A study was undertaken to determine the power of handwriting to distinguish between individuals. Handwriting samples of one thousand five hundred individuals, representative of the US population with respect to gender, age, ethnic groups, etc., were obtained. Analyzing differences in handwriting was done by using computer algorithms for extracting features from scanned images of handwriting. Attributes characteristic of the handwriting were obtained, e.g., line separation, slant, character shapes, etc. These attributes, which are a subset of attributes used by expert document examiners, were used to quantitatively establish individuality by using machine learning approaches. Using global attributes of hadwriting and very few characters in the writing, the ability to determine the writer with a high degree of confidence was established. The work is a step towards providing scientific support for admitting handwriting evidence in court. The mathematical approach and the resulting software also have the promise of aiding the expert document examiner.