Classroom Tips


A PROCLAMATION BY HIS EXCELLENCY Major-General THOMAS SHIRLEY, Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over all his Majesty’s leeward Charibbee islands in America, Chancellor, Vice-Admiral, and Ordinary of the fame, &c. &c. &c.

WHEREAS I have received a letter from his Excellency

Hugh Pigot, Esq. Admiral and Commander in Chief

of his Majesty’s squadron in these seas, containing sundry inclo-

sures, transmitted to him from his Excellency the Marquis de

Bouillie, Governor General of the French Windward islands,

by which it evidently appears that preliminary articles of peace

have actually been signed between Great-Britain and the other

powers at war, particularly from a letter or passport granted by

Alleyne Fitzherbert, Esq. his Majesty’s Minister, employed in

the negociations, to the ship or vessel called the Tartare, dis-

patched by the Court of France, for the purpose of notifying

the event: And whereas it further appears that the said prelim-

naries were ratified on the third day of February last, in confe-

quence whereof, and conformable to the limitation therein spe-

cified, hostilities are to cease in these seas between the contend-

ing powers on the third day of April next, wherefore not doubt-

ing the truth and certainty of the premises, although no official

account thereof hath been yet transmitted me, and being willing

to carry the gracious intentions of the King, my Royal Master,

into execution without delay, so as to prevent, as much as pos-

sible, any disputes arising between Great-Britain and France, in

fulfilling the terms of the treat which relate to this part of the

world; I do issue this my proclamation, and do hereby give

public notice (the Marquis de Bouillie having orders from his

Court to do the like) that hostilities will accordingly cease be-

tween the contending powers on the 3d day of April next, and

that all vessels captured after that period will be restored. And

I do moreover give notice to all owners and others interested in

privateers or armed vessels, having commissions, that they do

forthwith call them in and disarm them on the said  3d day of

April next, under the severest pains and penalties of the law.

And all persons concerned are to pay due attention to this pro-

clamation, and govern themselves accordingly.


Given under my hand and seal at Antigua, and counter-

signed by my Secretary, this 21st day of March, 1783.

and in the twenty-third year of his Majesty’s reign.


  • Use the worksheet “American Revolution Fill-in-the-Blank” to review the major events of the American Revolution. Have students read the primary source, and identify what it is announcing. What nations and individuals are mentioned in the proclamation? Host a class discussion on the global impact of the American Revolution. 
  • After reading the article and discussing global connections America had during the late eighteenth century, use the infograph “Imperial Trade in Eighteenth Century British North America” to help students understand the economics of the period. What goods were being transported? What nations were involved in the trade network? What crops did North America export? 
  • After analyzing the primary source, use the infograph, “Measuring Loyalism in America c. 1775-1785,” and instruct students to look at this visual to understand where Loyalists migrated after the end of the Revolutionary War. Where did these individuals go? Are any of these places surprising? Why do you think Loyalists chose one location over another? Did Loyalists have a choice of where to relocate? 

Classroom Materials downloads are ZIP files that include, when available: document images (JPEGs), document transcripts (PDF as well as Word and/or Excel files), and ready to use classroom resources (activities, discussion prompts, lesson plans, etc.). These materials are available for educational uses only. If you would like to reproduce them in any other medium, please contact Dawn Bonner, Manager of Visual Resources.


Thomas Shirley, British Governor of the Leeward Islands, wrote this proclamation announcing the end of the American Revolution and the cessation of hostilities after the signing of the preliminary articles of peace, on April 3, 1783. It appeared in The Independent Gazetteer, or The Chronicle of Freedom, a newspaper published in Philadelphia on May 3, 1783.

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