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New PhiladelphiaAn Archaeology of Race in the Heartland$
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Paul Shackel

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520266292

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520266292.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

The Settlement of New Philadelphia

The Settlement of New Philadelphia

(p.1) Chapter 1 The Settlement of New Philadelphia
New Philadelphia

Paul A. Shackel

University of California Press

The founding of New Philadelphia in west-central Illinois by Free Frank McWorter is a compelling and heroic narrative about freedom and the entrepreneurship of an African American family. Frank worked hard to keep his family together and purchase the freedom of his children. The Illinois territory became a battleground between proslavery southerners and abolitionist northerners. Free African Americans were not on equal footing with whites, which makes the development of a multiracial community such as New Philadelphia an even more compelling story. New Philadelphia is the earliest-known town founded, platted, and registered in a county court house by an African American in the United States. Frank McWorter created a strong foundation for the town to grow and his family to prosper over the next generation, despite the growing racist attitudes in the region.

Keywords:   New Philadelphia, Frank McWorter, Free African Americans, Illinois, multiracial community

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