History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


Superb document by John Hancock, signed amid independence fervor in Congress, sending resolutions to raise battalions of troops to send immediately to fortify Boston against attack by the British, 5-16-1776.  Click the link in the Featured Items below.



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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 dont change, President Harry S. Truman observed.  The only thing new in the world is the history you dont 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 Trumans 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 May 23, 2016

Featured Collections

[Baseball Archive – Stan Musial] 

Superb, unique archive of more than 300 major league baseball playersʼ reminiscences about St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial, gathered as research for a biography of Musial


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 congratulatory handwritten letters from Justices Stanley F. Reed and Wiley B. Rutledge, 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, and internal handwritten notes from Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes and Justices Howell E.  Jackson, Joseph R. Lamar, and James C. McReynoldsPlease watch for more items from this collection or contact us to ask about other items.


Featured Items

Neil Armstrong

The Holy Grail of space autographs:  an uninscribed official NASA portrait of Armstrong, signed across his white space suit, unframed


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


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



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


John Hancock

Amid congressional fervor to declare independence from Great Britain, Hancock signs resolutions to raise battalions of troops to fortify Boston against a possible British attack, 5-16-1776, unframed


Robert E.  Lee

Nice signed carte-de-visite by famed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady, unframed


Ronald Reagan

Superb three-page handwritten draft letter lambasting President Jimmy Carter and energizing conservatives to fund opposition to the SALT II arms limitation treaty with the Soviet Union, early- to mid-1979, unframed


Babe Ruth

In his magic year of 1927, when he would set the single-season home run record, the Bambino invites members of the press to a pre-release showing of his starring role in his second feature film, The Babe Comes Home,” 4-20-1927, 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


Recent Additions

[Atomic Bomb – Hiroshima – Enola Gay] - extra fine condition photo of the Hiroshima mushroom cloud signed by four members of the Enola Gay crew, Paul Tibbets, Dutch Van Kirk, Tom Ferebee, and Richard Nelson, unframed

Hugo L. Black - superb typed letter signed by Justice Black regarding his opinion in the Supreme Courtʼs school prayer decision—and referring to the Bible—3-31-1966, unframed

Hugo L. Black - poignant, rare autograph letter signed, on Supreme Court stationery, sending thanks for condolences on the death of his wife, Josephine, 3-12-1952, unframed

Benjamin N. Cardozo - excellent autograph letter signed returning newspaper accounts of the Lincoln assassination, which he describes as “moving memorials of one of the great moments in our national life,” 2-17-1929, unframed

James F. Byrnes - scarce signed photograph of Byrnes, as governor of South Carolina, unframed

King Edward VIII - The Duke of Windsor - bold handwritten sentiment signed and dated by the former King in April 1951, when he released his memoir, A Kingʼs Story, unframed

Melville W. Fuller - rare internal Supreme Court correspondence in which the Chief Justice sends the Reporter of Decisions corrections in two published opinions, 12-27-1903, unframed

Warren G. Harding - scarce The White House card, signed in black, unframed

Adolf Hitler - fine condition retirement certificate of Lt. Gen. Walter Büchs, an artillery general whom Hitler recalled to active service in Poland and the Soviet Union in World War II, signed by both Hitler and Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg, 10-28-1936

Herbert Hoover - very nice The White House card, signed in black, unframed

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

Julia Ward Howe - signature of the writer of The Battle Hymn of the Republic on a small card, with a portrait suitable for framing

Charles Evans Hughes - superb association autograph letter signed in which Hughes notes Secretary of State Robert Lansingʼs “fitness for the office at this time of grave responsibilities” as the United States struggles to stay out of World War I, 6-27-1915, framed

Rudyard Kipling - signature of the author of The Jungle Book, unframed

Stan Laurel - excellent content typed letter signed by Laurel discussing two Laurel and Hardy films, 3-30-1959, unframed

Fitzhugh Lee - bold signature of the former Confederate cavalry general as Governor of Virginia, ca. 1886–1890, on a card, unframed

George Washington Custis Lee - signature of the Confederate major general, son of Robert E. Lee, unframed

Franklin D. Roosevelt - outstanding typed letter signed by FDR, seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, about “the present tragic economic condition” and the need  for “a return to sanity and stability” near the depth of the Great Depression, 5-6-1932, unframed

Upton Sinclair - typed letter signed to his friend and critic, Melville Kress, sending a gift for suggesting the opening chapter of his fourth Lanny Budd novel, Wide is the Gate, 3-16-1942, unframed

William Howard Taft - boldly signed The White House card, unframed

Harry S. Truman - President Truman awards the Legion of Merit to a British signal officer for his work with communications for the important Yalta Conference among Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin in February 1945, unframed

Queen Victoria - rare black-bordered diplomatic document—including black-bordered seal—by the widowed Queen less than two years after Prince Albertʼs death, 9-29-1863, unframed

Orville Wright - nice signature of the co-inventor of the airplane 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 Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, and other conflicts; artists; authors; inventors; scientists; aviators and astronauts; and personalities from law, business, politics, entertainment, and occasionally 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.

© 20042016 History In Ink, L.L.C.                                                                                                Newest Online Item(s) Added 5-23-16    Site Last Updated 5-23-16