There Will Be No Peace Without Canada

Adams slouched in an elbow chair,  snoring softly. Jay set down his pen. He sprinkled the wet ink with sand, blew it off in cloud that also extinguished his candle. He held up the document.

“Mr. Adams,” he said. “I’ve finished.”

Adams started up, blinking. “The proposal? Excellent.” He stood and stretched, not much taller standing than seated. “Let us show it to Franklin.”

“Where might he be?”

“I’ve an idea. Come.”

Jay followed Adams through the gilt halls of the palace and out into the blinding sunshine of the gardens. The familiar rumpled figure of Franklin was seated next to the fountain, his gouty foot raised on a bench. Adams strode over, the paper in hand.

“This is it, then?” said Franklin.

Adams nodded.

Franklin took it and read. “But you’ve left out Canada.” Franklin’s tired eyes blazed with anger. “There will be no peace without they give us Canada.”


What Pegman Saw

The Peace of Paris was signed at the Palace of Versailles on September 3rd, 1783  by representatives of King George III and representatives of the United States of America. It formally ended the American Revolutionary War.
Negotiating for the new United States were John Adams, John Jay, and Benjamin Franklin. The initial talks began in April, but John Jay realized he could get a better deal for his country by negotiating directly with the British (who rightly saw the former colonies as a valuable trading partner).
Franklin pressed for the annexation of Canada, but was persuaded to settle for all of the area east of the Mississippi River, north of Florida, and south of Canada. The United States also gained fishing rights off Canadian coasts in exchange for allowing British merchants and Loyalists to try to recover property seized during the war.
Not bad for their first treaty.


Add Yours
  1. James

    I read about the treaty signing when doing my research but missed the part about Canada. I’m always hesitant to write historical pieces because it’s far too easy to get the details wrong. Your wee tale makes me wonder how things would be different if we’d have gotten Canada, too.

  2. prior..

    not a bad treaty indeed…. enjoyed learning some history here and enjoyed the fiction snippet (esp. “not much taller standing than seated” and the gout)

  3. Lynn Love

    As Karen says, historical fiction is a real gift of yours. Had no idea this was signed at Versailles – wonder why they chose that, do you know? Ben Franklin was an extraordinary man, so gifted and with fingers in numerous important pies. He would have been fascinating to meet

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