New Philadelphia National Historic Site

National Park Service, Illinois.

To a casual observer, New Philadelphia looked like a typical Illinois pioneer town. But a closer look revealed a unique and racially diverse community. New Philadelphia was the first US town platted and registered by an African American. A formerly enslaved man, Free Frank McWorter, founded New Philadelphia in 1836 and purchased freedom for himself and 15 family members.


New Philadelphia National Historic Site is in rural western Illinois between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers near Interstate 72. The site can be reached by turning onto 306th Lane from County Highway 2. An informational kiosk is immediately on the left after turning onto 306th Lane. The small city of Barry lies two miles west and has the nearest services. Hannibal, Missouri, is 27 miles west. Springfield, Illinois, is 76 miles east. St. Louis lies about 115 miles south.

Additional Information

Photo Gallery