History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


First edition copy of The Mars Project by renowned rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, inscribed and signed by von Braun to Emil Hellebrand, a member of his rocket development team, with eight pages of handwritten calculations by Hellebrand.  See the Featured Items below or the Aviation and Space listings under American History.



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Scrawls, scribbles, and signatures are more than stains on a page.  Like snapshots, they capture moments, preserving the pieces of thought that form the grand puzzle of human experience.  They reveal the breadth and depth of personality and emotion. They are truly History In Ink.

“Men don't change,” President Harry S. Truman observed.  The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know.”  The letters, photographs, and documents of the famous and influential people of the past are great teachers.  The words and the handwriting connect us with yesteryear and bring history to life.

Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, among others, collected historical letters and documents.  Queen Victoria was an avid autograph collector, and years later her great-grandson, King George VI, requested Truman's signature for his daughter, now Queen Elizabeth II.  Today there are thousands of autograph collectors worldwide.

We want to share with you the thrill of owning a genuine piece of history.  So please browse through our site.

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Latest Items Added September 17, 2019

Featured Collections

Autographs From the Estate of Llewellyn E. Thompson, Jr.,

The United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union Under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson

This outstanding Cold War collection of letters and documents had never before been offered for sale on the autograph market until we offered it.  It contained letters from five American Presidents—Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon—as well as First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Eisenhower, and Jacqueline Kennedy and others such as Robert F. Kennedy, Hubert H. Humphrey, Dean Rusk, and even Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin.

Thompson was one of the greatest and most important American diplomats of the 20th Century.  He was the United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, under Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson.  A man with velvet gloves but a backbone of steel, he played a critical role in dangerous times.  His advice to Kennedy as a member of the ExComm during the Cuban Missile Crisis was largely responsible for avoiding nuclear war with the Soviet Union.  He was also with Johnson at his 1967 summit with Kosygin at Glassboro, New Jersey, and advised Nixon on and represented the United States in the negotiations over the SALT I treaty.

click here to see the remaining items from this special collection.


The Justice Tom C. Clark Collection

We are privileged to offer the personal autograph collection of Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark. Justice Clark served as Attorney General of the United States from 1945 to 1949, when President Harry S. Truman appointed him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.  Shortly after he arrived at the Court, Justice Clark began assembling a collection of autographs of Supreme Court Justices that included those of his colleagues and extended back into the 19th Century. The collection includes personal letters that Justice Clark received from other Justices, including those congratulating him on his appointment to the Court, and internal Supreme Court memoranda among the Justices—material that is extremely rare on the autograph market.  None of this material has ever been offered for sale before. 

click here to see the items that we are currently offering from the collection.  They include a congratulatory handwritten letter from Justice Stanley F. Reed, two typed letters by Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson (1-4-1950 and 1-27-1950), extremely rare handwritten internal Court memoranda from Justice Harold Burton to Justice Clark and between Justices Clark and Reed regarding cases, internal handwritten notes from Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes and Justice James C. McReynolds, an official Supreme Court document signed by Justice Willis Van Devanter, and signatures of Justices Joseph R. Lamar, McReynolds, and Mahlon Pitney.


Featured Items

Gutzon Borglum

Fantastic signed inscription by Borglum, the creator of the Mount Rushmore sculpture, in The Undefeated, the story of Borglumʼs work on the Stone Mountain memorial, with accompanying inscription and signature by the Congressman who secured the first appropriation for Mount Rushmore


Fidel Castro

Castro signs, in person, a copy of the centerpiece of his revolutionary reforms:  the Cuban Agrarian Reform Act of 1959, with documents of provenance, unframed


Charles Darwin

Bold signature of the father of the theory of evolution on a card, unframed


Felix Frankfurter

Superb, scarce large-format portrait of Justice Frankfurter by Harris & Ewing, inscribed generically and signed, 5-19-1950, unframed



Rare bold ink signature of the Apache Native American leader, signed in person at the 1904 Worldʼs Fair in St. Louis, unframed


John F. Kennedy

Heavily hand-corrected pages from JFKʼs reading copy of a 1953 Jefferson-Jackson Day speech, early evidence of his effort to make himself known nationwide and position himself to seek the White House, 5-14-1953, unframed


Robert F. Kennedy

Writing to thank Florida Senator George Smathers for congratulations on his election to the United States Senate from New York, in a handwritten postscript Kennedy asks Smathers, an old family friend, to “stop helping Mass. and begin to help New York,” 12-2-1964, unframed


Lyndon B. Johnson

Johnson, as Vice President, writes of the “full and difficult, but challenging” days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, 11-12-1962, unframed


Stephen D. Lee

Superb autograph letter signed in which the Confederate general poignantly recalls the death of a Union soldier and the bloody battlefields of the Civil War, 12-2-1897, unframed


William H. Seward

Historically superb letter by which Seward, as Secretary of State, sends vital certified copies of documents for use as exhibits in the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators, 6-13-1865, unframed


Wernher von Braun and Emil Hellebrand

Von Braun’s book The Mars Project inscribed and signed by von Braun to Hellebrand, a member of his rocket development team, with eight pages of handwritten calculations by Hellebrand


Signers of the Declaration of Independence:

Josiah Bartlett - autograph receipt signed by Bartlett as a witness while serving as Chief Justice of New Hampshire, 3-2-1789, unframed

George Clymer - Clymer loans his brother money and signs his brotherʼs promissory note to him twice, 7-30-1802, unframed

Samuel Huntington - wonderful double association document signed by Huntington, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and William and George Pitkin, owners of a gunpowder mill that supplied the Continental Army, 12-9-1783, unframed

John Morton - Pennsylvania 2 shilling, 6 pence colonial currency signed by Morton as a member of the colonial Assembly, 4-3-1772, unframed

Roger Sherman - autograph judicial order signed by Sherman, the only person who signed all four major American founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, 5-9-1786, unframed

William Williams - extremely early autograph document signed as the town clerk of Lebanon, Connecticut, to note the recording of a deed, 2-20-1753, unframed


Recent Additions

Alexander Graham Bell - poignant letter by Bell seeking assistance for his cousin’s grandchildren after their parents’ deaths, 4-18-1922, unframed

Stephen G. Breyer - near fine copy of Justice Breyer’s book Active Liberty: Interpreting our Democratic Constitution, boldly signed

George H. W. Bush - ever the politician, the father takes the opportunity to promote the presidential candidacy of his son, George W. Bush, 12-6-1999, unframed

George H. W. Bush - the former President cleverly sends his autograph on his personal bookplate, incorporating the title of his book, All the Best, unframed

Tom C. Clark - typed letter signed, with three-line holograph postscript, identifying possible Washington, D.C., leaders for the American Judicature Society’s annual membership drive,4-17-1968, unframed

Grover Cleveland - autograph letter signed, saying that he is “quite willing that my autograph should be found in such illustrious company,” 12-11-1899, unframed

J. Edgar Hoover - Hoover responds to a student, sending a signed photograph and suggesting “an article of mine . . . entitled ‘The Enemy’s Masterpiece of Espionage,’” 1-12-1955, unframed

Howell E. Jackson - extremely rare handwritten letter—one of only three we have found—in which the Supreme Court Justice, as Senator from Tennessee, sending his regrets for his inability to obtain a job appointment for a friend’s son, 12-7-1885, unframed

William Preston Johnston - autograph letter signed by the Confederate colonel, son of General Albert Sydney Johnston and the first president of Tulane University, 12-23-1897, unframed

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - nice sentiment and signature by the most popular American poet of his time, unframed

Thurgood Marshall - typed letter signed declining to discuss the inner workings of the Supreme Court and to sign a copy his first Supreme Court opinion, 2-6-1986, unframed

Brian Mulroney - beautiful inscribed, signed formal portrait of the conservative Canadian Prime Minister, unframed

Richard M. Nixon - typed letter signed, with handwritten emendation, mentioning the first Gulf War and the 1991 economic recession, 1-28-91, unframed

Robert E. Peary - typed letter signed by the polar explorer sending congratulations and thanks to a colleague, 12-7-1906, unframed

Franklin D. Roosevelt - the President-Elect, anxious to talk with famed social work leader John Adams Kingsbury, complains that “every minute of my time is taken until I leave for the South,” 1-7-1933, unframed

Theodore Roosevelt - typed letter signed to famed New York social worker John Adams Kingsbury thanking him for a book, 7-12-1911, unframed

Theodore Roosevelt - typed letter signed to famed New York social worker John Adams Kingsbury suggesting another luncheon with social workers, 12-21-1911, unframed

Daniel E. Sickles - beautiful handwritten letter by Sickles, as the American Minister to Spain, to famed New York socialite Anne Lynch Botta, 4-14-1871, unframed

United States Supreme Court - photo of the Burger Court, circa 1972–1975, boldly signed by all nine Justices, unframed

Fred M. Vinson - personal check, signed as Chief Justice, to pay his wife’s department store account, 3-15-1950, unframed

George C. Wallace - extra fine condition 8” x 10” color photograph of Wallace, inscribed and signed as Governor of Alabama, unframed


Here you will find History In Inkbeautifully framed and unframed letters, documents, and signed photographs as well as signed books and other autograph items.  You will also find much more:  Our listings include biographical information and often explain the historical context of the autograph item itself.  We also offer information on caring for historical autographs and links to several interesting and helpful web sites.

History In Ink® offers a wide variety of historical autograph material, both framed and unframed, for sale in a broad range of prices.  We give you personal service to help you find just the right piece to help build your collection or give the perfect gift to a history buff.  If we do not have it in stock, we are always glad to help you find it. 

We specialize in the autographs of United States presidents and first ladies, Supreme Court justices, European royalty, and World War II military.  We also have items from many other notable persons in American and world history. Those include statesmen and world leaders; presidential cabinet officers; members of Congress; military figures from the American Revolutionary War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, and other conflicts; artists; authors; inventors; scientists; aviators and astronauts; and personalities from law, business, politics, vintage entertainment, and occasionally vintage sports. 

We take care to make our framed displays some of the best—wonderful conversation pieces for the home or office.  They include one or more photographs or portraits and usually include one or more engraved plates identifying the person and, if appropriate, the event.  Most of our unframed items can also be framed.

We also offer several payment options to make it as easy as possible for you to build your collection or give the perfect gift.  We can ship both framed and unframed items virtually anywhere in the world.

We always enjoy talking about autographs, so please email us with your questions, comments, and suggestions.  Give us your wish list, and sign up for our email list so that we can tell you about new items as we offer them. 

Most of all, enjoy our site, breathe in the history, and come back often.


We are always interested in buying quality historical autographs.  Click here.

History In Ink® is a registered trademark of History In Ink, L.L.C.  Site design, descriptions, and framed item designs are the copyrighted property of History In Ink, L.L.C.

© 20042019 History In Ink, L.L.C.                                                                                                Newest Online Item(s) Added 9-17-19    Site Last Updated 9-17-19