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 June 5, 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.

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), a typed letter by Justices Owen J. Roberts (with a handwritten note by Justice Clark), 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.

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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

 

Geronimo

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

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

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Recent Additions

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

William O. Douglas - Douglas sends thanks for comments on his extraordinary foreign policy speech about China, the Soviet Union, and India, 4-28-1955, unframed

Gerald R. Ford - soon to be President himself, Ford writes of the relationship between the President and the Congress, 2-12-1973, unframed

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

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

Judson Harmon - autograph letter signed by Grover Cleveland’s Attorney General, who responds to a student with interesting comments about individuality and the inner self, 1-29-1897, 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

James Monroe - exceptional condition land grant, engraved and printed by W. I. Stone, conveying land in Ohio, 4-9-1822, unframed

Levi P. Morton - bold signature of Morton, Vice President under Benjamin Harrison, dated in his hand 3-10-1895 as Governor of New York, unframed

Barack Obama - Obama signs the dedication page from his book The Audacity of Hope, which he dedicated to his grandmother and mother, unframed

Jon Provost - very fine condition dual-signed photo of Provost as Timmy, with his co-star, Lassie, unframed

James Earl Ray archive:

handwritten Christmas card referring to Ray’s interview on the Morton Downey show, 12-14-1988, unframed

autograph letter signed from Brushy Mountain Prison referring to publishing a revised paperback edition of his book Tennessee Waltz: The Making of a Political Prisoner, 1-15-1991, unframed

typed letter signed by the convicted assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., referring to his British mock trial, and sending a signed mugshot, 9-21-1992 – two pieces, unframed

typed letter signed, discussing lawsuits against Loyd Jowers, who confessed to a conspiracy to assassinate Martin Luther King, Jr., and against an author and publisher of a book about mafioso Carlos Marcello that tied Marcello and Ray to the King murder, 11-16-1994, unframed

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

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

Laura Ingalls Wilder - nice signed copy of Little House in the Big Woods, Wilder’s first book, with a huge 4” signature

Laura Ingalls Wilder - an affordable alternative to a signed book:  a copy of Farmer Boy, with Wilder’s signature tipped in

Brigham Young - nice brown ink signature of Young on a card, 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.

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© 20042018 History In Ink, L.L.C.                                                                                                Newest Online Item(s) Added 6-5-18    Site Last Updated 6-10-18