W3R Historic Events in 1783
and Public Commemorations for the
225th Anniversaries in 2008 

Historic Events 1783 225th Anniversary Events 2008 
Jan 20: The Preliminary Articles of Peace were signed in Paris by Great Britain, France, and Spain. Hostilities were officially ended, but it took many months for the news to reach the front lines worldwide, so a few battles were fought during 1783. The treaties required ratification by the governing authorities before peace was final, and this process took many additional months, during which most occupying forces were withdrawn.
May 9 to 11: Lauzun's Legion embarks from Wilmington DE for France
May 11 to 15: The siege artillery embark from Baltimore for France
NOTE: Some commemorations in early 2008 were displayed on the W3R Commons site, but that was vandalized in early 2009 and no longer exists.
Sept 3: Treaty of Paris ends the global war Sept 3: The 225th Anniversary of the Signing of the Treaties of Paris was celebrated in many locations, the largest being in Paris, France.
See below for the numerous commemorations in September.

Why Celebrate? | Suggestions for Commemorations
Peace Treaty commemorations in CT | PA | DE | MD | France

Why Celebrate on 2008 September 03? 

On July 4, 1776, the delegates to the Second Continental Congress DECLARED independence and adopted the Declaration of Independence, in which they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the task of achieving independence from the bonds of British colonialism. They realized that many people would die and that many towns would be destroyed during the coming battles. The Congress had no military factories, no trained officers, no navy, no money with which to purchase them, and no power to tax. It was a time for sober commitment rather than joyous celebration.
In 1778 France provided an initial cause for rejoicing by signing a treaty recognizing the independence of the United States and commiting France to armed assistance. Tha allied U.S.-French forces FOUGHT FOR independence of the United States.

In 1781 France provided a second cause for rejoicing when Adm. deGrasse and a quarter of the French fleet deflected a British naval attack at Yorktown and ensured the defeat of the British army under Cornwallis by the allied forces under Generals Washington and Rochambeau. Continuing French and Spanish military efforts around the globe finally drove Great Britain to agree to negotiations that led to the peace treaty.
On September 3, 1783, the same three men who wrote the Declaration of Independence played major roles in negotiating the peace treaty that ACHIEVED independence as Great Britain agreed to recognize the United States as a separate nation and to cease using military force to return the states to colonial status. After eight years of bloodshed this treaty was the third and greatest cause for rejoicing. The United States could now look forward to soldiers returning to their families, normalized commercial relations, freedom of the seas, security from surprise attacks, and reassignment of military labor to domestic and commercial uses -- building towns rather than forts.

So in 2008 let us celebrate the 225th anniversary of the first celebration of an independence achieved and a peace -- for a while, at least -- ensured.

Celebrating the Achievement of Independence 

In Paris, France, on September 3, 1783, representatives of the United States and Great Britain signed a peace treaty:
      -- recognizing the United States as an independent nation
      -- agreeing to a U.S. border along the Mississippi River, and
      -- ending armed conflict between the two nations.
Later that day in the same city France and Spain signed separate peace treaties with Great Britain. This year in the 225th anniversary of these momentous events.

During September 2008 there were dinners, parades, fireworks, lectures, exhibits, civic resolutions, postmarks issued, medallions sold and other events in many U.S. cities as well as a multi-day series of events in Paris. Below are descriptions of these events and links to literally thousands of photos taken at the events in Paris.

First-Day Covers and a Commemorative Medallion

Thanks to the efforts of Robert Reyes (W3R®-MD) the U.S. Postal Service arranged for several Post Offices along the W3R to postmark envelopes with special cancellation stamps in honor of the 225th anniversary of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783.
The W3R®-VA has arranged with the York County Historical Museum to produce a 1.5" diameter medallion to commemorate the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. Available in bronze or silver, it depicts Washington, Rochambeau, and the historic trail that they followed in 1781 and that we are developing. Many people bought this medallion to commemorate the Treaty and to provide funds to support the development of the W3R as a national historic trail. These medallions may be given to speakers as a special thank-you, and used as good-service awards to people who have worked on the trail.

front-side . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . back-side

If you wish to purchase a medallion, see the Merchandise link on the W3R®-US homr page.

Ask Your Town / County / State to Commemorate
the Signing of the 1783 Treaty of Paris

On September 3, 1783, representatives of the United States and Great Britain signed a treaty recognizing the United States as an independent nation, agreeing to a U.S. border along the Mississippi River, and ending armed conflict between the two nations. France and Spain signed separate treaties with Great Britain on the same day in the same city. This year in the 225th anniversary of these momentous events.

You might consider the following items, perhaps as part of a Labor Day program:
  • a patriotic or religious ceremony at the grave of a French or U.S. soldier, possibly with state or French officials

  • a conference with a town or outside historian

  • a concert or historic poster / map / art exhibition

  • a banquet, fireworks, re-enactor demonstration
Join the Sons of the American Revolution in celebrating this occasion by promoting a resolution through which your city, county, or state leaders or legislative councils may participate in the 225th anniversary of the treaty that recognized U.S. independence and in expressing gratitude to our long-term national friends. This template is based on a resolution drafted by the Louisiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Link to a draft text
Charlotte NC, West Hollywood CA and other cities have issued proclamations commemotating the 1783 Treaty of Paris
Pennsylvania Senate Commemorates 1783 Treaty of Paris:
On 2008 June 25 the Pennsylvania Senate adopted a resolution "observing September 3, 2008, as the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War," and "reaffirming our friendship with France, Spain, and Great Britain"....
Read the full text

Connecticut Commemorations 

The French army under Gen. Rochambeau camped in sixteen towns in Connecticut on its way south in 1781 andagain on the way north in 1782. During September 1 to 5 the W3R®-CT proposed commemorations in these towns (listed in order from the RI border to the NY border).
      Scotland, Windham, Lebanon, Andover, Bolton, East Hartford, Hartford,
      Wethersfield, Farmington, Southington, Waterbury, Breakneck-Middlebury,
      Newtown, Monroe, Danbury, Ridgebury

Pennsylvania Commemorations 

Sept 03 - Plaque for Rochambeau; Symposium on the 1783

See the short Photoreport

Sept 10 - Exhibit on the U.S.-France Alliance

Robert A. Selig, Ph.D., spoke at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) at 6:00 PM on "Redoubt No 1: British Forts in Philadelphia in 1777-78" This talk highlighted the HSP's historic documents that describe the construction and later uses of the forts.

Peace, Liberty and Independence; 225 Years After the Signing of the Treaty of Paris is an exhibit of Revolutionary War era art at the Historic Landmark Building of the Pennsylvania Academy. This is a collaborative effort between the
American Revolution Center and the
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The September 10 opening reception included period music, costumed Revolutionary War actors, and a preview of two very important pieces of the exhibition with insights by Dr. David Brigham, the Edna S. Tuttleman Museum Director. Poster for the reception
This exhibit will be on display until October 31.

Sept 13 - Parade and Ceremony Honoring Allied Sacrifice

See the short Photoreport

Delaware Commemoration 

On September 6 the W3R®-DE celebrated Lafayette's birthday by joining the Alliance Français of Delaware for dinner and a song-fest at the Hale- Byrnes House in Stanton, Delaware. Alan Hoffman, translator of the "Journals of Auguste Levasseur" (on Lafayette's visit to the U.S. in 1824-5), spoke on Lafayette's travels through American Indian nations and noted many instances of his lifelong practice of dealing in a straightforward manner with people at all social levels.

Maryland Commemorations 

2008 Sept 3 and Sept 3 - 30: Illustrations of the W3R

On September 3 the Carroll Museums in Baltimore unveiled a new painting, "Signing of the Treaty of Paris" on the 225th anniversary of that event and hosted a reception for the artist, David R. Wagner.
Photo-report on the opening
Sheet with illustration and full details [PDF file]

From September 3 to 30 The Museum exhibited dozens of David R. Wagner's illustrations. These cover historic events along the entire route of the allied march from Newport RI to Yorktown VA.
The Carroll Museums, Inc.

International Commemoration in France 

During September 1 to 5 the Sons of the American Revolution (Branch française) and the Daughters of the American Revolution (Branch française) -- both consisting mainly of descendants of Rochambeau's French Expeditionary Force -- provided an extensive program of speakers and visits to commemorate this historic event. Their six-page Registration Brochure lists the events and summarizes the history of the treaty (on page 4).

Several thousands photos were taken and posted on on Picasaweb (in seven series of albums). However, by 2020 they were no longer posted:
First series
  • Welcome Reception Vol 2 (listed first)
  • Welcome Reception Vol 1

    Second series
  • Musèe Jacquemart-Andrè
  • Homage to war dead and private visit to Hotel National des Invalides
  • Tribute to La Fayette at Picpus Cemetery
  • Vincennes : the old Royal Castle, Army and Navy Archives
  • Tribute to Gènèral De Rochambeau

    Third series
  • Tribute to Amiral DeGrasse
  • Tribute to Benjamin Franklin
  • Gala Dinner at the Palace of Versailles
  • Private visit to Royal Apartments at the Palace of Versailles
  • The French Naval Museum
  • Lunch at Palais du Luxembourg
  • Conferences at Palais du Luxembourg
  • Reviving the Flame at the Arch of Triumph #1
  • Reviving the Flame at the Arch of Triumph #2

    Fourth series
  • Dinner at Chateau de la Marquetterie
  • Visit of Taittinger's Cellars
  • Stop to visit Reims Cathedral
  • Wreath laying at WW1 Bois Bellau
  • Lunch at Chateau Thierry
  • Wreath laying at WW1
  • Wreath-laying at the WW1 Cote 204 Memorials

    Ffith series
  • Banquet at the Paris at the Paris City Hall
  • Banquet at the Paris at the Paris City Hall
  • Tribute to King Louis XVI
  • Religious service at Saint-Denis Abbey
  • Banquet at the Paris City Hall

    Sixth series
    Visit to Normandy
    Saturday, September 6 :
  • Queen Mathilde's Tapestry (14th century), 70 meters long, depicting the William the Conqueror invasion (1066) of England.

    Sixth series
    Final celebrations
  • Chateau de Balleroy, a magnificent example of French architecture by François Mansard. Concert and gala dinner reception by Comte de Kergorlay at Chaeau de Canisy.

    Sunday September 7 :
  • Sainte-Mère Église, first liberated town in Northern Europe (June 6 1944)
  • Visit the American Airborne Museum, guided by SAR member Comte Jean d'Aigneaux, President of the Museum, past member of the County Council.
  • Utah Beach, visit the site of the most successful D-Day landing.
  • Pointe du Hoc, a great feat of the 2nd Rangers battalion that scaled the cliffs under enemy fire.
  • Omaha Beach, explanations of the tragedy that occurred on D-Day at dawn.
  • The beautiful American Cemetery at Colleville/Mer, visit the new Educational Center, followed by Taps and folding of the flag ceremony.

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