Ulysses S Grant autograph

As leader of the Union forces during the American Civil War, and later President of the United States, Ulysses S Grant’s autograph is extremely popular with American collectors.   

There’s a few interesting quirks with Grant’s market that you need to be aware of before you buy or sell his signature.  

Here’s what you need to know 

Civil War era signatures are the most valuable  

The vast majority of buyers for Grant’s signature are looking for examples dating from the Civil War era.  

Ulysses S Grant autograph

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

This was the most tumultuous period in US history.  

It tore the country in half. 

The legacy of the war continues to ripple out today.  

There is a large and passionate network of Civil War collectors in the US. The vast majority of artefacts are sold within the country and competition is fierce for high quality specimens.  

Grant’s status as the leader of the Union forces make his signature a key item within the hobby.  

No serious collection is complete without it. 

But Civil War documents are rare 

Due to its historic importance, most Grant signatures are housed in major museums.  

Ulysses S Grant autograph

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

There is a limited quantity available on the market. You can expect to pay upwards of $2,000 for a brief note, while notable letters can go for more than $20,000.  

The market for Grant is long established.  

He was a major celebrity in his own lifetime.  

This puts up a major barrier to anyone hoping to own his signature. But, interestingly enough, presidential signatures are considered less valuable. 

But for how long? 

You can own a quality Grant presidential signature for as little as $1,000.  

Why the discrepancy?  

Ulysses S Grant autograph

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

For a start, presidents tend to sign a vast quantity of documents. And Grant was no exception during the eight years of his tenure. 

There’s also his legacy. 

Grant presidency wasn’t all that fondly remembered. While he was considered a principled man, the political movement that grew around him was profoundly corrupt.  

This was in the aftermath of a devastating war and some in his cabinet were keen to cash in on the situation.  

Ultimately, Grant was a far better leader on the battlefield than in the cutthroat world of politics.  

That said, historians have re-evaluated his achievements in recent years. Grant created the Department of Justice, appointed black Americans to important federal positions and took down the Klu Klux Klan.  

There’s a good chance this forward-thinking president may hold greater appeal for new buyers in the future. 

Paul Fraser.  

PS. Do you have a Ulysses S Grant autograph you’re looking to sell? I may be able to help. Get in touch today at info@paulfrasercollectibles.com 

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