Lamont Liner (AB ’16) discovered two historic documents belonging to the late James T. Rapier, a Florence, Alabama native. Rapier was an African American lawyer and politician remembered for his work during the days immediately following the civil war.

Rapier’s father was emancipated by his owner and his mother was a free woman, making Rapier free from the day he was born. The two documents discovered were a will and a claim of ownership. The will belonged to Rapier’s father and the claim of ownership was to help his nephews secure their late father’s estate.

The documents further solidified Liner’s desire to purse his master’s. “Rapier went through so much more than I did. There was no public aid then. I’ve watched a lot of black students at Michigan and a lot of them are not putting everything into it…I didn’t either when I was young,” said Liner.

Read “Historic papers now in digital archive” from Times Daily.