Evaluating Significance: The NPS and New Philadelphia

Running time: 55 Mins.

Guests: Dr. Christopher Fennell, Tara Pettit, Tokey Boswell

The Town of New Philadelphia, Illinois was founded by ex-slave Frank McWorter in 1836, making it the first town legally registered by an African American in the US. Frank and his wife Lucy bought, worked and sold acres of land to help raise the enormous sums needed to purchase the freedom of family members. Since 2002, excavations and public archaeology programs have helped to resurrect the story of New Philadelphia, implicating America’s fraught racial past and giving voice to African American actors largely absent from official histories. Currently, The National Park Service is conducting a special resource study to evaluate the site’s national significance and the feasibility of adding it a national park system slim on African American sites. Dr. Schuldenrein is joined in conversation by Dr. Christopher Fennell, Tara Pettit and Tokey Boswell to discuss the site and the NPS special resource study.

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