Old penmanship and handwriting fonts
 OLD MAP FONTS:
Antiquarian
Antiquarian Scribe
Terra Ignota
 HISTORICAL PENS:
Abigail Adams
American Scribe
Botanical Scribe
Douglass Pen
Emily Austin
Houston Pen
Lamar Pen
Military Scribe
Lamar Pen
Remsen Script
Schooner Script
Texas Hero
 ANTIQUE TEXTS:
Attic Antique
Bonsai
Broadsheet
Castine
Order Handwriting Fonts
 CREDITS, &C.
Order Historical Fonts Online
The text face used here (as well as elsewhere) is Broadsheet™. The home page letters are set in Emily Austin™ & Lamar Pen™. All typefaces referenced on this website—Abigail Adams™, American Scribe™, Antiquarian™, Antiquarian Scribe™, Attic Antique™, Bonsai™, Botanical Scribe™, Broadsheet™, Castine™, Douglass Pen™, Emily Austin™, Houston Pen™, Lamar Pen™, Military Scribe™, Old Man Eloquent™, Remsen Script™, Schooner Script™, Terra Ignota™ & Texas Hero™—are the intellectual property of Three Islands Press (copyright ©1994–2015). For site licensing contact:

   Three Islands Press
   P.O. Box 1092
   Rockport ME 04856 USA
   (207) 596-6768
   info@oldfonts.com

 

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Posts Tagged ‘old penmanship’
Brian Willson: Preserving History through Fonts
Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

[Editor’s note: It feels funny putting my name in the title of a post here, but recently I had the great good fortune to be interviewed by The History Blog—an outstanding online destination if there ever was one—and the even greater good fortune to have received instant permission to reblog that interview here. I am highly, blushingly indebted to livius drusus, prolific keeper of The History Blog, for being such a talented, accurate, enthusiastic interviewer. I thought readers of The Antique Penman might be interested in how it all went down. (And a Nestler font does, in fact, appear to be in the cards.)—BW]


Brian Willson: Preserving History through Fonts
by livius drusus
(From The History Blog)

In a post earlier this month about the Teschen Table, I waxed lyrical about the gorgeous handwriting of Carl Gottfried Nestler, the Dresden engraver who Johann-Christian Neuber commissioned to write the booklet that identified every mineral inlaid in the table top. “Someone needs to make a Nestler font,” said I, “because that handwriting deserves to be immortalized.”

Nestler’s glorious handwriting in the Teschen Table booklet.

Nestler’s glorious handwriting in the Teschen Table booklet.

As it happens, I knew of a someone who might just be able to accomplish such a noble feat. I have long been an admirer of the historical handwriting and typeface fonts created by Three Islands Press (3IP). When I finally get around to upgrading this site, 3IP fonts will feature prominently because they’re a) beautiful, b) meticulous and c) a history nerd’s ideal playground. On the off-chance that Mr. Nestler’s elegant hand might be of interest, I sent 3IP a message with a link to the Teschen Table story.

Much to my delight, 3IP founder and designer of my favorite fonts of all time Brian Willson answered me. He was intrigued by Nestler’s lettering, so much so that he envisions creating an organic hand and a complete text typeface from it.

That project has to get in line, though, because Willson has other irons in the fire at the moment. Thankfully, he is extremely generous with his time and despite his insanely busy schedule, he agreed to sit for the second History Blog interview ever.

I told him that the first interview subject, the incomparable Janet Stephens, got famous a year after I posted her interview. Oh sure, it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with her particular genius at decoding the Vestal Virgin’s incredibly complex Seni Crines hairstyle, but that’s no reason not to brag that I was there before the Wall Street Journal. The entirely unrelated correlation of interview and fame proved no incentive anyway. As it turns out, his work is already famous the world over, if not by name then certainly by sight.

* * *

Thomas J. Rusk’s handwriting, Texas Hero font.

Thomas J. Rusk’s handwriting, Texas Hero font.

Q: How did you first get the idea to create fonts from historical handwriting?
A:
Back in 1994, when I was doing a little graphic design and desktop publishing on the side, I had occasion for some reason to use a font that looked like old handwriting, but I couldn’t find one anywhere. So I decided to create one. At the time, my mom—a historical librarian—worked at The Center for American History at the University of Texas, so I asked if she could send me copies of any old letters she might find lying around. Within a week or two, she’d sent me photocopies of a whole bunch of letters written by famous early Texans like Sam Houston, Mirabeau B Lamar, Emily Austin Perry, and Thomas J Rusk. Rusk’s handwriting seemed the most legible and least peculiar of the bunch, so I chose to work with that.

[Texas Hero was the result.]

Q: What was the first handwriting font you created and when was that?
A:
The first handwriting font I created was also the first font I created—and it was not at all historical. The year was 1993. I was working either in the production or editorial department (I spent time in both) at a company that published trade magazines, and one of our art directors had some of the coolest hand-lettering I’d ever seen. I had by then experimented briefly with (then) Altsys Fontographer making logos and such and proposed turning her handwriting into a font. She agreed and drew out the alphabet on a piece of poster board. A few weeks (months?) later, I’d finished my first generation of the Marydale family. It’s what got me started in this whole wacky enterprise.

Q: Fonts were only a decade old in the early 90s, the province of computer manufacturers, software companies and visionary traditional typesetters like Monotype. Did you have any experience in graphic design or typesetting? How did you go from curiosity to execution? What tools did you use? How long did it take you to make the first one?
A:
I had absolutely no training in typography at all. Up until then I’d worked mainly as a journalist—but that career had, by the mid- to late-1980s, put me in close proximity with early Apple Macintosh computers, and I couldn’t stop playing around most evenings with programs like Adobe Illustrator and (then) Aldus Pagemaker. Just fiddling. Exploring. Learning things. Soon I was offering to design newsletters for a couple of local non-profits I belonged to, and before I knew it I actually had some paying graphic design jobs.

I’d guess it took me a couple hundred hours to make that first version of Marydale. I would scan each character very large, hand-trace it with Illustrator’s vector tools, import the outlines into Fontographer, and finish things up there. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing at first, but when you have a perfectionist streak you tend to keep banging away until you arrive at that “Voila!” moment. I had a bunch of those moments along the way, but I’m sure my font-making methods remain roundabout and inefficient. This all happened a year or two before the Web exploded on the scene, but I figured I’d release those first few fonts as shareware on CompuServe and America Online. I was pretty dang stunned—albeit pleasantly so—when checks started arriving in the mail. Which is pretty much all the incentive you need to keep going in a capitalist society like ours, ha ha.

Emily Austin Perry letter home.

Emily Austin Perry letter home.

Over the years, as I’ve learned more about type design, I’ve repeatedly gone back and revised my early type designs—fixing inconsistencies, adding OpenType features, stuff like that. I now use FontLab Studio to create all my type.

Q: Did you think of it as a form of historical preservation from the beginning? Now that pen-to-paper writing has become increasingly rare as even the few remaining formal settings for handwriting like wedding invitations go virtual, has that added a sense of urgency to your work?
A:
Not at first. I thought of it as: 1) a really cool, fun, sometimes tedious form of play; 2) a way to provide new and interesting resources for graphic designers. But I couldn’t help becoming immersed in the content of the source materials—Emily Perry’s letters home, Sam Houston’s “talks” to his Native American compadres—and I began to understand and empathize with the kind of urgent devotion to communication that went into putting pen to paper back then. Ironically, of course, this whole crazy pursuit of mine quite logically coincided with a modern decline in the art of handwriting. Heck, these days cursive is rarely even taught in school. I never saw it coming, but in the past few years it’s dawned on me that my type work truly is a kind of an odd form of historical preservation.

Page one of Rev. Samuel Clarke’s letter, Schooner Script font.

Page one of Rev. Samuel Clarke’s letter, Schooner Script font.

Q: Do you deliberately set out to look for good font candidates or do you mainly stumble on them in the course of doing other things?
A:
Stumble. I stumble around a lot. I wander, I ramble, I play. The first few fonts, especially, came from random moments of, “Hey, cool!” Once I started getting interested in the historical stuff, though, I have tended to keep an eye out for interesting source documents—Schooner Script is the result of an off-hand query I made to the owner of a local antique shop, and Broadsheet came from some old newspaper pages saved by a dealer of ancient longcase clocks. While on a trip to England several years ago, I came upon a business specializing in antique maps and ended up buying a page of an early-18th century Atlas: Antiquarian Scribe.

But I’ve also made fonts on a whim or at the suggestion of a customer. An example of the former is Viktorie, modeled after the barely legible scrawl of a waitress in a local restaurant; an example of the latter is Douglass Pen, after I had my interest piqued by an actor who had portrayed—and therefore knew a heck of a lot about—the famous American abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass.

Q: What characteristics make for a good handwriting or historical typeface font?
A:
I’m not sure I know that answer to that, at least not generally. I’d say a modicum of legibility, for one. But beyond that I suppose just an interesting sort of look or flourish or expressiveness that strikes you, that at once (if subliminally) makes you wonder at the character and personality of the person who took pen to paper (or set the type) in the first place. For some reason I’m reminded of my Bonsai font, an interpretation of a flawed, topheavy letterpress job. I’ve often wondered if the printers noticed the problem and maybe thought, “Meh, it’s legible enough.” (I, for one, think it’s lovely.)

Q: You make a point of explaining where the font came from in all your descriptions. How important is the backstory—the author of the hand, the source of the writing—to you?
A:
Really important. Essential, to me—and, I think, to the folks who have licensed my fonts. I think humans generally have a keen curiosity about how things got the way they are and where things come from. Where we came from. Witness our interest in genealogy. Since we have fairly good memories, centuries of records at our fingertips, and brains that are prone to solving puzzles and imagining things, it’s no wonder that our thoughts turn to the preservation and illumination of the dim times that have gone before.

Emily Austin Perry.

Emily Austin Perry.

Q: Do you have a favorite or favorites among the fonts you’ve made? What makes it/them stand out to you as particularly compelling?
A:
I think Lamar Pen is perhaps the best of my old handwriting fonts—at least the most elegant and handsome. (Note, though, that I am certainly not a fan of Mirabeau B Lamar, the second president of Texas, whose hand it simulates.) But I have a special fondness for Emily Austin. I believe this has a lot to do with the spirit of the woman herself, her expressiveness in her letters, how she wore her personality on her sleeve, so to speak, in the words and sentences she strung together. Emily was a product of her time, and her extant portraits show a strict and proper pioneer woman, but from all I’ve read she was a loving, thoughtful, motherly presence in the many lives she touched. Her descendants still celebrate her birthday every year down Texas way.

Q: I didn’t realize that you immersed yourself in your historical sources to the point of developing an understanding of their characters and lives, although from your description of Abigail Adams it’s clear you’ve read extensively enough to be able to discern different phases of her handwriting over the years. How thoroughly have you read the correspondence of Emily Austin, Frederick Douglass, Abigail Adams, Mirabeau Lamar and the other figures whose writing you have converted to fonts? Has there been a widely varying range of depth for each personage?

Picking out Emily Austin’s letters.

Picking out Emily Austin’s letters.

A: I would say a fairly varied range. Ma sent me probably six or eight of Emily A Perry’s letters home from when she was traveling up East looking for a cure for her daughter’s spells and seizures. I had nearly that many of Lamar’s letters—and also a great reproduction of his journal on first traveling from Georgia to Texas in 1835.

I must confess: I didn’t read every page of that journal. Nor did I read all of Abigail Adams’s letters to John (or many of his to her) but rather found myself pausing every now and then while looking near at the shapes of letterforms and pulling back to find myself immersed in her words. Nor did I read every page of her son’s diary—which is no doubt a good thing, considering it spans some seventy years, because I’d probably still be reading!

Tweaking an E of Emily’s.

Tweaking an E of Emily’s.

I probably read about a half dozen of Frederick Douglass’s letters and a number of his written lectures. And come to think of it, I believe I only had three or four of Rusk’s letters on which to base Texas Hero. This is the first time I’ve actually gone back and reviewed this measure. Kind of funny how it all worked out.

Q: You eloquently describe the experience of becoming engrossed by the source material. Primary sources taught in school history classes are often transcriptions rather than images of the original documents. Sometimes the writing is hard to decipher otherwise, but if we posit legibility, do you think it would help draw students in if they had to read letters/reports/news stories the way they were read in their time? That might help keep the dying art of penmanship alive too, since forgetting how to read it is part and parcel of forgetting how to write it.

Emily Austin font comes together.

Emily Austin font comes together.

A: I do certainly think it would help. There’s unquestionably more allure to original old—to a school kid, ancient—artifacts and documents than boring typeset transcriptions. In fact, I bet many kids would get a huge kick out of working to figure out how to decipher old handwriting. Trouble is, how many teachers would think it worth the bother? (It would so be worth the bother.)

Q: You’re read correspondence and diaries of notable figures, discovered obscure historical events like the dramatic destruction by water-and-quicklime fire of the Governor detailed in the letter that became Schooner Script, pored over antique maps, periodicals and rubbings of headstones. It seems to me that you’ve become a historian in the course of becoming a historical preservationist, all without remotely setting out to do it. Given how important the backstories are to you, have you considered writing more about them? I’m certain you have more than enough material for a fascinating book, a compendium of personal stories linked solely by great handwriting and texts.

A: I’ve recently started an occasional blog about the vanishing art of penmanship, and I have so far tended to dwell on my historical adventures. I hadn’t really thought of a book, a compendium. You’ve piqued my interest!

Terra Ignota with cartographic ornaments.

Terra Ignota with cartographic ornaments.

Q: One of the aspects I love the most about your fonts is your inclusion of graphic elements like the ink blots of Remsen, the cartographic ornaments of Antiquarian and Terra Ignota and the printer’s flourishes of Broadsheet. Have you thought about using them as the kernels of complete, stand-alone historical icon sets? Because I am in a position to guarantee you at least one very keen customer.

A: I sure enough have considered of this. A while back I even started work on an ink-blots-only font but then got sidetracked by somebody else’s handwriting. Pen-and-ink blots, antique cartographic ornaments, old printer’s flourishes—hm, it might just work!

Q: How is your own penmanship? Doctor scrawl, Palmer method roundness, John Hancock big, serial killer cramped? Would you ever make a font of your own hand?
A:
I already have, so check for yourself!

[Spoiler: It’s called Cedar Street and it’s phenomenal. I heart the small caps so much I’d marry them.]

* * *

Elves chapter from “Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You.”

Elves chapter from “Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You.”

Brian kindly sent me images of his font-making process using Emily Austin as the example. One of the pictures was a page from Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You which I realized with a start used Emily Austin in the chapter headings! This is when I finally understood that Brian Willson’s work was already crazy famous, so my boasting was as superfluous as it was unjustified.

I asked him how Emily had gotten such an illustrious gig; did he have a font agent or publicist or something? He replied:

I’ve never heard of a font agent or publicist, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. From nearly the beginning, though, I’ve stumbled on my fonts “in the wild”—used on book covers, signs, packaging, and whatnot. (Still seems highly implausible, but there you go.) With Arthur Spiderwick, someone bought a copy of Emily Austin on my website and, in the field on my checkout pages asking how people found us, mentioned that book by name. Turns out the publisher had listed the font name in the credits. (I have no idea where they bought it, but likely through one of my distributors.) I immediately ordered a copy, of course.

On my 3ipfonts.com site, there’s a “sightings” page where you can see a few examples. (I haven’t updated it in a while.)

Actually, many of my customers over the years have sent me photos or links showing my fonts in use. They’re really nice to do that.

Lamar Pen as the signature of the Half Blood Prince.

Lamar Pen as the signature of the Half Blood Prince.

That sightings page is AMAZING. From a boat name in Penobscot Bay, Maine, to a package of crackers in Switzerland to the side of a U-Haul van, Brian Willson’s fonts are ubiquitous. They make appearances in blockbuster movies, best-selling books and chart-topping records too. That’s totally Lamar Pen playing the signature of the Half-Blood Prince in the sixth Harry Potter movie, and the “Dear John” on the cover of Nicholas Sparks’ eponymous novel is written in Schooner Script. Attic Antique is on the cover of Dave Matthews Band’s first studio album, Under the Table and Dreaming. Even Jimmy Kimmel got in on the action, using Texas Hero for his parody of Ken Burns.

It’s a testament to Brian Willson’s great selective eye and flawless execution that his historical handwriting and typeface fonts have spread so far and wide. I love to imagine what Emily Austin or Mirabeau Lamar would make of their writing starring in a Spiderwick Chronicles book and the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie. Willson isn’t just preserving history by creating fonts from beautiful and unique period handwriting; he’s proving that great penmanship remains relevant in the era of keyboard dominance.


[Click here to read the original interview. And please do visit The History Blog—but you’ll want to clear away some time first!—BW]

 

Sam Houston Talks
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Sam Houston by Mathew Brady

Senator Sam Houston (photo circa 1861 by Mathew Brady).

Note: From time to time I’ll be introducing you to a particular historical letter or letters that I’ve used as source materials for our old penmanship fonts. Up first, the inspiration for Houston Pen.

* * *

If you got together in a room a group of historic Americans who might described as “larger than life,” Sam Houston would stand tall. Citizen of the Cherokee Nation, veteran of the War of 1812. political protégé of Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of San Jacinto, twice President of Texas, U.S. Senator, opponent of Confederate secession—he happens also to have been the only person elected governor of two U.S. states (Tennessee and Texas).

Houston was a skillful politician and statesman—and he wrote a lot of letters.

It’s a little-known fact* that many of those letters were to Native Americans. Unlike some of his contemporaries (ahem, Texas President Mirabeau B. Lamar), he sought peace, friendship, and cooperation with the native tribes of Texas. He called these letters “talks,” since they usually had to be read to their recipients. But in them he used language as flowery as the flourish of his penmanship, which no doubt helped him get his point across.

Sam Houston letter to the Chiefs of the Border Tribes

First page of an 1843 letter by Texas President Sam Houston to the Chiefs o the Border Tribes.

I have before me a copy of a draft of a letter Houston sent to the Chiefs of the Border Tribes on 13 February 1843, during his second term as President of the Republic of Texas—a letter urging peace after a time of conflict and suffering during the intervening term of President Lamar.

From the evenness of his script, to his careful choice of words, to several corrections on the pages, you can tell Houston was eager to get the message just right. He changed the first few lines, in fact, from these…

Brothers, The great rains have passed by, and the earth is not now hin [sic] from us by the waters. The sun is again sun [sic], and…

…to these:

Brothers, The great rains like your sorrows, I hope have passed off, and the sun is again shining upon us. When we all make peace it will be to the heart like the sun-shine is to our eyes. We will feel joy and gladness. Sorrow will no longer fill our hearts. The noise of an enemy will not be near us, and there will be none to make us affraid [sic]. The voices of our women and children will see gladness. They will be heard cheerful as the song of Birds which sing in the green woods of summer.

Sam Houston "Talk" to Chief Linney

An 1838 “Talk” by Texas President Sam Houston to the Cherokee Chief John Linney.

Here’s the text of an earlier letter, written to Shawnee Chief John Linney on 28 September 1838 (toward the close of Houston’s first term as President), in its entirety:

My Brother

I send you the Agent who will read to you my Talk and you may Know that it is true. My words shall not sink in the earth but must stand. If you know of trouble or any that is at any time coming, you must as my brother let me hear of it by a Talk.

Your brother
Sam Houston

The words are writ large and seem mildly condescending, but such was the nature of the times. Then again, Houston’s own script was large and legible, with occasional showy flourishes, much as the man himself came across in dress and actions.

You need look no further than the famous Matthew Brady photo of him—or his famous signature.

Sam Houston’s Signature

Sam Houston’s famous signature

* * *

*A few other little-known facts about Sam Houston:

• He ran away from home as a teenager and joined a Cherokee settlement, where he was adopted by the tribe and given the name “The Raven.” He didn’t return home to his family for a few years.

• In 1827, he became the seventh governor of the Tennessee, a position he resigned a couple years later when his new wife (of two months) left him and made embarrassing public statements about his manhood.

• As a U.S. Senator in the years leading up to the Civil War, Houston opposed division of the Union, a stance whose unpopularity back in Texas likely ruined his consideration as a candidate for President of the United States. In an 1850 address, he paraphrased the Bible with the words “A nation divided against itself cannot stand”—eight years before Abraham Lincoln’s House Divided speech.

For more information about Sam Houston (or any other famous Texan), consult The Handbook of Texas—or consider reading his definitive biography, The Raven.

The Curse of the Keyboard
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

We’re all familiar with internal conflict. We want to move, we want to stay put. We wish to explore the new, we wish to stick with the familiar. We’d like to have the candy bar, we’d like to eat the candy bar. It’s a wonder we can function at all amid such inner turmoil.

First page of a letter written in 1825 by Samual Clarke

First page of a letter written in 1825 by Samual Clarke

But inside of me, for as long as I can remember, one conflict has overshadowed the rest: a battle between my love of Nature and my fascination with Technology.

As a kid, I went outside to play. I fished for crawdads in the neighborhood creek, pulled toads from storm drains, explored the woods out back of our house for long hours by myself. At night I succumbed to the allure of the miraculous firefly. But I also succumbed to the allure of the “real” world—a world of radio and television, rock-n-roll and fast cars, space flights and assassinations and crazy foreign wars. The “real” world was full of interesting people (e.g., girls). And the “real” world had a summer school typing class.

Little did I know it then—I truly dreaded going—but that typing class proved more useful than any other I took in high school.

Before long I had my own electric typewriter, was cruising along at sixty words a minute, then eighty, then a hundred. After college I moved to Maine—a place of woods and shores and birds and seasons—where I ended up a radio journalist, then a newspaper man, then a magazine editor wrangling a silent computer keyboard. Somewhere along the way, I lost my knack for writing by hand.

I recall spending long hours as a youth perfecting my penmanship. Eschewing the boring cursive I’d learned in school, I began to print my words in small, neat letters. I changed my “e” to look like a backwards “3” and gave my lowercase “a” a second story. And I wrote a lot—lists and journals and school papers and drafts of college essays. I wrote all my personal letters by hand. Occasionally I’d write so long and hard that I’d end up with a wicked case of writer’s cramp, a pain I well remember to this day.

Then the Apple Macintosh came along, and all that changed.

I just couldn’t quit that little Mac. I learned word-processing software, utility software, fancy page-layout software, even a few programming applications. And, OK, yeah, I played computer games. Of course I interspersed these computer sessions with outdoor hikes or birding excursions, or I’d go swimming or skating down at the quarry pond. (I have an inner battle raging, after all.) But invariably I’d return to the keyboard, whose magic connected me to a new kind of “real” world, a world offering fresh puzzles, instant telecommunication, and digital imaging powers I had no idea existed.

And that’s how—through what now seems an implausible series of events—I became a type designer.

Working on Emily Austin.

At work on Emily Austin.

In retrospect, it seems both the height of irony and perfectly appropriate that my specialty would be handwriting fonts, with a particular focus on historical penmanship. Because in the twenty years since, technology has streamlined written communication in such a way that we no longer have to hunt around for a pencil or pen. Cursive handwriting is rarely taught in schools anymore—heck, a lot of young people have plenty of trouble even reading it. New generations will become more proficient at thumbing the tiny screens of smart devices than writing a simple thank-you note by hand.

In those same twenty years, I’ve read countless letters and journals from the 1700s and 1800s. Much of the time I have handwriting on the brain. And I think a lot about what we’re losing as our ability to wield a pen fades slowly away.

First, there’s the guilt of hardly ever writing by hand myself anymore. (Hand-cramp seems to come in a matter of seconds these days.) Worse, I worry that my type designs might somehow be contributing to the loss of pen and ink. That’s silly, of course, because that loss is likely inevitable no matter what I do—but it’s also more significant than most people realize.

For one thing, recent studies suggest that learning to write in loops and curves is beneficial to our brains. But from where I sit, our greatest loss might be a certain miraculous insight the handwritten page gives us into the characters and personalities of the people who put those words there in the first place.

Detail of Col. William B. Travis’s letter from the Alamo.

Detail of Col. William B. Travis’s letter from the Alamo.

As graphologists will attest, a lot more gets communicated from a handwritten page than just thoughts put into sentences. In a flash we can recognize the hand of friends and loved ones—the little quirks and peculiarities of their scribbles. But beyond even these, if you look closely enough at the pressure and slant and size and flourish, you can see inside the minds and hearts and histories of the ones who wielded the pens. You can tell if they were angry or sad, determined or resigned, courageous or desperate or ill.

I think, for instance, of Col. William B. Travis’s famous letter from the Alamo, whose closing phrase “Victory or Death” he’d so deliberately underscored three times.

Alas, it seems that—barring an apocalypse—we’ll have only the past few short centuries of this intimate phenomenon to wonder at and admire.


Abigail Adams American Scribe Botanical Scribe Douglass Pen Emily Austin Houston Pen

Lamar Pen Military Scribe Old Man Eloquent Remsen Script Schooner Script Texas Hero

Antiquarian Antiquarian Scribe Bonnycastle Geographica Terra Ignota

Attic Antique Bonsai Broadsheet Castine

Full Library Historical Pens Antique Texts Old Map Fonts Modern Hands

Handwritten History Bundle


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