Autograph Letters Signed
Browse our extensive selection of signed and autographed letters and items from leaders in every field.
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Exceptionally rare autograph album signed by President Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet including Salmon P. Chase and William H. Seward
Exceptionally rare finely bound autograph album signed by the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln as well as his cabinet and 225 senators, representatives, and delegates of the 37th Congress, 1861-1863. Octavo, bound in full morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised bands, gilt ruled, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers, with the name “Lizzie F. Harlow” gilt on the front panel. Singed by Abraham Lincoln on the first page of the album, “Yours truly, Abraham Lincoln.” Additionally signed by William H. Seward, Edwin M. Stanton, Gideon Welles, M. Blair, Edward Bates, J. P. Usher and S. P. Chase. Collected between the years of 1862 and 1863 by James McCain, a young patent officer at the United States Patent Office. McCain presented the custom-bound album to his sweetheart, Lizzie F. Harlow, who, despite not marrying the young clerk, passed it down to her heirs. In near fine condition. An exceptional rarity with noted provenance.
Exceptionally Rare Hand-written Letter Signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a graduate student at Boston University in 1952
Hand-written autograph letter signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to his academic adviser at Boston University Graduate School. The letter, dated September 1952 on an official Registrar Petition form addressed to the faculty reads: “I am desirous of taking twelve hours towards the PhD degree this semester in the Boston University Graduate School. My major field is Systematic theology. At present I have completed twenty-eight hours toward the degree, and passed the French examination. I plan to take the German examination in October, 1952. I would have taken the examination before now, but I wanted to make sure that I had an adequate background in German before taking it. For the past two years I have been a close student of German. In the light of this I am fairly certain that I can pass the examination in October. Martin L. King Jr. Graduate Student.” With faculty notes beneath signed by King’s academic adviser, “1952 L. Harold DeWolf. Approved. Granted for fall semester only.” King has also clearly printed his name on the verso, visible though an opening at in the back of the frame. Double matted and framed with a photograph of a young King. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 15 inches. An exceptionally rare example providing a remarkable glimpse into the iconic leader’s education.
“I’VE JUST HAD THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE”: Exceptional letter signed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich von Hayek
Exceptional letter signed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich von Hayek. One page, on Thatcher’s official 10 Downing Street letterhead and dated May 22nd 1984, the letter reads, “Dear Professor Hayek,” I have it in mind on the occasion of the forthcoming list of Birthday Honours to submit your name to The Queen with a recommendation that Her Majesty may be graciously pleased to approve that you be appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour. I should be glad to know if this would be agreeable to you. I shall take no steps until I have your reply. “Yours sincerely, Margaret Thatcher.” Accompanied by a large original black and white photograph of Hayek taken at the honorary appointment at Buckingham Palace in which, he was in fact, awarded the Companion of Honour Medal by Queen Elizabeth II. In fine condition. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 24.5 inches by 19 inches. An exceptional piece of history.
"I have been accepted in Boston University Graduate School as a regular student and a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Systematic Theology": Exceptionally Rare Autograph Letter Signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before beginning graduate studies at Boston University in 1951
Typescript autograph letter signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. requesting housing upon his acceptance to Boston University Graduate School. The letter, dated June 15th 1951 and addressed to Dean Charles W. Alter, Boston University Graduate School, reads, “Dear Dean Alter, I have been accepted in Boston University Graduate School as a regular student and a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Systematic Theology. I am now interested in finding living accommodations on the campus, or at least very near by. A single room would be preferable. If such is possible I would appreciate having it reserved. I am also interested in applying for a graduate Fellowship. Please send me the necessary information at this point along with an application blank. Thanks in advance for your cooperation, I am Sincerely yours, Martin L. King, Jr.” King later recalled his experience with housing bias in 1951 Boston in an interview with the Boston Globe in 1965, “I remember very well trying to find a place to live. I went into place after place where there were signs that rooms were for rent. They were for rent until they found out I was a Negro, and suddenly they had just been rented.” Double matted and framed, with a photograph of a young King. The entire piece measures 14 inches by 21.75 inches. This letter offers an extraordinary glimpse into the education of the great African-American Civil Rights leader, exemplifying his own experiences with the systemic racism in 1950s American society.
"I share entirely your view that it is vitally necessary for everyone in the Middle East to live in peace": Autograph Letter Signed by David Ben-Gurion
Autograph letter signed by the founder of modern day Israel and first prime minister David Ben-Gurion. It reads, “Sdeh. Boker, 28. 2. 70 Dear Mr. George P. Viegelmann, Jr. I share entirely your view that it is vitally necessary for everyone in the Middle East to live in peace. I am expressing a private view: I would be ready to give up a great Part of the areas which we hold since the six day war, if this would bring peace; by peace I mean friendship with our Arab neighbors and cooperation politically, economically and culturally, but perhaps only Russia can bring this about. I even doubt whether the American Gov. can achieve that. In the future there may be a change in Egypt. David Ben-Gurion.” This letter is a very unique piece of history, particularly in regards to Israeli-Arab relations and the study of peace in general. While publicly Ben-Gurion was the undoubted leader in Zionism, privately at the end of his life, he began to have other opinions. He desired peace even if it meant giving up land that they had fought to obtain. Ben-Gurion’s thoughts on peace in his latter years is corroborated by the recent documentary, Ben-Gurion, Epilogue. This movie features footage that was taken in 1968 and only recently discovered. In the footage he explains that Israel’s moral compass was inexorably tied to its treatment of the non-Jews living under its rule. Double matted and framed opposite a photograph of Ben-Gurion. The entire piece measures 15 inches by 16.5 inches.
Rare Photographic Portrait of Robert E. Lee and his staff; Inscribed by Civil War Photographer Mathew Brady
Photographic portrait of General Robert E. Lee flanked by his son, General George Washington Custis Lee, on his right and Colonel Walter Taylor on his left. Inscribed by one of the earliest photographers in American history, Mathew Brady, on a mount, “To Col. Robert Alexander Compliments of his friend, M.B. Brady.” The photograph was taken at Lee’s estate in Richmond, Virginia in April of 1865, only days after his surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. This is one in a series taken by Brady in the basement below the back porch of the estate and from the original wet plates in the Brady-Handy collection. “This photograph is one of the most celebrated images produced by Brady, who established his reputation in the 1850s as the preeminent portraitist in New York and Washington, D.C. In the aftermath of the Civil War, Brady sought out General Robert E. Lee, who had returned to the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia, after his surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. At the photographer’s request General Lee reluctantly put on his uniform and posed at the back of his residence with his son, General George Washington Custis Lee (left), and his chief of staff, Colonel Walter H. Taylor (right). The image conveys the pathos of defeat for the Confederacy and for Lee personally. For Brady, who had been present at the first battle of the Civil War at Bull Run, this portrait completed his photographic coverage of the conflict” (WAM). Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 17 inches by 14 inches. An exceptional piece of Americana.
Rare Presidential Commission appointing Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Dimaggio as a member of the Conference on Physical Fitness and Sports; signed by President Richard Nixon
Washington, D.C: 1970.
Rare Richard Nixon Presidential Commission appointing Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio as a “Member of the Conference on Physical Fitness and Sports.” Dated September 25th, 1970 the appointment is signed by President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State William Rogers with the Presidential seal. Double matted and framed. In fine condition. From the personal collection of Joe DiMaggio. Included is letter of provenance from DiMaggio’s estate signed by his two granddaughters. An exceptional association linking two American icons. Double matted and framed.
"Humanity is the same the world over in whatever garb or colour she may be clothed": Signed Photograph of Mahatma Gandhi
Rare signed photograph depicting Mohandas K. Gandhi in profile with his palms pressed together, inscribed in Gujarati (“[Truth at all costs]”) and signed in English M.K. Gandhi on the image in blue ink. With an autographed letter signed from Amrit Kaur, the secretary to Gandhi and later Health Minister of India, to Sgt. John McAleer, written on Gandhi’s behalf, enclosing the signed photograph and responding to his letter (“…Humanity is the same the world over in whatever garb or colour she may be clothed…”), 2 pages, Poona, 5 March 1946, with envelope; photograph of Gandhi and another in rickshaws being pulled by a ceremonial guard, stamped and inscribed “Bhullo chien Desia” on the reverse; and a newspaper cutting; altogether five items mounted and framed together. In very good condition with the inscription faded. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 19.5 inches by 16.5 inches. A nice collection with noted provenance.
"As you may have noticed I have been wandering all the time": Rare autograph postcard signed and entirely in the hand of the Father of the Nation of India, Mahatma Gandhi
Rare autograph postcard signed and entirely in the hand of the Father of the Nation of India, Mahatma Gandhi. The letter reads, “Dear Rev. Conley, You will please forgive one for my inability to reply to your letter earlier. As you may have noticed I have been wandering all the time. I am at present at Thithal leaving Bombay on 24th Oct for Bengal. I am afraid therefore that we cannot meet before the … Your serv MK Gandhi 25 4 25 Tithal.” The postcard measures 5.5 inches by 3.5 inches. In near fine condition. Rare and desirable.
Madrid: May 28, 1699.
Rare elaborately illuminated nobility diploma signed by King Charles II Of Spain, appointing Don Martin Damian Mendizabal the title of Marquis of Torre Gines. Quarto, bound in full red contemporary velvet covered boards with two metal clasps, containing five illuminated leaves, two fully illuminated in color with the Royal coat of arms and portrait of King Charles II, text in Spanish. Signed by King Charles II, “Yo el Rey” and additionally signed by several Royal secretaries. Bound with a printed manuscript of the Oath of Fidelity to the King of Spain with Royal stamps dated 1701 and with two autograph letters laid in, the first dated September 17, 1701 and signed by Philip V, and the second addressed to the Marquis. Exceptionally rare.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever": Rare Mahatma Gandhi Autograph
Rare Mohandas K. Gandhi autograph, signed at the height of the struggle for Indian Independence. Signed by Gandhi, “M.K. Gandhi 28-12-38 Segaon-Wardha.” Eight miles from the city of Wardha, the Indian village of Segoan became the site of Gandhi’s Sevagram Ashram, established in 1936 when Gandhi was 67 years old. Gandhi renamed the site Sevagram, meaning “village of service”, and resided there until his death by assassination in 1948. In near fine condition. Double matted and framed with a large photograph of Gandhi. The entire piece measures 21 inches by 16.5 inches.
Autograph Military Land Grant Signed by Thomas Jefferson as President and James Madison as secretary of state
Autograph document boldly signed by Thomas Jefferson as President of the United States and countersigned by James Madison as Secretary of State. One page printed on vellum dated July 7th, 1801 and signed at the conclusion “Th: Jefferson” and “James Madison.” The letter reads that it was issued “in pursuance of the act of Congress passed on the first day of June 1796, entitled ‘An Act regulating the grants of Land appropriated for Military Services, and for the Society of the United Brethren for propagating the gospel among the Heathen.'” Military land grants were issued during the Revolutionary War as compensation for military service. With the original paper seal affixed to the lower left corner of the document. In very good condition with light toning. Double matted and framed with portraits of both Jefferson and Madison. The letter measures 11.5 inches by 12 inches. The entire piece measures 33.5 inches by 19 inches. A rare and desirable piece of Americana.
Rare Original Dinner Program Signed by Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill below his iconic Yousef Karsh portrait
Rare original Cartier-printed program from the dinner held in honor of Winston S. Churchill at the Waldorf Astoria on Friday, March 15th 1946. Quarto, gilt embossed coat of arms of the United Kingdom to the front panel, the first page features a full-page photogravure of Canadian photographer Yousef Karsh’s iconic portrait of Churchill, “The Roaring Lion” which in May 1945 was featured on the cover of Life magazine. Signed by Churchill beneath his famous likeness, “Winston S. Churchill.” In 1941, after Churchill’s address to the Canadian Parliament, Karsh had but a moment to photograph him and daringly removed the cigar from Churchill’s mouth, memorializing the staunch leader’s stern expression with the image he captured at that very moment. Churchill later said to Karsh, “You can even make a roaring lion stand still to be photographed,” which led Karsh to name the portrait “The Roaring Lion.” Containing two excerpts from two of Churchill’s most memorable speeches: his first speech as Prime Minister and his June 4th 1940 speech following the evacuation of Dunkirk. In fine condition. Rare and desirable, signed only ten days after Churchill delivered his famous ‘Iron Curtain Speech’ in Fulton, Missouri declaring: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere.” In fine condition.
Rare original photograph boldly inscribed by Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., “Best Wishes to Mr. & Mrs. Ken Browne, From Martin L. King.” The photograph measures 3.5 inches by 5 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 12 inches by 13 inches. In very good condition. Photographs signed by King are rare and desirable.
"Although the days are now dark, I am convinced that we stand on the threshold of our nation's bright tomorrow": Rare autograph letter signed by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Atlanta, Georgia: 1961.
Autograph letter signed by Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Dated October 5, 1961 and addressed to Mr. K. H. Browne, the letter reads in part, “Dear Mr. Browne: This is to acknowledge receipt of your very kind letters of recent date. Encouraging words such as yours are of inestimable value for the continuance of my humble efforts. Our struggle is often difficult and the moments are often frustrating, but we gain new courage to carry on when we realize that persons of good will, such as you, are supporting us in the background. Although the days are now dark, I am convinced that we stand on the threshold of our nation’s bright tomorrow. I’ve never been to Mesa, Arizona, and appreciate your invitation to visit there sometime…It is my hope that I will have the pleasure of meeting you sometime in the near future. Sincerely yours, Martin Luther King, Jr.” In fine condition. Double matted and framed with the original mailing envelope and a portrait of King. The entire piece measures 23 inches by 20 inches. Rare and desirable.