SAA Endorses H.R. 8224, the New Philadelphia (IL) Historical Park Act

Oct 13, 2020

The SAA has endorsed H.R. 8224, the New Philadelphia (IL) Historical Park Act, which would not only preserve an historical and archaeological site of great importance to American history, but would also address the underrepresentation of minorities in the nation’s historic preservation system.

New Philadelphia, Illinois, was founded in 1836 by Frank McWorter, and was the first town created, platted, and registered by an African American in the United States. Its residents included both African Americans and European Americans, and many of them helped freedomseekers reach the North before the Civil War.

The town existed until the early 20th century, and is now an archaeological site. Extensive excavations have revealed a large number of building remains and at least 100,000 objects, bringing to life the story of a unique place and its people.

Read the SAA's full letter to the Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources supporting the creation of the New Philadelphia (IL) Historical Park as a unit of the National Park Service. 

Find out more about New Philadelphia, IL.