Bill now in Congress to make New Philadelphia a National Park—Email your support!

As of December 2020, this effort is rolled over to the 2021 Congress.  Letters are not needed at this time.  Do stay tuned.

Longtime friend and Congressman Darin LaHood has introduced the New Philadelphia National Historical Park Act, H.R. 8224 to make New Philadelphia, Illinois, a unit of the National Park System.  Please add your voice to encourage Congress to Pass this Bill!  Emailing instructions are below.

In 1836 New Philadelphia became the first town founded, platted, and registered by an African American, “Free Frank” McWorter. Both African Americans and European Americans settled there, and many are known to have joined the town’s freedom mission.

Recognition has included a number of books, articles, short TV documentaries, invited talks and:

  • Frank McWorter gravesite on the National Register of Historic Places (1988)
  • Archaeological dig funded by the National Science Foundation (2002-2011)
  • National Historic Landmark (2009)
  • National Park Service Network to Freedom (2013)
  • Exhibits in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and National Museum of African American History and Culture (2017)
  • A presidential order and National Park Service study to evaluate New Philadelphia becoming an park of the NPS (2018)

Located between Hannibal (MO) and Springfield (IL), New Philadelphia completes the region’s 1800s freedom story. With anti-slavery writer Mark Twain to the west and President Abraham Lincoln to the east, town founder Frank McWorter embodies the central role of Black people in their own freedom struggle.  This bill will help more people see and understand New Philadelphia.

With your help our long time vision is becoming reality: preserve New Philadelphia for the present and future, to expand everyone’s understanding of what people did here.  Thank you!

Please send emails to Congressman LaHood’s legislative director Ashley Antoskiewicz at and copy the NPA’s Washington-based board member Charlotte King at

  • Sample support email (revise or use as is)  doc  txt
  • NPA letter asking individuals or groups to send support emails  pdf
  • Congressman LaHood’s September 14 press release  html  pdf
  • Quincy’s Herald Whig coverage by Deborah Gertz-Husar  html  pdf



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