With the Rare Peter Force Printing of the Declaration of IndependencePeter 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). With the very valuable and rare printed facsimile of the Declaration of Independence in Volume I of the Fifth Series. The large, folding Declaration of Independence measures 28.5 x 25.5 inches.
Modern black cloth, with gilt titles and rules on spine. Occasional foxing. First four volumes and final volume with the ink stamp of the Providence Athenæum on the title-page, Volume VI (Fourth Series, Volume IV) with several ink stamps from Depauw University Library, Volume VIII (Fifth Series, Volume II), with the ink stamp of the Burlington Library Company stamp. Volume I (Fourth Series, Volume I) has the ownership signature of Tristram Burger, and Volumes II and III (Fourth Series, Volumes II and III) have the ink ownership signature of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (1779-1845), perhaps best remembered today for his decision on United States v. The Amistad, 1841. Overall, the set is near fine. The Declaration of Independence facsimile has one half-inch inch tear where mounted, else bright and fine.
A massive work and an invaluable collection of Americana.
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.
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