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[122] printed volumes, about 40,000 pamphlets, some valuable newspaper files, and enough transcripts to make 129 bound volumes. The collection was placed in the Library of Congress, where Force's manuscripts remain unpublished. In 1879 Congress called for a report on the value of the collection, and received a lucid statement from the Librarian of Congress. No practical results followed.1

Aside from the Archives Force is best remembered for four volumes of Tracts published from 1836 to 1846. They were mostly reprints of rare pamphlets relating to the earliest period of American history, and their publication was accomplished with financial sacrifices. ‘Whenever I found a little more money in my purse than I absolutely needed,’ he said, ‘I printed a volume of Tracts.’ Several pamphlets of his own composition were also published, none of them of much importance. They serve to show us how little of an author he was.

Bancroft and Sparks collected documents, and Sparks published documents, but each was an historian first of all. Force collected documents and published them, without a thought of editing or interpreting them. If his great work had been more discreetly conducted, it might have weathered the storm of popular criticism. But Force was not discreet. In all the confusion around him he never relaxed an inch in his plan of making a complete and all—inclusive collection.

Force has had no successor, probably because his example raised up such a large school of local collectors and compilers that there has been no room for one vast treasure. The work he did not do has been carried on by many workers and has resulted in many restricted collections. Force played a large part in awakening the interest of this group; and in doing so he contributed much to the progress of American historical scholarship in the last fifty years, its latest and most fruitful period.

1 For a discussion of the value of Force's collection see Bassett, Middle group of American historians, p. 298.

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