The Collection of Charlton E. Meyer, Jr. and Gloria B. Meyer
Charlton E. Meyer Jr. began his collection of historic signatures with a gift from his grandfather, Henry Rabe. In 1919, due to World War I shortages, Mr. Rabe donated a pair of binoculars to the U.S. Navy. In appreciation for this, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, mailed a signed thank you letter and a check for one dollar to Mr. Rabe. Instead of cashing the check, he gave it and the letter to his grandson, telling him the autograph would someday be more valuable than the check. When Roosevelt won the 1932 Presidential election, Mr. Rabe’s prediction proved true. This gift sparked an interest in historic autographs which Charlton E. Meyer Jr. never lost. As a financier with a scholarly interest in American history, Meyer focused his collection on documents relating to American patriots – Presidents, generals, statesmen and bankers.
In 2007, Gloria B. Meyer loaned her late husband’s extensive collection to the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum. Still on display, this exhibit consists of fifty-four letters, certificates, and official documents bearing historically significant signatures. Among others, the signatures of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and John Adams, explorer Daniel Boone, and Louisiana’s first statehood governor, William C.C. Claiborne are on display.