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Judge Nathaniel R. Harper, Louisville, Ky. (1846-1921). African American. Nathaniel R. Harper became the first black lawyer, judge, and notary in Kentucky after moving to Louisville in 1870. Judge Harper was born in Indianapolis and raised in Detroit, where he attended school and studied law. In 1871, Mr. Harper was one of the first two blacks licensed to practice in Kentucky. In 1878, Mr. Harper became the first black notary in the state and in 1885, he became the first black to preside as a judge in the Louisville city courts. Mr. Harper fought for the rights of blacks to serve on state juries and founded a law school that was eventually absorbed into the Central Law School.
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