“HOW IS IT TO BE LAMENTED THAT THE MORALS OF MEN RECENTLY ARE BECOME SO CORRUPT, THAT A MAN OF HIS WEALTH AND A HIGH STANDING… SHOULD BE GUILTY OF SUCH VILE CALUMNY FOR POLITICAL EFFECT.” ANDREW JACKSON. President. Autograph Letter Signed, two pages, quarto, Hermitage, November 30, 1844. To William Prescott, the American historian … [ Read More ]
Signatures of US Presidents
Presidential autographs, signatures, signed letters, and signed documents of all presidents of the United States are not as rare as most people believe. The only true rarities are of those who died in office, and they are rare only in autograph signatures and signed documents created while serving as president. The more famous the president, the more likely that he had a career during which he signed many autograph pieces, letters and documents. Also, the more important the presidency, and the better known a president was afterwards, the greater the likelihood that his autograph signatures, signed letters, and signed documents would be saved and treasured by later generations. The number of autographed pieces created, however, does not translate into lower values among the most famous presidents. The demand for their signed pieces is such that, despite the number of signed letters and signed documents created, their values remain relatively high. The less well-known presidents are in demand only by collectors forming complete sets of presidential autograph signatures, signed letters, and signed documents.
George Washington signed many documents as the first president, and also signed many Army discharge documents at the end of the American Revolution. He has always been in great popular demand, and values reflect this. John Adams, who was a highly accomplished early statesman in many roles, as well as president, is far less common in signed letters and signed documents than his contemporaries, and his values are commensurate with the scarcity of his signed documents. Thomas Jefferson had a lifelong public career, beginning with the governorship of Virginia and ending with the presidency. He produced many signed documents, as well as signed letters, but the latter have been heavily collected by institutional libraries, notably the University of Virginia, which he founded, and they are not frequently encountered. Andrew Jackson had an important military career before becoming president, but did not sign all that many documents that have survived; he is much more available in signed documents as president. Abraham Lincoln is the most popular president among collectors of autograph signatures, signed letters, and signed documents. Despite the fact he was assassinated, he is available to collectors because he signed many presidential documents during his four years as president. Everything signed by Lincoln has been treasured and in demand since 1865. As a military leader, Ulysses S. Grant was required to sign many documents, and after the Civil War, he signed many cards with his autograph signature. Also during this period, he wrote and signed letters which were also saved, as his name was synonymous with winning the Civil War. Presidential documents were also treasured and are available today to collectors of both Civil War leaders and presidents. Theodore Roosevelt had a long career in many different capacities, several of which required him to sign letters and documents, and he was well-known enough throughout the country that his signed pieces were saved.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, our longest-serving president, signed a large number of letters as president, though not very many documents, and the recipients of his letters always preserved them. Harry Truman's common sense approach to being a president, and the very important decisions he had to make, ranging from dropping the atomic bomb on Japan to the conducting of the Korean War, have ranked him as one of the best presidents. After his presidency, Truman was happy to autograph photographs, sign books and sign letters for those who wrote to him, and he is one of the most available of all of the important presidents. Dwight Eisenhower is of great appeal as the World War II general, and increasingly in demand as president. In both roles, he signed many pieces, though his World War II autograph signatures, signed letters, and signed documents are much less common than his presidential ones. John F. Kennedy established a policy of not signing most of his letters when he was congressman, senator, and then president. He designated secretaries to sign almost everything that was not signed with an autopen. Kennedy, therefore, is much scarcer in autograph signatures, signed letters, and signed documents than his public career would indicate, and the demand for him has always been very strong. Ronald Reagan had Kennedy's attitude toward not personally signing letters, and despite the many different positions that he held, including governor of California, is not at all common in autograph signatures, signed letters, and signed documents.
Please browse our selection of presidential autographs, signatures, signed letters, signed documents and memorabilia or you may search our entire inventory alphabetically, by name or by category.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT. President. Partly printed Document Signed, one page, narrow oblong quarto, November 4, 1932. Franklin D Roosevelt signs a “Return Receipt” acknowledging that the candidate’s name is correctly placed on the ballot: “To Burt E. Burnett, County Clerk for the County of Jackson / I hereby acknowledge receipt by registered mail, of proof … [ Read More ]
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT. President. Typewritten Letter Signed, one page, quarto, April 7, 1932. On his name-imprinted State of New York Executive Chamber stationery, to Mr. J. Osborn Brink in Monrovia, California. Headed “Personal” at the top in Franklin D Roosevelt’s hand. With original envelope and a letter from Roosevelt to U.S. Senator Robert F. Wagner, … [ Read More ]
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT. President. Autograph Letter Signed, two pages, quarto, Hyde Park, New York, September 14, no year. On his name-imprinted stationery, to Dear Mr. Roberts. “I’m sorry, but still I don’t understand about the certificates. These are for 6,000 shares, the full amount to go to the organizers-and I understand that while they were … [ Read More ]
FDR ORGANIZES LIFE AT WARM SPRINGS ON THE EVE OF THE DEPRESSION FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT. President. Typewritten Letter Signed, FDR, two very full pages, quarto, Hyde Park, August 10, 1929. As Governor of New York, to Carp. After thanking Carp for his letter, Franklin D Roosevelt notes that he is home for “three comparatively … [ Read More ]
“…A WORKING MAN…IS THE MAN… I AM MORE ANXIOUS TO REPRESENT THAN ANY OTHER IN AMERICAN LIFE.” THEODORE ROOSEVELT. President. Typewritten Letter Signed, one page, quarto, New York, May 9, 1918. On imprinted stationery of The Kansas City Star, to William M. Stuart in Canisteo, New York. “That’s a very kind and friendly letter. Believe … [ Read More ]
THEODORE ROOSEVELT. President. Typewritten Letter Signed, two pages, quarto, on White House stationery, dated from Oyster Bay, New York, July 2, 1908. With original envelope to the Rev. William Potts George, in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. The President sends an expression of his very deep appreciation of the action of the New York Preachers Meeting … [ Read More ]
THEODORE ROOSEVELT. President. Typewritten Manuscript, unsigned, sixty pages, small quarto, June 30, 1914. Entitled Speech of Hon. Theodore Roosevelt, Pennsylvania Progressive Conference, with extensive corrections on one page in Roosevelt’s hand. ROOSEVELT OUTLINES THE PLATFORM OF THE PROGRESSIVE PARTY. Theodore Roosevelt’s holograph corrections appear on page 37, where he had made extensive revisions, in pencil, … [ Read More ]
President. Typewritten Manuscript, twenty-one pages, large quarto, [Washington, D.C.], November 1, 1946. Entitled Memorandum on the Organization of Staff Assistance to the President. With corrections comprising seventeen words in Harry S Truman’s hand in red crayon (shown in italic), and with corrections in the hand of Dr. John R. Steelman in ink (shown in square … [ Read More ]