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Treaty of Peace & Independence - Item #789

$ 860.00



32 Inches High x 38 Inches Wide

Sculptors Thomas Ball and Richard Saltonstall Greenough designed this relief for the pedestal of Greenough’s sculpture of Benjamin Franklin (installed in 1856) located in front of Boston’s Old City Hall. Ball also sculpted a second relief (Item #787) for the pedestal while Greenough created another two, all four of which depict scenes in Franklin’s life. Thomas Ball (1819-1911) is perhaps best remembered for his equestrian sculpture of George Washington in the Boston Public Garden.

The scene in the relief is the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Independence, more commonly known as the Treaty of Paris. The United States and Great Britain negotiated a treaty in order to end the Revolutionary War and to acknowledge the United States’ independence. Although John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, and Henry Laurens were chosen by the Continental Congress to represent the U.S., only Adams, Franklin, and Jay were able to attend the negotiations in France. They met with David Hartley and Richard Oswald of Great Britain. The talks started in April 1782, the preliminary articles were signed in November of that year, and the treaty was signed on September 3, 1783. The Continental Congress ratified it in early 1784. Although confirmation of those depicted in the relief is elusive, based on appearance the figure standing is likely Franklin and the person sitting at his side is likely Adams.


Artist: Thomas Ball and Richard Saltonstall Greenough

Museum/Location: Boston's Old City Hall

Time Period: Modern, 1856

1911 Catalog ID # - 10045



Boston Art Commission. "Benjamin Franklin." Public Art Boston,

City of Boston. "City Document No. 2: Annual Report of the Art Department for the Year Ending January 31, 1911." Documents of the City of Boston, for the Year 1911. In Four Volumes, vol. 1. City of Boston Printing Department, 1912. Pp. 7,

"Thomas Ball." Smithsonian American Art Museum,

"Thomas Ball (artist)." Wikipedia,

"Treaty of Paris." The Reader’s Companion to American History. Edited by Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Houghton-Mifflin, 1991. History,

"Treaty of Paris (1783)." Wikipedia,