Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    B. K. BRUCE: AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - Blanche Kelso Bruce (1841-1898) In 1850, Bruce moved to Missouri after becoming a printer's apprentice. After the Union Army rejected his application to fight in the Civil War, Bruce taught school and briefly attended Oberlin College in Ohio before working as a steamboat porter on the Mississippi River. In 1864, he moved to Hannibal, Missouri, where he established Missouri's first school for blacks. During Reconstruction, Bruce became a wealthy landowner in Mississippi and was appointed to the positions of Tallahatchie County registrar of voters and tax assessor before winning an election for sheriff in Bolivar County. He later was elected to other county positions, including tax collector and supervisor of education, while also editing a local newspaper. In February 1874, Bruce was elected by the state legislature to the Senate as a Republican. In 1880, James Z. George was elected to succeed Bruce. In 1881, Bruce was appointed by President James A. Garfield to be the register of the Treasury, making Bruce the first black whose signature was represented on U.S. currency. Bruce served as the District of Columbia recorder of deeds in 1891-93, and again register of the Treasury until his death in 1898.
    One page, Octavo, dated August 8, 1887. Bruce pens (in full): "My dear Mr. Lorner, Accept my sincere thanks for your very kind notice of the address recently delivered by me. I recall with much pleasure the courtesies extended to me during my visit to your beautiful city, St. Paul. Very truly yours, B.K. Bruce." Exceptional bold signature.

    Condition: Fine-very fine

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 389

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 5 days left to consign to the 2020 April 23 Historical Manuscripts Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2020 February 22 - 23 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas
    2020 February 22 - 23 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $2,355,133