Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Peter Force: Declaration of Independence (Washington: M. St. Clair Clarke and Peter Force, 1848) on rice paper from the original Stone "wet ink" copper plate. As a young child, Peter Force would listen to stories of the American Revolution told by his veteran father, William Force. He was apprenticed at age 16 to a printer where one of his early jobs was an edition of Irving's Knickerbocker's History of New York. He moved to Washington in 1815 to work for W. A. Davis, a printer with a government contract. In 1823, he became editor of the National Journal and began to dabble in Whig politics. It's no wonder that he developed a strong fascination for collecting books and papers concerning our country's history.

    In 1833, he was authorized by Congress to publish his amazing accumulation as the American Archives, a Documentary History of the English Colonies in North America. Although the entire work was never completed, the first volume contained a printing of the Declaration of Independence. It is extremely important and desirable because Force was authorized to use the original "wet ink" copper plate created by William Stone for this printing, a plate that had been in storage for some 24 years. The wet-ink transfer process that Stone employed called for the surface of the Declaration to be moistened, thus transferring some of the original ink to a clean copper plate. Stone struck only 201 copies on parchment from his plate in 1824 of which about 30 are known extant. Peter Force printed between 900 and 1200 on rice paper in 1848, folded and inserted into the book American Archives: Fifth Series Containing a documentary History of The United States of America, from the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1775 to the Definitive Treaty of Peace with Great Britain, September 3, 1783. At best, only a few hundred of these have survived; this is a particularly fine one. Removed from the volume, it is approximately 25" x 29" in size with only a few minor areas of foxing and a bit of ink transfer that is almost always seen on Force Declarations that have remained folded through the years. The right edge is trimmed a bit close, but overall the condition is fine and would certainly frame up beautifully for future generations to appreciate.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,093

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 March 4 Rare Books Signature Auction Books Signature Auction - New York .

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 July 16 - 18 The Armstrong Family Collection III Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 July 16 - 18 The Armstrong Family Collection III Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $4,640,331