When you hold a document signed by an important historical person, like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, you are touching something they not only touched themselves, but also affixed their name to that sheet of paper (or vellum). Also, imagine what they were thinking when they signed it. It gives you goosebumps just thinking about it. This truly is “Holding history in your hands!”
As a child, when you held an old coin in your hand, you imagined who touched it and held that same coin, too. With an old document or letter, there is no disputing that the author of that letter or document both touched and signed it. Imagine holding a letter that Albert Einstein wrote some scientific notations. Wow! What was he thinking about when he wrote those?
Do you see how history can come alive in your hands? Do you see how emotional you can be just thinking about what was involved when he or she signed that document? You are getting very close to the action. I mean, you can’t get any closer to that historical event than the letter itself.
A letter or document was signed for a reason. It conveys thoughts the person wants to relay to the other party. It may require an action from either or both parties. During the time of the woman suffrage movement, pioneer Susan B. Anthony left an amazing legacy about the actions she took to give women certain rights they were entitled to, like the right to vote. Imagine having a letter responding to that situation. Amazing!
One can go one with the types of letter and documents out there that provide a historical glimpse to our nation’s history.
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” -George Satayana