Complete in Nine Volumes, Force's American Archives

    Peter Force. American Archives: Consisting of a Collection of Authentick Records, State Papers, Debates, and Letters and Other Notices of Publick Affairs, the Whole Forming a Documentary History of the Origin and Progress of the North American Colonies; of the Causes and Accomplishment of the American Revolution; and of the Constitution of Government for the United States, to the Final Ratification Thereof. Complete in nine volumes, comprising: Fourth Series: From the King's Message, of March 7th, 1774 to the Declaration of Independence, by the United States, in 1776. Washington, D.C., 1837-1846. Complete in six volumes. [and:] Fifth Series: From the Declaration of Independence, in 1776, to the Definitive Treaty of Peace with Great Britain, in 1783. Washington, D.C., 1848-1853. Complete in three volumes.

    First edition. The set complete in nine large quarto volumes (13.75 x 8.75 inches), comprising the complete Fourth Series and Fifth Series [all published]. Pages double-columned, with each column enumerated as a separate page; each volume approximately 1,800 "columns." Indices. Maps, facsimile documents (some folding).

    Modern black cloth, with gilt titles and rules on spine. Occasional foxing. As is often the case, this set lacks the Declaration of Independence facsimile in Volume I of the Fifth Series, originally inserted between columns 1,596 and 1,597, but here excised. Volume III of the Fourth Series has one signature (containing columns 929-992) detached but laid in. A beautifully preserved set, infrequently encountered complete. Fine condition.

    Peter Force's unfinished mammoth series documenting the early history of the North American colonies. He had initially planned twenty volumes in six "series," but only nine were completed: the volumes containing documents of the Revolutionary War era. The First, Second, Third, and Sixth Series were never published. "This great storehouse of British Colonial and American history was printed by order of the United States Government. It was the intention to divide the work into six series, from 1493 to 1789. The nine volumes described are all that have appeared" (Sabin).

    Peter Force (1790-1868) drew on his own huge private collection of printed and manuscript documents relating to the history of North America and the United States as sources for these Archives. When the Library of Congress was established in 1867, one year before his death, his treasure trove of documents was purchased -- by an Act of Congress -- for the astounding sum of $100,000.

    A massive work and an invaluable collection of Americana.

    Sabin 25053.

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