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Peter Force
Peter Force by Mathew Brady c1858, detail.jpg
Peter Force in 1858
Photograph by Mathew Brady
12th Mayor of Washington D.C.
In office
1836–1840
Preceded by William A. Bradley
Succeeded by William Winston Seaton
Personal details
Born (1790-11-26)November 26, 1790
Passaic Falls, New Jersey
Died January 23, 1868(1868-01-23) (aged 77)
Resting place Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington D.C.
Nationality American
Political party Whig Party
Occupation Printer, Editor, Reporter, Archivist, Historian
Known for Peter Force Collection in
The Library of Congress

Peter Force  (November 26, 1790 – January 23, 1868)  was an American politician, newspaper editor, printer, archivist, and early American historian. He was twice elected the twelfth Mayor of Washington D.C. During his lifetime he amassed an invaluable and vast collection of books, manuscripts, original maps and other archival material from statesmen, and American and British military officers of the American Revolution. Force's collection is considered to be among the most extensive. Force served in the Washington militia as a lieutenant during the War of 1812. Politically, he was a member of the Whig Party, and supporter of John Quincy Adams. He is mostly noted for editing and publishing a massive collection of historical documents, books and maps in several volumes involving the American colonies and the American Revolution which was ultimately purchased by the Library of Congress for a large sum. Force founded a political journal and other publications and was president of a premier national science society, and the Typographical Society which was largely charged with the task of communicating political affairs to the general public. Force served on the committee that approved the Geographical Department for the Library of Congress. During the international political unrest caused by the American Civil War, Force was sent to Europe by the Lincoln Administration to stabilize diplomatic relations with France and England.

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