January 14, 1784: Congress Ratifies the Treaty of Paris

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Two hundred and thirty-five years ago the War of Independence officially ended with the ratification of the Treaty of Paris by Congress.  Nine states were needed under the Articles of Confederation to ratify the treaty and with the rough winter of 1783-1784 only seven states were represented in Congress meeting in Annapolis, Maryland.  The arrival of delegates from Connecticut and South Carolina on January 13 and January 14 allowed the treaty to be ratified unanimously by the delegates present.  Congress had previously on April 11, 1783 announced the cessation of hostilities with Great Britain.  The British had evacuated New York City on November 25, 1783, their last major foothold in the new United States.  Member of Congress Edward Hand of Pennsylvania, who had served in the Continental Army and risen to the rank of Major General, shared the hopes of many of the American people when he wrote:  “God grant the Peace may be perpetual & productive of every happiness to America, as I think it commences with the joint & full accord of all her good Citizens.” 

 

 

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