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Inquiry Question

Historical Context





Table of

About This Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the New Philadelphia Town Site, Illinois. Other materials include Juliet E. K. Walker's book Free Frank: A Black Pioneer on the Antebellum Frontier and data from New Philadelphia documentation and research. It was written by Charlotte King, National Council for Preservation Education intern with the National Park Service Archeology program. Paul Shackel of the University of Maryland, Christopher Fennell of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Terrance Martin of the Illinois State Museum helped with photographs and text editing. Barbara Little, of the NPS Archeology Program, provided editorial assistance. William Walters, professor emeritus from Illinois State University, and Ronald Collins of the Illinois State Archives provided background materials. The lesson was also edited by Ms. Sandra McWorter, Dr. Abdul Alkalimat (Gerald McWorter), members of the New Philadelphia Association, and the staff of Teaching with Historic Places. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson can be used in American history courses in units on the Antebellum and Reconstruction periods or on westward expansion. It could also be used in units on African-American culture or historical archeology.
Time period: mid 19th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students
1) To explain how New Philadelphia developed and why it did not survive as a town
2) To describe the role of African Americans in securing their own freedom
3) To evaluate the effects of racism on New Philadelphia and other communities
4) To describe the ways in which archeology can help interpret the past
5) To identify and describe legal restrictions on African Americans in their own communities

Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a small version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) one map showing New Philadelphia's location;
2) one drawing showing the layout of New Philadelphia in 1836;
3) three readings about New Philadelphia, its founder, and the 2004-2006 archeological investigations of the site;
4) an excerpt from the 1850 manuscript census for Illinois;
5) five photographs of the New Philadelphia site and artifacts and features recovered during the archeological excavations.

Visiting the site
New Philadelphia is located in Pike County in Western Illinois, about 30 miles southeast of Quincy. For more information, visit the New Philadelphia Association website.



Comments or Questions

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