Frank McWorter became known as “Free Frank” because he quite literally PAID FOR HIS ENTIRE FAMILY’S FREEDOM IN the early 1800’s. Don’t believe me? Stick around for the full story, I got receipts!
In honor of Juneteenth this week is going to be about Black people who didn’t let slavery hold them down! This man’s story will definitely inspire you!
So as the story goes during the War of 1812, Free Frank became a saltpeter manufacturer, for those of you who are like me and don’t know what saltpeter is, after googling it, you’ll see it is an ingredient used in gunpowder.
So as I said earlier, Free Frank became a saltpeter manufacturer as he noticed an opportunity. That opportunity being that soldiers need gun powder to fight in wars. His venture became a big success and he saved up a good amount of funds ( he was still a slave at this time).
In 1817, (LIKE A REAL MAN) Frank bought his wife’s freedom BEFORE HIS OWN. She was also pregnant at the time, leading his son to be born FREE. In 1819, two years later, Free Frank then bought his own freedom and was known by the town as Free Frank in honor of his freedom.
Soon after buying his freedom, he then bought his oldest son’s freedom. By 1830 he and his free family members moved the the Illinois frontier, settled there and farmed. He became the first black person to found a town in the United States in 1836: New Philadelphia, Illinois by doing this!
He was a successful farmer, as throughout his lifetime, he bought the freedom OF SIXTEEN OF HIS FAMILY MEMBERS! Even after Frank had died, his son was able to use Frank’s wealth to purchase the freedom of his granddaughter! Receipt on last slide!
Just for context 663$ in 1857, is about 20k today, and that was the cost of her freedom!
Click here to learn about Juneteenth!