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[121] when the material for the fourth volume was submitted, he refused to approve it in any part. To Force he said: ‘I do not believe in your work, sir! It is of no use to anybody. I never read a page of it and never expect to.’ Neither he nor his successor, Lewis Cass, could be induced to change this decision, and The American archives came to an end with Volume III of the fifth series, nine volumes in all having been issued.

In 1832 Force thought the series would contain not more than five volumes, eleven years later it was limited to twenty, but when nine had been published the story of the Revolution had been carried only to the end of 1776. At this rate it would have taken over thirty volumes to bring the story to the treaty of peace; and if it had been limited to twenty it must have been left incomplete. One other fact may have aroused Marcy's disapprobation. By 1855 each Congress had formed the habit of ordering copies of the work for its own members not previously in the House, a species of graft unlikely to be terminated by Congress itself. On the other hand, it is undeniable that Marcy did not appreciate Force's work and that he was illiberal, if not narrow-minded.

Early in the series Force adopted the following division of the matter bearing on the period any given volume was to cover: (1) The proceedings, papers, and correspondence of the Continental Congress; (2) The proceedings, papers, and correspondence of the assemblies, conventions, and councils of safety of the several states; (3) The proceedings, papers, and correspondence of the British Government and of the officers acting under it in our Revolution; (4) Miscellaneous letters and papers relating to the Revolution. This material was presented with accuracy and completeness, but poorly arranged, and with very few editorial notes. The indexes in the fourth series were inadequate, but the deficiency was remedied in the fifth.

After the rejection of his work Force continued in Washington, completing his collections and putting them into shape for publication, if fortune should bring the opportunity. The outbreak of the war removed the last hope of this kind. In 1867 he was too old to complete his task, and sold his library to the Government for $100,000. It contained 22,529

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