THE PERPETRATOR OF THE NORTH POLE HOAX PLEADS FROM PRISON FOR CLEMENCY American arctic explorer; he claimed to have reached the North Pole April 21, 1908 ahead of Peary; denounced by Peary and his claim rejected as fraudulent, on grounds of insufficient evidence, by scientists aT Copenhagen. Partly printed Typewritten Document Signed, seven pages, … [ Read More ]
Collectible Autographs from Famous Explorers
Explorer autographs, signatures, signed documents, and signed letters of the early explorers virtually do not exist before Daniel Boone. Documents signed by him, always land transaction document are extremely rare. He was virtually illiterate except for signing his name, and in retirement began to sell land that he had obtained in his early settling of Kentucky. Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition is extremely rare in signed documents because of his short life span. However, his partner in the expedition, William Clark, lived a long life and, because of his military positions, signed many documents and is relatively available for today's collectors. Also because of their military careers, Zebulon M. Pike and John C. Frémont, other American Western explorers, signed many documents and are fairly easy to collect.
The pioneer African explorer, David Livingstone, was very well-known during his lifetime, and his autograph signatures and signed letters, very clearly written, have often been saved by past generations, though they are now relatively difficult to find. The man sent to find Livingstone, Henry M. Stanley, had a long career as a journalist, signed many letters, and can generally be found in autograph signatures and signed letters.
The Arctic and Antarctic explorers were the major figures of their day – household names – and their autograph signatures and signed letters were sought after and treasured. Robert E. Peary, the first to reach the North Pole, can be found in autograph material, though he is not common and the demand not great. The British Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott, who died after reaching the South Pole, freely gave his autograph signature to admirers and wrote many signed letters seeking support for his expeditions. As a national hero, after dying on his return from the Pole, his letters were saved and treasured, but can be found, though with some difficulty. Ernest H. Shackleton who, unlike Robert F. Scott, knew when to stop, is in the greatest demand among collectors. Recent books and films about Shackleton's extraordinary adventures after his ship was wrecked in the Antarctic have made him the symbol of an explorer who knew how to survive. Shackleton was very cooperative in giving his autograph signature to admirers, who could easily meet him at his numerous lectures given to raise money for his expeditions. He also wrote letters seeking support for his expeditions, though these signed letters have now become quite scarce on the market. Admiral Richard E. Byrd, the American polar explorer who was the first to fly over both the South and North Poles, and who extensively explored Antarctica, also gave many autograph signatures to admirers and also wrote many letters for fund-raising purposes.
Please browse our selection of explorer autographs, signatures, signed documents and memorabilia or you may search our entire inventory alphabetically, by name or by category.
Canadian-born pioneer in Iowa. Negotiated agreement with Fox Indians for right to work lead mines in Iowa area; first white settler near what is now Dubuque, Iowa. Document Signed, two pages, legal folio, May 28, 1809. Dubuque signs an employment agreement with Patrice Roy, marked with Roy’s “X” in which Roy certifies that he has … [ Read More ]
JAMES FRAZIER REED. Co-leader of the ill-fated Donner Expedition to California in 1846. Autograph Document Signed, one page, oblong octavo, October 6, 1851. As Administrator, Reed writes, “The within claim allowed this Oct. 6th, 1851.” The same phrase is repeated below his signature, without the day of the month filled in. Large ink stain to … [ Read More ]
A Partly Printed Contract in which Louis Rocquebrune is engaged by the firm McTavish, McGillivray & Co. and their associates, John Ogilvy and Thomas Thain, “to make the journey both to and from Fort William on the River Kaministiguia; pass through Michilimakinac and go to the Rain Lake, if he is so required to do, … [ Read More ]