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The Paris Peace Treaty (Sept. 3rd, 1783)
Freedom Shrine Documents
(Great Britain recognizes the independence of the United States)
In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity.
His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and independent states, that he treats with them as such, and for himself, his heirs, and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety, and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof.
And that all disputes which might arise in future on the subject of the boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared, that the following are and shall be their boundaries, viz.; from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz., that nagle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of St. Croix River to the highlands; along the said highlands which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River; thence down along the middle of that river to the forty-fifth degree of north latitude; from thence by a line due west on said latitude until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraquy; thence along the middle of said river into Lake Ontario; through the middle of said lake until it strikes the communication by water between that lake and Lake Erie; thence along the middle of said communication into Lake Erie, through the middle of said lake until it arrives at the water communication between that lake and Lake Huron; thence along the middle of said water communication into Lake Huron, thence through the middle of said lake to the water communication between that lake and Lake Superior; thence through Lake Superior northward of the Isles Royal and Phelipeaux to the Long Lake; thence through the middle of said Long Lake and the water communication between it and the Lake of the Woods, to the said Lake of the Woods; thence through the said lake to the most northwesternmost point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the river Mississippi; thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of the said river Mississippi until it shall intersect the northernmost part of the thirty-first degree of north latitude, South, by a line to be drawn due east from the determination of the line last mentioned in the latitude of thirty-one degrees of the equator, to the middle of the river Apalachicola or Catahouche; thence along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint River, thence straight to the head of Saint Mary's River; and thence down along the middle of Saint Mary's River to the Atlantic Ocean; east, by a line to be drawn along the middle of the river Saint Croix, from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy to its source, and from its source directly north tothe aforesaid highlands which divide the rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which fall into the river Saint Lawrence; comprehending all islands within twenty leagues of any part of the shores of the United States, and lying between lines to be drawn due east from the points where the aforesaid boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one part and East Florida on the other shall, respectively, touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean, excepting such islands as now are or heretofore have been within the limits of the said province of Nova Scotia.
It is agreed that the people of the United States shall
continue to enjoy unmolested the right to take fish of every kind on the Grand Bank and on
all the other banks of Newfoundland, also in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and at all other
places in the sea, where the inhabitants of both countries used at any time heretofore to
fish. And also that the inhabitants of the United States shall have liberty to take fish
of every kind on such part of the
It is agreed that creditors on either side shall meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value in sterling money of all bona fide debts heretofore contracted.
It is agreed that Congress shall earnestly recommend it to
the legislatures of the respective states to provide for the restitution of all estates,
rights, and properties, which have been confiscated belonging to real British subjects;
and also of the estates, rights, and properties of persons resident in districts in the
possession on his Majesty's arms and who have not borne arms against the said United
States. And that persons of any other decription shall have free liberty to go to any part
or parts of any of the thirteen United States and therein to remain twelve months
unmolested in their endeavors to obtain the restitution of such of their estates, rights,
and properties as may have been confiscated; and that Congress shall also earnestly
recommend to the several states a reconsideration and revision of all acts or laws
regarding the premises, so as to render the said laws or acts perfectly consistent not
only with justice and equity but with that spirit of conciliation which on the return of
the blessings of peace should universally prevail. And that Congress shall also earnestly
recommend to the several states that the estates, rights, and properties, of such last
mentioned persons shall be restored to them, they refunding to any persons who may be now
in possession the bona fide price (where any has been given) which such persons may have
paid on purchasing any of the said lands, rights, or properties since the confiscation.
That there shall be no future confiscations made nor any prosecutions commenced against any person or persons for, or by reason of, the part which he or they may have taken in the present war, and that no person shall on that account suffer any future loss or damage, either in his person, liberty, or property; and that those who may be in confinement on such charges at the time of the ratification of the treaty in America shall be immediately set at liberty, and the prosecutions so commenced be discontinued.
There shall be a firm and perpetual peace
between his Brittanic Majesty and the said states, and between the subjects of the one and
the citizens of the other, wherefore all hostilities both by sea and land shall from
henceforth cease. All prisoners on both sides shall be set at liberty, and his Brittanic
Majesty shall with all convenient speed, and without causing any destruction, or carrying
away any Negroes or other property of the American inhabitants, withdraw all his armies,
garrisons, and fleets from the said United States, and from every post, place, and harbor
within the same; leaving in all fortifications, the American artilery that may be therein;
and shall also order and cause all archives, records, deeds, and papers belonging to any
of the said states,
The navigation of the river Mississippi, from its source to the ocean, shall forever remain free and open to the subjects of Great Britain and the citizens of the United States.
In case it should so happen that any place or territory belonging to Great Britain or to the United States should have been conquered by the arms of either from the other before the arrival of the said Provisional Articles in America, it is agreed that the same shall be restored without difficulty and without requiring any compensation.
The solemn ratifications of the present treaty expedited in
good and due form shall be exchanged between the
Done at Paris, this third day of September in
the year of our Lord,
D. HARTLEY (SEAL)