The diploma of the first African-American Harvard graduate has been discovered in an abandoned home on the South Side of Chicago. The diploma was a law license presented to Richard T. Greener in 1870. Contractors and historians were very shocked to know that these documents still exist. The Huffington Post reports:
An abandoned home near 75th and Sangamon, on Chicago’s South Side, was the unlikely hiding place for an important piece of black history — the papers of Richard Theodore Greener, Harvard’s first African-American alumnus.
Greener’s 1870 Harvard diploma, his law license, photos and papers connected to his diplomatic role in Russia and his friendship with President Ulysses S. Grant were discovered by contractors hired to clear the home before its demolition in 2009, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Historians were reportedly shocked to learn last week that the documents had survived, since they were thought to have been lost in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, where Greener was visiting at the time.
Pictured in a photo from the Harvard University Archives, Greener is described as the first black to enter the college, though not the first one to be admitted.
Click here to read more.