Exhibition | Rare and Precious: The 1763 Treaty of Paris

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 26, 2014


The 1763 Treaty of Paris. Traité définitif de Paix entre le Roi, le Roi de la Grande Bretagne et le Roi d’Espagne, signé à Paris le 10 février 1763. Manuscript, comprises the text in French, Latin, and Spanish.

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Now on view, for ten days only, at the Musée de la civilisation:

Rare and Precious: The 1763 Treaty of Paris
Musée de la civilisation, Québec City, 23 September — 2 October 2014

Rare and Precious: The 1763 Treaty of Paris, a special event is on view now at the Musée de la civilisation. In addition to guided tours and presentations, talks will also be held for the occasion at Musée de l’Amérique francophone. The 1763 Treaty of Paris and its related documents are being presented for the first time ever in North America, at Musée de la civilisation, courtesy of an exceptional loan from the government of the French Republic to the government of Québec.

The peace treaty itself is the centerpiece of the event, but the loan from France also includes Spanish and British instruments of ratification, the minutes of the proceedings surrounding the exchange of ratification instruments, the Cessions envisaged in 1759, a document entitled “Negotiation of the Treaty of Paris: Working Paper,” a 1777 map of the Americas, and another map dating back to 1761. This pivotal historic document marked the end of the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763). Considered the first truly global conflict, the war pitted Great Britain, Prussia, and Hanover against France, Austria, Sweden, Russia, and Spain in land and naval battles fought in Europe, India, and North America. War on North American soil began in 1754 in the Ohio Valley and ended in 1762 when the British captured Martinique.

Documents from the Musées de la civilisation archives are tangible traces left by those who experienced the Conquest firsthand in New France. They offer insights into what the treaty really meant to the people of the colony. For example, in his handwritten journal, Father Richer, a priest in Québec between 1757 and 1759, describes the scene as 180 British ships descended on Québec. He was 38 years old when the Treaty of Paris was signed.


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