Copies of 19th-century documents penned by Baylor University’s namesake were displayed on Friday ahead of the quarterly meeting of the board of regents.

The work of Judge Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor, who co-founded the school in 1845 in Independence, was delivered by Brazos County District Clerk Marc Hamlin. Baylor was the first judge in the Third District of the Republic of Texas.

The original documents are preserved still in Brazos County. Hamlin said a grant from the State Bar of Texas funded the preservation and duplication of a host of civil and criminal proceedings, alongside other law documents.

“To see his actual signature, it really jumps out at you,” Hamlin said. “Because you realize, here is a man — in the 1840s, if you will — who is actually putting a pen to paper and we’ve been able to preserve that original document into 2017. That was a significant portion when the judges came to me and said, ‘You’ve got a part of history you don’t realize you have.’”

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Elrod, also a Baylor regent, told Hamlin about the documents about two years ago after they were found in courthouse storage.

The copies of the original documents will be displayed at the Texas Collection on Baylor’s campus.

Phillip has covered higher education for the Tribune-Herald since November 2015.

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