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Inquiry Question

Historical Context





Table of

New Philadelphia: A Multiracial Town on the Illinois Frontier--

Supplementary Resources

By studying New Philadelphia: A Multiracial Town on the Illinois Frontier, students will learn about Free Frank McWorter and how archeology can help tell the story of the interracial town he founded in the years before the Civil War. Those interested in leaning more will find a number of useful sites on the Internet.

Center for Heritage Resource Studies, University of Maryland
A link to New Philadelphia on the Center for Heritage Resource Studies website provides information on the archeology project at New Philadelphia, the history of the town, research reports, census, tax and deed records, oral histories, and other material.

Free Frank New Philadelphia Historic Preservation Foundation
The website for the Free Frank New Philadelphia Historic Preservation Foundation provides information about the foundation's activities, its plans for restoration of the historic town, and its petition campaign for a United States postage stamp honoring Free Frank.

McWorter Family
The McWorter Family web site contains a variety of documents about the descendants of Free Frank McWorter.

The New Philadelphia Association
This website contains information about an association founded by residents of communities near New Philadelphia to preserve the site in honor of Free Frank McWorter. It contains useful background information, links to other New Philadelphia sites, and membership information.

Historical Landscapes of New Philadelphia
This website, part of the African-American Archaeology, History and Cultures project at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, contains information on the history of New Philadelphia, maps and surveys, ownership over time, archeology projects and reports, census data, tax records, newspaper archives, and the National Register of Historic Places nomination form, among other things.

Time Team America's "New Philadelphia" at PBS.org
The Time Team America TV show about North American archeology aired an episode about New Philadelphia. Free video clips from the episode can be found at PBS.org. They feature the work of archeologists, including student archeologists, at the historic site, the lives of the people who lived there, and the site's significance as a National Historic Landmark.

The Underground Railroad
Visit the National Register of Historic Places travel itinerary, Aboard the Underground Railroad to learn more about slavery, abolitionism and the Underground Railroad. This site includes a number of links to other useful websites.

The website of the National Park Service's National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program includes information on the history of the Underground Railroad and identifies associated sites, facilities, and programs nationwide.

For further reading
Juliet E. K. Walker is Free Frank McWorter's great great granddaughter. Her book, Free Frank: A Black Pioneer on the Antebellum Frontier (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1983; 11305 reissue edition), contains detailed information about Free Frank McWorter and about the town of New Philadelphia.

Read Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua's book, America's First Black Town: Brooklyn, Illinois 1830-1915 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000), to learn more about the history of America's all-black towns and how they provided economic and social opportunities for African-Americans.


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