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For Sale: 1909 Historical Autographs Book Owned By Nebraska Senator Norris Brown

Updated on July 29, 2010

I recently came across an Autographs book that was once owned by Senator Norris Brown of Nebraska. Norris Brown is considered to have fathered the 16th admentment, the birth of the federal income tax.

This autograph book contains the signatures from almost all of the senators of the 61st congress, containing at least one in every state date in the year of 1909.

I believe that while working as senator in congress, Norris Brown asked his fellow senate members to sign his Autographs book. In the early 1900's Autograph books were like todays Facebook, you added everyone you knew. In addition to the signatures from senators of all states, this book also contains the signatures of the Secretary of State, the vice president of 1909. As well as that of Edward Everett Hale.

Senator Norris Brown's vintage Autographs book
Senator Norris Brown's vintage Autographs book

The first page has Norris Brown's name and his handwriting is in the corner of each page identifying in order the 48 states (Hawaii and Alaska not yet a part of the the US).

Each page has the senator autographs written directly in the book, all except for one.

One one of the last pages, on a piece of paper the typed header stating United States Senate Memorandum. Below this text is the signature of Edward Everett Hale American clergyman and author best remembered for his short story "The Man Without a Country." Below his signature is signed Inaguration day 1909

The Autographs Book Condition

The outer cover has had a rough life. The leather on the spine is almost completely worn off, and the leather on the front and back is lightly flaking.

While the outer leather cover has seen some wear, the inside is in amazing condition. The pages are free of any spots, bending, or tearing.

The signatures themselves are beautiful. Most in old style calligraphy using blue or black ink.

Selling The Book

I'm not really a collector. I came upon this book by chance. Unfortunately where I purchased it from had no idea the history behind the book, thus the tag mark on the leather of the front cover. While owning a piece of history is fascinating, it's just not for me. I do not believe that I could give this book the appreciation that a true historical collector could. So I'm on the lookout for a collector or dealer that has an interest in purchasing it. If you are interested please send a bid to my e-mail.

If the signatures were sold individually this book is worth at the very least $4600 due in part to just the value of the signatures I've been able to find comparable autographs to (signature only on card stock or paper) . Combine that with the fact that it is an almost complete book of signatures from the 61st congress and the signatures obtained while the owner of the book, Norris Brown was working as a senator in the Senate.

I would be happy to sell this with through Escrow and I'm entertaining all bids.

The leather cover
The leather cover
The spine is in rough condition
The spine is in rough condition
The back of the book
The back of the book
The first page
The first page
Vice President Fairbanks autograph
Vice President Fairbanks autograph
Norris Browns signature on the Nebraska page
Norris Browns signature on the Nebraska page
Signature of the Secretary of State
Signature of the Secretary of State


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    • profile image

      Michael Kennedy 

      7 years ago

      I have the same book with the signatures of 86 members of the 1909 congress. These were collected by my great-grandfather, Thaddeus H Stanton, who was Paymaster General of the Army. Love to know how you do with your auction.


      Michael Kennedy

    • advisor4qb profile image


      9 years ago from On New Footing

      Wow, I bet that is worth a couple of thousand. You ought to take it to the Antiques Road Show!


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