History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


Excellent gift for Black History Month:  Pristine $5 bill, with the portrait of the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, signed in person by Azie Taylor Morton, the first African-American Treasurer of the United States, beautifully framed to archival standards.  Click below or see "Leaders and Reformers" on the American History page.



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spanish-american war

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vietnam war



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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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Featured Items

Abraham Lincoln

Handwritten letter in which Lincoln, as President-Elect, sets in motion the appointment of the most important and powerful member of his Cabinet, Secretary of State William H. Seward, unframed


John F. Kennedy

The ultimate relic of the Cold War:  President Kennedy’s personalized gift, an engraved October 1962 calendar to commemorate the Cuban Missile Crisis, given to Ambassador Llewellyn “Tommy” Thompson, whose advice to the President enabled the peaceful resolution of the crisis, keeping the United States and the Soviet Union out of a full-scale nuclear war


Aaron Burr

Rare, likely unique, bill of exchange representing financing for Burr’s alleged treasonous scheme to sever American territory for a new country under his own rule, 9-17-1806, unframed


Bill Clinton

Shortly after the appointment of Kenneth Starr as Independent Counsel to investigate the Clintons’ Whitewater dealings—the appointment that led to his impeachment—the President sends an upbeat letter to his cousin predicting that “the end will bring us out all right,” 8-24-1994, unframed


Adolf Eichmann

Rare and important war-dated directive by Eichmann to Theodor Dannecker, Nazi head of the Jewish Department in Paris, to create a register of Jews for efficiency in actions against Jews, 9-28-1941, unframed


Adolf Hitler

Scarce early Nazi party document expelling a member for failure to attend an SA meeting, signed by Hitler and Nazi party Supreme Court president Walter Buch, 3-31-1927, 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


Signers of the Declaration of Independence:

George Ross - partially holograph legal document in which Ross, as the attorney for the plaintiff, brings suit to collect on a promissory note, 6-25-1754, 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

George H. W. Bush - official White House color portrait of Bush in the Oval Office, almost certainly signed as President, inscribed “Best wishes” to no one in particular, unframed

Joe DiMaggio - beautiful signed photo of the Yankee Clipper reading the 1939 Sporting News proclamation declaring him to be “the perfect player,” framed

Gerald R. Ford - White House letter in which the embattled President thanks the incoming Republican Party treasurer for taking on the task during the upcoming political season, 9-12-1975, unframed

Melville W. Fuller - poignant black-bordered letter in which the Chief Justice sends thanks for condolences on the death of his wife, 9-20-1904, unframed

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. - handwritten letter by Justice Holmes on Supreme Court stationery sending his autograph, 3-17-1927, unframed

Azie Taylor Morton - pristine $5 star note signed in person by Morton, the first African-American to serve as Treasurer of the United States, framed

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh - very scarce typed letter signed sending thanks for an art print while nonetheless offering to give it up for charity, 11-19-1982, unframed

Colin Powell - extra fine signed photograph of Powell as Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, unframed

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans - classic signed photograph of the Western film and television icons, unframed

Franklin D. Roosevelt - eyeing reelection, Roosevelt sends thanks for the support of organized labor, a crucial part of the New Deal coalition, 4-20-1936, unframed

Theodore Roosevelt - typed letter signed in which the President urges that “all possible encouragement should be given to the practice of rifle shooting in our country,” because “in any crisis we must depend upon our volunteer citizen soldiery for our army,” 1-27-1904, unframed

Laura Ingalls Wilder - beautiful signed copy of Little Town on the Prairie, with provenance, with unsigned copies of two other Wilder books


Featured Collections


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.


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.


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.

© 20042022 History In Ink, L.L.C.                                                                                                Newest Online Item(s) Added 1-22-2022    Site Last Updated 1-23-2022