1983 20c Signing of Treaty of Paris

# 2052 - 1983 20c Signing of Treaty of Paris

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U.S. #2052
1983 20¢ Signing of Treaty of Paris
Bicentennial Series
 

  • Issued for the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris
  • Based on an unfinished 1782 painting by Benjamin West

Stamp Category:  Commemorative, Definitive, Express Mail, semi-postal, airmail
Series: 
Bicentennial
Value: 
20¢, first-class rate
First Day of Issue: 
September 2, 1983
First Day City: 
Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 
104,340,000
Printed by: 
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: 
Photogravure
Format: 
Panes of 40 in sheets of 160
Perforations:  11

Why the stamp was issued:  To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War.

 

About the stamp design:  Stamp designer David Blossom used an unfinished 1782 painting by Benjamin West as the basis for this stamp design.  West’s painting, which is on display at the Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, Delaware, only pictured Americans: Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, John Adams, Henry Laurens, and Franklin’s grandson, William.  At the time, no one from Britain would sit for his painting.   Blossom removed Laurens and William and added British commissioner David Hartley. 

 

First Day City:  The First Day ceremony was originally planned to fall on the exact anniversary of the signing, September 3, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  However, France was issuing its own stamp for the same event on that date and the US postmaster general wanted to attend, so the US stamp’s ceremony was moved to September 2 (France later moved their ceremony to the 2nd as well).  So, the US ceremony was moved to Washington, DC and held in a private ceremony in the John Quincy Adams Room, where the English tambour desk on which the original treaty was signed is kept.  However, collectors complained about the private event, leading the USPS to arrange two public ceremonies.  One was held at the State Department and one was held on Washington’s Mall. 

 

Unusual fact about this stamp:  France issued a stamp honoring the signing on the same day, however neither country referred to their stamps as joint issues.  The stamps also didn’t bear similar designs.  However, each country offered the others’ stamp for sale on the first day of issue. View the France stamp here – #1899.

 

About the Bicentennial Series:  The US Bicentennial was a series of celebrations during the mid-1970s that commemorated the historic events leading to America’s independence from Great Britain. The official events began on April 1, 1975, when the American Freedom Train departed Delaware to begin a 21-month, 25,338-mile tour of the 48 contiguous states. For more than a year, a wave of patriotism swept the nation as elaborate firework displays lit up skies across the US, an international fleet of tall-mast sailing ships gathered in New York City and Boston, and Queen Elizabeth made a state visit. The celebration culminated on July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

 

The USPS issued 113 commemorative stamps over a six-year period to mark the US bicentennial, beginning with the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission Emblem stamp (US #1432). As a group, the Bicentennial Series chronicles one of our nation’s most important chapters. It includes several stamps with classic artwork and a US postage first – the first sheet to feature 50 face-different stamps, honoring each of the state flags.  Get the complete Bicentennial Series here – US #1432/2052.

 

History the stamp represents:  After more than eight years of fighting, the American Revolutionary War came to an end on September 3, 1783, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

 

Two years earlier, the British suffered a disastrous defeat at Yorktown, leading to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis and the capture of over 7,000 of his men. This loss dramatically lowered British support for the war, leading that nation’s Prime Minister to resign the following spring. That April, the House of Commons voted to end the war in America and agreed to enter into peace talks.

 

Negotiations between Britain and America (as well as Britain and America’s allies France and Spain) lasted through that summer. David Hartley and Richard Oswald represented Great Britain, while Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens, and John Adams represented the United States. On November 30, both nations signed a preliminary agreement.

 

Though representatives were settling on peace agreements, fighting continued intermittently during this time. In February 1783, as both nations’ governments reviewed the terms of the agreement, King George III issued the Proclamation of Cessation of Hostilities to end the fighting.

 

The representatives met once again, at the Hotel d’York in Paris on September 3, 1783 to sign the peace agreement, officially ending the war. The same day, Britain also signed peace agreements with France and Spain.

 

In the treaty’s preamble, both nations agreed to “forget all past misunderstandings and differences” and “secure to both perpetual peace and harmony.” Britain agreed to acknowledge America as a free, sovereign nation, and that all future British rulers would relinquish claims there. The agreement established boundaries between the U.S. and British North America, and granted fishing rights, among other things.

 

Many historians agree that the terms were particularly favorable to the United States. This was likely because the British believed America could become a major trading partner.

 

The treaty was then taken before the U.S. Congress, which ratified it in January 1784. The British ratified it that April and representatives exchanged ratified versions on May 12.

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U.S. #2052
1983 20¢ Signing of Treaty of Paris
Bicentennial Series
 

  • Issued for the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris
  • Based on an unfinished 1782 painting by Benjamin West

Stamp Category:  Commemorative, Definitive, Express Mail, semi-postal, airmail
Series: 
Bicentennial
Value: 
20¢, first-class rate
First Day of Issue: 
September 2, 1983
First Day City: 
Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 
104,340,000
Printed by: 
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: 
Photogravure
Format: 
Panes of 40 in sheets of 160
Perforations:  11

Why the stamp was issued:  To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War.

 

About the stamp design:  Stamp designer David Blossom used an unfinished 1782 painting by Benjamin West as the basis for this stamp design.  West’s painting, which is on display at the Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, Delaware, only pictured Americans: Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, John Adams, Henry Laurens, and Franklin’s grandson, William.  At the time, no one from Britain would sit for his painting.   Blossom removed Laurens and William and added British commissioner David Hartley. 

 

First Day City:  The First Day ceremony was originally planned to fall on the exact anniversary of the signing, September 3, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  However, France was issuing its own stamp for the same event on that date and the US postmaster general wanted to attend, so the US stamp’s ceremony was moved to September 2 (France later moved their ceremony to the 2nd as well).  So, the US ceremony was moved to Washington, DC and held in a private ceremony in the John Quincy Adams Room, where the English tambour desk on which the original treaty was signed is kept.  However, collectors complained about the private event, leading the USPS to arrange two public ceremonies.  One was held at the State Department and one was held on Washington’s Mall. 

 

Unusual fact about this stamp:  France issued a stamp honoring the signing on the same day, however neither country referred to their stamps as joint issues.  The stamps also didn’t bear similar designs.  However, each country offered the others’ stamp for sale on the first day of issue. View the France stamp here – #1899.

 

About the Bicentennial Series:  The US Bicentennial was a series of celebrations during the mid-1970s that commemorated the historic events leading to America’s independence from Great Britain. The official events began on April 1, 1975, when the American Freedom Train departed Delaware to begin a 21-month, 25,338-mile tour of the 48 contiguous states. For more than a year, a wave of patriotism swept the nation as elaborate firework displays lit up skies across the US, an international fleet of tall-mast sailing ships gathered in New York City and Boston, and Queen Elizabeth made a state visit. The celebration culminated on July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

 

The USPS issued 113 commemorative stamps over a six-year period to mark the US bicentennial, beginning with the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission Emblem stamp (US #1432). As a group, the Bicentennial Series chronicles one of our nation’s most important chapters. It includes several stamps with classic artwork and a US postage first – the first sheet to feature 50 face-different stamps, honoring each of the state flags.  Get the complete Bicentennial Series here – US #1432/2052.

 

History the stamp represents:  After more than eight years of fighting, the American Revolutionary War came to an end on September 3, 1783, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

 

Two years earlier, the British suffered a disastrous defeat at Yorktown, leading to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis and the capture of over 7,000 of his men. This loss dramatically lowered British support for the war, leading that nation’s Prime Minister to resign the following spring. That April, the House of Commons voted to end the war in America and agreed to enter into peace talks.

 

Negotiations between Britain and America (as well as Britain and America’s allies France and Spain) lasted through that summer. David Hartley and Richard Oswald represented Great Britain, while Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens, and John Adams represented the United States. On November 30, both nations signed a preliminary agreement.

 

Though representatives were settling on peace agreements, fighting continued intermittently during this time. In February 1783, as both nations’ governments reviewed the terms of the agreement, King George III issued the Proclamation of Cessation of Hostilities to end the fighting.

 

The representatives met once again, at the Hotel d’York in Paris on September 3, 1783 to sign the peace agreement, officially ending the war. The same day, Britain also signed peace agreements with France and Spain.

 

In the treaty’s preamble, both nations agreed to “forget all past misunderstandings and differences” and “secure to both perpetual peace and harmony.” Britain agreed to acknowledge America as a free, sovereign nation, and that all future British rulers would relinquish claims there. The agreement established boundaries between the U.S. and British North America, and granted fishing rights, among other things.

 

Many historians agree that the terms were particularly favorable to the United States. This was likely because the British believed America could become a major trading partner.

 

The treaty was then taken before the U.S. Congress, which ratified it in January 1784. The British ratified it that April and representatives exchanged ratified versions on May 12.