From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

McWorter, Free Frank

(born: 1777  -  died: 1854) 

Born in South Carolina, Free Frank McWorter was the son of a slave named Juda and her owner, George McWhorter. Frank and McWhorter settled in Pulaski County, KY, in 1795. Frank worked McWhorter's farm and was allowed to establish his own saltpeter business. He earned enough money to purchase a farm, his wife's freedom, his freedom, and that of an older son. Once free, Frank took the name Free Frank. In 1830, he and the free members of his family moved to Pike County, Illinois, where he accumulated land. Frank eventually established the town of New Philadelphia, continuing to purchase the freedom of his children and grandchildren still in Pulaski County, KY. While in Illinois, Frank officially changed his name to Frank McWorter [without the 'h']. Three years after his death, portions of the New Philadelphia property were sold to purchase the freedom of the remaining family members in Kentucky. For more see Free Frank; a black pioneer on the Antebellum frontier, by J. E. K. Walker.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Pulaski County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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NKAA Source: Free Frank: a Black pioneer on the antebellum frontier

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NKAA Entry: Kentucky Land Grants, African Americans

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“McWorter, Free Frank,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 28, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-09-22 19:00:41