York:
Henry Holt, 2005. [Catalog Record]
Schoenbrun, David. Triumph in Paris:
The Exploits of Benjamin Franklin. New York: Harper
& Row, 1976. [Catalog Record]
Jedson, Lee. The Treaty of Paris,
1783: A Primary Source Examination of the Treaty that Recognized
American Independence. New York: Rosen Pub. Group,
2006. [Catalog Record]