"The Tristram's Saga," vellum fragment in Icelandic, 15th century (William Dudley Foulke Papers).
Petition for bail from accused witches, ca. 1692 (John Davis Batchelder Autograph Collection).
Indian treaty signed at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 13 July 1713, and addendum signed at same location, 28 July 1714 (Levi Woodbury Papers).
1775-1799 (Return to top)
Enclosure, John Hancock to George Washington concerning the reading of the Declaration of Independence to the Revolutionary army, 4 July 1776 (George Washington Papers).
Letter, Benedict Arnold to George Washington pleading for mercy for his wife, 25 September 1780 (George Washington Papers).
Letter, John Adams to Thomas Jefferson describing the cordial greeting he received from King George III as the first American minister to Great Britain, 3 June 1785 (Thomas Jefferson Papers).
Alexander Hamilton's notes for a speech proposing a plan of government at the Federal Convention, [18 June 1787] (Alexander Hamilton Papers).
Thomas Jefferson's drawing of a macaroni machine and instructions for making pasta, ca. 1787 (Thomas Jefferson Papers).
George Washington's first inaugural address, 30 April 1789 (George Washington Papers).
Letter, James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, partially written in cipher with translation by Jefferson, 23 May 1789 (James Madison Papers).
Letter, Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Banneker expressing his belief that blacks possess talents equal to those of "other colours of men," 30 August 1791 (Thomas Jefferson Papers).
Thomas Jefferson's design for a plow, ca. 1794 (Thomas Jefferson Papers).
John Fitch's sketch and description of piston for steamboat propulsion, ca. 1795 (John Fitch Papers in the Peter Force Papers).
1800-1824 (Return to top)
Letter, John Adams to federal department heads ordering the relocation of government offices from Philadelphia to the District of Columbia, 15 May 1800 (United States Commissioners of the City of Washington Records).
Subpoena served on Thomas Jefferson to testify at Aaron Burr's trial for treason, 13 June 1807 (Aaron Burr Papers).
Sales contract between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison for an indentured servant's remaining term, 19 April 1809 (Carter G. Woodson Collection).
Letter, Thomas Jefferson to William Plumer regarding the Dartmouth College case, 21 July 1816 (Thomas Jefferson Papers).
Letter, James Monroe to Thomas Jefferson seeking foreign policy advice, 17 October 1823 (Thomas Jefferson Papers).
Page of Abraham Lincoln's student sum book, ca. 1824-26 (Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana).
1825-1849 (Return to top)
Henry Clay's appointment as secretary of state, 7 March 1825 (Henry Clay Papers).
Manuscript map, probably made by a French voyageur, of Indian lands of eastern Wisconsin, when part of Michigan Territory, annotated by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, ca. 1831 (Henry Rowe Schoolcraft Papers).
Letter, Andrew Jackson to Martin Van Buren discussing the nullification crisis, 13 January 1833 (Martin Van Buren Papers).
Letter, Abraham Lincoln to Mary S. Owens reflecting the frustration of courtship, 16 August 1837 (Abraham Lincoln Papers).
Illustrated letter, Amasa J. Parker to Harriet Parker describing the boardinghouse where he and two future presidents resided, 31 December 1837 (Amasa J. Parker Papers).
"Plan of the Ancient Works at Marietta, Ohio," by Charles Whittlesey, 1837 (E. G. Squier Papers).
Samuel F. B. Morse's colored sketch of railway telegraph, ca. 1838 (Samuel Finley Breese Morse Papers).
"The Village Blacksmith," poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ca. 1839, published in 1841 in Ballads and Other Poems (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Collection).
First telegraph message, 24 May 1844 (Samuel Finley Breese Morse Papers).
Retained copy of letter, James K. Polk to the Committee of the Democratic National Convention accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, [12 June 1844] (James K. Polk Papers).
Watercolor by George R. West of the Buddhist Temple of the Goddess of Mercy, Macao, China, where the first Sino-American treaty was signed in 1844 (Caleb Cushing Papers).
1850-1874 (Return to top)
John C. Calhoun's speech to the United States Senate against the Compromise of 1850, 4 March 1850 (John C. Calhoun Papers).
Daniel Webster's notes for his speech to the United States Senate favoring the Compromise of 1850, 7 March 1850 (Daniel Webster Papers).
Letter, Elizabeth Blackwell to Baroness Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron concerning women's rights and the education of women physicians, 4 March 1851 (Blackwell Family Papers).
Shaker religious greeting, watercolor, January 1853 (Shaker Collection).
Examiner's questions for admittance to the American (or Know Nothing) Party, July 1854 (American Party Collection).
Letter, Ralph Waldo Emerson to Walt Whitman extolling Whitman's poetry, 21 July 1855 (Charles E. Feinberg-Walt Whitman Collection).
Letter, California vigilante committee to John Stephens, 5 September 1856 (Isaac D. Bluxome Collection).
Letter, Roger Brooke Taney to Caleb Cushing thanking Cushing for his support of Taney's decision in the Dred Scott case, 9 November 1857 (Caleb Cushing Papers).
Draft of Abraham Lincoln's instructions to Maj. Robert Anderson in command at Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina, 4 April 1861 (Abraham Lincoln Papers).
Civil War photograph album, ca. 1861-65 (James Wadsworth Family Papers).
Letter, Mary Todd Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln advising her husband to remove the hesitant Gen. George B. McClellan from command, 2 November  (Abraham Lincoln Papers).
Letter, Gen. James Longstreet to Col. Edward P. Alexander; and copies of Alexander's battlefield dispatches to Longstreet and Gen. George E. Pickett during the battle of Gettysburg, 3 July 1863 (Edward P. Alexander Papers).
Ulysses S. Grant's commission as lieutenant general signed by Abraham Lincoln, 10 March 1864 (Ulysses S. Grant Papers).
Letter, Abraham Lincoln to Charles Sumner outlining the president's belief that the dependents of black and white soldiers should be treated equally, 19 May 1864 (Abraham Lincoln Papers).
Letter with colored sketch, James W. Duke to an unidentified cousin, written from a Union prison camp, 31 August 1864 (Charles Buford Papers).
Watercolors of Civil War ironclads by Ens. D. M. N. Stouffer, ca. 1864-65 (David Dixon Porter Papers).
Letter (pages 13-20), Varina Davis to Montgomery Blair describing the capture of her husband, Jefferson Davis, 6 June 1865 (Blair Family Papers).
Charles Wellington Reed's pencil sketch of Abraham Lincoln at City Point, Virginia, 1865 (Charles Wellington Reed Papers).
1875-1899 (Return to top)
Alexander Graham Bell's design sketch of the telephone, ca. 1876 (Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers).
Chapter from Frederick Douglass's draft manuscript of his autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, ca. 1880 (Frederick Douglass Papers).
New Year's greeting from presidential assassin Charles Julius Guiteau to his jailer, 31 December 1881 (Charles Guiteau Collection).
Letter and corrected reprint of Walt Whitman's "O Captain, My Captain" with comments by author, 9 February 1888 (Walt Whitman Collection).
Letter with illustrated fable, Theodore Roosevelt to Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., 11 July 1890 (Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Papers).
Illustrated letter, Aubrey Beardsley to G. F. Scotson-Clark concerning James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room,  (Pennell-Whistler Collection of the Papers of Joseph and Elizabeth Pennell and James A. McNeill Whistler).
"Autumn," poem by Helen Keller, 27 October 1893 (Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers).
Illustrated letter, Frederic Remington to Owen Wister containing a sketch of Remington's bronze Bronco Buster, ca. January 1895 (Owen Wister Papers).
Letter, James McNeill Whistler to David Croal Thomson containing the artist's famed butterfly signature and discussing his hope that no painting of his remain in England, July 1895 (Pennell-Whistler Collection of the Papers of Joseph and Elizabeth Pennell and James A. McNeill Whistler).
Draft of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's The Woman's Bible, ca. 1895 (Elizabeth Cady Stanton Papers).
Plate, punch card, and instructions for Herman Hollerith's Electric Sorting and Tabula Machine, ca. 1895 (Herman Hollerith Papers).
Letter, Susan B. Anthony to Adelaide Johnson discussing women ministers and Johnson's sculpture memorializing prominent suffragists, 8 February 1896 (Susan B. Anthony Papers).
1900-1924 (Return to top)
Letter, Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute concerning the Wright brothers' aviation experiments, 13 May 1900 (Octave Chanute Papers).
Telegram, Orville Wright to Bishop Milton Wright announcing the first successful powered flight, 17 December  (Wright Brothers Papers).
Lee De Forest's schematic diagrams and scientific notes on hotel stationery, ca. 1915 (Lee DeForest Papers).
Woodrow Wilson's speech notes, in shorthand, for his "Fourteen Points" address, [8 January 1918] (Woodrow Wilson Papers).
Prescription written by Sigmund Freud for the wife of Sergius Pankejeff, the patient known as the "Wolf-Man," 22 November 1919 (Sigmund Freud Collection).
Letter, Philip Avery Stone to John Sharp Williams requesting support for William Faulkner's appointment as postmaster at the University of Mississippi, 1 May 1922 (John Sharp Williams Papers).
Letter, Margaret Mead to her grandmother Martha Ramsay Mead discussing her decision to retain her maiden name, 7 December 1923 (Margaret Mead Papers).
1925-1949 (Return to top)
Letter, Elizabeth Pennell to Mr. Kennerley concerning Aubrey Beardsley's 1891 illustrated letter about James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room, 3 April 1929 (Pennell-Whistler Collection of the Papers of Joseph and Elizabeth Pennell and James A. McNeill Whistler).
Amelia Earhart's palm print and analysis of her character prepared by Nellie Simmons Meier, 28 June 1933 (Nellie Simmons Meier Collection).
Letter, Billy Gobitas to Minersville, Pennsylvania, school directors, explaining why the young Jehovah's Witness refused to salute the American flag, 5 November 1935 (William Gobitas Papers).
Letter, Eleanor Roosevelt to Walter White detailing the First Lady's lobbying efforts for federal action against lynchings, 19 March 1936 (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Records).
Clare Boothe Luce's scene description of her play The Women, ca. 1936 (Clare Boothe Luce Papers).
Albert Einstein's handwritten draft report, in German, on theoretical physics, with English transcription of same, 23 October 1937 (John Von Neumann Papers).
Letter, Edward R. Murrow to Eric Sevareid offering Sevareid a job with Columbia Broadcasting System's (CBS) European office on the eve of World War II, 16 August 1939 (Eric Sevareid Papers).
Drafts of Langston Hughes's poem "Ballad of Booker T.," 30 May-1 June 1941 (Langston Hughes Collection).
Memorandum, "Saving the Race," Thurgood Marshall to the NAACP legal staff concerning voting rights cases in Texas, 17 November 1941 (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Records).
Naval dispatch from the Commander in Chief Pacific (CINCPAC) announcing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941 (John J. Ballentine Papers).
Memorandum in Russian from Joseph Stalin about opening a second front in Europe during World War II, with English translation of same, 13 August 1942 (W. Averell Harriman Papers).
Letter, John F. Kennedy to Clare Boothe Luce thanking the congresswoman for a good luck coin, 29 September  (Clare Boothe Luce Papers).
Gen. George S. Patton's diary entries for March 1943 (George S. Patton Papers).
Letter, Franklin D. Roosevelt to J. Robert Oppenheimer thanking the physicist and his colleagues for their ongoing secret atomic research, 29 June 1943 (J. Robert Oppenheimer Papers).
Letter, Ernest Hemingway to Archibald MacLeish discussing Ezra Pound's mental health and other matters, 10 August  (Archibald MacLeish Papers).
1950-Present (Return to top)
Gen. Douglas MacArthur's "Old Soldiers Never Die" address to Congress, 19 April 1951 (Douglas MacArthur Collection).
Letter, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy to Toni Frissell discussing Frissell's photographs of the Kennedys' September 1953 wedding reception in Newport, Rhode Island,  (Toni Frissell Collection).
Notes, William O. Douglas to Earl Warren, 11 May 1954; Harold H. Burton to Warren, 17 May 1954; and Felix Frankfurter to Warren, 17 May 1954, concerning Chief Justice Warren's decision in Brown v. Board of Education (Earl Warren Papers).
Branch Rickey's scouting report on Don Drysdale, 15 June 1954 (Branch Rickey Papers).
Felix Frankfurter's draft decree to enforce the Brown v. Board of Education [decision, 8 April 1955] (Felix Frankfurter Papers).
Seating chart for the opening night performance of Middle of the Night, 1956 (Joshua Logan Papers).
"Dedication," Robert Frost's presidential inaugural poem, 20 January 1961. Typescript with Frost's holograph script corrections in ink and Stewart Udall's holograph clarifications in pencil on the last page (Stewart L. Udall Collection).
Copy of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech submitted for copyright registration, 28 August 1963 (Martin Luther King, Jr., Collection).
Letter, Martin Luther King, Jr., to A. Philip Randolph concerning King's Nobel Peace Prize, 2 November 1964 (Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Records).
Note, Jack Ruby to attorney Elmer Gertz revealing the assassin's despair and paranoia, 9 September 1965 (Elmer Gertz Papers).