Historical Civil War Autographs


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Presidents & First Ladies

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22 Items.  Showing Items 1 thru 20.
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COOLIDGE, CALVIN (1872-1933)

# 7659

Thirtieth U.S. President - 1923-29; U.S. Vice President – 1921-23; Governor of Massachusetts – 1919-21

Document Signed, 3” x 8 ½”, Northampton, Massachusetts, March 29, 1929, “Calvin Coolidge,” a partly printed check, also accomplished by Coolidge less than a month after leaving office as U.S. President, drawn on The Hampshire County Trust Co. and made payable to one Mary Ahearn for thirty dollars.

The check is in very good condition, with minor smudging of ink to several letters, a small tear in the upper margin, and a few light vertical folds. The hole-punch cancellation at center affects an insignificant part of the beginning of Coolidge’s signature.

Price: $495.00

COOLIDGE, CALVIN (1872-1933)

# 7657

Thirtieth U.S. President - 1923-29; U.S. Vice President – 1921-23; Governor of Massachusetts – 1919-21

Vice President Coolidge Thanks a Jounalist from The Nation

Typed Letter Signed, 7” x 9”. Writing on imprinted official stationery, U.S. Vice President Coolidge thanks Marian Tyler, a journalist with The Nation, a liberal weekly magazine first published in 1865, for her letter.

“THE VICE-PRESIDENT’S CHAMBER, WASHINGTON, February 2, 1922. Miss Marian Tyler, The Nation, 20 Vesey Street, New York, N.Y. My dear Miss Tyler: Please accept my thanks for your letter and enclosure. It is always interesting to see the discussion that goes on in the public press. Very sincerely yours, Calvin Coolidge.
The letter is lightly toned and soiled, with a horizontal fold at the center.

Price: $425.00

COOLIDGE, CALVIN (1872-1933)

# 7656

Thirtieth U.S. President - 1923-29; U.S. Vice President – 1921-23; Governor of Massachusetts – 1919-21

The Vice President-Elect Thanks a Supporter – Just Two Days after the 1920 Election

Typed Letter Signed, 7 ¼” x 9 ½”, on imprinted stationery as Massachusetts Governor.  During the second year of his short tenure as governor - just two days after election to U.S. vice president on the Warren G. Harding ticket - Coolidge thanks “Mr. Ernest M. Hortmann, Boston, Mass.,” for a letter.

“EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, STATE HOUSE, BOSTON. 4th November, 1920…My dear Mr. Hortmann: It was exceedingly thoughtful of you to send me such a gracious message. I want to thank you for your kind wishes which I assure you I reciprocate. Cordially yours, Calvin Coolidge.
The letter is lightly and evenly toned, with two horizontal folds and a pinhole along the bottom edge.

Price: $350.00

GRANT, ULYSSES S. (1822-85)

# 7027

18th U.S. President - 1869-77; Union Lieutenant General

From Vicksburg, Grant Exerts His Authority Over the Mississippi, in an Incident with the Steamer Empress – Later Burned by Nathan Bedford Forrest

War-Date Autograph Letter Signed, 1 ½ pages, front and reverse of the first leaf of a folded 5” x 8” letter-sheet, to a United States Treasury agent identified only as “Mr. Montrose.”

From his headquarters in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the Confederate river stronghold having fallen to Federal forces under Grant just three months earlier, the Union commander informs Agent Montrose of the improper seizure of a cotton-laden steamer on the river by the U.S. Navy. As unhindered shipping on the Mississippi had resumed after the mid-summer fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, Montrose is further instructed to provide passes for use by Union vessels as additional protection against future seizures in violation of orders already issued by Grant.

“H[ea]d Q[uarte]rs Dep[artmen]t of the Ten[nessee], Vicksburg, Miss[issippi], Oct[ober] 6th 1863. Mr. Montrose, Ag[en]t Treas[ury] Dept. Sir, The gentlemen with Gen[eral] Stewart, the bearer of this, have all shipped Cotton on the Steamer Empress, from Natchez, Miss[issippi] in conformity with Gen[eral] Orders No. 57, current series and were stopped at the mouth of the Red river by the Navy. I have written to the Naval Commander at that place, enclosing a copy of the order referred to and presume with this the Empress will be permitted to pass. However for further security I have to request that you issue Treasury passes in addition to the Authority already granted. Yours truly, U.S. Grant, Maj[or] Gen[eral].”
Three passages from the Official Records, communications between the U.S. Navy vessels involved, provide further details of the controversy, in part:

“U.S.S. Choctaw, Off Mouth of Red River, October 4, 1863. Sir: This morning the steamer Empress came down from Natchez, having on board about 2,800 bales of cotton, taken on board by permission of Brigadier-General M.M. Crocker, commanding U.S. forces at Natchez…Never having received orders to pass cotton shipped by permission of army officers, and the proclamation of the President of March 31, 1863, and the regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury of the same date not permitting any such trade, I ordered the captain of the Empress to return to Natchez with the cotton, and gave him a letter to General Crocker, a copy of which I enclose. I was informed by the captain of the Empress that these permits were given by General Grant…Frank M. Ramsay, Lieutenant-Commander, Commanding Third District.”

“U.S.S. Benton, Off Natchez, October 9, 1863…I was informed by my executive officer that he had forwarded a letter from General Grant to Captain Ramsay, a copy of which I send, in which the general was willing to assume the responsibility in the premises and referred to an order from the Treasury Department of September 15, 1863, which caused him to issue his General Order No. 57, which I send enclosed…Jas. A. Greer, Lieutenant-Commander, Comdg. 4th Dist., Miss. Squadron.”

“U.S.S. Choctaw, Off Mouth of Red River, November 8, 1863. Captain Couthouy told them that you commanded the Mississippi River; that General Grant was absolute on shore, but that he did not control so much of the water of the Mississippi as would be sufficient for him to wash his face in; that this was no question between military and naval authority, but simply whether the officers in command of gunboats should obey your orders and those of the Secretary of the Navy or those of General Grant…A person calling himself General David Stewart (who, I was informed in Natchez, is supposed to be a cotton speculator) took it upon himself to spread a number of reports, and was the principal speaker among the passengers on the Empress…Frank M. Ramsay, Lieutenant-Commander, Comdg. 3rd Dist., Miss. Squadron.”

While Navy officers were still embroiled in the controversy back on the Mississippi, Grant was en route to Chattanooga just two weeks after the date of this letter to Agent Montrose, in command of the new Military Division of the Mississippi, setting the stage for the battles of Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge. Interestingly, it was later reported that the Empress was burned by Confederate cavalry forces under Nathan Bedford Forrest at Island #34 on October 28, 1864.

There is light, even toning, with the usual folds, several small stains, and somewhat heavier soiling and wear to the docketed fourth page of the letter-sheet. Slight trimming of the margins, perhaps inadvertent when the envelope in which the letter was delivered was opened, affects several letters of text in the last line of the first page and in the first word of the second.



# 7654

Nineteenth U.S. President - 1877-81; Governor of Ohio – 1868-72 & 1876-77; Union Brigadier General - Ohio

Document Signed, 7 ¾” x 10”, as U.S. President, a partly printed “affix the seal” document.

“I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of State to affix the Seal of the United States to a Warrant for the pardon of John B. Martin, dated this day and signed by me; and for so doing this shall be his warrant. R.B. Hayes. Washington, 9th Aug[u]st, 1877.”
In excellent condition overall, the document is lightly and evenly toned, with two horizontal folds.

Price: $550.00

HOOVER, LOU HENRY (1874-1944)

# 6533

U.S. First Lady - 1929-33

Signed White House Card, 2 ¾” x 4 ¼”, as First Lady, “Lou Henry Hoover.”

Overall condition is very good, both front and reverse, with light, even toning and an area or two of very minor soiling.

The card is sold with the transmittal envelope and a typed letter from Mrs. Hoover’s secretary, dated January 27, 1933, sending the autograph. Both pieces bear White House embossing and the typewritten address, “Mrs. J.G. McCreery, East Lawn Sanitarium, Northville, Michigan.”



# 6189

Third U.S. President - 1801-09

MADISON, JAMES (1751-1836)
Fourth U.S. President - 1809-17

Partial Document Signed
, as President, “Th: Jefferson,” a 5 ¾” x 8 ½” portion of a four-language ship’s paper, issued at Baltimore, December 22, 1807. Countersigned by the Secretary of State, “James Madison.”

Several light creases, one passing through Jefferson’s signature, with paper loss in the blank left margin, well away from the signatures and text.



# 6492

Third U.S. President - 1801-09

Autograph Note Signed, 3” x 6 ¼”, a personal, handwritten dinner invitation. Although the year is unstated, the note can probably be traced to 1814, one of only two years after Jefferson’s presidency when the seventh day of November fell on a Monday. The other was 1825, the final year of his life.

“Th: Jefferson asks the favor of Mr. Davis to dine at Monticello tomorrow (Tuesday). Monday, Nov. 7.”

Bearing light soiling and wear, along with several fold lines and creases, the note has been affixed to a 7 ¾” x 9 ¾” sheet, with the manuscript notation, “Thos. Jefferson, Signer Declaration of Independence & President U. States,” above. There is show-through of the recipient’s name, “Mr. Davis,” also in Jefferson’s hand, from the reverse.



# 7663

Thirty-Sixth U.S. President 1963-69; U.S. Vice President – 1961-63

Signed Program, 4” x 6”, as President, “Lyndon B. Johnson.” The program is for a White House event in honor of the President of the Philippines on October 5, 1964, featuring The Harkness Ballet.

The heavy paper is lightly and evenly toned, with superficial wear and soiling.

Price: $495.00

McKINLEY WILLIAM (1843-1901) Twenty-Fifth U.S. President - 1897-1901; Governor of Ohio – 1892-96; U.S. Congressman – Ohio – 1877-91

# 8323

Signature, “W. McKinley, Jr.,” as return addressee in the upper left corner of an envelope, also addressed by McKinley, to “J.N. Taylor, Esq[uire] of Knowles, Taylor & K…, East Liverpool, Ohio.” 

Evenly toned, with general soiling and wear; some smearing of ink in the postal markings; minor bleeding of ink at the conclusion of McKinley’s signature and portions of the address.


McKINLEY, WILLIAM (1843-1901)

# 5977

Twenty-Fifth U.S. President - 1897-1901

Signed by President McKinley for the First Lady

Executive Mansion Card, 2 ¾” x 4 ¼”, signed by President William McKinley on behalf of the First Lady, “Ida S. McKinley.”

The card is undeniably rare, this being the first such example I have seen. Minor smudging of ink at the conclusion of the signature detracts very little from otherwise excellent condition.


McKINLEY, WILLIAM (1843-1901)

# 7047

Twenty-Fifth U.S. President - 1897-1901

Signed by President McKinley for the First Lady

Signatures, of the twenty-fifth President and the First Lady - both in the hand of President William McKinley - “William McKinley, Ida S. McKinley,” on a 5” x 7 ½” album page. Dating in an unidentified hand, “1/5/[18]99,” places the signing during McKinley’s first term in office.

Overall condition is excellent, with light, even toning and minor smearing of ink to several letters.


MONROE, JAMES (1758-1831)

# 6928

Fifth U.S. President - 1817-25

Signature, with a ten-word closing also in Monroe’s hand, “I am Sir with great respect Y[ou]r very ob[edien]t serv[an]t, Jas. Monroe,” on a 5” x 6 ½” portion of a letter as U.S. Secretary of State.

The sheet is lightly and evenly toned, with a few pinholes along the left of two vertical folds; there is a small hole in the margin at right, presumably from the opening of a wax seal.


POLK, JAMES K. (1795-1849)

# 6712

Eleventh U.S. President - 1845-49

Franked Envelope, 3 ¼” x 5 ¼”, “Free, J.K. Polk,” addressed in another hand to “Gen[eral] Thomas H. Bradley (Care of Gregg & Elliott), Philadelphia, Penn[sylvania],” also bearing a Washington City postmark and stamped “Free” postal designation.

There is nothing to indicate if the envelope is dated to Polk’s tenure in the U.S. Congress, 1825-39, or to his single term as U.S. President. The recipient, Thomas H. Bradley, a Williamson County, Tennessee native, served in the 1st Tennessee Volunteers during the Second Seminole War. Afterward, he established a large plantation on the Mississippi River in Arkansas, becoming one of the wealthiest planters in the area. In 1861, Bradley, a Unionist Democrat, was elected to the Arkansas Secession Convention, at which he was named brigadier general of Arkansas state troops.

Moderate soiling and wear is somewhat heavier at the edges.


POLK, JAMES K. (1795-1849)

# 6713

Eleventh U.S. President - 1845-49

Autograph Letter Signed, 8” x 10”. Just three weeks before his election to the presidency, Polk directs “Gen[era]l Bradley, Franklin, Tennesseein the posting of a letter to William G. Childress, possibly a member of the family of Polk’s wife, Sarah.

Columbia [Tennessee], Oct[ober] 16th 1844. My Dear Sir: I have written a letter to Wm. G. Childress – by this day’s mail, addressed to him at Franklin. I have to request that you will take it out of the office and send it to him to night, as I desire that he shall receive it early. I make this request because he may not call at the Post office for a day or two. You will oblige me by sending it out. In haste, Your friend, James K. Polk.”

The integral leaf is addressed by Polk to “Gen[era]l Thomas H. Bradley, Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee,” and bears an October 16, Columbia, Tennessee postmark. A Williamson County native and veteran of the Second Seminole War, Bradley was at this time probably helping Polk, a fellow Tennessee Democrat, in his ultimately successful presidential campaign. In the years leading up to the Civil War, Bradley established a large plantation on the Mississippi River in Arkansas, becoming one of the wealthiest planters in the area. He was elected to the 1861 Arkansas Secession Convention, at which he was named brigadier general of Arkansas state troops.

Overall condition is excellent, with the usual folds and an old paper clip stain in the upper margin. There is a small area of paper loss in the lower margin of the address leaf, due to the opening of the wax seal.



# 6481

U.S. First Lady - 1845-49

Signed Card, 2” x 3 ¾”, “Mrs. James K. Polk,” dated in another hand on reverse, May 4, 1887.”

Lightly and evenly toned, with minor bleeding of ink at the “P” in the last name.



# 6866

U.S. First Lady - 1933-1945

Typed Letter Signed, 6” x 7”, on Mrs. Roosevelt’s imprinted personal stationery.

New York, January 6, 1950. My dear Mr. Hallman: I have received your letter and I appreciate your writing. I am glad to know of the celebration that was held in Mexico. With many thanks and best wishes, Very sincerely yours, Eleanor Roosevelt.”

Condition is excellent, with a horizontal fold at the center.



# 6035

32nd U.S. President - 1933-45

FDR Writes to a Young Polio Victim Who Hopes to go to Warm Springs

Typed Letter Signed, on embossed 8” x 10 ½” stationery as New York Governor, to “Miss Lenora Burge, 228 N. Orange Street, Rialto, California,” apparently a young polio victim, hoping to go to Warm Springs. Responding personally to her request for information, FDR refers the matter to the head physician at the well known rehabilitation center, founded by Roosevelt in 1927 for the treatment of others afflicted with polio.

Albany, June 8, 1931. Dear Lenora:- I have your letter of May 27th and am taking the liberty of sending it to Dr. Leroy W. Hubbard, the physician in charge at Warm Springs, Georgia, with the request that he send you full information about Warm Springs. Very sincerely yours, Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

Overall condition is excellent, with light, even toning and two horizontal folds.



# 6863

Twenty-Sixth U.S. President – 1901-09; Colonel of the Rough Riders - Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for the Battle of San Juan Hill, July 1, 1898

Signed Card, 2 ½” x 4”, “Theodore Roosevelt.”

Overall condition is excellent, with light, even toning and small mounting remnants on the reverse.


TRUMAN, HARRY S. (1884-1972)

# 7661

Thirty-Third U.S. President - 1945-53; U.S. Vice President - 1945

President Truman Thanks Missouri Constituents for a Christmas Ham

Typed Letter Signed, 7” x 8 ¾”, as President on White House stationery, thanking “Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Holt, 229 Main Street, Boonville, Missouri,” for a Christmas ham.

“Washington, January 3, 1949. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Holt: You certainly were generous to send us that ‘blue ribbon’ ham which I am sure you must have prized very highly. We are using it sparingly so that we may enjoy it for a long time. I cannot tell you how much the family and I appreciate your though of us and we unite in extending all good wishes to you. Very sincerely yours, Harry S. Truman.
In excellent condition, the letter is lightly and evenly toned, with the usual horizontal fold at the center, and there are a few minor glue stains on the blank reverse of the integral leaf.

Price: $450.00
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