Press/Journalists

Media Alert
August 18, 2008

For Media Only:  Sneak Peek at Treaty of Paris

This treaty, signed on September 3, 1783, between the American colonies and Great Britain, ended the American Revolution and formally recognized the United States as an independent nation.

Treaty of Paris, 1783; International Treaties and Related Records, 1778-1974; General Records of the United States Government, Record Group 11; National Archives.

WHAT:  Only opportunity for the media to view and photograph the original Treaty of Paris and other milestone documents, before the Treaty goes on special display August 29 through September 3 to commemorate the 225th anniversary of its signing. The Treaty and accompanying documents will then become part of a new exhibition entitled 1783:  Subject or Citizen? opening Friday, October 3.

Highlights of the preview include:

  • Definitive Treaty of Peace between United States and Great Britain, September 3, 1783. The agreement marked both the official end of the Revolutionary War and the beginning of new lives for all North Americans;

  • Preliminary Treaty of Peace between United States and Great Britain, November 30, 1782, that addressed sensitive issues of boundaries, fishing rights, and compensation;

  • Thomas Jefferson’s Report to the Committee Concerning Western Lands, March 1, 1784;

  • A 1775 map of the British colonies in North America that includes Benjamin Franklin’s handwritten boundary lines.

WHEN: Press Preview:  10 AM Thursday, August 21, 2008. Breakfast begins at 9:30 AM

Document Display:  The Treaty of Paris will be on view to the public Friday, August 29 through Wednesday, September 3, to mark the September 3 anniversary of the document’s signing.

Exhibition1783:  Subject or Citizen, will be on display October 3, 2008 through January 25, 2009.

WHERE:  Room 105, National Archives Building,
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
Please use the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance.

See our Visitor's Map for more information.

Please Note: No Artificial Light May Be Used.

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.

The Treaty of Paris is arguably one of the most important documents in American history – it formally ended the American Revolution and established the United States as an independent and sovereign nation.

The new exhibition, 1783:  Subject or Citizen? reveals the untold story of the Treaty of Paris and marks the first time the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States and Library and Archives Canada have collaborated on an international exhibition.

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For more information, the media may contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

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