History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


Extremely rare, excellent association handwritten letter by renowned director Alfred Hitchcock to actor Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, extending an embarrassed dinner invitation, circa 1948.  See the Featured Items below or the Art and Entertainment 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 February 14, 2018

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 has never before been offered for sale on the autograph market.  It contains 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.

Some of these items have been sold, but 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, handwritten letters by Justices Harold H. Burton and Sherman Minton, two typed letters by Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson (1-4-1950 and 1-27-1950), typed letters by Justices Owen J. Roberts (with a handwritten note by Justice Clark) and James F. Byrnes, an extremely rare handwritten internal Court memorandum from Justice Harold Burton, extremely rare handwritten correspondence between Justices Clark and Reed regarding a case, internal handwritten notes from Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes and Justices Joseph R. Lamar, Mahlon Pitney, Willis Van Devanter, and James C. McReynolds, an official Supreme Court document signed by Van Devanter, a Supreme Court card signed by Potter Stewart, and signatures of Lamar, McReynolds, Pitney, and George Sutherland.


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


Alfred Hitchcock

Extremely rare, excellent association autograph letter signed to actor Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, extending an embarrassed dinner invitation, ca. 1948, 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


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

William Ellery - Revolutionary War-dated receipt for payment, written and signed by the Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island, 10-28-1780, unframed

Benjamin Franklin - superb association document in which Franklin confers membership in the American Philosophical Society on French Admiral Luc Urbain de Bouëxic, the Count de Guichen, who had served gallantly in support of the American cause against Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, 1-20-1786, unframed

Benjamin Harrison (1726–1791) - in the immediate aftermath of the Revolutionary War, Harrison certifies a familyʼs entitlement to land due a deceased soldier for his military service, 6-24-1783, unframed

Stephen Hopkins - manuscript pay warrant signed by Hopkins as Governor of Rhode Island, 1759, 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

Thomas McKean - beautiful Pennsylvania land grant signed by McKean, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, as Governor, also signed by Timothy Matlack, who engrossed the Declaration, 8-18-1803, 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

Amos ʻnʼ Andy – Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll – from the golden age of radio, a great signed photograph of comedians “Amos ʻnʼ Andy,” circa 1930s, unframed

William J. Brennan, Jr. - wonderful typed letter signed by Justice Brennan quoting one of his own speeches while sending a favorite quotation by Yeats, 11-19-1976, unframed

Warren E. Burger - beautiful formal portrait inscribed and signed to a federal appellate judge and dated as Chief Justice, 10-31-1981, matted

George W. Bush - very scarce autograph letter signed to NASCAR legend O. Bruton Smith dated three months before Bush announced his candidacy for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, 3-29-1999, unframed

Samuel L. Clemens - Mark Twain - bold dual signatures, Saml L. Clemens / Mark Twain, on a card, perfect for framing

Felix Frankfurter - typed letter signed, as Harvard law professor, thanking New York Judge Bernard Shientag for a copy of a lecture, 2-20-1935, unframed

Hermann Göring - rare, poignant signed photo of Göring holding his infant daughter, Edda, before her christening, July 1938, unframed

[Hermann Göring] Emmy Göring - extremely rare, perhaps unique, oversize signed photograph of the second wife of Nazi Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, together with an unsigned family portrait, unframed

Fred Haise - scarce autograph letter signed by the Lunar Module pilot on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission promising to send signed photographs of himself and mission operations items signed by Flight Director Gene Kranz, 5-10-2005, unframed

J. Edgar Hoover - vintage typed letter signed offering a lady a clerkʼs position in the FBI, 5-5-1951, unframed

Ward Hunt - very scarce autograph letter signed in which Justice Hunt, then a New York state appeals commissioner, questions why he received ten copies the state statutes, 12-29-1871, unframed

Howell Jackson - beautiful, scarce signature of Justice Jackson, as Senator from Tennessee, hand dated on an album page, 8-1-1882, unframed

James R. Leavelle - cacheted first day cover honoring President John F. Kennedy, inscribed and signed by Leavelle, the Dallas detective handcuffed to Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald when Oswald himself was shot by Jack Ruby, 9-4-91, unframed

Richard M. Nixon - publisher’s deluxe cloth signed edition of Nixon's memoirs, RN, in the original slipcase, in near fine condition

Matthew B. Ridgway - typed letter signed as Army Chief of Staff, with autograph emendation, 12-10-1953

Albert Speer - Hitlerʼs chief architect and Nazi Reich Minister of Armaments sends thanks for reviews likely of his first book, Inside the Third Reich, 3-24-1971, unframed

Harry S. Truman - 1959 letter with Trumanʼs classic signature in a stunning framed display

Booker T. Washington - typed letter signed to Dr. J. L. M. Curry, agent for the Slater Fund, which promoted African-American education in the post-Civil War South, expressing his “love for you and faith in you,” 11-12-1901, unframed

William C. Westmoreland - outstanding signed 8” x 10” formal color bust portrait of General Westmoreland, in his four-star uniform, unframed

Edward D. White - scarce autograph letter signed, as Associate Justice, responding to a studentʼs request, 5-31-1895, unframed

Charles Evans Whittaker - rare signed photograph of the Supreme Court Justice, who served but five years on the Court, unframed

Leonard Wood - very scarce handwritten letter by General Wood, who formed the “Roughriders” with Theodore Roosevelt, referring to the yellow fever outbreak in Cuba during the Spanish-American war, 10-18-1899, 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.

© 20042018 History In Ink, L.L.C.                                                                                                Newest Online Item(s) Added 2-14-18    Site Last Updated 2-14-18