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The Arts: an Interdisciplinary Experience

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Washington and Lafayette at Mount Vernon

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The Painting

Washington and Lafayette at Mount Vernon


by Thomas Pritchard Rossiter (1818–1871) and Louis Remy Mignot. (1831–1870), 1859, oil painting,  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (The American Wing)
Photographs: John Toth, 1988-2007

1784 (The Home of Washington after the War), 1859

Bequest of William Nelson, 1905 (05.35)  ... 1859–1871; his wife and administratrix, Mary S. Rossiter, 1871–1873; sale, George A. Leavitt and Company, Clinton Hall Book Sale Rooms, New York, 5.

Metropolitan Museum of Art ,


George Washington (1732-1799) and

Martha Dandridge Custis (1731-1802) (Daniel and Francis died prior to their marriage)

Married Jan. 6, 1759:

Children: 2 step

Martha “Patsy” Custis, (1756-73) (17 yrs.)

John Parke Custis, (Nov. 27, 1755- Nov. 1781) (26 yrs.) who was called “Jacky”

Married: Feb 3, 1774

Eleanor Calvert (20’s?)(remarried Dr. David Stuart in 1783 and moved to Abington with two eldest daughters while the two youngest stayed at Mount Vernon)

Children: Five- seven

Eleanor Parke Custis (Nelly) (Lewis) and

George Washington Parke Custis (called “Wash” or “Tub”)

Children: 2 adopted

George and Martha adopted two of “Jacky’s” five children after his death in the war.

In 1784, Martha’s 15-year-old niece, Frances Basset, came to live at Mount Vernon. She married George’s nephew, Major George Augustine Washington, in 1785

George Washington (1732-1799)

George Washington, the first American President and Commander-in-Chief of the American forces during the American Revolutionary War, was born in Westmoreland county, Virginia in 1732. He did not have much of a formal education, but learned from nature and life, and proved to have a skill with mathematics and surveying. His first experience with war was as a commander during the French and Indian War. For a time afterwards he was a tobacco planter, but he soon learned that it did not pay. As the war with Great Britain approached, Washington, disgruntled with the British laws, entered the political and military realm and was elected one of the delegates to the First Continental Congress. Later he was elected, again, this time as Commander-in-Chief of the American army. As Commander-in-Chief, Washington built a large army, which he kept together and mobile, and prevented it from being destroyed by the British Army. As a result of his abilities during the war, Washington was unanimously elected the first president of the United States in 1789. 

At the time of this painting the ages of individuals

George Washington - 52 years old

Marquis de Lafayette -  27 years old

Martha Washington –  53 years old

Marie Lafayette -  (mid 20’s?)


Eleanor Parke Custis (Nelly) (Lewis) on Martha’s lap

George Washington Parke Custis (called “Wash” or “Tub”)

Young girl - house slave - ?

(Not in the painting: Martha “Patsy” Custis died in 1773 at the age of 17 yrs old.)

(Not in the painting: John Parke Custis, died in the war in1781 at 26 yrs old.)



Marquis de Lafayette (1754-1834) (80 yrs.) and

Marie Adrienne Francoise de Noailles (d. 1807)


Georges Washington Motier de La Fayette (1779–1849) (70 yrs.) (5 years old at time of painting)

Oscar Thomas Gilbert Motier de Lafayette and

two girls

Anastasie and


Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier  Lafayette, Marquis de (1754-1834)

The American Declaration of Independence inspired Lafayette to buy a ship and sail to America without official permission from France in 1777.  In America, he became an unpaid volunteer on George Washington’s staff.  He participated in the Battle of Brandywine in 1777 and soon became a major general.  While spending the winter in Valley Forge, he became close friends with Washington.  He continued to have military commands in 1778, but in 1779 went back to France to advocate the American cause.  He returned in 1780 bearing the news to Washington that the Comte de Rochambeau would bring French troops to assist him.  Lafayette next went to Virginia, where he battled Cornwallis until Cornwallis retreated to Yorktown.  After Yorktown, Lafayette was the “diplomatic aide-de-camp” to Benjamin Franklin in Paris and continued to voice American interests to the French government.  Lafayette had an illustrious and tumultuous political career in France during the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, Napoleon, and the Restoration Era, throughout which he defended his concept of liberty.

Washington & Lafayette

History of George Washington and General Lafayette


Mount Vernon: A Research Guide


1777, June 13. Lafayette arrives at Georgetown, South Carolina.

1777, July 31. Congress appoints Lafayette a Major General in the United States Army.

1777, Aug. 1. Lafayette is presented to George Washington at a dinner party in Philadelphia.

1777, Sept. 9-11. Both Lafayette and Washington fight at the Battle of Brandywine. Lafayette, who was not supposed be in combat, fought on the front lines and was shot in the leg.

1777, Dec. 1. Congress grants Lafayette a command in the United States Army.

1777-1778, winter. Both Lafayette and Washington survive the hard winter at Valley Forge with their troops.

1778, June 28. Lafayette and Washington both serve at the Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey.

1779, Dec. Lafayette names his newborn son George Washington Lafayette.

1781, Sept. 28-Oct. 19. Lafayette and Washington both fight at Yorktown where Cornwallis surrenders to Washington.

1783, Spring. Henry Knox creates Society of the Cincinnati, a hereditary organization open to all French and American officers above the rank of colonel. Both Lafayette and Washington were members of this organization, as well as the Fraternity of Masons.

1784, Aug. 19. Lafayette visits Washington at his home, Mount Vernon.

1784, Nov 18. Washington meets Lafayette in Richmond, Virginia, to escort him to Mount Vernon.

1784, Nov./Dec. Lafayette visits Washington at Mount Vernon. It was to be Lafayette™s last meeting with Washington before the latter’s death in December 1799.

1824, Oct. 17. Lafayette visits Mount Vernon and George Washington’s tomb.

1825, Aug. 29-30. Lafayette visits Mount Vernon.

Gifts From Lafayette to George Washington

Chair & Hunting Horn

1784 “ Masonic apron embroidered for Washington by Madame Lafayette

1785 “ Two hounds

1787 “ Mules

c1787 “ Two golden pheasants

1790 “ Key to the Bastille and sketch of the prison by Cathala

Gifts from George Washington to Lafayette

1786 “ Barrel of Virginia hams

1787 “ Two red birds and two wood ducks

1790 “ Shoe Buckles

Sources Used:

Bjelajac, David. Washington Allston, Secret Societies, and the Alchemy of Anglo-American Painting. Cambridge U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN 0521431530

Fitzpatrick, John C., editor. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources 1745-1799 ... of Congress [39 volumes].

Headley, P.C. Life of General Lafayette, Marquis of France, General in the United States Army, etc. New York: Leavitt & Allen Bros., 1856.

Idzerda, Stanley J., Anne C. Loveland, and Marc H. Miller. Lafayette, Hero of Two Worlds: The Art and Pageantry of His Farewell Tour of America, 1824-1825. Hanover, NH : The Queens Museum, 1989. ISBN 0874514894

Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union Mount Vernon, Virginia, The. “Souvenir of the French Revolution.” Mount Vernon Annual Report 1987, (1988): 26-36.

Rhodehamel, John. “Of horse, mules and jacks.” Fairfax Chronicles 6, no. 1 (1982):1-2.

Richardson, Edgar P., Brooke Hindle, and Lillian B. Miller. Charles Willson Peal and His World. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1983.


Mount Vernon: A Research Guide


George Washington to Marqs. de Lafayette

Letter Commenting on Ratification

From  The James Madison Center



George Washington’s Slave Child?

By Ed Pompeian

Mr. Pompeian is an HNN intern.

1784 - Venus


History News Network


Uncertain (two slaves coming up the hill just over Washington’s shoulder

? William Lee (Washington’s valet slave (c. 1750–1828) – 34 years old

? Margaret Thomas Lee (William’s wife) (fishing?)

Although slave marriages were not recognized by Virginia law, in 1784, at the couple’s request, Washington tried to arrange having Margaret move to Mount Vernon to live with her husband. Wikipedia

When Washington died in 1799, he freed William Lee in his will, citing “his faithful services during the Revolutionary War”. Lee was given a pension of thirty dollars a year for the rest of his life, and the option of remaining at Mount Vernon if he wanted. Lee was the only one of Washington’s 124 slaves freed outright in his will; the remaining slaves owned by Washington were to be freed upon the death of Martha Washington. (Another 153 slaves living at Mount Vernon were the property of Martha’s first husband’s estate, and could not be freed by Washington.)[4] Lee chose to live out the rest of his life at Mount Vernon, where he is buried.

Text and hyperlinks from (Wikipedia)

Prince Whipple

Prince Whipple and American Painting

Prince Whipple

In Sully’s painting, Gen. Washington is on horseback, not standing in a wooden boat as later envisioned by Emanuel Leutze. Historical accuracy, as best it could be determined, was critical to Sully who exerted great effort to depict the precise details of the scene. He took pains to present Washington at his proper age, the “Durham” boats in the background, the precise dress and weaponry of soldiers. This makes his decision to include a single black trooper especially important. It is the closest the world will get, though imagined, to a portrait of a black Revolutionary hero.

Philipp P. Fehl (Art Bulletin, Vol. VL, No. 4, December 1973) suggests that the African-American in Sully’s painting may be Washington’s own slave William Lee. Washington called him “my mulatto man” and provided for him in his will. Fehl says Sully may have drawn the portrait of Lee from another painting, but notes that the black figure in Sully’s work is a different face, a “more ideal representation.” Interestingly, Prince Whipple, unlike William Lee, was described by his contemporaries as “a large, well proportioned man, and of gentlemanly manners and deportment.” But Sully would have had no way of knowing Whipple or his description.

Historian Sidney Kaplan (“The Black Presence in the Era of the Revolution,” National Portrait Gallery, 1975) supported the theory that Prince Whipple, indeed, is depicted in both paintings.

Continue with PRINCE WHIPPLE


Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon,


Virtual 3D Tour of George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon
Click on the Launch the Flash tour

Cultural Symbols / Styles / Design

American Furniture
Art and Identity in the British North American Colonies, 1700-1776

David Jaffe

Department of History, City College and Graduate Center, CUNY

Citation for this page:

Jaffe, David. “Art and Identity in the British North American Colonies, 1700-1776”. In Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. 2004)


British Furniture Styles

Victoria and Albert Museum


French Styles

The Artists

Rossiter and Mignot

Find Articles

19th century AD

Magazine Antiques,  Nov, 1996  by John W. Coffey

<< Page 1  Continued from page 3.  Previous | Next

Mignot’s career took an interesting, if not altogether successful, detour when he responded to the frenzied nostalgia for George Washington that seized the country in the turbulent decade preceding the Civil War.

In conjunction with the history and genre painter Thomas Rossiter, he contrived a large historical tableau set at Mount Vernon [ILLUSTRATION FOR PLATE X OMITTED]. The project consumed much of 1859 for the two artists. Rather than present Washington as warrior or statesman, they chose the atypical portrayal of him as a private citizen. At ease on his veranda, with the Potomac River visible in the distance, the retired general converses with the marquis de Lafayette while Martha Washington, her daughter, and other members of the household amuse themselves. Advertised as a “Great National Picture,” it was exhibited in New York City in November 1859. Critics roved and the public lined up to see it for the then steep admission charge of twenty-five cents.(25)

The last years before the war were good to Mignot. His pictures fetched handsome prices and were exhibited from Washington, D.C., to Boston, to Buffalo, New York. Many of the most influential collectors of the day were his patrons.(26) His fellow painters liked and respected Mignot, electing him an associate and then, in 1859, a full academician at the National Academy of Design. He was an active member of the Century Association in New York City and moved comfortably in the city’s intellectual circles, at home at posh soirees and opera performances.

On January 11, 1860, his prospects never brighter, Mignot married Zairah, the second daughter of Dr. Chapin Aaron Harris (1806-1860) of Baltimore,(27) a prominent art patron who already owned a number of Mignot landscapes. Kensett and the artist James Suydam (1819-1865) were among Mignot’s attendants at what the New-York Daily Tribune called “a great artistic wedding.”(28)



American History



The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence,[1] was a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the thirteen “United Colonies” which expelled royal officials in 1775, set up the Second Continental Congress, formed an army, and declared their independence as a new nation, the United States of America in 1776. The war was the culmination of the political American Revolution, whereby the colonists overthrew British rule. By 1778 major European powers had joined against Britain. American Indians fought for both British and American sides.

Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities, but control of the countryside (where 90% of the population lived) largely eluded them. After an American victory at Saratoga in 1777, France, with Spain and the Netherlands as its allies, entered the war against Britain. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a British army at Yorktown in 1781. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by Canada to the North, Florida to the South, and the Mississippi River to the west.

Declaration of Independence

 The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

George Washington: His Troubles with Slavery

After wending his way through the economic, political and moral quagmire of slavery, in his will—his final and most symbolic message to the nation—George Washington presented a blueprint for ending the ‘Peculiar Institution.’

By Dennis J. Pogue


Fugitive Slave Act of 1793

The Act had a chilling effect on the lives of the one-fifth of the American population that was of African descent, and the Underground Railroad developed in response to it. Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act overwhelmingly in February 1793, and President George Washington signed it into law on February 12, 1793.

Thomas Mifflin

Pennsylvania Governor , a Quaker and pacifist,  who acted against Washington’s  stance on slavery.




French History

Library of Congress / Exhibit

Creating French Culture

The Rise and Fall of the Absolute Monarchy:

Grand Siècle and Enlightenment

(second half of the 17th—end of the 18th centuries)

International recognition of French creativity in the arts, literature, and science formed an integral part of Louis XIV’s strategy to dominate European culture. Recognizing that political power lay in cultural superiority, and assisted by his minister, Colbert (Controller General of the Finances, 1662-1683), Louis XIV (1643-1715) initiated an all-encompassing cultural program designed to glorify the monarchy in his person. Fueled by state patronage, this cultural initiative channeled the creative forces of French elite culture into academies, luxury goods, industries, technology, engineering projects, and imperial expansion.

State control of culture reached unprecedented heights under Louis XIV, the Sun King (le Roi Soleil). Newly created academies in the arts and sciences generated heroic representations of the king that reinforced the royal religion. Increasing censorship targeted “scandalous” texts (for example, pornography) and political writings incompatible with absolute monarchy. Systematic purchases of treasures from ancient and modern cultures the world over enhanced the regime’s prestige. The need to reign supreme in cultural matters also spawned French Classicism, the crowning cultural achievement of France’s golden age under Louis XIV.

HOME - Introduction - Monarchs & Monasteries - Path to Royal Absolutism

Rise and Fall of the Absolute Monarchy - From Empire to DemocracyConclusion - Acknowledgments

Library of Congress Exhibitions - Library of Congress Home Page


The History Place

  Main Page

The Paris Peace Treaty of 1783

In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity.

It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third, by the grace of God, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, duke of Brunswick and Lunebourg, arch- treasurer and prince elector of the Holy Roman Empire etc., and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore, and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse, between the two countries upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace and harmony; and having for this desirable end already laid the foundation of peace and reconciliation by the Provisional Articles signed at Paris on the 30th of November 1782, by the commissioners empowered on each part, which articles were agreed to be inserted in and constitute the Treaty of Peace proposed to be concluded between the Crown of Great Britain and the said United States, but which treaty was not to be concluded until terms of peace should be agreed upon between Great Britain and France and his Britannic Majesty should be ready to conclude such treaty accordingly; and the treaty between Great Britain and France having since been concluded, his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, in order to carry into full effect the Provisional Articles above mentioned, according to the tenor thereof, have constituted and appointed, that is to say his Britannic Majesty on his part, David Hartley, Esqr., member of the Parliament of Great Britain, and the said United States on their part, John Adams, Esqr., late a commissioner of the United States of America at the court of Versailles, late delegate in Congress from the state of Massachusetts, and chief justice of the said state, and minister plenipotentiary of the said United States to their high mightinesses the States General of the United Netherlands; Benjamin Franklin, Esqr., late delegate in Congress from the state of Pennsylvania, president of the convention of the said state, and minister plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the court of Versailles; John Jay, Esqr., late president of Congress and chief justice of the state of New York, and minister plenipotentiary from the said United States at the court of Madrid; to be plenipotentiaries for the concluding and signing the present definitive treaty; who after having reciprocally communicated their respective full powers have agreed upon and confirmed the following articles.

Article 1: His Britannic 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.

Article 2: 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 north westernmost 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 north westernmost 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 to the 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.

Article 3: 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 coast of Newfoundland as British fishermen shall use, (but not to dry or cure the same on that island) and also on the coasts, bays and creeks of all other of his Britannic Majesty’s dominions in America; and that the American fishermen shall have liberty to dry and cure fish in any of the unsettled bays, harbors, and creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen Islands, and Labrador, so long as the same shall remain unsettled, but so soon as the same or either of them shall be settled, it shall not be lawful for the said fishermen to dry or cure fish at such settlement without a previous agreement for that purpose with the inhabitants, proprietors, or possessors of the ground.

Article 4: 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.

Article 5: 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 description 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. And it is agreed that all persons who have any interest in confiscated lands, either by debts, marriage settlements, or otherwise, shall meet with no lawful impediment in the prosecution of their just rights.

Article 6: 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.

Article 7: There shall be a firm and perpetual peace between his Britannic 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 Britannic 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 artillery that may be therein; and shall also order and cause all archives, records, deeds, and papers belonging to any of the said states, or their citizens, which in the course of the war may have fallen into the hands of his officers, to be forthwith restored and delivered to the proper states and persons to whom they belong.

Article 8: 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.

Article 9: 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.

Article 10: The solemn ratifications of the present treaty expedited in good and due form shall be exchanged between the contracting parties in the space of six months or sooner, if possible, to be computed from the day of the signatures of the present treaty. In witness whereof we the undersigned, their ministers plenipotentiary, have in their name and in virtue of our full powers, signed with our hands the present definitive treaty and caused the seals of our arms to be affixed thereto.

Done at Paris, this third day of September in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.


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