Richard Rapier

Dublin Core


Richard Rapier


Richard Rapier


Richard Rapier was one of the first settlers as well as one of the first merchants in Florence. A pioneer in the barge industry, legend names him as the first to bring a keelboat, or barge, through the river to Florence. Rapier began his business in Nashville, but resided in Florence by 1818. His business, Rapier and Company, was situated on the northeast corner of Court and Tennessee Streets in downtown Florence. Rapier later joined John Simpson, another Florence businessman in the cotton trade. Their partnership formed the company called Rapier and Simpson. Rapier eventually owned a fleet of keelboats as well as several warehouses in Florence. Besides engaging in commerce with settlers on both sides of the river, Rapier traded with the Native Americans in the area. Rapier passed away in 1826.


Kayla Scott, University of North Alabama


William Lindsey McDonald, A Walk Through The Past: People and Places of Florence and Lauderdale County, Alabama.( Bluewater Publications, 2003), 21, 22, 28, 74.

Jill K. Garret, History of Lauderdale County, Alabama, 1964, 220.

William Lindsey McDonald, “Captain Richard Rapier: The Merchant Prince,” The Journal of Muscle Shoals History Volume I, 1973.


Alabama Cultural Resource Survey