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Press Release
May 27, 2008

National Archives to Display the Treaty of Paris August 29 - September 3

Celebration of the Treaty’s 225th Anniversary

Washington, DC…In celebration of the 225th anniversary of the Treaty of Paris, the National Archives presents a special document display that includes the original Treaty that ended the American Revolution and resulted in the reshaping of modern North America. To mark the September 3 anniversary of the document’s signing, the display will be on view from August 29-September 3 in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building, which is located on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW, and is open from 10 AM to 7 PM daily. Admission is free, and the building is fully accessible.

This document display is in connection with a National Archives exhibition titled: 1783:  Subject or Citizen?, an international exhibition featuring the collections of the National Archives and Library and Archives Canada. The exhibition opens in Washington, DC, on October 3, and runs through January 25, 2009, in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery. 1783: Subject or Citizen? incorporates 60 archival treasures from the vaults of both institutions, including the rarely displayed 1783 Treaty of Paris which is from the U.S. National Archives. The multi-media exhibit includes audio interactives and 18th-century maps, books, paintings, and letters that tell the story of the individuals living during a time of unprecedented change.

Background

The American Revolution (1775–83) divided North Americans, forcing them to make the life-altering choice of whether to remain subjects to the King or become citizens of an independent republic. The revolution divided British American families along political lines and raised equally powerful questions for those not of English origin, pitting First Nations peoples against each other, courting the loyalty of French-speaking North Americans, and raising the hopes of African slaves.

In France, war-weary American and British negotiators met to negotiate peace. Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and John Adams locked horns with their British counterparts over issues such as boundaries, fishing rights and financial compensation. The agreement they reached, the Treaty of Paris, signed September 3, 1783, formally ended the Revolutionary War and established the United States as an independent and sovereign nation. It also provided the foundation for what was to become the Canadian nation.

For information on National Archives Public Programs, call 202-357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events online.

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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