Congressman Darin LaHood is asking for a site in Pike County be designated as a national historic park. LaHood introduced House Resolution 8224 to establish the New Philadelphia National Historical Park in the State of Illinois as a unit of the National Park System.
New Philadelphia, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a National Historic Landmark, was the first town platted and legally registered by an African American before the Civil War who was Frank McWorter.
McWorter founded the town, which is now part of Barry, Illinois in Pike County, in 1836. McWorter also secured and paid for at least 13 of his relatives to be purchased out of slavery in Kentucky, including his wife and four sons. Upon his death in 1854, his family was able to use his estate to purchase 7 more family members from slavery in the State of Kentucky prior to emancipation.
Philip E Bradshaw, President of the New Philadelphia Association, says he is extremely pleased that LaHood has introduced the bill to preserve the site and to tell the untold story of New Philadelphia and Frank McWorter.
The bill was introduced to the House on Friday. To find out more about New Philadelphia, visit newphiladelphia.org.