Preamble. declares the Treaty as “in the name of the Most Holy Undivided Trinity” (followed by a reference to Divine Providence), declares the good faith of the signatories and declares the intention of both parties “to forget all the misunderstandings and differences of the past” and “to ensure both eternal peace and harmony”. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 officially ended the American War of Independence. American statesmen Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and John Jay negotiated the peace treaty with representatives of King George III of Great Britain. In the Treaty of Paris, the British Crown officially recognized American independence and ceded most of its territory east of the Mississippi River to the United States, doubling the size of the new nation and paving the way for westward expansion. Historians have often pointed out that the treaty was very generous to the United States in terms of significantly expanded borders. Historians such as Alvord, Harlow and Ritcheson have pointed out that British generosity was based on a statesman`s vision of close economic ties between Britain and the United States. The concession of the vast Trans-Appalachian region was intended to facilitate the growth of the American population and create lucrative markets for British merchants, without military or administrative costs for Britain.  The fact was that the United States would become an important trading partner. As French Foreign Minister Vergennes later said, “The English buy peace instead of making it.”  Vermont was included in the boundaries because New York State insisted that Vermont was part of New York, even though Vermont was then under a government that did not consider Vermont to be part of the United States.
 It was eight o`clock in the morning when John Adams, along with Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, met with British peace negotiator David Hartley at his residence in Paris and months of negotiations, first the year before, leading to the provisional peace treaty, and then culminating in that final treaty from April to late August. After Yorktown, the Continental Congress appointed a small group of statesmen to travel to Europe and negotiate a peace treaty with the British: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, and Henry Laurens. While this was undoubtedly an important moment — after all, eight long years of war officially ended with full American independence — the signing was more of an anti-climax for Adams. His immediate feelings, as he revealed to Abigail the next day, were that since the final contract was nothing more than a “simple repetition of the provisional contract,” they had “negotiated here, those six months for nothing.” Yet Adams understood that, given the political realities of his stance toward Britain, “we couldn`t be better off than we were.” The main provisions of the Treaty of Paris guaranteed both nations access to The Mississippi, defined the borders of the United States, demanded the abandonment by the British of all posts on American territory, demanded payment of all debts contracted before the war, and an end to all reprisals against loyalists and their property. During John Adams` tenure as minister in Britain in the 1780s, he and the British foreign secretary, the Marquis de Carmarthen, regularly discussed actions that each side considered violations and omissions in the execution of the treaty – a debate that remained unresolved until the signing of the Jay Treaty in 1794. When the editors of the adams papers editorial project are asked to name our favorite document in the huge collection of Adams Family Papers, the copy of John Adams` Treaty of Paris is certainly a first choice. This duplicate original in the Adams Papers is the only original not in government archives. It is easy to imagine that John Adams, a lawyer and inheritance-minded, was interested in keeping a copy of this founding document, on which he had worked from home for so long, for his descendants.
The seals are particularly interesting – since there was no official seal for american commissioners, everyone used what suited them. See here for a full discussion of the Boylston family coat of arms that Adams used as a seal for provisional and final contracts, and to learn more about Adams` thoughts at the end, see the new digital edition of Papers of John Adams, Volume 15. . .