I’m taking time to read and write. Now pardon me while I sharpen my quill…
Gardner, Alexander, photographer. Peter Force, full-length portrait, seated at table, facing slightly right, holding a quill pen in his right hand, with books on table and floor / A. Gardner, photographer, Washington, D.C., 1865. [Washington, D.C.: Published by Philp sic & Solomons] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2004674701/. Click to open larger image in new window.
See you next time. Stay safe. Be well.
The real subject of this photograph, Peter Force (1790-1868), has nothing to do with the Jonathan M. Clark House, but he was quite a character…
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 He is mostly noted for editing and publishing a massive collection of historical documents, books and maps in several volumes involving the American colonies and the American Revolution which was ultimately purchased by the Library of Congress for a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.
For the remainder of this fine introduction to Force’s life and works, click here.