New Philadelphia Special Resource Study
New Philadelphia, located near Barry Illinois, is the first town known to be platted and officially registered by an African American. New Philadelphia was founded in 1836 by Frank McWhorter, an enslaved man from Kentucky who bought his freedom and the freedom of 15 family members. The New Philadelphia Historic District, which consists of archeological features within the 40-acre original townsite, was designated a National Historic Landmark on January 16, 2009.
Tokey Boswell, Chief of Planning and Compliance
Interior Regions 3, 4, and 5
The National Park Service (NPS) prepared a special resource study of the New Philadelphia town site in the State of Illinois to evaluate the national significance of the site, and the suitability and feasibility of adding it to the national park system. In addition, Congress asked the study team to consider alternatives for the preservation, protection and interpretation of the New Philadelphia town site by Federal, State or local government entities or any other interested individuals.